[REL 10200] - Midterm Exam Guide - Everything you need to know! (28 pages long)

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Rowan University
REL 10200
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Origins of Islam
What is Islam?:
Islam-submission
One who follows Islam is called a Muslim- “one who submits to god”
Believes in one god (monotheism)- “Allah”
Second largest faith in the word, second to christianity, with 1.6 billion Muslims around
the world
To become Muslim, one only needs to bare “witness” by proclaiming the Shahadah-
“I bear witness that there is no god except god (Allah) and i bear witness that
muhammad is the messenger of god”
Arabia Before Muhammad:
The Arabs: during ancient times, the arabs inhabited much of the area from the arabian
peninsula to the euphrates river
In the qur’an before islam, the area & its inhabitants are said to be in state of “ignorance”
Focused on earthly power, pleasures, accomplishments, wealth, etc.
The Rise of Islam:
Arose in the arabian peninsula & influenced western asia & beyond
They were a nomadic, semitic-speaking people who lived in the arid climate of the
arabian peninsula
Environment was harsh, they were organized into tribes & were led by sheikh who has
chosen from council of elders, the tribes were independent bu worked together
Mecca was most important trade center in arabia, it was dominated by powerful tribe of
quraysh
Traders: cities supported traders who carried luxury goods ( spices)
Haram- “Sacred Place”
Like solomon’s temple dedicated to YHWH, the ka’ba is said to have been built during
the time of abraham & ishmael
Ka’ba was site of pilgrimage for many-monotheists, polytheists- &m economic life of
mekkan valley is mitigated here
Dominated by quraysh tribe: power & wealth
Early Religion:
Most early arabs were henotheistic many recognized a chief or supreme god whom they
called allah which is arabic for “god
Allah was symbolized by sacred stone, each tribe had their own stone but there was once
central stone called black stone which was placed in shrine called the kaaba
This shrine was located in city of makkah (mecca) in what is now saudi arabia
Life of Muhammad
The life of Muhammad 570-632:
Muhammad was born in 570 in mecca (present day saudi arabia) to a merchant family
within the quraysh tribe-not wealthy or powerful
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Parents died when he was young & ended up living with his uncle abu talib
Later began working as merchant & trader, even shepherd & by 30 he became financial
adviser to wealthy widow khadija-who would become his wife
From age of 25 onward, muhammad worked for khadija, wealthy merchant with
successful trade caravan route
His employer, khadija was fascinated with him & propositioned him for marriage
Although older than muhammad (range of dates if debated) khadija became his wife in
596 & they had a loving marriage until her death
She might have been 20 years old
Or their age difference could’ve been only 2 years
This is due to dramatic disparity among sources
She bare him 3 sons (all died in childhood) & 4 girls (all survived) only one daughter,
fatima, lived after him
Muhammad’s Revelation (Ayat):
Early on, muhammad became disillusioned with concern over wealth & greed on caravan
business
He made it a routine of him retreating to the mountains for several nights in a row of
seclusion & prayer
Itis during this time c. 610 at the age of 40 that muhammad was visited by the angel
gabriel who “commanded” him to “recite”
Allah had already revealed himself through moses & jesus but now had final revelation
for man
Muhammad receives revelation from Jibril (Gabriel)-c. 1307
After the Revelation:
After muhammad received his revelation he went to his wife khadija she was his first
convert to the new religion, along with his cousin ali
Muhammad began teaching in mecca, but he converted few people outside his own circle
Meccans feared that his new faith might call into question the legitimacy of the shrines in
mecca & jeopardize the traditional pilgrimages to the ka’ba with their accompanying
trade
AFter 3 years he was forced to go to city of yathrib which later became medina
This flight, or migration is known as hijra & marks the beginning of muslim calendar in
year of 622 CE
The Mi’raj- “Night Journey” or Ascension:
Muhammad experiences journey from mecca to jerusalem on back of heavenly creature-
burqa
Here, he meets prophets adam, john, isa (jesus), moses, etc.
He is also granted visitation with god-where he declared “none exists save thee” & god
answered “true true”
Here with guidance of moses, muhammad receives command to pray 5x a day
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