The Islamic Religion

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1 The Islamic Religion

2 Distribution and Diffusion of Islam Spread out of Medina through military conquest and relocation diffusion. Concentrated in the Middle East, Iberian Peninsula, and Northern Africa.

3 Foundations of Islam The Story of Muhammad- Muhammad was born in 570 AD. Muhammad was raised by his Uncle after being orphaned away after six years with his parents. He and his uncle both lived in one of the many tribes in the deserts of the Persian peninsula. As Muhammad became older, he became a great merchant and was eventually known as the Trusted One. One night, Muhammad was awakened by the loud voice of the angel Gabriel, and it told him that he was the Messenger of God. A religious neighbor said that this was not an illusion, and that it was the same with the prophets Abraham and Moses. Some tribes did not believe his words as a prophet. Muhammad fled to Medina in hope for safety from enemy tribes and to gain more Muslim followers. The voyage to Medina marked the start of the Islamic year, and a great era. Muhammad spread Islam to Medina, and in the future he would return to Mecca and establish Islam there as well.

4 Foundations of Islam Continued 5 Pillars of Islam- The five pillars of Islam have a lot to do with the religion as well as the culture of Muslims. The pillars were established in Mecca after the conquest of the grand city by the Muslims. To this day they still, stand, and the same rules still apply for each of the five pillars. Shahadah - This pillar states that if a Muslim is to be considered good towards Allah, they must recite a verse every night, before bed, and with their index finger pointed towards the sky. The verse goes; I bear witness that there is no other god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger. Salat - Pillar number two states that all loyal Muslims must pray five times a day, while facing the grand city of Mecca, were the pillars lay. But on Fridays, they must attend to a preacher and listen to his voice of prayer. Zakat - Zakat, the third pillar, explains that all Muslim people are expected to give a percentage of their earnings to charity, otherwise considered as the poor and homeless. But if the poor are unable to give to charity, they must inherit money from other citizens until they are capable of doing so themselves. Sawm - This pillar states that all muslims are to fast from sunrise to sunset during the month of Ramadan, but if one in neither physically nor mentally capable of participating in the fast, they are granted a pass from the religious activity. However, every day a Muslim is to miss a day of the fasting period, they are to feed one that is in the need of food. Hajj - The last of the pillars states that all Muslims that are capable of traveling, must make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life time. But if they are not able to, it isn t a sin.

5 Denominations, Places of Worship, Sacred Spaces, and Spiritual Leaders

6 Denominations Sunni Muslims 85% of world s 1.5 billion Muslims Referred as the more traditional denomination of Islam Shia (Shiite) Muslims 10% of world s Muslim population Based on a strict following of the Qur an Largest concentration resides in Iran

7 Sunni and Shiite Distribution

8 Places of Worship Muslim Mosques:

9

10 Sacred Spaces Holy Place: Mecca, Saudi Arabia Holiest city for all followers of Islam Birthplace of the prophet Muhammad

11 Spiritual Leaders The title of Ayatollah is given high ranking Shia Muslim followers An Imam is an Islamic leadership position, often the leader of a Mosque Imams lead prayer during Islamic gatherings Shia s believe that Imams are chosen by God

12 Religion s Imprint on the Physical Environment MOSQUES: The mosque serves as a place where Muslims can come together for salat (prayer) as well as a center for information, education, and dispute settlement. Many mosques have elaborate domes, minarets, and prayer halls. Mosques originated on the Arabian Peninsula, but are now found in all inhabited continents.

13 TOMBS: After death of a person, the family members wash and enshroud the body, after which it is buried as prayers from the Quran are recited. Many important religious, social or economic leaders are buried in tombs. These tombs are found in all communities practicing Islam.

14 Internal Conflict Division of the Empire- After Muhammad had died, there was a great disturbance in the Empire. Citizens were afraid that their empire would break out into a civil war, or that the empire would collapse politically. Eventually, Abu Bakr became the caliph of the Empire, and then Umar followed, and then came Uthman. Uthan was the last caliph, for an angry mob killed him. After the death of Uthman, it opened a window for control of the Islamic Empire, and divided the empire into two civilizations. Although the two divisions still worshipped the same religion, they both had different ideas about governing leaders and worshipping Allah. The Shiite- The Shiites were a division of the Muslims that claimed that only relatives of Muhammad could be caliph of the Empire. Ali, being the leader of the rebellious group, immediately tried to take the throne of the Empire. Also, the Shiites believed that the caliphs were to be more religious rather than political, and the name of this new ruler would be the Imam, and that he would have a special connection with Allah. The Sunni- The Sunnis were the other side of the fight that believed that anyone approved by the previous caliph and the citizens would qualify as caliph. The Sunnis also disapproved the fact that the caliph, or Imam, of the Shiites has a special connection with Allah. This violates Muhammad s teachings, because he stated, as Allah s direct prophet, that all Muslims had direct contact with Allah himself. Sunnis have a larger population of followers than the Shiites, but Shiiites are the majority in Lebanon, Iran and Iraq.

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