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Preliminary Islam Summary Points

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PRELIMINARY ISLAM
ORIGINS OF ISLAM
The social conditions and religious practices that existed in pre-Islamic Arabia * Islam began during the seventh century CE in the Arabian peninsular * People of the region were mostly shepherds and merchants * Makkah and Madinah were the two main cities associated with the development of Islam * Most of the local religious beliefs were polytheistic

* Judaism and Christianity were well established minority religions of the region * Makkah was regarded as a sacred city due to the presence of the Ka'bah * The Ka'bah was a site of great religious significance and attracted many pilgrims * There was a considerable industry in existence in Makkah based on the sale of idols and other elements of the worship at the Ka'bah * Among the people of the region were groups of devout Arabs known as "hanifs * Hanifs believed in a supreme god over and above all the other gods. The principal events in Muhammad's life

* Muhammad was born in 570CE
* There are many legends concerning the birth of the prophet which point to his extraordinary life * Despite these, Muslims are careful to not elevate Muhammad's status beyond that of a human being * Muhammad's mother Aminah died when he was a young child. * Muhammad was raised by his uncle Abu Talib who was a wealthy merchant. * In the course of working for his uncle, Muhammad met his future wife the wealthy widow Khadija * The marriage of Muhammad and Khadija saw the birth of six children * After spending considerable time in prayer and spiritual searching Muhammad experienced the night of power "Laylat-ul-Qadr * It was here he received the command to proclaim the message of Allah * The revelation to Muhammad was brought by the Angel Jibril * After the initial revelation there was a period of waiting before the proclamation the message began * After two years Jibril appeared again and this brought on the beginning of Muhammad's preaching * During the course of his life from this point Muhammad continued to preach while receiving further messages and instructions from Allah. * Muhammad's preaching was of the message of one true God * Due to the monotheism of the preaching there was no place for the worship of idols * Muhammad's preaching was rejected by the people of Makkah and he was exposed to ridicule because of his message. * 619 CE was the Year of Sorrows where both Khadija and Abu Talib died * Soon after Muhammad experienced the miraculous night journey to Jerusalem and through the seven realms of heaven to be in the presence of Allah. * In the course of the night journey he received the instruction regarding the requirement for daily prayer * Soon after he was visited by a delegation from Yathrib asking him to come to their city * Muhammad undertook a perilous journey and experience a miraculous escape from his enemies in a cave * The journey from Makkah to Yathrib is known as the Hijrah * In Yathrib, Muhammad built a house which is regarded as the first mosque * The name of the city was changed from Yathrib to Madinah * This year 622 CE marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar * In Madinah Muhammad received the revelation to face Makkah during prayer and also of the Ramadan fast * Conflict with Makkah continued throughout the time Muhammad was in Madinah * Ultimately Makkah was captured in 630CE

* After this Makkah became the holy city of Islam, dedicated to Allah * The Prophet Muhammad died at 63 years of age in 632 CE
The Prophet Muhammad as the final messenger is the model for Muslim life. * Muhammad is a sublime example of surrender to the will of Allah * Muslims ensure that respect for the Prophet Muhammad does not become a form of worship * Muhammad comes in the tradition of the Prophets, he is the last and greatest of the Prophets of Allah * He is known... Show More

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