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RLGA02-Week8-book Readings notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
David Perley

Week 8's Readings 268-278, 297-302 p268 Islam - Introduction - last of 3 monotheistic faiths that originated in Middle East (other 2 were C, J) - Islam = submission (Arabic) => total submission to God -follower of Islam = Muslim = 'one who submits to God' - Mohammadan - another term for Muslim [2] - Islam is God's eternal setup for universe [3] - what counts as muslim? >- abiotic things, inanimate beings, all orgsms, even angels ^- they follow Islam by instinct or naturally, but only humans given a choice => either reject or accept Islam - Day of Judgemt - day conseq's will be faced for either accepting/rejecting faith >- reward for having faith, punishmt for rejecting [4] Conversion into Islam - by saying Shahadah = profession of faith, in front of 2 Muslim witnesses - "I bear witness that there is no god except God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God." - this is way of entry into faith => now are held accountable for rights & responsibilities for it ORIGINS [5] - Islam origin - 17th century => J & C communities were settled in Arabia long b4 it - 1 tribe dominated Mecca - Quraysh >- but city open to vast range of influences from culture, religion - ex. desert hermits - practiced holiness & healing - ex. Meccan Arabs (aka hanifs - pious ones) who agreed w/ J & C when it came to their monothesim - ex. majority of society = polytheists - stationed gods (statues, imgs of them) in Ka'bah - Ka'bah - structure believed to have been built by Abraham & Ishmael THE LIFE OF MUHAMMAD (570 - 632 CE) [1] - born into Quraysh tribe, around 570 CE - father died b4 birth, mother died few yrs after => grew up as orphan >- cared initially by grandfather from father's side, Abd Al-Muttalib >- then after 'Al-Muttalib's death, cared by uncle Abu Talib [2] - info about Muhammad's youth = little - worked in early adulthood as merchant - married wealthy widow (=Khadijah) in mid 20s p270 - Muhammad's description in early biographical sources >- contemplative, honest, mild-mannered >- Al-Amin (the faithful/trustworthy) [3] - during Ramadan >- isolated himself to spend time in cave on Mount Hira [4] - in one of these instances, he received call to prophethood, & first Quranic revelation >- Gabriel (Jibril - Arabic) appeared as he sat in retreat >- angel grasped him and said to read, but he said he couldn't >- repeated command to read 3 times, recited Q96:1-5 to Muhammad >- result: Muhammad retreated, emotionally shaken p271 [1] - continual returning of angel even after encounter in cave >- saying who it was (Gabriel), and that who Muhammad is (ie. Messenger of God) - Khadijah attempted to calm & encourage him and took him to Waraqah bin Nawfal = cousin, learned Christian - Waraqah: confirmed that Muhammad had mission and that he was a Prophet sent by God w/ sacred law akin to Moses [2] - nabi = Prophet (Hebrew, Arabic) - 12yrs he preached, but little success in Mecca >- Meccans did not want to leave their ancestral tradition >- feared of emergence of this faith would interfere w; their social customs, religion, economic status [3] - Muhammad's msg - religious, but also moral & soc. comp's >- ex. told Meccans to give alms >- ex. feed hungry >-ex. warned of day of judgement >- ex. assist the needy, poor >- ex. care for orphans - first individuals to accept Islam >- Khadijah (his wife), 'Ali bin Abi Talib (cousin & son-in-law), Zayd bin Harithah (slave - later freed by him and adopted), Abu Bakr (faithful companion) [4] - Muhammad and his followers also insulted, mocked, persecuted >- similar to Jesus's first followers ~615 - Prophet advises one group of Muslims who lacked tribal protection to migrate to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) >- due to severe persecution they were facing by Meccan polytheists >- in that country, they were better received 619 - Khadijah, Abu Talib died => Prophet had no support or protection Miraj mi'raj = 'night journey' - mirac. experience where he (w/in 1 night) travelled from Mecca to Jerusalem and then went up to heavens >- at heavens - met previous prophets => event confirmed that Prophet, despite lacking human support, had Divine support still The First Muslim Community 622 - invitation offered to Prophet and followers to come to Yathrib - migration = hijrah >- marked start of Islamic community life - Medina = 'city of Prophet' or 'city' >- renamed to this after Prophet migrated here - in Medinah, Muhammad established Islamic theocracy >- followed rulings from divine scripture (=Quran) Islamic Dates - dating system starts from migration from Mecca - AH - "year of the hijrah" >- follow lunar yr (11 days shorter than solar yr) (ex) 1432 AH = 2010 CE p272 The First Muslim Community (con.) [1] - Medina - oasis city, agricultural economy - popn comprised of largely Jewish community >- 2 fighting tribes - Banu Aws, Banu Khazraj - kept civil disagreemt w/in city - Muhammad brought them together into 1 entity covenant of Medina - Medina should be governed by Muslims, and all ppl should follow this governmt sys. - Jews allowed full relig. freedom & equality w/ Muslims >- condition: must support state, and not enter into alliances against it [2] Quran - narratives and view of world close to that of H.B. prophet's expectations from Medinan Jews - become natural allies w/ him - followed some Jewish practices (ex. Day of Atonement fast (Yom Kippur) Medinan Jews' reply - rejected scripture, and his prophethood - Qu'ran has both +Ve and -ve saying towards J's & C's - Jews and Christians = People of the Book 2 years after hijra - Ramadan fast took the place of Yom Kippur fast wrt imptance - qiblah = dir. of prayer >- changed from Jerusalem to Kaba in Mecca [3] Muhajiroon = 'immigrants' - refers to (in Prophetic context), those immigrants that either came along w/, or shortly after Prophet, that migrated to Madinah Ansar = 'helpers' - refers to (in Prophetic context), ppl of Medina at Prophet's time >- b/c they supported & protected Islam & Prophet Conversion of Mecca [4] emmigrants from Mecca - left behind posessions & prop. when departed to Medina - started suddenly atking Meccan caravans coming back from Syria caravan /ˈkær.ə.væn/ /ˈker-/ noun [ C ] GROUP 3. a group of people with vehicles or animals who travel together for safety through a dangerous area, especially across a desert on camels 624 - Battle of Badr >- Meccans sent about a 1000-men army to Medina >- battle place - well of Badr >- facing off against ~300 Muslims [5] - Muslims were poorly equipped, significantly outnumbered - but motivation & divine intervention led them to victory - Battle of Badr = most memorable events in Muslim history [6] 625 - Battle of Uhud >- meeting place: Mount Uhud >- to avenge defeat last year at well of Badr >- Meccans prevailed over Muslims expulsion of Medinian Jews after Uhud >- b/c they formed alliances w/ Meccans against Muslims >- another view - b/c city needed to be free from anti-Muslim influences in its salient stage of dvpmt [7] 627 - Battle of the Trench >- in retaliation to raiding of Quraysh caravans and threat of Muslims due to them growing in str, Meecans were going to atk Medina, the city >- Prophet commanded a trench to be dug around exposed areas of city (from the advice of Persian former slave - Salman) => to stop Meccan cavalry from intruding >- able to withhold Meccan atk when they came w/ large army 628 - Meccans felt that they must make truce, so they did with the Muslims [8] 630 - Quraysh broke truce - Prophet went with large army to Mecca - Meccans surrended upon army's arrival, many accepting Islam in groups at same 't' [9] - hostitilites were to be stopped and enemies were to become brothers of faith when individual/tribe accepted Islam - Prophet allowed prisoners to be free when asked by Meccans what he was going to do w/ them [10] - conquest of Mecca was attributed to God himself by Muhammad => took no cred. for accomplishing it 632 - returned to Medina - death >- prior to death, made farewell pilgrimage to Mecca and Kaba (sacred shrine) [11] Muhammad (SAW) = rasul Allah (Messenger of God - Arabic) - although he wasn't emphasized for being ruler or military leader, he did do these roles >- waged war >- made peace >- laid foundaitions for community (=ummah), based on Islamic doctrines - w/in 80 yrs >- Muslims would take over largest empire in history of mankind [12] Time of Prophet (SAW)'s death Sunni Shia - = those who follow Prophet's traditions - = party (literal Arabic term) - their belief about Prophet wrt successor - their belief about Prophet wrt successor >- did not designate one >- = Ali was appointed >- did not specify how should be chosen ^- created permanent disagreement b/ween these 2 Muslim groups based on difference in these beliefs [13] khalifah = one who rep's or acts on behalf of some1 else - Abu Bakr - became khalifat rasul Allah (representative of Messenger of God) after Prophet's death - Umar ibn-Al Khattab - successor to Abu Bakr = 'successor of the successor of the Messenger of God' p274 [1] - caliphate - took on both worldy & religious aspects >- caliph = relig. leader >- while also being head of community - amir (commander) of Muslims >- Umar took on title "commander of the faithful" caliph - highest relig leader (= imam) in community - 4 that ruled after Muhammad (632-661) - after them started dynasties (661-670, Ummayad (hereditary); 750-1258, Abbasid) CRYSTALLIZATION Prophets & Messengers [1] Quran - God conveys his message to his ppl via prophets & messengers >- done via revelaed scriptures >- intermediaries (prophets & messengers) seek to establish sacred Law of God into lives of ppl in their communities => human history is prophetic history (ie. history of prophets coming down to bring God's msg to mankind) [2] Islamic tradition - 124,000 prophets sent by God in total, starting from Adam, and ending with Muhammad => every community was given the commandment to follow one and only God and warn against disobedience to this Qur'an - names of 26 prophets mentioned - those well-known from biblical texts: Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Jonah, John the Baptist, Jesus - 3 Arabian prophets: Shu'yab, Hud, & Salih [3] Prophet vs Messenger PROPHET MESSENGER = nabi = rasul - transmits msg from God to particular ppl at - msg he sends down is universally binding sacred particular time law (shariah) (but brings no new info., acts on what was prev.(ie. the entire universe is obligated to follow it) sent) => every msger is prophet, but not every prophet is messenger (ex) Torah given to Moses on Mount Sinai - => Moses = messenger & a prophet >- msg of Torah was held as God's obligation to mankind until next revelation, gospel of Jesus released, which superseded its authority. Messenger-Prophets - ulu al-'azm - prophets of power/firm resolve (ie. powerful/firm determination to do sth) >- title given to Abraham, Moses, Jesus, & Muhammad >- signif - received universally-binding revelations from God [4] Appendage when discussing Muhammad - "peace [and blessings of God] be upon him", everytime his name mentioned - abbrev = PBUH - when prophets listed as group (including Muhammad), "peace be upon him" is said The Qur'an - sent down to Muhammad for 23-yr-period p276 [1] Quran and Muslim tradition - angel Gabriel came into Muhamad's presence (oft. disguised as human) >- revealed the verses (=ayahs) and surahs (chapters) that came to make up the holy scripture [2] Quran - derived from same root as word iqra (read or recite) => q-r means to read or recite - God mentions himself as "We" - If speaking to Prophet, uses "you" - first ever commandment - Muhammad told to recite/read (first ever revelation) [3] Quran - nearly the length of NT - individual parts of it differ in length & content (from short verses centred along single theme, to many verses w/ many subthemes) --> early Meccan suwar - typically brief warnings, expressed in few words --> later Meccan suwar - discuss about tales of earlier prophets & their communities - moral-teaching narratives Quran's Goal - discusses good conduct, and also persuades reader to not do bad behav. - use its content to create ummah (= community) => society that is united by faith (=Islam) [4] --> Medinan suwar - fewer in quantity - longer, have moral-teaching arguments, mention laws - oft. respond to questions/situations emerging in life of community The Status of the Qur'an [5] Christian parallel to Islam CHRISTIANS MUSLIMS - Christ is Word of God presented in flesh - Qur'an is Word of God presented in book form Quran - unchangable, heavenly book that has the eternal (forever-lasting) Word of God Quran & Arabic - lang. it was revealed was particularly Arabic (makes sense b/c this was also lang of its preliminary audience) - any translation made = interpretation, not Quran itself - Quran recited in Arabic, despite if Muslims in country rarely speak it >- translation to follow after each verse in lang. of country [6] - [1]p277 Quran - its words recited in new born's ear >- also recited in other occasions as well (ex. to confirm marriage contract) - for private recitation, been divided into 30 parts of equal length - words of Qur'an in calligraphical form are central form of design for Islamic art >- used to decorate shelters (ex. homes, mosque, public buildings owned by Muslims) Compiling the Qur'an [2],[3] - when Prophet died, Qur'an was not completely written on book >- ie. sep. phys. records on which it was reduced into writing [!]- in certain cases, there were several versions of same material, so diff. readings of certain words/vowels made possible later on b/c no vowel marks added at that time. - w/in 20 yrs after Prophet's death, official text of Quran compiled >- under rule and supervision of Uthman ibn Affan (third caliph) [4] Tradition - Gabriel instructed Prophet as to how to order verses w/in surah => Divine intervention when it came to arranging verses in surah - Uthman appointed a commitee to compile an official version that arranged the suwar. => Humans shaped way surahs were arranged Quran - out of 114 suwar, 113 start with Bism-illahi ar-rahman ar-rahim (in the name of God, the All-merciful, the Compassionate) >- exception - 9th surah >- commentators believe it is continuation of 8th surah Qu'ranic Commentary (Tafsir) [5] -tafsir = deiphering the meaning of text >- term to refer to commentary on Quran - interpretation based on 3 authoritative sources: a) Quran b) Prophet'shadith (tradition) c) opinions coming from Prophet's com
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