Islam and Its Origins Essays

Submitted By maryannas
Words: 1243
Pages: 5

Islamic Culture: It’s History and How it All Began The Islamic culture is a very interesting religion. The differences between Christianity and Islam are notable and its followers diverse in belief. This essay will introduce to the reader the beginning of the Islamic culture and its civilization, this religion’s famous prophet named Muhammad, and the basic teachings and variances between Islamic religion and Scripture. It is challenging to explain the beginnings of Islamic culture without mentioning its most famous prophet, Muhammad. One must understand Muhammad’s life in detail because he was the pioneer of Islam, as he is often entitled the “last and the greatest of the prophets of Allah” (the term for ‘God’ in Islam). The Islamic culture begins its history with him and it is deemed necessary to begin expounding on it with this man. After the death of Byzantine emperor Justinian in 565 a.d., Muhammad was born in western Arabia to a poor family in the city of Mecca. Little is known about his early life. However, historians do know he became an orphan at age six and was raised by his grandfather and uncle. As a young man he worked for a wealthy widower and when he was twenty-five Muhammad married her. Due to her financial attainments, Muhammad never had to worry about money—he was financially sheltered and could spend his time pondering religion and the polytheism (the worship or belief in more than one god) of his people in a cave near Mecca. This endeavor is what he spent most of his leisure time pursuing. As a consequence of Muhammad’s many travels, he was cognizant of many other religions and therefore he assimilated these to form his own new religion. His teaching became a new religious movement called Islam. Islam literally means “submission (to the will of Allah)” whilst Muslim means “submitters (to Allah)”, with Muhammad granted with the definition of “highly praised”. When he was forty—Muslim historians record—he partook in a vision with angel Gabriel who presented him a divine revelation. According to Islamic teaching, these revelations continued throughout Muhammad’s lifetime. Although Muhammad fearfully supposed the revelations were from Satan, his wife and good friend persuaded him to believe that he was the messenger of God entrusted with a new revelation for man. This evangelization of this new religion took over Muhammad’s life. This moment in history can be ruminated as the birth of Islam and the beginnings of its civilizations. Muhammad struggled with gaining converts at first, with his close friends and family members as his early followers. Most of the people in Mecca mocked Muhammad, seeing his teachings as contrary to their existing religion and also as a threat to the city’s commercial interests. However, in 622 a.d., Muhammad made a significant decision: he and his followers fled to Mecca and established themselves in Medina, a city two hundred miles to the north. This relocation is recognized as the Hegira, or “Flight”. It was during this time that Islam proliferated and Muhammad became the Arabs’ spiritual, political and military leader. Once in authority, Muhammad commenced the persecution of those who opposed him with military dominance. Around this time Mecca became the “holy city” of Islam and the worship and rituals were initiated. As aforementioned, Muhammad was given the basis of his teaching for Islam through the messenger angel Gabriel, who revealed the words of Allah through dreams and visions. Countless followers dedicated Muhammad’s teachings to memory whereas others transcribed them on anything they could find. Subsequent to the death of Muhammad in 632, the compilations of these revelations composed the Qur’an (recitations), which is celebrated as the heart of Islam. The fundamental dogma of the Qur’an is the faith in one god, Allah. Allah sent more than one hundred thousand prophets to disclose his will to man, the Muslim