The Prophet Muḥammad

The Prophet Muḥammad - Lecture Handout

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Islam Empire of Faith Video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4222791480425043142# Pre-Islamic Society Meaning of the term jāhiliyya , generally translated as “the age of ignorance” This term was applied to Pre Islamic times after Islam. It can mean the age of immorality or ignorant of Islam. There were major changes to society after Islam… Some things to know about this period: Not much is known about this time. The majority of Arabs were pagans who worshiped idols, although some were Christians, Jews or hanifs. Arabs were very superstitious. Often relied on arrow divination- shoot an arrow and you read how it lands. It is said during this time immorality was common- incest, polygamy, some cases polyandry, wine, women, raiding etc. A note about raiding caravans- it was a common way for young men to prove themselves and secure their position in tribes. There were rules, you couldn’t just kill people. If you did, there would be retaliation. In some cases there was female infanticide. Overall women were treated as property, and could be sold. Slavery was commonplace as well. If a man fathered a child with a slave, the child was also considered a slave. A man’s honor was very important, his kinship his status, and wealth were all factors. Mecca had become a powerful commercial center- help of the Kaaba- meaning cube which was made of wood, brick and cloth. Poetry was very important. The poet of the tribe was held in high esteem since he knew the clan’s history and would make up poems about the clans greatness and glory and lament over their losses. Oral tradition was more common since most people were illiterate. Poems were memorized and passed on to generations. Pre Islamic poetry still exists today . Word had a mystical importance . The Quran follows this tradition and is considered to be the most beautiful and perfect poetry. The Prophet Mu ammad In Mecca: Posthumous child born in Mecca ca. 570 CE . Also known as the Year of the Elephant. Story is that Abrah the Aksumite King wanted to destroy the Kaaba. His army travelled by elephants and but they were unsuccessful. Some scholars believe that there were economic reasons for his attack. Mecca had become a great economic hub since the Kaaba was located there. Others say Abrah had built
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a church in Yemen and wanted to divert pilgrims from Mecca to Sanaa. The Qur’an also mentions this incident in Chapter of the Elephant, Al Fīl, and Chapter 105. His name means the praiseworthy, from the root of - - د م ح … his life before the mission . Muhammad grew up as an orphan so he readily understood what it meant to be an outsider, especially in a society where kinship was of the utmost importance. It gave him a singular perspective. Left a lasting impact. After the call, he became an outcast … lost his mother at the age of 6, grandfather at the age of 8, his grandfather Abdul Muttalib- rediscovered the well of Zamzam, and grew under the care of his uncle Abū
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The Prophet Muḥammad - Lecture Handout

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