What is Islam? Islam: origin, history
In a complex political, ethnic and religious situation on the outskirts of the Greco-Roman civilization, a new religion was born - Islam. The emergence of Islam was a kind of catalyst, thanks to which the rich culture of the Eastern world penetrated into European society. Muslims live in 120 countries in Africa and Asia. The shrines of Arabia and the way of life of citizens eloquently show that Islam is for one billion of its followers.
One of the most authoritative sources of religious knowledge, the Bible, testifies to how a tribe appeared in world history whose spirit has become Islam. The emergence of a new ethnocultural phenomenon directly goes back to the ancient forefather Abraham.
The story tells about how God appeared to him in the image of the Three Angels near the oak forest of Mamre in Palestine. Heavenly messengers reported on his special mission. Abraham was to preserve and pass on to descendants true religious knowledge.In addition, it was promised that a great nation would come from him. The patriarch at the time was eighty-six years old, his wife Sarah was ten years younger.
Doubting that Sarah is old and capable of childbearing, and fearing not to fulfill God's command, Abraham produced a son from Hagar's concubine. In ancient times it was a very common occurrence. The child born of the maidservant was called Ishmael, which in ancient Aramaic meant "God hear." Only fourteen years later did Abraham and Sarah have a common child. They called him Isaac.
Etnarch Islamic civilization
As Isaac grew older, Sarah noticed that the elder Ishmael began to oppress him. Following her insistence, Abraham drove Hagar and his son into the desert near Beersheba. When a woman with a child ran out of water, and inevitable death threatened them, an angel appeared and indicated the source of life-giving moisture. The angel predicted to Hagar that her son would become the progenitor of a great and numerous people.
Further, the Bible tells that Ishmael matured and became a skilled archer. Its habitat was the territory between Palestine and the Sinai Mountains.The Iudean historian of the 1st century AD Josephus testifies that the lands from the Euphrates to the Red Sea were inhabited by tribes - descendants of Ishmael.
Due to the ethnic origin of the carriers of the direction we are considering from Abraham, as well as the foundation of ideology based on the mystical traditions of the beliefs of the ancient Patriarch, Islam is the Abrahamic religion.
In the Middle Ages, Islam was the cause of many civilization wars. The history of Christian liturgical texts indicates a consistent tradition of naming Muslims as Ishmaelites or Hagarians.
Hajar and Ismail
The familiar European tradition of biblical names in Islam have a different pronunciation. Hagar in the Arabic language culture is called Hajjar, Abraham - Ibrahim, and Ishmael - Ismail. In accordance with the religious traditions of Islam, Allah commanded Ibrahim to take Hadjar and Ismail to a waterless desert in the area of modern Mecca. From Palestine to Mecca - more than two thousand kilometers. The source of Zamzam, who saved the mother and child from death, scored at the feet of the lad. Hajjar and Ismail still live in this oasis. After some time, the South Arabian tribe of jurhumites settled in this area with the permission of the grown-up exile.By marrying one of their girls, Ismail produced 12 children, thus becoming the ancestor of Arab tribes.
Mecca and the Black Kaaba Stone
In the Saudi city of Mecca is the most important shrine of the Muslims. In the courtyard of the Sacred Mosque there is a 15-meter-high cubic stone building. This construction is called Kaaba, which translated from Arabic means “square house”. At the corner on the east side of the structure there is a black stone in a silver frame about thirty centimeters in size.
The history of Islam tells about how Allah presented a priest to Adam after he repented of the fall. Over time, the stone from the sins of men turned black. In accordance with another version, this mineral is the guardian angel of Adam, thus punished for having let the soul of the first man entrusted to him fall.
Who built the Kaaba. Islam is a religion with ancient traditions
Adam sent religious rites on the sacred stone. The first Kaaba was built by his son Sif. According to the history of Islam, the waters of the Flood destroyed it, and the location was lost.The shrine was restored by Ibrahim himself at the command of Allah.
At the beginning of the third century AD, Mecca became the main focus of business, political and religious life of the Arab tribes. All the ancient tribes living here as a divine symbol, sent down from above, worshiped the Black Kaaba Stone. A reverent attitude to the shrine was the reason that the whole area is declared a protected area - here you can neither insult, nor kill, nor sin in any other way. A sanctuary arose around the Kaaba, in which there were about four hundred images of pagan deities. Some naturalists believe that this mineral is a meteorite.
Where did Quraysh come from
The history of this ancient tribe is directly related to Islam. Over the centuries, all Arabian tribes made pilgrimages to the pantheon of Mecca at least once a year. The central deity of the Kaaba sanctuary was Hubal - the main patron of the Quraysh tribe, also the god of night and day, the god of war.
Representatives of this tribe descend from the great-grandson of Ismail Quraysh, who gave the name to the whole clan. Nomad tribes of Quraysh in the V century become the guardians of the Kaaba. They carry out the fourth reconstruction in the history of this shrine.The Quraysh, owning the Kaaba, did not hinder the establishment by other tribes of their idols in the sanctuary, thus strengthening its spiritual significance for the Arabs and at the same time its authority.
What happened in the year 605
The cause of the reconstruction of the Kaaba was the mudflow, which damaged the shrine. The four tribes of Quraysh were given the obligation to carry out repairs. The future prophet Muhammad also participated in the construction. After the walls were erected, the question arose of who should be given the honor of hoisting the Black Stone to the place of honor assigned to it. When the dispute was already close to a war between tribes, one of the elders offered to give this honor to the first person who entered the temple.
He was Mohammed. The future prophet made a truly Solomonic decision. He put the sacred stone on a piece of cloth and called the elders of the four tribes to bring it into the sanctuary, then he set it on his own place.
Years later, when the Prophet Mohammed and his followers seized Mecca, entering the pantheon, he threw out of the Kaaba all the pagan idols and touched the Black Stone reverently.
Religious life of southern Arabia in the IV - V centuries
The religion of Islam originated in difficult conditions. Theologians, ethnographers, and archaeologists agree that this trend is a synergy of the mystical views of various ethnic groups in southern Arabia, including paganism, Judaism, Christianity and Hanifism.
In those days, in the depths of the Arabian Peninsula, there lived god-fearing people who worshiped the one God. These prophets were called preachers Hanifs. Some tribes also professed the cult of worship of the one God Rahman. This phenomenon is called "Yemen monotheism."
Judaism penetrated Arabia under King Jusuf Nuwas, who elevated him to the rank of state ideology. Byzantine merchants and ambassadors contributed to the preaching of Christianity among the Arabians. It is known that part of the Yemen tribal nobility was baptized. Representatives of a very large Ethiopian Christian colony lived in Mecca. During the struggle of the Christian church with heretics, Nestorians and Monophysites, a significant part of the adherents of these teachings also found shelter in the sands of southern Arabia. All this diversity of religious beliefs could not but influence the worldview of the Arabs.
Mohammed is a direct descendant of Ishmael in 46 generations.It is not possible to establish the exact date of birth of the prophet. It usually refers to year 570 or a year later. He was born quite a painful child. At the age of six he was left without a mother and was raised by his uncle Abu Talib. At 21, he became a clerk for a rich merchant Khadija. Some sources report that this woman was the wife of his uncle. One way or another, it was through trips to the business world that Muhammad was removed to see the civilized world and learn about many religions and beliefs.
On one such trip, a Nestorian monk predicted a great future for him. In 25 years, Mohammed marries his mistress, who was 15 years older than him. When he begins his prophetic ministry, the wisdom of Khadija will play a significant role in spreading the preaching of the new doctrine. The well-known opinion that Muhammad did not know how to write was highly doubtful. How would he then keep a record of the goods when he was engaged in trade? However, many of the details of his life - this is a taboo subject. Islam carefully guards the indomitable and holiness of the image of the prophet.
Night of predestination
At the age of forty, Muhammad felt the need for a solitary life.Ascetic feats began his prophetic mission. Three and a half kilometers from Mecca, on the slope of Mount Jabal Al-Nur, he found a secluded place. In a small cave, he spent many times in prayers. Replenished with Khadija stocks of food and water, and again returned to the cave. Mohammed began to dream of prophetic dreams.
In 610, on the night of the 27th month of Ramadan, the prophet Muhammad discovered the first prophecy from the Archangel Gabriel (Jabrail), sent by Allah. The Archangel recited the first five chapters of the Quran. Muhammad began to preach revelations, first in the circle of his relatives, who accepted the confession of obedience to the one God, that is, Islam. The emergence of a new religious community was due to the wife of the Prophet Khadija and eight others, among whom were the future Caliphs Abu Bark, Usman and Ali. For three years, Muhammad managed to rally only forty followers.
In 613, the prophet gave an open sermon. What is Islam, he tries to explain with appeals of a moral nature. Some of Muhammad’s supporters recorded his speeches on parchment and papyrus. This was the beginning of the compilation of the main book of the Islamic religion - the Koran. Mohammed himself is not the founder of religion, he is the last in a series of prophets.
The lunar calendar is the basis according to which Islam is used in chronology. The emergence of Islam as a religious doctrine is considered not from the year of birth of the prophet or the first day of the revelation of heavenly knowledge, but from a single event in his earthly life. Quraysh, dissatisfied with the preaching of a new religion, set out to kill Muhammad. Warned by associates, he fled with his followers to Medina. Hijra is a key event in Islam. The year 622 - the time of the relocation of the Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Medina - laid the foundation for the Muslim calendar.
How Islam Was Affirmed: the History of the Conquest of Arabia
At the new site, the first community of Muslims experienced a shortage of food and livelihoods. The situation was aggravated by a quarrel between Muhammad and the Jewish communities. The Jews understood what Islam is and how the new religion threatens their way of life. In this critical situation, in order not to die of hunger, the prophet calls on his supporters to rob passing caravans. In those primitive times, it was considered a common occupation among Arabian tribes. True, the followers of Mohammed had to break the taboo - to rob in the forbidden months. The Prophet explained this by oppressing the servants of Allah even worse than fighting on the forbidden days.
Such activities aroused the anger of the representatives of the Quraysh tribes, who were already very aggressive in their attitude towards Islam and its ideologue Muhammad. Nomads made war against the Muslims. After several battles with varying success, the prophet was able to assemble an impressive army of the Aus and Khazraj tribes and create a theocratic proto-state formation.
Sign of the prophet
Having seized the initiative from Quraysh, the Muslim army approached Mecca. The city was threatened with inevitable ruin, and the inhabitants - destruction. The elders and Mohammed agreed that the townspeople would surrender, and the Muslims would freely occupy the settlement. Thus, bloodshed was avoided. The Prophet Mohammed solemnly entered Mecca.
A few days later he ordered all the people to adopt a new faith. Then he was asked to explain what Islam is and to show the sign of the prophet. Indeed, since ancient times, facts are known when, as a sign of the proof of their being chosen from above, the messengers of God performed miracles. In response to this, Mohammed drew his sword and, exclaiming, “This is the sign of the prophet,” took the lives of his opponents. Cruel? Probably.However, it was from that moment on that the sword was a kind of symbol of this faith, due to which the consensus was formed that Islam is a religion of war.