Class 5: Muhammad: Prophet or Statesman?
I. Introduction A. Importance of Islam In middle ages for a long period the most distinguished civilization. In the modern world a major part of world politics. B. The `third world' of the middle ages, Islam Also an heir to Greece and the Jews. Not an heir to Rome Not an heir to Germans Added input of Arabs and Arabic C. Sources Narrative Histories The Qu'ran Western and Byzantine sources No archives D. Definitions Islam/Muslim Arab/Arabia/Arabian Other important Islamic peoples Persians Turks Jews and Christians remain important groups within Islam E. Names Arabs have three names first - the ism - persons real name e.g. Ali 2nd - the Kunya - mentions some relation, Umma, Ibn, Abu 3rd - al qub - applied to an adult male, for some quality - e.g.. al Mahdi Not predictable which names stick to historical figures II. Pre-Islamic Arabia A. Arabs 1. Semites - Explain language families Indo-European, Hamitic, Semitic (all have grammatical gender. 2. Sheba 750BC the Marib Dam built, burst 450 BC Sabaean spoken, in the south - Yemen later irrigation failed, many became Bedouin In 4th century - a Jewish state in Yemen 3. Center of Arab life now in central and north Arabia -Bedouin - Dates - Tribes and Sheiks -Towns in Western highlands 4. Saracenoi Petra 5. Roman Arabs - Border states Ghassanids 6. Byzantine and Sassanid Background both central monarchies By 6th century, Ctesiphon, the Paris of the Mideast Imitated later by Arabs: The shah, viziers etc. Both weakened by wars with each other in early 6th century B. Arab literature - great poetic achievement strings of pearls Oral - Memorized by rawis C. Central Asia - trade routes move south in 6th century D. Arab cities grow - Mecca, Medina, Taif E. Arab Religion 1. Pagan, Ritualistic, No clergy the Kaaba in Mecca was an important shrine three higher gods - in Mecca Goddesses - Al-Uzza, Manat, Al-Lat all daughters of a God called Allah 2. Hanifs - Monotheistic hermits 3. Jewish - some tribes Idea of One God, a Holy book, religious law all known. The Torah was known but not, it seems the prophets or the NT III. Muhammad 571-632 A. Sources the Qu'ran Hadith - major collection by al-Bukhari, d. 870 B. Origins - Minor branch of important trading family 1. Family Married Khadija when he was 25 and she was 40 Had 7 children, only Fatima survived. 2. Literacy - Possible, open to question C. Early Career - Trips to Syria? D. Around age 40 he made a retreat on Mount Hira. Social confusion - a townsman in a nomadic society Heard a voice from God. Subject to uncontrollable shaking E. Recitations: the Qu'ran After first revelations he had a gap. then they returned written down by followers (belief in no variation. First stage a moral revelations Satanic Verses in Sura 53 Second stage is monotheistic insistence. F. Religious Community Muhammad converted some people quickly. Remained for three years in a small circle. The Umma - Muslim community - remains the ideal. G. To Medina Attempted to convert Mecca for five years -serious opposition began The Hejira 622 - trip to Medina H. Jewish Tribes M. expected them to convert. They did not. so they were killed. 600 killed, and women sold into slavery. Blamed for attacks on Muslims by Meccans I. Attack on Mecca - Many battles. Peaceful takeover 630 J. Pagan Tribes - come over to Islam, i.e. make submission K. Muhammad's Death - 630 L. Prophet and Statesman - unique role IV. Islam Submission, or being at peace There is one God and Muhammad is his Prophet (and Ali his successor. A. Monotheism Allah/God - Creator - Power of God is absolute `Father' not appropriate title Merciful Sin of Shirq - attributing parts to God B. Muhammad - the Prophet C. The Qu'ran -Holy Book Arranged according to length of Sura Memorized by many Muslims -edited under Uthman D. The Umma The religious community = the State Muhammad probably saw it as an Arab faith Supplemented the tribe - but did not replace it Answers to urban needs High regard for people of the Book But later had to say they distorted the Bible Islam for Arabs - for a time only E. The Five Pillars of Islam 1. Shahada - the Confession of Faith 2. Salaat - ritual prayer 5x p.d - Facing Mecca Use of Minarets and Muezzin later 3. Haj - to Mecca Follows ritual - walking round Kaaba 4. Saum - Fasting in Ramadan, Halal meat 5. Zakat - alms F. Jihad - striving G. Heaven and Hell - Paradise - Persian model Absolute predestination H. Religious Leadership No Clergy - Except in Shi'ism Judges/qadis are important - Ulema I. Buildings - Mosques Friday the Holy Day - but God did not need to rest The Mihrab points to Mecca (Mention Cook and Crone. J. Worship Prayers Friday Sermon - Khutba K. Calendar - AH 1 = AD622 Muslim year short - useless for peasants L. Law 1. Sharia Various Schools 2. Kanun - secular law. Illegitimate M. Kalaam/Theology The Uncreated Qu'ran - Atomism - Kismet Islamic Study Closing of the Door of Istjahad by Al-Ghazzali in 11th Century N. The Shia - Ali and Hussain (Kerbala. O. Sufism - Love of God -`I am God"
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© Paul Halsall, 1996.
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