Muhammad and the Quran. Esposito
-From Mecca 7th century, businessman, comes from branch of well respected family. Mother dies when young. Orphan. Compassionate, trustworthy, moderates disputes in Mecca (small city-state, no big ruling hand like Roman Empire). First revelation in 610 c.e. at age 40 (age, experience valued) from angel Gabriel. Revelation: one god, judged after death—all goes against current thoughts. Muhammad is reformer (says same message as Moses and other prophets, but says other religions have misinterpreted). Muhammad says words from Quran, was illiterate. Revelation last about 20 years.
-Judaism: same message, but wrong because supposed to be only for Jews.
-Christians: wrong message: Jesus is one true savior/messenger (reincarnation conflicts with Monotheism).
-Medina/Yethrib. Take in Muhammad even though he’s facing persecution in Mecca. Muhammad and followers leave protection of tribe/family (this moment called Hijra (start of Muslim calendar)).
-Quran: initially not a book. Only one Quran (different versions of Bible) and only exists in Arabic (translations could be wrong/misinterpreted). Organized bureaucratically by length (big to small), not chronologically.
-Monotheism: one God, no partner, no son. God is one creator and all ese is created. [Christian prayers are demanding: give me bread, forgive me…]. Humans acknowledge god in prayer, but don’t demand anything in standard daily prayer. Historically, god is merciful.
-5 Pillars: 5 things minimum to meet baseline to God. 1) Pray 5 times per day. 2) Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca once in life). Islam reform bringing Hajj back to what it was meant to be. Hajj only required if possible for you to go. *US rescued 100 people going on pilgrimage. 3) Fasting during Ramadan. Not eating reminds to focus on religious-self-spiritual development. 4) Jahada- I testify there is one God and Muhammad is only the messenger. Public proclamation of faith. Different with Shiis. 5) Zakat (charity); focused on means of the community.
-Sharia: not really Islamic law. Answers questions not answered by God. To help encourage people on path towards God in Quran?
EARLY US AND MUSLIM
WEEK of 9/16
Could a Muslim be President (18th century Constitutional debate)? Spellberg
-Muslim as president is ridiculous/hypothetical.
-Don’t like Catholics because Pope is powerful like Jews?
-US says Muslims are first to piracy (state sponsored), but Christians and British have done it before.
-Not an ecumenical age. US still trying to figure out what freedom of Religion is.
-Fear of power of Quran to change you as a reader.
-Talking about Islam is a tool politically and criticism of other religions and Muslim states of tyranny and despotism.
-Debate on Constitution
- Should there be a religious test for office? 1) Country religious neutral: revolution
-Someone who believes in God, pious is someone thinking about how he will be judged after death and is more likely moral and less corrupt.
-Moves from religious toleration to equality because you can participate in politics.
-Muslim president = worst case scenario = hypothetical.
-Islam references all over old US documents (newspapers/pamphlets), but comes up abstractly and used to make point (political).
-Much prejudice and stereotyping against Muslims.
-Popular literature, captivity novels, where fisherman get captured and share stories; not accurate, but popular as true accounts.
-Translation of Quran are poor and bias.
-Sermons/religious texts: bias.
-Islam used to insult Catholicism. People concerned about power of Pope and Catholicism because it’s huge.
-Sources focus nearly 100% on Middle East, North Africa, but majority of Muslims live in Indonesia/India.
-Most Muslims not Arab.
-Uses of this knowledge: 1. Religious. Not about Islam. Used to prove strength of one religion (Protestantism) or create fear of different Christian sects.