Background to A Study of Islam and the Koran

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1 Background to A Study of Islam and the Koran

2 Geo-Political Setting Rome and Byzantine Empires 326 CE: Council of Nicea 330 CE: Founding of Nova Roma (Constantinople) 380 CE: Theodosius I declares Christianity official religion of the Empire 395 CE: Empire split in half following death of Theodosius I 451 CE: Council of Chalcedon 476 CE: Fall of the Western (Roman) Empire Odovacar : Justinian s generals reconquer North Africa and Italy

3 Geo-Political Setting Byzantium circa 565 CE

4 Geo-Political Setting Sassanid Empire 2 nd Persian Empire; CE Refuge for Greek philosophy Influences Islamic architecture, literature, art (1001 Nights) Zoroastrianism official state religion Nestorian Christianity (Edict of Toleration, 483 CE) Judaism Warfare with Roman/Byzantine Empires Extensive trade and cultural contact with China, southeast Asia, India, Rome, and Byzantium

5 Geo-Political Setting

6 Geo-Political Setting 600 CE

7 Pre-Islamic Arabia

8 Pre-Islamic Arabia Over 1 million square miles Desert and marginally habitable steppe Pastoral-nomadic life and trade Yemen to southern Palestine Hejaz (cradle of Islam) Arabs are Semites Language grouping Shem, son of Noah modern theory: Arabian origin of Semitic peoples

9 Pre-Islamic Arabia Traditional roots Southern and Northern Yemen aboriginal; Hejaz assimilated Hejaz descendants of Adnān, descendant of Ishmael Time before Islam known as al-jāhilīya barbaric ignorance Life Camel and sheep raising; hunting; escort and raiding of caravans; mercenaries against Sassanids

10 Culture Pre-Islamic Arabia Tribe and Clan loyalty Family clan tribe Hamish clan, Quraysh tribe Bloodfeuds Personal Honor Courage, loyalty and generosity; raiding and hospitality Role of women

11 Pre-Islamic Arabia Culture Poetry Artistic expression; shamanistic religion Poet - shā ir one who knows Special power of a poet s words Curses and insults against opponents Protection and boasts for friends Native Religion Veneration of spirits and places they lived (Stones, wells, trees, sacred precincts of tribal origins) Sacrificial shrines

12 Pre-Islamic Arabia Native Religion (cont.) Male and female dieties 3 daughters of Allah Ka ba at Mecca home to deity Hubal Allah, high God of Quraysh tribe and Mecca distant, withdrawn creator Monotheism Jews numerous in Yemen and Medina Christian, Zoroastrian, Jewish Mecca Native Arabian monotheists (hanīfs)

13 The Mecca of Muhammad Society of Mecca (c. 550 CE) location on trade route between southern Arabia and Egypt/Syria site of lucrative religious ritual the Ka ba, the Black Stone by tradition, Ka ba stretches back to Abraham and Ishmael Mecca ruled by the Quraysh tribe by tradition descendants of Abraham and Ishmael

14 The Mecca of Muhammad Factions of the Quraysh tribe Hashim, merchant and philanthropist Hashim s nephew Umayya Hashim dies, succeeded by his son or younger brother, Abd al-muttalib, whose son Abdallah is father of...

15 The Prophet Muhammad circa at 25, marries widow merchant Khadija, age , first revelation from angel Gabriel during Ramadan at Mt. Hira Command to Recite! Q 96: first converts; Khadija, Ali, Zaid and Abu Bakr (first among the Six Companions ) proclaims self prophet of Allah and declares Ka ba worship is idolatry, raising Umayyid opposition

16 The Prophet Muhammad : Medina Years sets rituals of prayer and involved with practical problems of theocratic rule and judgment raids on caravans in conflict with Abu Sufyan (Umayyad) leader of Mecca Conflict with Jewish tribes equal treatment, freedom of religion banishment, confiscation of property death or conversion Conquest of Mecca: Submission of Arabia:

17 The Qur an Writing of The Qur an Muhammad dictates revelations; written on parchment, leather, palm-leaves, bones for deposit 633, Caliph Abu Bakr orders Muhammad s chief amanuensis, Zaid ibn Thabit, to search out the Qur an and bring it together -651, Caliph Othman commissions Zaid to revise the original manuscript to end confusion suras ordered by length (roughly historically reverse order)

18 Nature of Islam Islam Allah is source of life, growth, and all blessings Allah is a God of Power, Justice and Mercy Allah is omniscient religion of faith, not works Simplicity of Creed There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet. Acceptance of Qur an and all its teachings heaven and hell; angels and demons resurrection of body and soul; divine predestination Last Judgment

19 Islam Five Pillars of Moslem practice I. Believe in Allah and His Prophet II. Recite the prescribed prayers III. Give alms (Zakah) IV. Observe the fast of Ramadan V. Make the pilgrimage to Mecca (Haj). Acceptance of The Hadith traditions, deeds, and sayings of Muhammad deeds and sayings called Sunna Basis for interpretation of Qur an in new circumstances several different approved collections associated with Four Legal Schools

20 The Medinan Caliphate The Problem of Succession Abu Bakr (leader of prayers- companion and fourth convert) and Companions Ali (cousin and adopted son of Muhammad, husband of Fatima, second convert) and Abbas (uncle of Ali and the Prophet) The Medinan Caliphate (=successor/representative) Abu Bakr (r ) Umar (Omar ibn al-khattab) (r ) Uthman (Ummayyad clan) (r ) Ali (r ) The Sunni-Shiite split

21 The Great Islamic Dynasties Ummayad Caliphate ( CE) Capital to Damascus, Caliph of God, Hereditary Succession Extension of Boundaries, Orderly and Liberal Government Hereditary Lottery: Incompetence, Extravagance and Surrender of Administration Abbassid Caliphate ( CE) Restoration of Hamishite line; capital to Anbar, then Baghdad Administration of Persians, Establishment of Vizierate Inauguration of the Golden Age of Islamic Culture and Science Ransoming of Constantinople; Independence of Spain, Tunisia and Egypt

22 Expansion of Islam

23 Expansion of Islam

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