Pages

Monday, January 2, 2012

Rise and Early Development of Islam

If you order your cheap custom essays from our custom writing service you will receive a perfectly written assignment on Rise and Early Development of Islam. What we need from you is to provide us with your detailed paper instructions for our experienced writers to follow all of your specific writing requirements. Specify your order details, state the exact number of pages required and our custom writing professionals will deliver the best quality Rise and Early Development of Islam paper right on time.

Out staff of freelance writers includes over 120 experts proficient in Rise and Early Development of Islam, therefore you can rest assured that your assignment will be handled by only top rated specialists. Order your Rise and Early Development of Islam paper at affordable prices with cheap essay writing service!



Rise and Early Development of Islam


Islam is one of the three major religions in the world that professes the belief in a single God. In Arabic language, the word Islam means surrender or submission to the will of Gods. A follower of Islam is called a Muslim meaning to surrender to God. The Arabic word for God is Allah refers to the same God that is worshipped by the Jews and Christians. Islam’s teaching of God is that there is only one all-powerful, all-knowing God and that this God created the universe. This rigorous type of belief in a single God as well as Islamic teachings that all Muslims are equal before God provides for a sense of loyalty to God that goes beyond class, race, nationality and even differences in religious practices. So all Muslims belong to one community regardless of their ethnic or national background.


After the rise of Islam in the 7th century, it spread its origins into Syria, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain to the west, and into Persia, India, and by the end of the 10th century also to the east. In the following centuries, Islam also spread into Anatolia and the Balkans to the north and Africa to the south. There are about one million Muslim followers on all five continents and is considered to be the fastest growing religion in the world.


One of the reasons that the Muslim community has grown is because of its openness to new members. Children that are born to Muslim parents are automatically considered to be Muslim. A Muslim can convert to Islam at anytime by declaring they to be a Muslim. A person’s declaration that they are Muslim is evidence enough of the conversion and doesn’t need to be confirmed by anyone else or even by the religious authorities.


Cheap Custom Essays on Rise and Early Development of Islam




Muhammad, the founding prophet of Islam, was born in Mecca around ad 570. His uncle, who had religious contacts within the main Quraysh tribe of Mecca, raised him. He got married at the age of 5 to a wealthily woman of 40, Khadija. At the age of 40, Muhammad had his first experience of Islam after retreating to hills outside of Mecca. The angel, Gabriel had come to Muhammad in a dream. Gabriel told Muhammad that God had chosen him to be a messenger for him and also told him of the first revelation of God. After awaking from the dream, Muhammad was terrified and shaken and so returned home. His wife was the first person to hear his message and she converted to Islam. He received several more additional revelations, which caused him to start preaching the new religion. At first the Meccans ignored Muhammad’s message and made fun of him. When more and more people started accepting Muhammad’s message, the Meccans only became more aggressive. At first the Meccans tried to persuade Muhammad away from this new religion and when that failed they started persecuting his followers and when that still didn’t work the Meccans persecuted Muhammad. During this time, a couple of tribes from the city of Yathrib invited Muhammad to live there. The leaders of the tribe invited Muhammad to settle disputes as an impartial religious authority and in return for Muhammad doing this the leaders promised to accept Muhammad as a prophet and support his new religion. This new religion taught that there was one God and Muhammad was considered to be the last of the prophets and messengers. God had sent various codes through his messengers, or systems of laws to live by, culminating in the Qur’an, which is the holy book of Islam. The messengers were mortal men and included men such as Moses. Muhammad is portrayed in the Qur’an as a person who makes mistakes but does not sin against God. God corrected Muhammad’s mistakes and errors and judgments, so that his life could serve as an example for other Muslims to follow. The emphasis that is put on Muhammad’s humanity serves as a reminder that other humans can also strive to lead a good life.


Islam taught that the Christian Bible along with the Qur’an were holy books. There were two earlier scriptures that had been altered over time from their original forms given by God but the Qur’an would remain perfect, preserved by God from being altered. This new law also taught that the God of Islam had provided humanity with a means to be able to tell good from evil. So on the Day of Judgment people would be held accountable for their actions.


But the teachings of Muhammad drew a lot of hostility and severe opposition. He ended up leaving Mecca and sought refuge in the city of Yathrib. The name of the city Yathrib was changed to Medina (meaning the city) upon Muhammad’s arrival. The date of his immigration was later set as the beginning of the 1-month lunar Islamic calendar.


During the ten years that Muhammad spent in Islam before arriving in Medina he had laid the foundation for the ideal Islamic state. A group of committed Muslims was established and a community life was ordered per the requirements of the new religion. From this came about the five pillars of Islam which is the essential religious duties that is required of every capable adult Muslim. Some of the five pillars are described in the book Qur’an and were already being practiced during the lifetime of Muhammad. The five pillars are the profession of faith (shahada), prayer (salat), almsgiving (zakat), fasting (sawm) and pilgrimage (hajj). The five pillars are the most central rituals of Islam and constitute the practices of the Islamic faith. Some Muslims also believe that there is a sixth pillar, which is Jihad and has been understood as holy war. But the word Jihad in Arabic means to struggle in order to please God. According to Islam faith this effort can either be collective or individual and can also apply to leading a good life such as; helping out other Muslims whether through charity, education or by other means.


The first of the five pillars is the profession of the Muslim faith. The focus of Islamic piety is Allah, the all-powering, all knowing and above all, the all-merciful God. Allah is believed to have brought the world to its being and will sustain it until its end. If they obey the commands of God then they are expressing their recognition of and gratitude for the wisdom of creation and to live in harmony with the world. The profession of the Muslim of faith is all it takes to become Muslim. Several times a day and when they say their daily prayers the profession of the Muslim faith are repeated constantly. The words that are said to profess the faith of Muslim are as follows “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and the Muhammad is his prophet.” These words can be said anywhere at anytime. When an individual professes the Muslim faith then this is considered to be enough evidence to be a Muslim and cannot be challenged by any other Muslims.


The second pillar is the religious duty to say five daily prayers. All adult Muslims are required to say five daily prayers, followed by a ritual cleansing of the body at different times during the day. Muslims used to have to face Jerusalem during these prayers but this changed during Muhammad’s time and then they had to face the Kaaba, an ancient shrine in the city of Mecca.


There are really no set descriptions for the five prayers only that the example was set by Muhammad which are later preserved in Islamic traditions. The five daily prayers are required to be performed at certain times of the day dawn, noon, midafternoon, sunset and evening. The prayers that are said at dawn, noon and sunset prayers do not begin at these precise times but a short time after.


The prayer is made up of a sequence of units that are called bowings. During each of these bowings, the person praying has to stand, bow, kneel and prostrate while reciting verses from the Qur’an along with other types of prayer. These prayers are repeated four times each time the person has to pray at the set times during the day except the prayer is only repeated three times during sunset and twice at dawn. A group prayer is required at noon on Fridays. The Friday group prayer is led by a prayer leader and differs from the other prayers that are said at noon during the week. The prayer is always concluded with the profession of the Muslim faith followed by the greeting “may the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you.” The purpose of the daily prayer is communication with God in order to maintain the presence of God in their daily lives. It also provides discipline that structures the day and fosters a sense of community and shared identity among the Muslim people.


The third pillar is Almsgiving. This is a religious obligation and expresses a devotion to God. It tries to provide for the poorer sections of the community and offers a means for Muslim people to purify their wealth to attain salvation. Islamic traditions along with the Qu’ran strongly encourages charity and reminds the Muslim’s of their moral obligation to the poor, orphans and widows. The Qu’ran does however distinguish between general, voluntarily giving and the obligation to give money or produce. It identifies specific ways that this tax is allowed to be spent which includes spending the money on the poor and needy, on those who collect and distribute the Almsgiving, those who the Muslims are trying to convert over to Muslim, travelers, and on the cause of God. The Qu’ran doesn’t go into detail about what kinds of things are subject to the Almsgiving tax or even the precise share of income or property that should be paid. An example is, one-fortieth of assets that are accumulated during the year (to include gold and silver as well as money) is payable at the end of the year or one-tenth of the harvest of the land is payable at harvesting time. If the Muslims have animals such as cattle or camels would be subject to a more complex tax depending on the animal such as age of the animal, number of animals, and if they are grazing freely. The Almsgiving tax laws do not cover trade but other commercial taxes have been imposed during Muslim history.


The fourth pillar is fasting. Fasting is done during the month of Ramadan, which is the th month of the 1-month Islamic lunar calendar. The month of Ramadan is considered to be sacred because the first revelation of the Qu’ran is said to have been done during this month. Ramadan is begun with the sighting of the new moon by at least two Muslims. Fasting must be done the entire month from daybreak to sunset by refraining from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse. The fasting introduces physical and spiritual discipline, reminds rich people the misfortunes of the poor people, and brings all of the Muslims from all different kinds of backgrounds together. Some Muslims choose to eat before daybreak in order to sustain themselves until sunset. After Ramadan is over comes the holiday of breaking the fast and lasts for three days. Fasting during anytime of the year could also be required to make up for offenses and violations of the law that were committed.


The fifth pillar is the performance of pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life. Pilgrimage was performed by the Arabs before the rise of Islam and still continues. The ritual of pilgrimage takes place during the 1th lunar month of the year and consists of a set and detailed sequence of rituals that is practiced over several days. All pilgrimage rituals take place in the city of Mecca and the primary focus is a cubical structure called the Kaaba. The Kaaba was said to have been built on God’s order by Ibrahim and his son Ismail. Once people arrive in Mecca then the ritual begins. A lot of the men shave their heads and most of the men and women wear white sheets. This simple and common type of dress symbolizes that all Muslims are equal before God. After the ritual purification, everyone circles the Kaaba seven times, runs between al-Safa and al-Marwa seven times and performs several prayers. This part of the ritual is a reenactment of the search by Hagar for water to give to her son Ismail. Once the opening rituals are done, then hajj starts on the seventh day and continues for the next three days. People assemble at Mina, a hill outside of Mecca, where they spend the night. Then the next morning they go to the plain of Arafat, where they stand from noon to sunset and perform a series of prayers and rituals. They then head to Musdalifa to spend the night and head back to Mina the next morning stopping along the way to collect pebbles that symbolizes Satan, at which they throw seven pebbles. The final ritual is slaughtering an animal. The final ritual is a symbol of when God asked Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail, which Ibrahim and Ismail accepted the order from God and were about to do the execution when God allowed Ibrahim to slaughter a ram instead. Most of the meat from the slaughtered animal is then given to the poor Muslims. The ritual sacrifice ends the hajj and starts the festival of sacrifice. The festival of breaking fast and the slaughtering of an animal are the two major Islamic festivals that are celebrated by Muslims worldwide. During the pilgrimage ritual many of the Muslims visit Medina, where the tomb of the Prophet is located, before returning to their homes.


Of all of the Muslim institutions the mosque is the most important place for public expression of Islamic religion and communal identity. The mosque is a physical manifestation of the public presence of Muslims and serves as a point for Islamic social and intellectual activities. Mosques are mentioned in the Qu’ran and the earliest model of a mosque was a residence that Muhammad built when he moved to Medina. The mosque is a designated place for the purpose of prayer. Muslim cities have numerous mosques but there are only a few mosques where the Muslims must meet on Fridays for group prayer. The most important characteristic of a mosque is that is has one or more niches on one of the walls that often serve as indicators of that direction. When an iman leads the group prayers on Fridays he will usually face one of the niches on the wall. Many mosques also have separate areas for performing rituals and separate sections for women. Some mosques also have several rows of columns so that the worshippers can line up behind the imam during prayer. Mosques usually have one or more towers from which the Muslims are called to prayer five times a day. Many of the mosques also have a dome with a line connecting the center of the dome to the niche supposedly pointing to Mecca. However, mosques are always built as a connection with Mecca.


Before Islam, a lot of Arabs believed in the all-powerful, all-knowing God was responsible for creation but they also believed in lesser gods. When Islam came about, Arab’s concept of God was done away with the elements of polythesim and turned into a different concept of believing in one God, or monothesim. Status of Arabs before Islam is considered to be an ignorance of God and there are Islamic resources that say Islam brought a complete break from Arab concepts of God and a transformation in Arab belief in God.


Doctrines of Islam say that Islam’s monothesim continues that of Judaism and Christianity. However, the Qu’ran and Islamic traditions state that there are differences between Islam and later forms of two other monothesim religions. According to Islam belief, both Moses and Jesus, were prophets sent by God to preach the message of Islam. Moses and Jesus created two legal codes, the Ten Commandants and the Christian Gospels, that are different from that of the Qur’an but according to Islam’s understanding all of these codes teach the same thing. People in the scriptures are called either people of the book or the scriptured people. Muslims became scriptured when God revealed his word to them through a prophet “God revealed the Qur’an to the prophet Muhammad, commanding him to preach it to his people and later to all humanity.”


Even though the Muslims believed that God gave the original messages of Judaism and Christianity, they also believe that both the Jews and Christians distorted the messages. So the mission of Islam has been to restore what Muslims believe is the original monotheistic teaching and to supplement the older legal codes of the Hebrew and Christian traditions with a newer code of Islamic law that is related to the evolving conditions of human societies. An example of this would be that Islam believed that Jesus was a prophet who revealed the book the Christian New Testament and that later on Christians distorted the original scripture and inserted that Jesus was the Son of God. But according to the Muslim belief, God sent Muhammad with the last and perfect legal code on the spiritual teachings of the law. Also according to the teachings of Islam the Islamic code is the final code, a code that will address humanitarian needs in the most developed stages forever. So for the Muslims, Islamic history is unfolds a divine scheme from the beginning of creation to the end of time. Creation in itself is the realization of God’s will in history. The Muslims belief that humans were created to worship God and those prophets came along in order to guarantee that the world was never without knowledge and the proper worship of God. Islam sees the sending of the prophets as an act of mercy from God, that God will never abandon his creations and always provides people with the guidance they need for their salvation in this world and the world to come after. They also believe that God is just and that this justice requires informing people of how to act and what to believe before he, God, holds them accountable on judgment day. God will also punish those who do wrong or do not believe in him and reward them that do right and do believe in him. Muslims believe that God’s greatest attribute is that of mercy.


As God did with his other prophets and messengers, he supported Muhammad by allowing him to work miracles and to prove that he was a true prophet. Muhammad’s singular miracle and ultimate proof of the truthfulness of Islam is the Qur’an. According to the words of the scripture, Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the ultimate word of God, the like that no other human can produce. The trait for this scripture, called inimitability, is based on the belief of the divine authorship of the Qur’an. Islam, unlike any of the other religious miracles, is a miracle of literary. The belief in the unique nature of the Qur’an had led the Muslims to devote all their intellectual energies to the study of the contents and form of the Qur’an.


The Qur’an is made up of 114 chapters, which are called suras, which are roughly organized from the second chapter on, in order of length, beginning with the longest chapters and ending with the shortest chapters. The first chapter is a short opening chapter that is recited during the five daily prayers. All of the chapters with the exception of one begin with the saying “in the name of God, the Merciful Lord of Mercy.” Each of the chapters is also divided into verses, which are randomly organized without a narrative thread. The chapters in the Qur’an may address any of the following topics God and creation, prophets and messengers from Adam to Jesus, Muhammad as preacher and ruler, Islam as a faith and code of life, disbelief and society and law.


Islam still recognizes the divine origins of the earlier Hebrew and Christian Scriptures that represents a restoration and continuation of traditions. Because of this, the Qur’an draws on biblical stories and even repeats many of the themes that are in the Bible. The stories of several biblical prophets appear in the Qur’an, some of theses stories are a condensed version while other stories about certain prophets such as, Abraham and Moses, are given in more detail and even have subtle revisions of the biblical accounts. For example, would be a story related to Jesus, who according to the Qur’an is a mortal, human prophet. But the Islamic faith rejects the idea that God was ever born, as opposed to Christian belief that Jesus was born the Son of God. Islam faith also rejects the idea that God shared his divinity with any other being.


About two decades or so after the Prophet, Muhammad died various copies of parts of the Qur’an existed. These copies were collected by a close group of individuals of Muhammad. This group was commissioned by the third successor of Muhammad, Affan, and this groups effort is the basis of the official text that is currently used by Muslims.


Despite Muslims questioning the authenticity of the Qur’an they all agree to the fact that certain words out of the Qur’an could be interpreted in a number of ways. The Arabic language has constant and vowels and so the meanings of worth come from both. For a long time the Qur’an showed only constants and didn’t indicate any vowel marks. As a result of this, some of the words can be said in different ways and have different meanings. One of the individuals that are studying the documentation of acceptable and unacceptable readings has found that there are about 40 possible readings of the Qur’an and 7 to 14 of these readings are valid. The meaning of some of the Qur’an verses are not always clear because some of the verses are described as either unambiguously clear or ambiguously clear because it’s meaning is only known to God. The Qur’an is considered to be the primary source of authority on law and theology and identity in Islam. However, in a lot of cases the Qur’an is either totally silent about important Islamic beliefs or gives only general guidelines.


The hadith is considered to be the second source of authority in Islam and complements the Qur’an. It provides the most extensive source for the Islamic law. The understanding of the Qur’an depends upon the context of Muhammad’s life and the ways in which he demonstrated and applied the message. However, the hadith was circulated orally and there were no attempts to establish it until about the beginning of the second century of Islam. Muslim scholars implemented a group of people to examine and verify the authenticity of reports attributed to the Prophet in order to be able to establish the authority for the hadith. Contents of sayings and reliability of those who transmitted them were carefully looked at and then the hadith was divided into groups ranging from the sound and reliable to ones that was lies and rejected. This effort concluded in compiling several collections of the hadith that were known to be authentic. There were 6 compilations of the hadith altogether and two of these were considered by the Muslims to be the most important sources for Islamic authority after the Qur’an. These are Sahih Muslim and Sahin Bukhari. There is no doubt that both the Qur’an and the hadith were used to derive laws that would govern the lives of the Muslims. By the th century both the Qur’an and hadith were used constantly and also introduced the legal authority for Islam. This legal theory states that there are four sources from which Islamic law comes from. These four sources, in order of priority, are the Qur’an, the hadith, consensus of the community and legal analogy.


Since Islam was introduced the Muslims have perceived it to be a universal code. During the time of Muhammad, two attempts had been made to expand northward into the Byzantine domain and the capital in Constantinople and then ten years after the death of Muhammad; the Muslims had defeated the Sassanids of Persia and the Byzantines. The Muslims also defeated most of Persia, Iraq, Syria and Egypt. These battles continued and the Sassanian Empire was destroyed and the influence of Byzantium was diminished.


Muhammad had four successors, these successors were known as rightly guided caliphs and ruled for about 0 years. Their rule is considered by Muslims to constitute the ideal Islamic age. Umar, who was the second caliph, ruled from 64-644. He was the first caliph to found new Islamic cities, Al Basra and Kufah. From these two cities the administration of the eastern and western provinces were coordinated. Uthman, the third caliph, was murdered by a group of Muslims. The fourth caliph was Ali, he succeeded to power and move his capital to Kufah located in Iraq. Ali fought many different opposing factors from the capital. Ali had followers who were known as Shia of Ali. This group of followers originally started out as a political group but ended up becoming a sect with specific theological and doctrinal positions. A key event in the history of the Shia was the death of Ali’s son, Karbala of Husayn and Muhammad’s daughter Fatima. Husayn refused to recognize the rule of the Umayyad Yazid and so Husayn went to Kufah to rally support for his cause. But his plans were exposed before he even reached Kufah and a large army of the Umayyad met Husayn and 70 members of his family. Umayyad offered Husayn the choice of being humiliated by submitting to his rule or a battle, which would end in death for he and his family. Husayn chooses to do battle and so he and all of his family members were killed. The battle really didn’t have much impact from a military point of view but it definitely redefined the history of Shia Islam. Even not all of the Muslims are Shia Muslims; all of the Muslims still view Husayn as a martyr for living up to his principles and dying for them.


During the early period of Abbasid, Sunni Islam was defined and included followers from four of the legal schools. The four legal schools were the Malikis, Hanafis, Shafi’is and Hanbalis. The Sunnis believed that leadership was in the hands of the Muslim community. Consensus of historical communities, not on the decisions of the political authorities, is what led to the establishment of the four legal schools. So a Muslim could choose whichever school of Islamic thought that they wished to pursue and could change their mind at anytime. These religious scholars enjoyed respect and popularity which ended up making them effective in the area of social power which the ran across the political authorities.


After the first four caliphs, the religious and political authorities in Islam were never again united under one institution. Their coexistence was underscored by the mutual recognition that they had separate areas of influence, duties and responsibilities. However, there were times the two powers did collide.


The Islamic culture had started to evolve under the rule of the Umayyads and grew to maturity during the first century of the Abbasid dynasty. The Abbasids came to power when the armies from Khorasan defeated the armies of Umayyads. This caused the Islamic capital to move to Iraq under Abbasidian rule. The Abbasid rulers chose a site on the Tigris River to rule. The site ended up becoming the City of Peace, Baghdad. Baghdad remained to be the political and cultural capital of the Islamic world until the Mongol invasion that took place in 158. Hulagu, one of the grandson’s of the Mongol ruler Genghis Khan, led his armies across the Zagros Mountains of Iran and destroyed Baghdad murdering about one million Muslims. Then in about 160, Hulagu and his army marched into Syria where the Mamluks of Egypt finally defeated them. So for the next two centuries or so, Islamic power switched between Egypt, Syria and some local dynasties.


Michelle Miller � Humanities 101 � Final Term Essay


Question B Rise of Christianity and Decline of the Roman Empire


So many people have lost their faith in their government and so they tried to put their faith into religion. Because of this a lot of people became interested in the Christian faith. The Romans converted to the Christian faith because it made sense to them because of the strict moral code and descriptions of society being evil. Christianity offered a positive attitude in regards to humanity, a belief in the sacredness of human life and mutual love. A benefit to believing in the Christian faith was that the Christian’s God had a face, which made it a lot easier to worship than to worship a god that had no face and could not be seen. Jesus was considered to be a common man with a message and the Romans could see their suffering through his suffering. Jesus promised the Christians a world without suffering which appealed to the Roman’s along with the words of Jesus such as deeds, love for all and belief in justice. The other benefits of Christianity was it was more structured and united and also from being exposed to other people who were either barred or overlooked by other religions such as women, non-citizens and yes even slaves. The Christian faith pleased the slaves because they would still be slaves in real life but in God’s eyes a good person was never considered to be a slave. It appealed to even poor people because it was said that poverty was one of the advantages of salvation after you died. You could convert to Christianity with ease because all you had to do was be baptized. So this allowed everyone to join the Christian faith and so it also appealed to the upper-class people. More upper-class women than men had converted to Christianity and this caused the women to look for husbands among the poor and the slaves. However these marriages were actually illegal according to the Roman law, but the bishop of Rome still allowed them. When an individual became a Christian, they really joined a community that looked our for the welfare of one another, shared their meals and wealth, and took care of the needy among them. The persecution of the Christians was not frequent in Rome until about the mid-00s. The persecutions of Christianity only began after a national disaster such as an earthquake because the Roman’s blamed the Christians for the anger of the gods. Another reason for persecution of Christianity was because the more the faith grew the more Christians became visible and the Romans feared that Christians would be the reason for the end of the world. So Rome ended up saying Christianity was illegal, and went as far as to hold Christians accountable for crimes that they didn’t even commit. Philippus, an Arabian emperor, had sympathy for a Christian writer by the name of Origen who was pleading for justice. Philippus was also a military leader that had plotted against his previous leader and then in turn a General named Gaius Decius replaced Philippus in 4. After Decius moved his military from Pannonia to Italy, he became the eighth emperor of Rome. He wanted to restore order and save the empire from economic ruin, so he ordered the Romans to perform roman rituals to the gods in order to put the empire in a good position in God’s eyes and to also make his authority as emperor even greater. Jews were excused from these Roman rituals but not Christians. As the Christians protested more and more about having to do the rituals they ended up drawing more attention on themselves. Decius hoped for Christian conversion in order to please the gods and for the well being of Rome. He ordered people that were suspected being Christian to perform the Roman rituals and to make sacrifices to prove that they were loyal to the Gods of Rome. The Christians that did participate in the rituals and sacrifices were given papers to carry around with them so that they wouldn’t be persecuted. Some people who wanted to escape persecution would do the rituals, some would do bribery and others would go into hiding. Still a lot of Christians such as bishops of Rome were arrested by the Roman government and executed. The executions still brought more and more attention to the Christians. Many people were impressed by how the Christians were willing to die and suffer for what they believed in and saw the state as the enemy. People of Rome also preferred Christians to soldiers and so as the persecutions grew so did Christianity. Gaius Gallus, a military commander to Decius, took over and to prove that God was angrier with Decius than the Christians he led Decius, his family and military into a swamp and had them killed. Gallus did away with the laws on Christianity. So after the threat of persecution of Christians had disappeared, many people who were Christian before wished to re-enter the church but this stirred up a lot of controversy because even though the baptism cleansed someone of all sins, if it were to become dirtied again then it would stay that way until that person died. This fight led to debate as to whether the church was a gathering of sinners trying to gain redemption. In 51, the church decided to allow individuals to re-enter the church on the condition that they no longer worshipped the gods of Rome. By the 00s, half of Rome and largely all of North Africa had converted to the Christian faith. Two kings had also converted to Christianity, the king of Osroene in the northeastern part of Mesopotamia and the king of Armenia. Now the Christians were holding jobs as civil servants in the local government, and they were serving in Tome’s militaries. Soon after the Christians were making the sign of the cross in order to ward off the demonic influences of a ritual being performed by the Diocletians, Diocletian ordered everyone in the place to worship the gods or be beaten. Then Galerius palace was burned and the blame was put on the Christians and so once again the Christians were ordered to worship the gods or face the death penalty. Christian meetings were banned, bibles were taken away and burned and the churches were ruined. But by this time Christians had become to numerous to be demolished because the Roman Empire had failed to develop a way to kill a bunch of people all at once. Furthermore, since Christians could read and write they had become a vital importance to the government. In the year 05, Diocletian retired due to bad health. Galerius, vice-emperor in the east, started sharing the rule of the empire with the vice-emperor in Rome and the west Constantius. Then the next year Constantitius was in Britain commanding his military against raids in Rome by the Scots and he got killed. So his military selected his son Constantine, to follow him. Constantine served briefly in the military under Diocletian in Egypt and under Galerius. He would modify the world by becoming the first Christian emperor. I think that Christianity still thrives in our lives today, but it brought the downfall of a great nation. Our beliefs are the same but there are more modified versions of Christianity today such as being catholic or Methodist. Even though we can choose any religion we want, without the threat the persecution, unlike the Christians that lived in Rome, but no religion can ever escape from prejudice, so although it has changed, it is still the same.


Rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire


The rise of Christianity led to a lot of new ideas about the nature of God. The Christians went off the religion of the Jews, which was the belief in one God who was more powerful than all of the Roman gods put together. The new God was also loving and caring, of turning the other cheek and to love everyone one unconditionally. This new God also needed to be defended against all critics and also placed on a pedestal for the rest of the world to see the supreme power that he held. There were Medieval philosophers who dealt with the question whether or not God existed.


Aquinas believed that were five different ways in which he prove the existence of God. The proofs were motion, the nature of efficient cause, possibility and necessity, the gradations found in things and design.


The first theory is related to Aristotle’s argument of the unmoved mover, which is “(t)here are things which are moved, and other things which both move and are moved. Whatever is moved is moved by something, and, since an endless regress is impossible, we must arrive somewhere at something which moves other things without being moved. This unmoved mover is God.” So God is at the top of causes, and has caused the causes. So the first proof of motion is that something does not move on it’s own, that it must be moved by something else.


The second proof, efficient cause, is much the same as the first proof. The difference between efficient cause and motion is the cause and effect relationship. In the case of the first proof, once could say that a rolling stone is only rolling because something pushed it. With the theory of the second proof, one would continue by saying that the squirrel would not have died if the rolling stone had not crushed it. Therefore, the rolling stone was the cause and the crushed squirrel was the effect.


The third proof is to the existence of God comes from the possibility and the necessary. Aquina says on this theory that “we find in things some which are able to be and some which are able to be and not be, since some things are found to be generated and corrupted, and consequently able to be and not to be. But it is impossible that all things which are like this always exist; because what is not able to be, at one time does not exist.” He continues on to say that this cannot be because it leads to the conclusion that “even now there would be nothing, since that which is not does not begin to be except through something which is.” He claims this is impossible, and that as a result there must be something, which is necessary, without the cause of its necessity being external and which is the cause of other things. He claims this is God.


The fourth proof was that there must be something, which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection; and this is what we call God. This is the theory is the gradation to be found in things and the main argument with this theory is that “as fire, which is the maximum heat, is the cause of all hot things, then there must be something which is the cause of all goodness in humanity which deserves the name of God.”


Aquinas’ fifth proof, which is the belief that every living thing in the world has an ultimate purpose and that God guided and manipulated events in order for these goals, could be met.


Aquinas also believed that God was infinitely good and found it very easy to work out of the skepticism of “If God is supremely good, and directs all things toward their end, then why is there evil?” So he used St. Augustine’s argument from the Enchiridion that God is so powerful that he can work well from that which is evil. He went even further to say that God is showing his goodness by allowing evil to even exist and then turns it into goodness.


The victory for the Christian faith as the official and only tolerated religion for the Empire went along with the beginning of the invasion of the Germans into Western Europe. Many of the Germans had already converted over to the Christian faith before the invasion took place but the conversion did not effect any marked transformation of the Germans cultural values.


So really it is not surprising that the Germans failed to grasp the full Christian message. Clovis, the first Christian king of the Franks, became Christian and meant to the protection and support of a god that was more powerful than the one that he was already worshipping. He was doing this for his own personal designs. Gregory, bishop of Tours, the historian of Clovis’ reign, commended everything that Clovis had done because he had espoused the Roman doctrine in preference to the Arian heresy that was accepted by many of the German invaders. I don’t either one of them thought to try and practice the Christian faith.


Of course, the Christian faith had changed since the time of its founders. When a religion begins to take it shape it does so from a set of factors such as; the teachings of its founders, interpretation of those teaching by successors, the organization set up for worship and religious discipline, mental attitudes and traditions of those that convert, and conditions under which the religion spreads.


To begin the development of Christianity you have to ascertain the Jesus was a Jew. His way of teaching life and faith systematically came from the long tradition of Judaism. He emphasized the love and mercy of God, how unimportant that wealth and worldly power really was and the promise of redemption in the hereafter.


Jesus did not withdraw from society but went out to teach among the poor and to help and heal the sick. His intentions were to change the conditions of the world and to give people hope for the hereafter. He also taught the observance of ancient Jewish law but also stated that the law was meant for man and not man for the law. Most of the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah that would bring the world justice and righteousness from now and forever. Many people saw him as an imposter and subverter of the social order. Even though little is really seen as imposing a threat to the Romans and Jewish he was still arrested and crucified. From his brief but tragic story of his life, his followers created a powerful and enduring myth that became the core of Christianity as it spread throughout the world.


Peter, one of the 1 disciples that Jesus had chosen, and Paul, converted to Christianity and also who had persecuted Christians, started preaching the faith to the Gentiles and Jews and the only observance that was required were the basic teachings of the ancient Hebrews. The decision to continue the preaching caused the religion to spread throughout the Roman Empire and even beyond its boundaries and was the first experiment in mass education that the world had ever seen.


Michelle Miller � Humanities 101 � Final Term Essay


Question A Rise and Early Development of Islam


Islam is one of the three major religions in the world that professes the belief in a single God. In Arabic language, the word Islam means surrender or submission to the will of Gods. A follower of Islam is called a Muslim meaning to surrender to God. The Arabic word for God is Allah refers to the same God that is worshipped by the Jews and Christians. Islam’s teaching of God is that there is only one all-powerful, all-knowing God and that this God created the universe. This rigorous type of belief in a single God as well as Islamic teachings that all Muslims are equal before God provides for a sense of loyalty to God that goes beyond class, race, nationality and even differences in religious practices. So all Muslims belong to one community regardless of their ethnic or national background.


After the rise of Islam in the 7th century, it spread its origins into Syria, Egypt, North Africa, and Spain to the west, and into Persia, India, and by the end of the 10th century also to the east. In the following centuries, Islam also spread into Anatolia and the Balkans to the north and Africa to the south. There are about one million Muslim followers on all five continents and is considered to be the fastest growing religion in the world.


One of the reasons that the Muslim community has grown is because of its openness to new members. Children that are born to Muslim parents are automatically considered to be Muslim. A Muslim can convert to Islam at anytime by declaring they to be a Muslim. A person’s declaration that they are Muslim is evidence enough of the conversion and doesn’t need to be confirmed by anyone else or even by the religious authorities.


Muhammad, the founding prophet of Islam, was born in Mecca around ad 570. His uncle, who had religious contacts within the main Quraysh tribe of Mecca, raised him. He got married at the age of 5 to a wealthily woman of 40, Khadija. At the age of 40, Muhammad had his first experience of Islam after retreating to hills outside of Mecca. The angel, Gabriel had come to Muhammad in a dream. Gabriel told Muhammad that God had chosen him to be a messenger for him and also told him of the first revelation of God. After awaking from the dream, Muhammad was terrified and shaken and so returned home. His wife was the first person to hear his message and she converted to Islam. He received several more additional revelations, which caused him to start preaching the new religion. At first the Meccans ignored Muhammad’s message and made fun of him. When more and more people started accepting Muhammad’s message, the Meccans only became more aggressive. At first the Meccans tried to persuade Muhammad away from this new religion and when that failed they started persecuting his followers and when that still didn’t work the Meccans persecuted Muhammad. During this time, a couple of tribes from the city of Yathrib invited Muhammad to live there. The leaders of the tribe invited Muhammad to settle disputes as an impartial religious authority and in return for Muhammad doing this the leaders promised to accept Muhammad as a prophet and support his new religion. This new religion taught that there was one God and Muhammad was considered to be the last of the prophets and messengers. God had sent various codes through his messengers, or systems of laws to live by, culminating in the Qur’an, which is the holy book of Islam. The messengers were mortal men and included men such as Moses. Muhammad is portrayed in the Qur’an as a person who makes mistakes but does not sin against God. God corrected Muhammad’s mistakes and errors and judgments, so that his life could serve as an example for other Muslims to follow. The emphasis that is put on Muhammad’s humanity serves as a reminder that other humans can also strive to lead a good life.


Islam taught that the Christian Bible along with the Qur’an were holy books. There were two earlier scriptures that had been altered over time from their original forms given by God but the Qur’an would remain perfect, preserved by God from being altered. This new law also taught that the God of Islam had provided humanity with a means to be able to tell good from evil. So on the Day of Judgment people would be held accountable for their actions.


But the teachings of Muhammad drew a lot of hostility and severe opposition. He ended up leaving Mecca and sought refuge in the city of Yathrib. The name of the city Yathrib was changed to Medina (meaning the city) upon Muhammad’s arrival. The date of his immigration was later set as the beginning of the 1-month lunar Islamic calendar.


During the ten years that Muhammad spent in Islam before arriving in Medina he had laid the foundation for the ideal Islamic state. A group of committed Muslims was established and a community life was ordered per the requirements of the new religion. From this came about the five pillars of Islam which is the essential religious duties that is required of every capable adult Muslim. Some of the five pillars are described in the book Qur’an and were already being practiced during the lifetime of Muhammad. The five pillars are the profession of faith (shahada), prayer (salat), almsgiving (zakat), fasting (sawm) and pilgrimage (hajj). The five pillars are the most central rituals of Islam and constitute the practices of the Islamic faith. Some Muslims also believe that there is a sixth pillar, which is Jihad and has been understood as holy war. But the word Jihad in Arabic means to struggle in order to please God. According to Islam faith this effort can either be collective or individual and can also apply to leading a good life such as; helping out other Muslims whether through charity, education or by other means.


The first of the five pillars is the profession of the Muslim faith. The focus of Islamic piety is Allah, the all-powering, all knowing and above all, the all-merciful God. Allah is believed to have brought the world to its being and will sustain it until its end. If they obey the commands of God then they are expressing their recognition of and gratitude for the wisdom of creation and to live in harmony with the world. The profession of the Muslim of faith is all it takes to become Muslim. Several times a day and when they say their daily prayers the profession of the Muslim faith are repeated constantly. The words that are said to profess the faith of Muslim are as follows “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and the Muhammad is his prophet.” These words can be said anywhere at anytime. When an individual professes the Muslim faith then this is considered to be enough evidence to be a Muslim and cannot be challenged by any other Muslims.


The second pillar is the religious duty to say five daily prayers. All adult Muslims are required to say five daily prayers, followed by a ritual cleansing of the body at different times during the day. Muslims used to have to face Jerusalem during these prayers but this changed during Muhammad’s time and then they had to face the Kaaba, an ancient shrine in the city of Mecca.


There are really no set descriptions for the five prayers only that the example was set by Muhammad which are later preserved in Islamic traditions. The five daily prayers are required to be performed at certain times of the day dawn, noon, midafternoon, sunset and evening. The prayers that are said at dawn, noon and sunset prayers do not begin at these precise times but a short time after.


The prayer is made up of a sequence of units that are called bowings. During each of these bowings, the person praying has to stand, bow, kneel and prostrate while reciting verses from the Qur’an along with other types of prayer. These prayers are repeated four times each time the person has to pray at the set times during the day except the prayer is only repeated three times during sunset and twice at dawn. A group prayer is required at noon on Fridays. The Friday group prayer is led by a prayer leader and differs from the other prayers that are said at noon during the week. The prayer is always concluded with the profession of the Muslim faith followed by the greeting “may the peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you.” The purpose of the daily prayer is communication with God in order to maintain the presence of God in their daily lives. It also provides discipline that structures the day and fosters a sense of community and shared identity among the Muslim people.


The third pillar is Almsgiving. This is a religious obligation and expresses a devotion to God. It tries to provide for the poorer sections of the community and offers a means for Muslim people to purify their wealth to attain salvation. Islamic traditions along with the Qu’ran strongly encourages charity and reminds the Muslim’s of their moral obligation to the poor, orphans and widows. The Qu’ran does however distinguish between general, voluntarily giving and the obligation to give money or produce. It identifies specific ways that this tax is allowed to be spent which includes spending the money on the poor and needy, on those who collect and distribute the Almsgiving, those who the Muslims are trying to convert over to Muslim, travelers, and on the cause of God. The Qu’ran doesn’t go into detail about what kinds of things are subject to the Almsgiving tax or even the precise share of income or property that should be paid. An example is, one-fortieth of assets that are accumulated during the year (to include gold and silver as well as money) is payable at the end of the year or one-tenth of the harvest of the land is payable at harvesting time. If the Muslims have animals such as cattle or camels would be subject to a more complex tax depending on the animal such as age of the animal, number of animals, and if they are grazing freely. The Almsgiving tax laws do not cover trade but other commercial taxes have been imposed during Muslim history.


The fourth pillar is fasting. Fasting is done during the month of Ramadan, which is the th month of the 1-month Islamic lunar calendar. The month of Ramadan is considered to be sacred because the first revelation of the Qu’ran is said to have been done during this month. Ramadan is begun with the sighting of the new moon by at least two Muslims. Fasting must be done the entire month from daybreak to sunset by refraining from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse. The fasting introduces physical and spiritual discipline, reminds rich people the misfortunes of the poor people, and brings all of the Muslims from all different kinds of backgrounds together. Some Muslims choose to eat before daybreak in order to sustain themselves until sunset. After Ramadan is over comes the holiday of breaking the fast and lasts for three days. Fasting during anytime of the year could also be required to make up for offenses and violations of the law that were committed.


The fifth pillar is the performance of pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life. Pilgrimage was performed by the Arabs before the rise of Islam and still continues. The ritual of pilgrimage takes place during the 1th lunar month of the year and consists of a set and detailed sequence of rituals that is practiced over several days. All pilgrimage rituals take place in the city of Mecca and the primary focus is a cubical structure called the Kaaba. The Kaaba was said to have been built on God’s order by Ibrahim and his son Ismail. Once people arrive in Mecca then the ritual begins. A lot of the men shave their heads and most of the men and women wear white sheets. This simple and common type of dress symbolizes that all Muslims are equal before God. After the ritual purification, everyone circles the Kaaba seven times, runs between al-Safa and al-Marwa seven times and performs several prayers. This part of the ritual is a reenactment of the search by Hagar for water to give to her son Ismail. Once the opening rituals are done, then hajj starts on the seventh day and continues for the next three days. People assemble at Mina, a hill outside of Mecca, where they spend the night. Then the next morning they go to the plain of Arafat, where they stand from noon to sunset and perform a series of prayers and rituals. They then head to Musdalifa to spend the night and head back to Mina the next morning stopping along the way to collect pebbles that symbolizes Satan, at which they throw seven pebbles. The final ritual is slaughtering an animal. The final ritual is a symbol of when God asked Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail, which Ibrahim and Ismail accepted the order from God and were about to do the execution when God allowed Ibrahim to slaughter a ram instead. Most of the meat from the slaughtered animal is then given to the poor Muslims. The ritual sacrifice ends the hajj and starts the festival of sacrifice. The festival of breaking fast and the slaughtering of an animal are the two major Islamic festivals that are celebrated by Muslims worldwide. During the pilgrimage ritual many of the Muslims visit Medina, where the tomb of the Prophet is located, before returning to their homes.


Of all of the Muslim institutions the mosque is the most important place for public expression of Islamic religion and communal identity. The mosque is a physical manifestation of the public presence of Muslims and serves as a point for Islamic social and intellectual activities. Mosques are mentioned in the Qu’ran and the earliest model of a mosque was a residence that Muhammad built when he moved to Medina. The mosque is a designated place for the purpose of prayer. Muslim cities have numerous mosques but there are only a few mosques where the Muslims must meet on Fridays for group prayer. The most important characteristic of a mosque is that is has one or more niches on one of the walls that often serve as indicators of that direction. When an iman leads the group prayers on Fridays he will usually face one of the niches on the wall. Many mosques also have separate areas for performing rituals and separate sections for women. Some mosques also have several rows of columns so that the worshippers can line up behind the imam during prayer. Mosques usually have one or more towers from which the Muslims are called to prayer five times a day. Many of the mosques also have a dome with a line connecting the center of the dome to the niche supposedly pointing to Mecca. However, mosques are always built as a connection with Mecca.


Before Islam, a lot of Arabs believed in the all-powerful, all-knowing God was responsible for creation but they also believed in lesser gods. When Islam came about, Arab’s concept of God was done away with the elements of polythesim and turned into a different concept of believing in one God, or monothesim. Status of Arabs before Islam is considered to be an ignorance of God and there are Islamic resources that say Islam brought a complete break from Arab concepts of God and a transformation in Arab belief in God.


Doctrines of Islam say that Islam’s monothesim continues that of Judaism and Christianity. However, the Qu’ran and Islamic traditions state that there are differences between Islam and later forms of two other monothesim religions. According to Islam belief, both Moses and Jesus, were prophets sent by God to preach the message of Islam. Moses and Jesus created two legal codes, the Ten Commandants and the Christian Gospels, that are different from that of the Qur’an but according to Islam’s understanding all of these codes teach the same thing. People in the scriptures are called either people of the book or the scriptured people. Muslims became scriptured when God revealed his word to them through a prophet “God revealed the Qur’an to the prophet Muhammad, commanding him to preach it to his people and later to all humanity.”


Even though the Muslims believed that God gave the original messages of Judaism and Christianity, they also believe that both the Jews and Christians distorted the messages. So the mission of Islam has been to restore what Muslims believe is the original monotheistic teaching and to supplement the older legal codes of the Hebrew and Christian traditions with a newer code of Islamic law that is related to the evolving conditions of human societies. An example of this would be that Islam believed that Jesus was a prophet who revealed the book the Christian New Testament and that later on Christians distorted the original scripture and inserted that Jesus was the Son of God. But according to the Muslim belief, God sent Muhammad with the last and perfect legal code on the spiritual teachings of the law. Also according to the teachings of Islam the Islamic code is the final code, a code that will address humanitarian needs in the most developed stages forever. So for the Muslims, Islamic history is unfolds a divine scheme from the beginning of creation to the end of time. Creation in itself is the realization of God’s will in history. The Muslims belief that humans were created to worship God and those prophets came along in order to guarantee that the world was never without knowledge and the proper worship of God. Islam sees the sending of the prophets as an act of mercy from God, that God will never abandon his creations and always provides people with the guidance they need for their salvation in this world and the world to come after. They also believe that God is just and that this justice requires informing people of how to act and what to believe before he, God, holds them accountable on judgment day. God will also punish those who do wrong or do not believe in him and reward them that do right and do believe in him. Muslims believe that God’s greatest attribute is that of mercy.


As God did with his other prophets and messengers, he supported Muhammad by allowing him to work miracles and to prove that he was a true prophet. Muhammad’s singular miracle and ultimate proof of the truthfulness of Islam is the Qur’an. According to the words of the scripture, Muslims believe that the Qur’an is the ultimate word of God, the like that no other human can produce. The trait for this scripture, called inimitability, is based on the belief of the divine authorship of the Qur’an. Islam, unlike any of the other religious miracles, is a miracle of literary. The belief in the unique nature of the Qur’an had led the Muslims to devote all their intellectual energies to the study of the contents and form of the Qur’an.


The Qur’an is made up of 114 chapters, which are called suras, which are roughly organized from the second chapter on, in order of length, beginning with the longest chapters and ending with the shortest chapters. The first chapter is a short opening chapter that is recited during the five daily prayers. All of the chapters with the exception of one begin with the saying “in the name of God, the Merciful Lord of Mercy.” Each of the chapters is also divided into verses, which are randomly organized without a narrative thread. The chapters in the Qur’an may address any of the following topics God and creation, prophets and messengers from Adam to Jesus, Muhammad as preacher and ruler, Islam as a faith and code of life, disbelief and society and law.


Islam still recognizes the divine origins of the earlier Hebrew and Christian Scriptures that represents a restoration and continuation of traditions. Because of this, the Qur’an draws on biblical stories and even repeats many of the themes that are in the Bible. The stories of several biblical prophets appear in the Qur’an, some of theses stories are a condensed version while other stories about certain prophets such as, Abraham and Moses, are given in more detail and even have subtle revisions of the biblical accounts. For example, would be a story related to Jesus, who according to the Qur’an is a mortal, human prophet. But the Islamic faith rejects the idea that God was ever born, as opposed to Christian belief that Jesus was born the Son of God. Islam faith also rejects the idea that God shared his divinity with any other being.


About two decades or so after the Prophet, Muhammad died various copies of parts of the Qur’an existed. These copies were collected by a close group of individuals of Muhammad. This group was commissioned by the third successor of Muhammad, Affan, and this groups effort is the basis of the official text that is currently used by Muslims.


Despite Muslims questioning the authenticity of the Qur’an they all agree to the fact that certain words out of the Qur’an could be interpreted in a number of ways. The Arabic language has constant and vowels and so the meanings of worth come from both. For a long time the Qur’an showed only constants and didn’t indicate any vowel marks. As a result of this, some of the words can be said in different ways and have different meanings. One of the individuals that are studying the documentation of acceptable and unacceptable readings has found that there are about 40 possible readings of the Qur’an and 7 to 14 of these readings are valid. The meaning of some of the Qur’an verses are not always clear because some of the verses are described as either unambiguously clear or ambiguously clear because it’s meaning is only known to God. The Qur’an is considered to be the primary source of authority on law and theology and identity in Islam. However, in a lot of cases the Qur’an is either totally silent about important Islamic beliefs or gives only general guidelines.


The hadith is considered to be the second source of authority in Islam and complements the Qur’an. It provides the most extensive source for the Islamic law. The understanding of the Qur’an depends upon the context of Muhammad’s life and the ways in which he demonstrated and applied the message. However, the hadith was circulated orally and there were no attempts to establish it until about the beginning of the second century of Islam. Muslim scholars implemented a group of people to examine and verify the authenticity of reports attributed to the Prophet in order to be able to establish the authority for the hadith. Contents of sayings and reliability of those who transmitted them were carefully looked at and then the hadith was divided into groups ranging from the sound and reliable to ones that was lies and rejected. This effort concluded in compiling several collections of the hadith that were known to be authentic. There were 6 compilations of the hadith altogether and two of these were considered by the Muslims to be the most important sources for Islamic authority after the Qur’an. These are Sahih Muslim and Sahin Bukhari. There is no doubt that both the Qur’an and the hadith were used to derive laws that would govern the lives Please note that this sample paper on Rise and Early Development of Islam is for your review only. In order to eliminate any of the plagiarism issues, it is highly recommended that you do not use it for you own writing purposes. In case you experience difficulties with writing a well structured and accurately composed paper on Rise and Early Development of Islam, we are here to assist you. Your cheap research papers on Rise and Early Development of Islam will be written from scratch, so you do not have to worry about its originality.

Order your authentic assignment from cheap essay writing service and you will be amazed at how easy it is to complete a quality custom paper within the shortest time possible!



0 comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.