God Is Not One: Islam
God Is Not One: Islam Rel - 1103-002
Popular in Intro to World Religions
Popular in Religious Studies
This 15 page Class Notes was uploaded by Allison Smith on Wednesday February 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Rel - 1103-002 at Oklahoma State University taught by Stephanie Wheatley in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Intro to World Religions in Religious Studies at Oklahoma State University.
Reviews for God Is Not One: Islam
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 02/17/16
Intro. T o World Religions - Islam Intro o For most Europeans and North Americans, Islam is seen through a veil of negativity o Obsession of Westerners for centuries, not just through imagination, also through historical events Islam has been hotly debated since 9/11 worldwide What role did Islamic piety play in motivating these terrorist attacks? Is it a religion of terror and war, or a religion of peace? o This debate often becomes a ping pong match of clichés rather than logic Collective ignorance, we are incapable or reckoning with Islam because we know almost nothing about it o After 9/11 there was a rush to reconceive the Judeo- Christian tradition, rather than the Judeo-Christian- Islamic tradition Jews, Christians, and Muslims are all “people of the book” Meaning, they believe in one God who speaks to His people through prophets The phrase “people of the book” is Islamic (Ahl al-Kitab) o Used to describe Christians and Jews as brothers and sisters in Allah o The word Islam means submission, or surrender People who seek peace in this life and the next by surrendering themselves to the one true God Prayer o Five times a day, everyday of the year o The adhan, the invitation, is always done in Arabic According to Muslims, it was in Arabic that God delivered his final revelation, the Quran, to his final prophet, Muhammad. o Muslims respond to this call in different ways, but the observant stop whatever they are doing during the sacred times of the day (dawn, noon, midafternoon, sunset, and night) to pray o Preparation Wash themselves, turn to face Mecca, bow their heads, and say “Prayer has arrived, prayer has arrived,” promise to pray, and then proceed to pray. o The five daily prayers of salat are repeated in Arabic precisely as they have been for centuries. Starting with Allahu Akbar, “God is great.” The Five Pillars o Muslims go to great lengths to not confuse the Creator with the created. Even refer to themselves as slaves o Do not believe in original sin, rather, they believe that every individual has an inclination toward God and goodness The problem then, is not sin, but rather self sufficiency and acting as if you can get along without God 2 o The Quran repeatedly states that the path to Paradise is through faith and works Inclines toward Judaism more than Christianity in orthopraxy (right action) over orthodoxy (right doctrine) o The core practices are called the Five Pillars Shahadah The central pillar The profession of faith, repeated in the call to prayer and in the five daily prayers themselves o “I testify that there is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” In order to become a Muslim, all you need to do is testify to this creed, proclaiming its two truths out loud, with understanding and intent, ideally in the presence of witnesses The remaining four pillars are salat (prayer), zakat (charity), sawm (fasting), and hajj (pilgrimage). Salat o Muslims interrupt both work and play to pray five times daily in the direction of Mecca Zakat o Muslims are required to give charity to the poor 3 o Unlike Christian tithing, zakat is based on assets and goes to the poor Obliged to give 2.5 percent of most of their assets above a subsistence level known as nisab Sawm o Fasting during the month of Ramadan o Abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking, and sex from dawn until sunset, and reciting and listening to the Quran instead Commemorates the coming revelation to Muhammad o Falls on the 9 month of the Islamic year, but Muslims observe a lunar year so the dates change. o Concludes with Id al-Fitr, a fast- breaking festival that brings families together to eat, pray, and exchange gifts Hajj o Assuming they are physically and financially able, all Muslims are obliged to go once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca o Occurs every year during the last ten days of the twelfth lunar month, is open only to Muslims, who may add their names to “al Hajj” after fulfilling this duty 4 o Celebrates and reinforced the unity of all Muslims Men wear similar white garments All mosques contain a marker called the mihrab pointing worshipers in the direction of Mecca o In Mecca itself, each mihrab points in the direction of the Kabah shrine Most sacred of places, includes a black stone believed to be a meteor Jihad o Literally means “struggle” Two kinds of struggles: The spiritual struggle against pride and self-sufficiencey The physical struggle against the “house of war,” (enemies of Islam) o The second of the struggles calls for a variety of tactics such as preaching, teaching, and working for social justice (may also include war). o Apologists for Islam try to minimize the importance of jihad and try to separate Islam from its extremists. o It is incorrect to translate jihad as “holy war,” the plain sense of this struggle in both the Quran and contemporary Islamic practices is both spiritual an military o Challenges for practitioners of any religion is wrestling with elements in their tradition that have 5 been used to justify evil and then bending those elements back toward good Muslims attend to passages in the Quran that extremists have used to justify unjust killing Ex: To suicide bombers, they point out that the Quran condemns suicide unequivocally-“Do not kill yourselves” (4:29) Since the seventh century Islamic law has been committed to vigorously defending the rights of noncombatants Allah o The Arabic word for God This God is singular o Tawhid Diviness, or one-ness o Muslims reject the Christian and Hindu notion that God can incarnate in a human body o Also reject visual images of God on the ground that such images, which cannot possibly capture the reality of the divine, tempt us toward idolatry God is absolutely and totally transcendent o Muhammad reportedly said that Allah has ninety- nine names o Muslims worship ad deity who is beyond gender – neither male nor female o Shirk Meaning idolatry, referes to any practice or belief that ignores the unity and uniqueness of God 6 Ex: polytheism is shirk o Kafir Unbelief, Muslims disagree about whether belief in the Christian trinity is shirk or kafir o Jesus is revered as a prophet in Islam Muslims insist, however that Jesus was neither Savior nor Son of God Muhammad o Ranked the most influential person in history nd 2 went to Jesus o In purely religious terms, Muhammad did more than Jesus and Paul combined Founded Islam and was the prophet through whom the revelations in the Quran came into the world He did not write the Quran o Muslims look to Muhammad as a model for their own lives The Hadith Scriptural collection of his sayings and actions that is second in authority to the Quran Provided a basis for Islamic law o “What would Muhammad do?” o Muhammad was also a great political and military leader 7 Lead armies and controlled vast territories during his life o Muslims used to call their religion Muhammedanism While Christians worship Jesus as God, Muslims have always insisted that Muhammad was only a human being Emphasis on there is one and only one Allah in Islam (and that he does not take human form) o Islam compared to Christianity The closest Islamic parallel to Jesus would be the Quran According to Christianity, God’s gift to the world is Jesus, who came in the form of the human body. Where areas, to Muslims, God’s gift is the Quran which came in the form of the Arabic language Muhammad, who is said to be illiterate, is more like the Virgin Mary Jesus came into the world through the pure vessel of a woman who had never had sex (Christianity) The Word of God that is the Quran came into the world through the pure vessel of a man who could neither read nor write (Islam) Reciting the Quran is like the partaking of the Christian Eucharist 8 It is how you incorporate the divine into your body o Muhammad’s Revelation God first came to him in a cave on Mount Hira, outside of Mecca The angel Gabriel interrupted his prayer and commanded him to “Recite.” Recited his revelations from 610 C.E. until 632, shortly before his death o Formation of the Muslim Community (622) Muhammad and his followers fled from Mecca due to negative reactions of him criticizing polytheism Fled to Yathrib, or now Medina Established ummah, the Muslim Community This event is known as the hijra (emigration) and marks the beginning of the Islamic Calendar Itself marked by the letters A.H. meaning “in the year of the hijra” o After Muhammad’s death, Islam split into two main branches: Sunni and Shia Regards the matter of Muhammad’s successor Quran o Universal article of Islamic faith that the Quran is perfect, unaltered, and untranslatable word of God Written, not my Muhammad, but by Allah, who gave its words to an angel, who gave them to 9 Muhammad who recited them to his companions o The Quran is scripture only in Arabic o Quran literally means recitation Scripture was oral from the start and not written down until long after Muhammad’s death Only about 20% of the world’s Muslims are able to reads its Arabic, and even for them the Quran is complicated Those who do read acquire special honor and the name hafiz (males) or hafiza (females) Muslims are people of recitation o Muslims believe that the Torah of Moses and the gospel of Jesus were revealed by Allah through his prophets These scriptures were corrupted and can no longer be trustworthy Only the Quran is the perfectly preserved word of God o Relatively short book About as long as the Christian New Testament 114 suras, or chapters presented by length, from longest to shortest Scholars divide these chapters into earlier “Meccan” and later “Medinan” suras depending on where they were revealed 10 Where a given sura was revealed matters because of the Islamic doctrine of abrogation, which states that later suras can overturn, or abrogate, earlier ones o The Quran’s earlier Meccan suras focus on spiritual matters, while the later Medinan suras focus on social, political, and economic matters such as marriage, war, and gambling Islam is a way of life as well as a religion Ex: Quran tells Muslims how to lend money, divide estates, enter into contracts, and punish criminals o Islam emphasizes life after death Hundreds of verses detail the horrors of hell, the splendors of Paradise, etc. Hell and Paradise are described in the Quran in greater detail than hell and heaven in the Christian Bible Repeatedly warns of horrors to come for those who persist in their pride and refuse to submit to Allah o Islam has no doctrine of original sin and no Savior sent to earth to redeem us by dying o The Quran says its God is the same as the Christian and Jewish God and Muslims are told to “dispute not with the People of the Book” (29:46). One passage indicates that Jews and Christians will make it to Paradise o Ethics of war is where the Quran and the New Testament are worlds apart The Quran is filled with just-war precepts 11 War is allowed in self-defense but hell is the punishment for killing other Muslims and the execution of prisoners of war is explicitly condemned Shariah o Islam emphasizes law over theology o Shariah literally means “right path” Shariah Law o Extends into all aspects of life – family, society, economics, and politics o Fiqh, or the interpretation of Shariah, is based on both the Quran and the Hadith (a secondary book of scripture based off of the word/deeds of Muhammad). Muslims disagree over whether a given Hadith is authentic o Sunnis and Shias differ significantly on all sorts of legal matters Sunnis recognize four major legal schools Shia centralize religious authority Shias decentralize religious authority, placing it in Muslim community as a whole Because of this Sunni legal views vary widely o Fatwa, legal opinion Carries the force of law only to hose who recognize the authority of the jurist who issues it Sunni and Shia 12 o Sunnis constitute 85% of the world’s Muslim population, Shias account for the remaining 15% o Muslims split over the key question of authority after the death of Muhammad Majority supported Muhammad’s father in law Abu Bakr; came to be known as Sunni (from sunna, which means tradition). A minority insisted that Islam’s next leader was Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali. These supporters came to be know as Shiat Ali (partisans of Ali) or Shia for short. o Sunni invested social and political authority in a series of caliphs, reserving all-important religious authority for the broader community o Shia invested social, political, and religious authority in their leader, whom they called the Imam (meaning leader) Refers simply to the person who leads weekly congregational worship services on Friday’s Among the Shia, the Imam (who must descend from Muhammad) leads not just a congregation but the entire Shia community and is both sinless and infallible Shia minority split into various branches o Twelver Shi’ism Largest Shia group Believe there were twelve Imams, that the twelfth went into hiding (“occultation”) in 873 C.E. and that the hidden Imam will return at the end of times as a 13 messiah figure leading an apocalyptic battle between the forces of good and evil o The remainder follow a line of Imams that extends to the present day Islamism o A radical form of politicized Islam that took the martyr tradition developed by Jews and adapted by Christians in a deadly new direction o Anti-Western and anti-American ideology applied to political ends by groups such as the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, and al-Qaeda o Goals Ideology: To purify Islam from the pollutions of modernity, not least the presence of U.S. military forces and the State of Israel Politically: Aim to create Islamic states (transnational caliphate) Tactics vary but do include some levels of violence and terror o Islamism is a political project o Villains of Islamism are Israel and the “Great Satan” that is the United States, but also denounce fellow Muslims who interpret Islam in a mainstream manner o Salafism shares a lot with Islamism Salafists seek to redirect their religious beliefs back to pure, primitive Islam Salaf or pious predecessors Wahahbism 14 A form of Salafism Based on the strict teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab o Opposed innovation o Obessed with the problem of shirk Both Christianity and Judaism are shirk, as well as Shi’ism Referred to as a puritanical because of its strict legal code, its desire to purify its religious tradition, and its foal of returning to the purity of the earliest form of faith o Islamists believe we are witnessing a clash of civilizations between Islam and the Christian West What it really demonstrates is a intra-Islamic culture war Clash between Muslims who believe that the Islamic tradition means what it says when it comes to not killing women and children, and Muslims who do not. Progressive and Moderate Muslims o Progressive Islam A new movement of Muslims that are staunch opponents of Salafism, Wahhabism, and Islamism Also criticize colonialism and imperialism o Believe that the struggle for justice lies at the heart of the Islamic Tradition 15
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'