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Brief History Of Islam

While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets CSS if you are able to do so. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving. Islam at a glance Last updated A brief overview of Islam, a religion centred on God and revealed by the Prophet Muhammad.


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The core practices are known as the Five Pillars -- daily prayer, faith, fasting, pilgrimage and alms giving. Performing the Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam. Hajj means to set out for a place and for Muslims that place is Mecca. It is mandatory for every Muslim to make the journey at least once in a lifetime. Over 2 million Muslims made the pilgrimage in Member Center: Sign In Register.

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Islam -- a brief overview. Adjust font size:. Next story in World. Here he would immerse himself in prayer.

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One night of Ramadan A. Terrified Muhammad tried to flee at first, but the Angel convinced him to listen to the word of God, through him. These words revealed to Muhammad came to be known as the Koran. Muhammad was illiterate and could neither read or write. However, he was able to recite the literary masterpiece of Koran to his disciples in a flawless manner. This feat of producing a perfect document by an illiterate man is considered to be a miracle, only one performed by Muhammad.

Prophet Muhammad delivered the Koran Quran at a time in history when the Jews and Christians were constantly fighting with each other for superiority of religion. Muhammad was impressed by a small group of theists called Hanifs in Kabbah at Mecca. They had already formed a spiritually fundamental religion of their own and worshipped Allah as their God. They renounced idolatry as practiced by the Arabian pagans, who were already in decline by that time.

However the Christians and Jews, though prophesying a monotheistic religion, were constantly bickering among themselves for superiority. The holy Kabbah established by Abraham had been transformed into a place of argument and every family had installed its own idol of worship. There was struggle for superiority amongst these families of pagans that led to discord and discontent among the tribes.

Muhammad believed that the Jews and Christians had gone astray and corrupted the God's scriptures by dividing into different sects and beliefs. He accused Christians of worshipping Jesus as God, when he merely was a messenger of God and had expressly forbidden such worship. Muhammad believed that only Islam submission could bring all the misguided people back into the fold of the glory of One God, Allah. Islam preaches absolute submission or resignation to the will of God.

Muhammad believed that this was the true religion preached by Abraham but later distorted by the Jews and Christians who are referred to the People of the Book - dhimmis. Islam accepts the previous prophets like Noah, Moses and Jesus etcetera, but Muhammad is considered to be the last and the most authoritative. In the year , Muhammad migrated to a small town of Yathrib, North of Mecca when the Quraysh tribe in Mecca refused to follow his teachings.

This migration is called the hijrat and the town of Yathrib was renamed as Medina, of which Muhammad became the ruler. For the next eight years battles were fought between the Quraysh of Mecca and the Muslims. In , in the Battle of Badr, the Muslims defeated the Quraysh only to be beaten back a year later in the Battle of Uhud.


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  • Jewish tribes of al-Nadir and Qurayazah were raided and crushed by Muhammad in and Eventually in the treaty of Hudaybiyya, a truce was achieved with the Quraysh who agreed to recognize the rights of Muhammad to proselytize without hindrance. In , after defeating the Jews of Khaybar, Muhammad wrote letters and sent messengers to the rulers of Persia, Yemen and Ethiopia as well as Emperor Heraclius of Rome, inviting them to accept Islam.

    In the year the Quraysh broke the truce and in the ensuing battle, Mecca fell to Muhammad, by force. The entire population was converted to Islam and the Kabbah was established as its religious center. A year later the Arab tribes accepted Islam. On June 8, , Muhammad died in Medina. He was sixty-three years old. Koran, the Source of Islamic Law Koran's revelations did not come at one stretch but at brief intervals revelations spoken in Medina came later than those of Mecca and these were at first committed to memory. The caliphate of Umar, the second caliph - literally the deputy of the Prophet , and later caliphate of Uthman , his successor, collected all the verses and the first authorized version of Koran was established.

    Though this version is considered as the authentic version today, there are other variant versions that are also accepted and recognized by the Muslims.

    Islam: A Short History

    The original version was in Kufic script and contained no vowels or distinguishing, diacritical points that has led to some interpretive differences in the subsequent versions. Koran teaches God's mercy and forgiveness to all. It preaches oneness of God, who is almighty and all-knowing as well as compassionate towards His creatures.

    Islam Explained: Religions in Global History

    Justice and fairness, kindness to orphans and widows, and charity to the poor are all extolled. God is also stern in retribution.

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    Unbelievers will be dealt with no mercy and hell is a place they will rest in afterlife. The true believers who follow the teachings of Koran will enter a garden watered by running streams, with abundant fruit trees - a true paradise. The most important duties of Muslims are faith in God and His apostle shehada , prayer salat , almsgiving or tax levy zakat , fasting siyam , and if possible pilgrimage to the sacred House in Mecca hajj , built by Abraham for the worship of One God. These are the five pillars of Muslim doctrine. Islam literally means 'submission' and a Muslim is one who 'submits'.

    The unequivocal monotheism of Islam served to unite all Muslims into a brotherhood umma , which would later unify all the Muslims worldwide into a formidable social and military force. Holy war jihad was waged vigorously against people who refused peacefully to submit to the will of God. Since the Jews and the Christians dhimmis derived their scripture based on 'partial revelations' of lesser prophets, they were allowed to practice their religion provided they paid a tax jizya of six percent of their wealth.

    His Life as a Caliph

    Pagans and infidels kafirs on the other hand, had no alternatives but to submit to Islam lest they spend their afterlife suffering the fury of Hell for eternity. The doctrine, law and the fundamental thinking of Islam are based on the Koran, complemented by three other sources, namely the Sunnah traditions i.

    Hadith , Jima consensus and Ijtihad reasoning by analysis. Koran consists of surahs or chapters of varying lengths. Each chapter arranged in no particular order contains many verses or ayat. There are ayats in the Koran. Koran literal meaning - recitation or reading is the only authentic source of Islamic teachings, as dictated by the Prophet himself.


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    • The laws according to Koran and the Hadith were codified in the orthodox Shari at literally Highways. The laws were interpreted by learned scholars ulama and justice were enforced and dispensed by the judges quazis accordingly, who generally were the ultimate authorities. Sunnah was used by the pre-Islamic Arabs to denote the tribal laws. The Muslims came to call it as the words of deeds of Muhammad or Hadith. Hadith is a collection of six books, a collection gathered over two centuries after the death of the Prophet.

      Its words contain sayings attributed to the Prophet. Much of the Islamic teachings today are based on the Hadith and it is taught in all the Islamic schools, called madrassas.

      Origin Of Islam

      It also forms the basis of hair-splitting arguments about right and wrong by the Muslims. Jima is the text of consensus to standardize the regional differences of legal theory and practices. It has helped to form a rigid principal in thinking. Once consensus was reached it is prohibited to revisit it and rethink it. The accepted interpretation of the Koran and the contents of Sunnah Hadith rest on the finality of the jima. Jima gives the rigidity to the interpretations that has little chance to be changed over the course of time.

      Qiyas analogy and ijtihad or 'endeavor or effort' were required to find solutions for new problems early in the development of Islam. Later the rigid rules of jima made ijtihad essentially ineffective, though some of the more modern thinkers have revived the role of Ijtihad because of the modern influences to Islam. Early History and Divisions of Islam Following Muhammad's death the leaders in Mecca and Medina hastily chose Muhammad s father-in-law, Abu Bakr as the next caliph Khakifa-Arabic without consulting the other members of the family of Muhammad. This led to unease because Muhammad was perceived to have chosen his son-in-law and cousin, Ali as his successor.

      Muhammad had established a system of caliphate to succeed him for the leadership and guidance of the Muslim people in order to perpetuate the religion.