M E STU 10 Midterm: Midterm Short Answer Topics

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Middle Eastern Studies
M E STU 10
Mahmood Monshipouri

M E STU 10 Midterm Short Answer Topics The sources of Islamic Law Prophet Sunnah and Hadith (saying and acts) Koran Ijma (consensus of the Ulemaclass of scholars, judges, and teachers who set and transmitted the norms by which Islamic society perpetuated itself) Ijtihad (independent reasoning) Qiyas (interpretation by analogy) The Middle Ages and the Emergence of Islam PreIslamic era characteristics: Lacked central organizing authority (legal or state system) Slavery was a widespread practice Tribes were the largest units of socialpolitical organization Tribes consisted of several clans Majority of Arabias inhabitants were pastoral nomads Nomadic Bedouin forebears Bedouins generally had little political influence, and if they did, it would have been peripheral to the sources of state power Bedouins traditionally depended on settled communities for manufactured items and agricultural products (not the common misconception of rugged, primitive, completely independent life) Warfare was ingrained in daily life Loyalty to group above loyalty to moralitystandards for human conduct The leading class of Mecca were members of the Quraysh tribe, of which Prophet Muhammad was a member to a minor but respectable branch Meccans were moving towards religious change Allah, the God presiding over relations between tribes, began to assume a greater importance as the inter tribal character of worship developed Islam emerged as the religion publicly preached by Prophet Muhammad, who had been called upon as an Apostle of God by the Angel Gabriel Series of revelations brought to Muhammad while in retreat in a cave on the outskirts of Mecca Early preachings of a monotheistic religion under Allah were simple Muhammads revelations were perfectly in tune with the developmental course of society, which was in need of a unifying moralreligious system not only to serve its need for internal cohesion but also to meet the challenge of other monotheistic religions and the political forces with which they were associated However, teachings also went against the grain of the prevailing cultural beliefs and vested power interests in Mecca The Quraysh saw Muhammads sect as a challenge to the values that legitimized their own power and a denunciation of the religious structure that had been carefully organized to serve their political and economic interests Muhammad preached essentially a moral and political revolution His teachings threatened the corrupt trade establishment of Mecca
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