Life of Muhammad
570-Birth of Muhammad into Quraysh, the ruling tribe of Mecca. Islamic
tradition relates miraculous signs foretelling Muhammad's future
Orphaned and raised by an uncle Abu Talib to be a trader.
The First 2 Pillars of Islam
1) Shahada: Testifying to God's One-ness:
The declaration "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is
2) Salat: Prayer.
General Features of Islamic Prayer
Five prayer times each day:
Islamic Mysticism: Sufism
Meaning of the term:
"Coarse wool," named for the simple garments worn by the mystics as a sign of
their rejection of materialism.
Based on Mystical elements found in the Qur'an
Including Muhammad's own
Islamic Theology: Kalam
Means "Speech," "Reason."
Used to designate Islamic rationalistic theology.
Interest in Theology Arose from Several Motives
Influence of Greek Philosophy
Rediscovery and translation of Greek philos
Islam: Central Concepts
Meaning of the word "Islam":
Submission (to the will of God).
A member of this religion is called a "Muslim."
Founded by Muhammad, in Arabia, (c. 570-632 C.E.)
Sources and Documents for Beginnings of Islam
Arabia before Islam
Traditionally referred to as the "Jahiliyyah" (Ignorance, barbarism):
Nomadic desert culture (bedouin) based on ranching, encouraged values of clan
solidarity, primitive fatalistic paganism, isolation from res
Basic Beliefs of the Qur'an
As in Judaism and Christianity: Creator of the world, omnipotent, omniscient,
Contrast with the insignificance of Mankind.
Implies rejection of paganism and idols.
Sectarianism: Sunnis and Shi`ites
Khalifs ("Caliphs") appointed as"successors" to Muhammad.
Leadership of Muslim community ('Umma):
-But not as a prophet.
Muslim Law and Jurisprudence
Shari`a ["The way (to the watering hole)"]: The body and content of
Traditionally divided into:
o Religious duties (ibadat)
o Obligations to other people (m'amalat)
Pillar 3, 4, 5 of Islam
3) Zakat: Giving charity.
Originally a free-will donation (what is no called Sadaqah).
Now largely compulsory.
General rate: 2 1/2% of income annually.
Given only to needy Muslims, or for religious purpose