LibraryPaper - Omar Ahmed Religion November 11, 2010 The...

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Omar Ahmed Religion November 11, 2010 T he word Islam literally means "submission to God" and in the Quran the word is described as the Deen (way of life). ( Zahoor) People that are followers of this faith are called Muslims. Similarly, the Arabic word Muslims literally means, "one who surrenders" or "submits" to God. ( Zahoor) In order to fully understand the Islamic experience from its birth to modern times, the fundamental portrayal of its text, doctrine and rituals must be analyzed. With these elements, I will attempt to analyze the emergence of Islam. First, lets analyze a brief history of the emergence of Islam in the pre-Islamic era to its birth. As far back as 3000 - 2200 B.C.E (the ‘pyramid’ age) in Egypt the ‘rise of civilization’ would transpire through skills such as: “writing, large scale agriculture, long distance trade both by sea and by land, and a number of great religious traditions.” (Denny 7) Traits such as these would be the start of a “consubstantial” universe’ where humans and animals as well as gods and nature existed in harmony. It was from this region that Judaism and Christianity would sprout and develop foothold in their respective territories. Communities relied upon their social groups, cultural traditions and religious beliefs for survival. As time would go on, the mostly uninhabited Arabian Peninsula would soon be regarded as “the breeding ground for heresies,” for it was here that Islam would rise.
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The first revelation of the Quran is noted in the year 610 CE when the Prophet Muhammad was 40 yrs old, meditating in the Cave Hirra. The complete revelation of the Quran took 23 years until the death of Muhammad in 632 CE. However, it would take approximately 300 years for the full compilation of the Quran to emerge as the ‘Standard Exemplar.” “The Muslims have handed down the Quran through the ages by both oral and written means, in which, the former has always been considered the primary mode of transmission reflecting its original revelation to Muhammad through the archangel Gabriel.” (Denny 131) The Quran is most notable for being documented as the word of God, as it is a direct revelation through the prophet Muhammad. And for this reason, after the first compilation of the Quran was completed, it has not been modified. Since original composition of the Quran still remains the same, lets analyze how it is presented. The chapters in the Quran are organized in a (canonical) manner from longest to shortest. Each chapter in the Quran is noted as a surah. Some scholars have characterized surahs revealed in Mecca as Meccan and surahs revealed in Medina as Medinan. The early Meccan surahs are brief and highly rhythmic as well as full of imagery, whereas, the later Surahs are more quiet and serene having more of a formal language with prophetic stories. However, the Medinan surahs have much to do surah’s prescribing guidance through legal and social matters having to do with regulation. However, the literary form of the text of Qur’an is unique. It is neither prose nor poetry;
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2010 for the course REL IWS 116-10 taught by Professor Babacarmbengue during the Spring '10 term at DePaul.

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LibraryPaper - Omar Ahmed Religion November 11, 2010 The...

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