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Chapter 4

HUMA 1845 Chapter 4: Muhammad and the Early Muslim Community

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HUMA 1845
Marta Simidchieva

“Muhammad and the Early Muslim Community” (pp. 63—72) The Hijra (Emigration) - Muhammed met a group of men at a fair near Mecca who were from Yathrib (also known as Medina before Islam) “city of the prophet” - Experienced too much tension and bloody fighting between two major Arab tribes – the Aws and Khazraj - People wanted Muhammed as their leader, agreed to become Muslim and obey the Prophet - 75 people traveled down from Medina and pledged to foght in Muhammed’s cause if necessary - Muhammed invited his followers in Mecca to emigrate north to Medina in small groups - Muhammed, Abu-Bakr, and Ali stayed in Mecca, planned to move north when everything was ready there - Mecca became dangerous and a few Quraysh planned to kill him, so Ali slept in Muhammeds bed while Muhammed and Abu-Bakr hid in a cave for 3 days - Muhammed and Abu-Bakr arrived safely, and so did Ali afterwards, officially recgonized as the beginning of the Islamic Lunar calendar-not the day of Muhammeds arrival but the start of the year - Many Medina’s confessed their belief, and were henceforth known as the “helpers”(ansar) - Those who made the Hijra were called “emigrants”(muhajirun) - Muhammed served as an arbitrator and religious leader - He let his camel roam around and where it rest became the site of Muhammeds home - Mosque is built on that land later on Medina - Muhammed was not a leader in the early years, but by the time he died, he was the leader in both in Medina and all of Arabia - He transformed the little Muslim movement into a world religion, who’s universal appeal was demonstrated from the conversion of non-arab peoples - Since the hijra, the muslim community has been known as the umma muslima - Umma refers to human communities united by a common faith - Constitution of Medina is the spelled out organization and structure of the newly reformed political and social life of the troubled oasis community of Yathrib - Jews were to be considered a religious community (umma) alongside Muslims - Constitution of Medina transformed Yathrib’s warring tribes and clans into a kind of supertribe, bound together by common religious faith - Muhammed directed the emigrants talents towards raiding, but did it in a controversial way, broke the truce months during which ancient Arabs refrained from warfare from one another - Muhammed received a revelation to the effect that although breaking the truce was sinful, the Meccan persecution of Islam was worse Jews in Medina - Jews were cut off - On a Friday prayer, Muhammed has an inspiration to turn 180 degrees to face Meca and pray, so the new qibla (direction of prayer) led to arabizaition of Islam - Muhammed considered his incorporation of Jewish worship practices to have been futile and misguided - Relationship with Jews of Medina became difficult until a few years later, where they were driven out of the oasis or, executed for treachery in battle Battle of Badr - caravan was reported to be en route home to Mecca from Palestine - group of helpers and emigrants went to intercept it at Badr, a group of wells near Medina - Meccans sent north a force of 900 men to protect the caravan on a the final leg of its journet - Muhammed’s 300-men were outnumbered, but outfought the opposing enemy - Helpers and emigrants involved were more unified and took home a great
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