mmw3lecture6 - Lecture 6 Outline Lecture SixMuhammad and...

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Lecture 6 Outline Lecture Six—Muhammad and Birth of Islam Key Questions: 1) How did the historical context in which Islam emerged shape its fundamental orientation? 2) How should we make sense of one scholar’s claim that “Islam was born in the full light of history”? a. Founding not shrouded in mystery, obscurity or controversy b. Spiritual founder was also a full-fledged secular leader c. Immediate and distinct identification as a separate religious institution or community In the beginning., the founding did not start in mystery. Muhammad was a secular, political leader in his own time. I) How Socio-political landscape of pre-islamic Arabia a) The geo-political impact i) Byzantime-sassanid Conflict ii) Effect on Arabia 1. hijaz corrider- this comes back into prominence for trade. (Lewis reading). 2. Yemeni culture in the south. For 1400 years it existed in this religion. Produced a rich culture. Destroyed as a result of byzantine and sassanid conflict. 3. prominence of mecca, center of trade. The Kabba is the holiest shrine for all muslims. Islam did not come out of nowhere, it is derivative of older traditions. b) Bedouin or Nomadic Tribalism i) Social norms Group emphasis. No emphasis on individual property. There is emphasis on communial rites. This shapes the ethics of islam. The greater emphasis on community as opposed to individuality. ii) Political norms 1. majlis- no absolute ruler. These a council of elders who makes decisions based on consensus, not based on absolute rule. 2. sheikh iii) Religions norms 1. Ka’ba- no established priesthood. They worshipped gods that they could carry with them. 2. Allah- the god that they worshipped, the god that they can take with them as they move around for trade or for conquest. These things are all symbolic. The highest diety for the Muslims were also called Allah. Muslims insist on monotheism II) Muhammad and His Message a) Sources i) The Qu’ran-114 revelations divided into suras (chapters) compiled in to late 7 th century. The words spoken to Muhammad. This is composed not much after Muhammad dies. There was a strong motivation to record these oral transmitted revelations. What is interesting about these suras
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This note was uploaded on 09/12/2008 for the course MMW 3 taught by Professor Chamberlain during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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mmw3lecture6 - Lecture 6 Outline Lecture SixMuhammad and...

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