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How did Islam emerge?


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October 04, 2011 5:31PM

Islam was inspired by the influential visions of a man named Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (about 500-632 CE) Merchant from nomadic tribe, married to wealthy widow Khadija. His followers considered him the last of God's prophets. Muhammad's father died before he was born and his mother died when he was six. He was raised by an uncle. Saw greed and materialism of merchants, as counter to Arab tradition of generosity. He went on retreats and had visions for 23 years, his wife encouraged him to listen and he began to share his views to a group of followers (Muslims). Muhammad did not consider himself divine, but a prophet of God, his final voice which was to finish the work of the others (Abraham and Jesus). Starting with 70 Muslims, he built a community of believers, Umma, who united around God's message around 600 in Mecca.

Date (rough) of beginning of the religion

570 C.E.

Place of origin


Holy text(s)

Quran "Recitation" - Muhammad's revelations all collected in a book of poetic verses.

Hadith "Narrative" - a source of religious guidance and law; helped explain the principles of the Quran. Created between 800 and 900 C.E.

Explanation of core beliefs

"Dispute not with people of the Book" (Christians and Jews)

5 Pillars:

· Profession of Faith - Honor only one god - Allah. "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger"

· Formal Worship - Prayer must be said 5 times a day with words/actions while facing Mecca

· Assistance to the Less Fortunate - Must donate 1/10 of their wealth to poor and disadvantaged

· Ramadan - Annual fasting that lasts 30 days. 30 days of sacrifice for faith to understand the hunger of the poor

· Haj - Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in life

All believers are equal. Muhammad promoted sharing wealth, living simply, and being united in spirit.

Moral code that prohibits adultery, gambling, usury, alcohol, no pork

Jihad -to live as God intended - a spiritual, moral, and intellectual struggle to enhance faith and follow Quran

Angels, devil, Heaven and Hell

Description of most holy (God/s)

Same God as Judaism and Christianity. Monotheistic. God named Allah - the one and only all-powerful God

Holy days or events

Ramadan - Annual fast that lasts 30 days.

Haj - Pilgramage to Hold City (Mecca) to worship with other believers worldwide.

List of words and definitions commonly associated with this religion (minimum of three)

Hijra - the emigration of Muslims from Mecca to Medina

Umma - Muslim believers united around Allah

Jihad - effort to live as Allah intended

Muslims - Those who submit to God

List of places where religion can be found

Western Asia, North Africa, Spain, Western India, Central Asia, United States, Arabian Peninsula, West Middle East