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From Qur’ān to bin Laden
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Learn Quran. Ramadan Kareem. Applied Management for Engineers and Technologists. It's Different. Find this Pin and more on Knowledge by Shariful Islam. There, according to tradition, Muhammad climbed a ladder leading to the throne of God. During his meeting with God, Muhammad received guidance for the final number of daily prayers that Muslims should perform, set at five.
The Night Journey, which is understood by many Muslims as a mystical experience, made Jerusalem the third holiest city in Islam and affirmed the continuity of Islam with Judaism and Christianity. Faced with increasing hardships, Muhammad was invited in by a delegation from Yathrib, a city in the north that was caught in a bitter feud between its Arab tribes, to be their binding arbitrator.
That his decisions were to be accepted by all the tribes was testimony to Muhammad's wide reputation as a trustworthy and just man. Muhammad began sending his followers to Yathrib, and he followed a short time afterward, thus escaping those plotting to kill him. This migration hijra, or hegira of the Muslim community from the traditional safety of tribe and kinsmen in warring Arabia to form alliances with alien. The migration to Medina and the creation of the first Islamic community ummah underscores the primary importance of community in Islam.
It is so significant that when Muslims devised their own calendar they dated it, not from the year in which Muhammad was born or from the first revelation of the Koran, but from the creation of the Islamic community at Medina. Thus, c. This act reinforced the meaning of Islam as the realization of God's will on earth and the centrality of the Islamic community. It became the basis for Muslim belief in Islam as a world religion, a global community of believers with a universal message and mission. The experience and example of Muhammad's new community would provide the model for later generations.
In times of danger the twin ideals of hijra to emigrate from a hostile anti-Islamic environment and jihad to resist and fight against oppression and injustice were established. These concepts became guiding principles for responding to persecution and rejection, to threats to the faith, and to the security and survival of the community.
Today both mainstream and extremist movements and self-proclaimed "holy warriors," such as Osama bin Laden , who emigrated from Saudi Arabia to establish his movement and training bases in Afghanistan, have selectively used the pattern of migration and struggle, armed resistance, and warfare for their own purposes. In Medina the Muslim community thrived, resulting in the establishment of the first Islamic communitystate. Muhammad was not only a prophet but also a head of state, political ruler, military commander, chief judge, and lawgiver of a multireligious community consisting of Muslims, Arab polytheists, Jews, and Christians.
The Constitution, or Charter, of Medina, as established by Muhammad, set out the rights and duties of the citizens and the relationship of the Muslim community to other communities, thus reflecting the diversity of this society. The charter recognized the People of the Book Jews and Christians who had received God's revelation through the prophets Moses and Jesus as an allied community.
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These People of the Book were entitled to live in coexistence with Muslims and to retain and practice their religion in return for loyalty and the payment of a poll tax , or jizya. With establishment of the community at Medina, the bitter conflict between Mecca and Muhammad and his followers continued. Muhammad threatened the economic power and political authority of the Meccan leaders with a series of raids against their caravans. In addition, several key battles occurred that are remembered in Muslim tradition as sources of inspiration and guidance.
In Muslim forces, although greatly out-numbered, defeated the Meccan army in the Battle of Badr, in which they believed they were aided by divine guidance. The Koran declares that thousands of angels assisted the Muslims in battle. This battle has special significance for Muslims because it represents the victory of monotheism over polytheism, of good over evil, of the army of God over the army of ignorance and unbelief. Badr remains an important sacred symbol for contemporary Muslims.
The Battle of Uhud, in , represented a major setback for the Muslims when the Meccans bounced back and soundly defeated them, wounding Muhammad. The Battle of the Ditch, or Battle of the Trench, took place in , when the Meccans mounted a siege against the Muslims, seeking to crush them permanently. The Battle of the Ditch proved to be a major turning point, however.
The Muslims dug a trench to protect themselves from the Meccan cavalry and doggedly resisted the Meccan siege. In the end the Meccans were forced to withdraw, and a truce was struck at Hudaybiyah, a pact of nonaggression that proved a face-saving device for both parties. The truce granted the Muslims the right to make the pilgrimage to Mecca the following year but required that Muhammad end his raids and the attempt at an economic blockade.
At the same time, the truce signaled recognition of the political legitimacy of Muhammad. In Muhammad extended Muslim governance over the Hejaz, in central Arabia, and led the pilgrimage to Mecca. In the feud between Mecca and Medina came to an end. After client tribes of Mecca and Medina clashed, Muhammad declared the truce broken and moved against Mecca with an army of 10,, and the Quraysh surrendered without a fight.
After 20 years Muhammad had successfully returned to Mecca and brought it within the Pax Islamica. In victory Muhammad proved magnanimous and strategic, preferring diplomacy to force. Rather than engaging in vengeance and plunder, he offered amnesty to his former enemies, rewarding a number of its leaders with prominent positions and gifts. Regarding the Kaaba shrine in Mecca as the original house of God built by Abraham and Ismail, Muhammad destroyed its pagan idols and rededicated it to the one true God.
The majority of Meccans converted to Islam, accepted Muhammad's leadership, and became part of the Islamic community. The conquest of Mecca established Muhammad's paramount political leadership. He continued to employ his religious message, diplomatic skills, and, when necessary, force to establish Muslim rule in Arabia. In the year-old Muhammad led a pilgrimage to Mecca and delivered his farewell sermon, a moment remembered and commemorated each year during the annual pilgrimage: "Know ye that every Muslim is a brother unto every other Muslim, and that ye are now one brotherhood.
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It is not legitimate for any one of you, therefore, to appropriate unto himself anything that belongs to his brother unless it is willingly given him by that brother. Few observers of seventh-century Arabia would have predicted that, within a hundred years of Muhammad's death, a religious community established by a local businessman, orphaned and illiterate, would unite Arabia's warring tribes, overwhelm the eastern Byzantine and Sasanid empires, and create its own vast empire stretching from North Africa to India.
Within a brief period of time, Muhammad had initiated a major historical transformation that began in Arabia but that would become a global religious and political movement. In subsequent years Muslim armies, traders, and mystics spread the faith and power of Islam globally.
The religion of Islam became intertwined with empires and sultanates from North Africa to Southeast Asia. After the death of Muhammad, his four immediate successors, remembered in Sunni Islam as the Rightly Guided Caliphs reigned —61 , oversaw the consolidation of Muslim rule in Arabia and the broader Middle East Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, and Syria , overrunning the Byzantine and Sasanid empires. A period of great central empires was followed with the establishment of the Umayyad — and then the Abbasid — empires.
Within a hundred years of the death of Muhammad, Muslim rule extended from North Africa to South Asia , an empire greater than Rome at its zenith. Under the Abbasids trade and industry, a strong central bureaucracy, law, theology, literature, science, and culture developed.
The Abbasid conquest of the central Umayyad empire did not affect the existence of the Spanish Umayyad empire in Andalusia modern-day Spain and Portugal. There, where Muslims were called Moors, Muslim rule ushered in a period of coexistence and culture developed by Muslims, Christians, and Jews in major urban centers. The Spanish Umayyad empire was less a threat to the Abbasids than was the Fatimid Shiite empire in the tenth century, carved out in North Africa and with its capital in Cairo. From the tenth to the twelfth centuries, the Fatimids challenged a weakened and fragmented Abbasid empire, spreading their influence and rule across North Africa, Egypt, Syria, Persia, and Sicily.
The Fatimids were not brought under Abbasid rule until , when the great general Salah ad-Din Saladin conquered Cairo. Despite this success, however, by the thirteenth century the Abbasid empire had become a sprawling, fragmented group of semiautonomous states governed by military commanders. In the Mongols captured Baghdad, burned and pillaged the city, slaughtered its Muslim inhabitants, and executed the caliph and his family. Although the fall of Baghdad seemed to be a fatal blow to Muslim power, by the fifteenth century Muslim fortunes had been reversed.
The central caliphate was replaced by a chain of dynamic states, each ruled by a sultan, stretching from Africa to Southeast Asia, from Timbuktu to Mindanao. They included three imperial sultanates: the Turkish Ottoman Empire — , which encompassed major portions of North Africa, the Arab world, and eastern Europe; the Persian Safavid Empire — ; and the Mughal Empire — , which included much of the Indian subcontinent modern-day Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Like many parts of the world, Muslim societies fell victim to European imperialism.
When Christian Europe overpowered North Africa, the Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia in the nineteenth century, reducing most Muslim societies to colonies, many Muslims experienced these defeats as a religious, as well as a political and cultural, crisis.
It was a symbol not only of the decline of Muslim power but also of the apparent loss of divine favor and guidance. Colonialism brought European armies and Christian missionaries, who accompanied the bureaucrats, traders, and teachers, to spread the message of Western Christian religious and cultural superiority and dominance.