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RLG204H5 Study Guide - Final Guide: Tawhid, Femicide, Fatalism

Course Code
Alireza Haghighi
Study Guide

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Week 1:
Geographic aspects of Arabia
-mainly rock & desert, coastal regions had many important ports for trade routes
-tribal society surrounded by the Byzantine & Persian Empires
-the main sources of livelihood: herding, agriculture, trade & tribal wars
-the social org. & identity rooted in membership in an extended family
oa grouping of several families created a clan
oa grouping of several clans constituted a tribe
-no written laws, the threat of revenge was present
-Asabiyya Group loyalty was crucial & made up the unwritten laws (jahiliya)
Religion of this society
-Worshipped many gods, the spirits of those gods were associated w/ stone, springs, & wells.
-Kaba was the central shrine for gods
Value system
-manliness: bravery in battles
-loyalty to family & protection of its members
-hospitality, patience & persistence
-The preservation of family & tribal honor
Why was this time period called jahiliya?
-lack of tawhid: monotheism vs. polytheism
-characterized by fatalism: no afterlife, no resurrection, do divine records/punishments
-extreme inequality btw men & women: Femicid was widely practiced
-known as the age of ignorance
-Class difference: social hierarchy: huge gap btw slaves, master, classes.
-Legal system: fear of losing family honor, & fear of more powerful families
-the pre-Islamic Arabia was a society in which:
ocities of Mecca & Medina were prospering
oHuge, class disparities existed
oSociety was in danger/threatened by these immoral practices when the Prophet was born
Week 2
Before Prophecy
-He was: an orphan, an honest man, lived humbly, has a sensitive soul & spiritual man
-His wife was the 1st Muslim was a financial/moral/political support for Him
-He approached the Meccan society by: being against their hypocrisy
oTheir philosophy of life: crude materialism & Fatalism
oAgainst: Femicide, unjust treatment of orphans & widows etc
-he believed that his society was in a theological crisis: monotheism vs. poly
oin an economic social crisis: social justices vs. hierarchy
oin moral crisis: accountability vs. fatalism & honesty vs. hypocrisy
Beginning of Revelation

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-around 610 AD, Angel Gabriel appeared to the Prophet in Mt. Hira
-His method of spreading the msg of Islam:
oQuiet persuasion: focused on close family & relatives
oFocused on: simple rituals (praying), principles of Tawhid. Prophecy & day of judgment
oAfter 3 yrs he openly started to invite ppl to Islam
oThis gave rise to fear amount elites
-His opponents & their style of confrontation:
oHis 1st enemy was his own uncle Abu Lahab & his wife; then tribal leaders
oThey used bribery, persecution, assassination plans & boycotted his tribe
oThis led the Prophet to expand beyond Mecca
-622 AD: Muslim community (Umma) came into being
-Negotiations w/ Medina delegates & sent a convoy to Negus
After Prophecy:
-his achievements in Medina included: unifying 2 enemy tribes in Medina
-Drafted the 1st Islamic constitution, regulated relationships w/ Jews & Christians
-Challenges the Hypocrites, attempted to conquer Mecca, conquered it
-Badi & Uhud wars
-Made peace w/ Meccans
Week 3:
The Quran
-as the book of God (Kitab –al Allah)
-as the word of God (Kalam allah)
As the book:
-114 Suras: arranged in order of length (descending)
-Each Sura is divided into Ayas (6236)
-It was revealed in about 22 years
-Zayd Ibn Thabit: 1st person to collect it
Orientalist View:
-criticize it by saying that the format is frustrating
-believers reply: the ordering of chapters were divinely inspired & enables the believer to start
anywhere in the test
5 Major teachings:
-Allah & his laws
-The Quranic Universe
-The Muslim Community
-The final judgment
-The path to paradise
-The previous prophets
The Quranic universe
-3 realms: heaven, earth, hell
-World inhabited by human beings, spirits, angels = link btw god & humans
-Jinn: btw humans & angels; created from fire

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-Shaytan: principle of evil
Muslim Community
-Muslim mission: to be a servant of Allah
-Has a moral mission to create a moral social order
-Unity & equality among al believers before God
-Exploitation of weak is condemned, as well as bribery, false contracts, & abuse of women
-It demands that Muslims pursue a path of social justice
Final Judgment
-everyone will die at a time known by Allah & will be judged according to the deeds they’ve
Previous Prophets:
-28 figures are named Abraham, Moses, David & Jesus are specifically cites in scriptures
Week 4:
The 5 Pillars
-3 main principles: Tawhid , prophecy, return what happens after death
-1st pillar: Shahada acknowledge Allah & his prophet
-2 pillar: Salat: the center pole of Islam
-3 pillar: Zakat: a certain % of worth paid to the needy, distributive justice
-4 pillar: Fasting: during Ramadan
-5 pillar: Hajj: to renew one’s vow w/ Allah & ppl must move from involvement w/ this world
-The 5 pillars are meant to unify & create harmony btw action, thought, & intention
-Its not enough to read Quran alone
-The 5 pillars are dynamic social acts, not just private rituals
Week 5:
-Used to name the Prophets custom; includes: his words, deeds & habits
-Function: some argue that a Muslim must follow the exact deeds of the prophet
-Other argue that the spirit & the msg of each Sunna must be extracted rather than followed blindly
-Hadith & Sunnas significance: source of Sharia
-The function of the Sunna is to explain/demonstrate the aspects/details that were not included in
the Quran
-Wajeb (obligatory) Haram (forbidden) mustahab (recommended) Makruh (not recommended) &
Mabah (Islam doesn’t say anything)
Week 6:
Shari’a & Fiqh
-there are 2 general approached to Islamic law
oIslam is not just a religion; its a complete way of life. There is no aspect of human
behavior thats not covered by some divine ordinance
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