What were some characteristics of basic pre-Islamic religion?
the native religion worshipped many gods and was one with nature.
How did the religion take shape under Muhammad?
Was Islam universally accepted from the beginning? Why or why not?
Islam was not universally accepted at first because he was preaching that there was only one God and that He should not be worshipped with idols.
People started to follow his teachings, he was offered to be the ruler of Yathrib, conflict with Jewish tribes, Islam grew stronger.
Briefly summarize the basic teachings of the Qur’an.
It is God’s last words to humanity, how God expects people to live, strict monotheism, Allah is omnipresent, everyone must submit to God’s will, some use the word predestination, Allah will judge everyone at the conclusion of time.
List the 5 pillars or duties of a good Muslim.
1. Repetition of the creed
2. Daily prayer
3. Almsgiving- share possessions with the poor/widows/orphans
4. Fasting during Ramadan
5. Pilgrimage to Mecca
What were the reasons for the rapid expansion of Islam throughout the Middle East, India, China, and Central and Southeast Asia in the century after the death of the Prophet?
1. Islam is a universal religion- recognizes no national barriers
2. Islam is a religion with wide appeal- simple, easily practiced faith
3. The world that surrounded the early Muslims was confused and corrupt
What is the significance of the caliphate in the history of Islam?
What roles have caliphs played throughout the years?
it is the one central unifying office in the history of Islam.
Caliphs were supposed to represent Islam and rule the Muslims, they were friends of the prophet and elected by common consent, they became hereditary and it was more like a king.
Summarize the different divisions within Islam. How are they different?
Sunnis- think of themselves as the guardians of Islamic orthodoxy and tradition, base practice off of the early Muslim community.
Shi’ites- imam leads the community prayers and speaks with the authority of God, ancestors of Ali should be in charge, Mahdi is a messiah figure who will appear and lead the world to justice, martyrdom is important, believe that sunni interpretations are not correct.
Sufi movement- emphasizes the mystical and emotional aspects of Islam
What were some of the reasons for the slowness with which Muslim entered the modern era, as the world moved out of the Middle Ages and into an industrial age?
They felt superior to Christians and satisfied when it came to European nations, development of super conservative groups and struggled against change.
What are the holy days in Islam and what is their significance?
Feast of Fast-Breaking- celebrates the return to normal life after the prolonged fast, visit friends, pay respects to the dead
Fast of Sacrifice- commemorates the time when Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice his son.
New Year- beginning of the Muslim new year, sunni communities fast, shi’ite communities commemorate the Battle of Karbala
Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad- celebrates the birth of Muhammad.
What are some challenges facing Muslims and Islam today?
Very political, control natural resources, fast growing, hard for Islam to be compatible with a modern lifestyle