Sufism notes - 1 Sufism the mystical branch of Islam...

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Sufism: the mystical branch of Islam. Focuses on direct experience of God. Islam: the religion founded by Muhammad, the act of surrender to the will of God. World’s youngest universal faith. Founded by Muhammad in Arabia in seventh century AD. Yet: Abraham considered the first Muslim, because of willingness to sacrifice Issac to God. Link of current Muslims to Ishmael, the son of Hagar and Abraham. Jews linked to Issac, son of Sarah and Abraham. Muslims:   followers of Islam, those who have surrendered to God's will. Largest Muslim  population centers:  Pakistan, Indonesia.  Muslim doesn’t mean “Arab”.  But traditional  cultural centers of Islam:  Arab world and Iran. Long history of prejudice and distortions of  truth by Christians about Muslims.  Islamic world, from 7th cent. to 14th cent. much more  advanced than Europe. Muhammad: born in Mecca about 560 AD. Mecca: intersection of trade routes. Also: 3 month long annual fair. Different tribes bring gods/goddesses, install them in the Ka’aba. Ka'aba: cube-shaped shrine now dedicated to just Allah. Center of the Islamic world. Muhammad disturbed by social injustice in Mecca. No protection for orphans, widows, extreme rates of interests, female infanticide. Meditated in mountains. Then around age of 40, received first revelation from Gabriel, the angel that conveyed Allah's revelations to Muhammad. He thought at first that he was insane, but finally became convinced that he was a genuine prophet of God. Beginning of 23 years of revelations. Gathered together after Muhammad’s death into the Qu'ran (Koran): holy scripture of Islam. "Recitation". Considered to be the finest book of Arabic verse. People of the Book: those religions that have received a revealed scripture from God. Originally limited to Christians and Jews, later expanded to include other faiths as well. With Jews and Christians: Believe in monotheism (only one God), God’s revelation, prophets, ethical responsibility, Day of Judgement. Muslims believe that Jews received genuine revelations from God, but made a mistake: thought the revelation only for them, as the Chosen People. So Jesus sent by God to correct: to let Jews know that God’s message was universal. But Christians then distort the message: worship the messenger, claim that he was divine, not just a prophet of God. In Qur’an, Jesus seen as very powerful prophet, born of virgin birth 1
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from Mary, performed great miracles. But they believe that no one saved on Day of Judgement by Jesus’s death on the cross. Rather, saved by your good actions. Muhammad in Mecca: slowly gathers disciples. But eventually, they all had to flee for their lives to Medina. Creation of the Umma: the community of Muslims. Three times, Mecca tries to invade Medina, defeated by the Muslims. Finally, Muhammad and his followers are able to peacefully conquer Mecca. Muhammad dies in 632.
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