Chapter 07 - Islam and Byzantium (unfinished)

World History

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CHAPTER 7: ISLAM AND BYZANTIUM I. THE RISE OF ISLAM i. Arabs – Semitic-speaking people of SW Asia 1.Mentioned in 500 B.C.E. Greek sources and in Old Testament 2. Greek historian Herodotus applied name Arab to peninsula Arabia a. 106 B.C.E., Romans conquered Arabia becomes province ii. During Roman times, region inhabited by Bedouin Arabs, nomadic people from N part of peninsula 1.Organized on tribal basis 2. Sheikh – ruling members of the tribe selected from leading families by council of elders ( majli ) a. Sheikh ruled tribe with consent of the council i. Each tribe was autonomic but felt sense of allegiance to larger unity of all regional clans 3.Supported themselves by sheepherding or raiding caravans a. 2000 B.C.E. domestication of camels participated in caravan trade became carriers of goods between Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea iii. Arabs of pre-Islamic times were polytheistic with supreme god Allah presiding over community of gods 1. Communal faith with all members of tribe no priesthood a.Believe spirits inhabited natural objects while Allah was symbolized by a supreme stone i. Each tribe had its own stone b.THE ROLE OF MUHAMMAD i. Muhammad (570-632) was born into merchant family at six, became an orphan became a caravan manger and married a rich widow, Khadija who was his employer 1.Lived in Mecca as part of local Hashemite clan of Quraishi tribe, but became concerned with gap between Bedouin values of honesty and generosity and behavior of affluent commercial elites a. Concerned visited nearby hills to meditate encountered angel Gabriel who commanded him to preach revelations that he would be given ii. Acquainted with Jewish and Christian beliefs Allah had revealed himself through Moses and Jesus (Hebraic and Christian traditions) now final revelations would be given to him 1. Revelations would become the Qur’an (“recitation” or Koran) of Islam (“submission” to Allah) a. Contains guidelines for Muslims to live i. Believers in a faith based on scripture like Christians and Jews
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Chapter 07 - Islam and Byzantium (unfinished) - CHAPTER 7...

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