Katelyn Murray
B Period

The Muslim Way

#1: What are the central religious and moral teachings of Islam?
There are several objects and people that are the central religious and moral teachings of Islam. First the Ka’ba is an example of central religious and moral teachings of Islam. The Ka’ba was a small cube or temple located in Mecca. At the Ka’ba people would come to pray, and it was at this time when there was peace and all the fighting and tension among other tribes stopped, and trade and a mix of culture started to occur. The 5 Pillars are also another very important to the central religious and moral teachings in Islam. The first pillar is called Shahadah. Shahadah is when Muslims recite the words, “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” Muslims recite this sentence may times a day, for they believe the oneness of God must be engraved in their hearts and minds. The second pillar is called Salat. Salat is when Muslims are required to pray five times a day: dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall. When Muslims pray, they all face toward Mecca as a reminder of unity of Islam. The third pillar is called Zakat. Zakat is when Muslims are required to share what they have with each other. Also to show appreciation for God’s generosity, Muslims pay a tax each year on their possessions, and Islam tries to develop a social conscience, which is an obligation to help ease the suffering of others. The fourth pillar is called Sawn. Sawn is when during the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, called Ramadan, Muslims fast because that was when Muhammad received his revelations and in that same month, years later he fled to Medina. Also Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown daily to remind them all of the need for constant help from God. Lastly, the fifth pillar is called Hajj. The Hajj is when Muslims go on a pilgrimage to the Ka’ba, the shrine in the Great Mosque of Mecca. Islam teaches that Muslims should visit the Ka’ba at least once, if possible. All people dress alike in plain white cloth when visiting, to symbolize equality and the international community of Islam. Next, Muhammad is another example of the central religious and moral teachings of Islam. Muhammad was the messenger of god. He was the messenger of god because one day when he was meditating in a cave he had a vision that an angel appeared as man and told him that was to deliver a simple message. That message was that he was the prophet of God, and there is only one god, and that is Allah. Muhammad preached this message to the community, some people like this idea of one god but others didn’t. Muhammad also preached that everyone was equal before god. Muhammad continued to receive messages from god time to time and these messages were collected into chapters and make up the Koran which is Islam’s holy book. The Koran consists of 114 Surahs or chapters. The Koran is viewed as the authoritative guide for human beings. Lastly, Sharia is an example of the central religious and moral teachings of Islam. The Sharia is the central code of religion and behavior. It is both a religion and a way of life, and it means “the way”. The Sharia was also based on the Koran. Overall, there are many things that are the central religious and moral teachings of Islam.

5_pillars_of_islam.jpg
This image shows the 5 Pillars of Islam
which are Shahadah (recital of the words
“There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad
is his prophet.”), Salat (prayer five times a day),
Zakat (charity), Sawn (fasting during Ramadan)
and Hajj (pilgrimage to the Ka’ba in Mecca).
external image koran_gold_400q.jpg

This image is of the Koran, which is Islam’s holy book, it
consists of 114 Surahs or chapters from Muhammad’s
received messages from God and it is the guide for human beings.

external image Prophet_muhammad.jpg


This image shows the prophet, Muhammad.
Muhammad was very important to the central
religious and moral teachings of Islam. Muhammad
was the Messenger of God, and his message to
deliver to the community was that there is only God,
Allah and that everyone is equal before God. Muhammad
continued to receive messages from God and they
were collected and made into chapters of the Koran, Islam’s
holy book. The Koran was then viewed as the guide for human beings.



#2: How did Muslim Rulers deal with the wide diversity among peoples that they ruled?

Muslim Rulers did several things that helped them deal with the wide diversity among the people that they ruled. After Muhammad died, Caliphs were the rulers and they were very powerful and dominated Islam. The first four caliphs were Abu Bakr, Umar, Utman and Ali. The people that were ruled by these Muslim caliphs liked the idea of equality in Islam and that made people want to convert to Muslim. Rulers also dealt with the wide diversity among the people they ruled by making rules to accommodate both the Sunni and Shiite. Sunni and Shiite are two Muslim groups that have a difficult time getting along. The Sunni believe that the caliph is an elected leader, that he is their teacher, but he is not of holy birth or blood and that the Koran is the true guide of Islam. However, the Shiite believe that the caliphs were directly descended from of the god, Allah, and only caliphs can offer true inspiration and guidance. Lastly, the way Muslim rulers treated the people that they had conquered, helped deal with the wide diversity among the people that they ruled. After the Muslims had conquered someone, they were very tolerant of the foreign people and their culture, similar to the Romans. Also the Christians and Jews were treated with great respect of their religion, but many still did convert to Muslim. Overall, the Muslim caliphs did several things that helped deal with the wide diversity among the people that they ruled.


external image age_of_caliphs.gif
This map shows the expansions of Muhammad, the Patriarchal Caliphate and the Umayyad Caliphate, between
622 and 750 A.D. in the Middle East and Africa.
external image 101707_1009_Areallysimp2.jpg
This image is of the fourth caliph, Ali.
Ali was very powerful and he was the
cousin and brother-in-lawof Muhammad
and he was accepted by both the Sunni
and the Shiite, but was assassinated in 661 A.D.


#3: How did Muslim civilization create links among three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa?
The Muslim civilization created links among the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa in many ways. Islam first started to spread from Mecca and Medina. Islam spread into the Middle East Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa. Islam was spreading into these areas for three reasons. The first reason is their enemies such as Persia and Byzantine were weak because neither of them had a strong military, unlike Islam. The second reason Islam was very successful was because of their cavalry. The Muslims cavalry was fast, daring and the experienced soldiers overwhelmed their enemies. The third reason was they had a clear objective from the Koran. Muslim forces had one leader and knew their goals for success. Also, Islam’s first four caliphs were very powerful and dominated against other regions. Next, the Hajj, the fifth out of the five pillars in Islam, brought many people together and helped demonstrate unity between people. Once again, equality in Islam was liked by numerous people and that helped Islam create links in Asia, Europe and Africa too. Then when Muslim did conquer regions, they were very respectful to those people’s religion and culture, many people then wanted to convert to Muslim, which therefore made Islam even larger. Lastly, Muslim influence of architecture, dress, food and weapons to other people, started to show in numerous ways and places. Overall, Muslim civilization was able to create links among Asia, Europe and Africa in many ways.


external image Hajj1.gif
This image shows the route of the pilgrimage, the Hajj to Mecca. The Hajj brought many people from all over, together. There are seven major steps of the Hajj. After you change into a plain, white cloth, the first step is circling the Ka’ba, in Mecca, seven times counterclockwise. Second step is kissing the Black Stone because it gets you closer to Allah. Third step is running up and down hills to replicate Hagars devotion to god, looking for water. Fourth step is going to the Zamzam Well, where Angel Gabriel struck the ground for water for Ishmael and Hagar. Fifth step is going to Mount Arafat where Adam and Eve first met and Muhammad’s last sermon eve vigil. The sixth step is stopping at Mina and throwing stones at columns to represent Abraham avoiding temptation by Satan, the Devil. The final and seventh step is going to the 3 day festival called Eid al-Adha, and there people sacrifice animals and men shave their heads.
external image wdys_stick_figures.jpg
This image represents equality. It represents equality because it shows different people, man verse women and it shows people with different skin colors, but they are still all equal before God. Equality was another very important thing that many people liked in Islam and it brought some people to Islam, so they could then convert to the Muslim religion.


#4: What artistic and literary traditions flourished in the Muslim world?
There were numerous artistic and literary traditions that flourished in the Muslim world. First, Islamic art was expressed in the style of Arabesque, and it focused on the glorification of God’s word, specifically writing it beautifully and geometric and floral designs. However Islam did not have any idols or depictions of god or Muhammad because they did not want them to be drawn incorrectly and tradition had not allowed idolatry. Islamic religious art ranged from beautifully calligraphy manuscripts of the Koran to intricately carved and inlaid pulpits or minbars. But, Islamic art mainly focuses on geometric figures and patterns. The important geometric figures are circles, stars, squares and octagons. Islamic geometric art also contains symbolism. Some examples of symbolism are freedom, complexity and infinitive growth which are represented by circles and squares. There are basically three categories of Islamic art patterns and that is repetition of shapes, two-dimensional and expands forever. One of the most amazing works of art is the Muslims Dome of Rock. The Dome of Rock is a Muslim shrine, like the Ka’ba in Mecca. The Dome of the Rock was built by Umayyad caliph Abd al-Malik and to commemorate Muhammad's ascension into heaven after his night journey to Jerusalem. Abd al-Malik wished to erect a beautiful Muslim building that could compete with the majestic churches of Christendom and would be a symbolic statement to both Jews and Christians of the superiority of the new faith of Islam. In the Dome of Rock there are mosaics, tiles, mathematical rhythm of the Dome of Rock’s proportions, inscriptions from the Koran, and geometric shapes and patterns. Another beautiful work of art by Muslims is the Taj Mahal, which was built by Shan Jahan, who built it in loving memory for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is suppose to resemble paradise on earth. Minarets, chattri, mosque and the charbagh are some beautiful parts of the Taj Mahal. Lastly, the story The Thousand and One Nights is an example of literary tradition that flourished in the Muslim world. This story was so popular that it influenced our culture by people translating it to English and writing other versions and volumes of the tale. Overall, there are numerous examples of what artistic and literary art flourished in the Muslim world
.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

This picture is of the Dome of Rock. The Dome of Rock is one of the most
beautiful works of art in the Muslim world. Some of the impressive geometric
patterns in or outside of the Dome of Rock are the Golden Dome, the Full Moon,
Well of Souls, Cupola and Inner Octagon.

external image tiling.gif
This image is an example of Islamic geometric art.
Circles and stars are a couple of the most important
figures used in Islamic geometric art. Lastly, Islamic
geometric art is very complex, it can be used in two
dimensions or three and the art is usually in repetition and symmetry.


#5: How does religion shape people’s actions for good and bad?

The Muslim religion can both shape people’s actions for good and bad. One example of the Muslim religion shaping people’s actions to be good is the 5 pillars. In the third pillar, Zakat, it requires Muslims to share what they have with each other and to pay a tax each year on their possessions. Also 2.5% of ones income is donated to the poor. Muslims do this to try and develop a social conscience and it is an obligation help ease the suffering of others and that is outlined in the Koran. Another example of the Muslim religion shaping people’s actions for good is prayer in the Ka’ba. This shaped people’s actions to be good because when people went to pray at the Ka’ba there was temporary peace and the fighting had stopped. Also while people were at the Ka’ba, people started to trade with one another and adapt one another’s culture, so therefore there was less tension between people and it brought people together. Along with the Muslim religion shaping people’s actions for good, it can also shape people’s actions for bad. An example of the Muslim religion shaping people’s actions for the bad is the conflict between the two groups, the Sunni and Shiite. The Sunni believe the caliph is an elected leader while the Shiites believe the caliph should be a descendent of Allah. These two groups have such a difficult time getting along, that they sometimes persecute each other, which creates a lot of tension. Both the Sunni and Shiites groups have even assassinated caliphs. Overall, these two groups have created a lot of tension and possibly destruction because of their differences in their beliefs. Lastly, another example of the Muslim religion shaping people’s actions for the bad is the emperor Aurangzab. Aurangzab had such a strong and strict Muslim faith that he stopped tolerating other religions. He removed non-Muslims from all positions of importance and they were either fined or persecuted. He destroyed temples and mosques were built in their place. He put an end to all forms of non-Islamic practices such as idol worship and celebration of religious festivals and he caused wars and chaos to break out everywhere. In conclusion, the Muslim religion shaped people’s actions to be both for good and bad.

external image the-kaba-02-500.jpg

This image shows the Ka’ba in Mecca. The Ka’ba
was one of the things in the Muslim religion that
shaped people’s actions to be good. It shaped people’s
action to be good because it brought people together
and people started to trade with one another instead
of fight and there was a mix of culture.
external image pd57154.jpg
This image shows the Muslim emperor, Aurangzeb.
Aurangzeb was one example of how the Muslim
religion shaped people’s actions for the bad.
Aurangzeb’s had such a strong but very strict Muslim
faith that he stopped tolerating other religions. He
persecute some non-Muslims, destroyed temples and
overall caused chaos and war break outs everywhere.