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The Rise of Islam
In the year 570 CE, in the city of Mecca, in what is today Saudi Arabia, the man Mohammed was born. He would become the founder of Islam, a mighty monotheistic religion that has over a billion-and-a-half adherents, a religion that would exert a great influence on civilization and the history of humanity in general.( Jewishhistory, 2011)
Islam originated in the north-west of the Arabian Peninsula in the first quarter of the VII century. Prior to Islam, the bulk of the inhabitants of Arabia worshiped pagan gods, their shrines to perform the pilgrimage, they offered sacrifices. Single pantheon among the Arabs did not happen, but some deity worshiped throughout Arabia; the presiding deity ar-Rahman ("gracious") or Allah (al-ilah, "deity") gradually acquired the features of the One God. Many Arabian tribes were familiar with Christianity, and some professed it in the form of Monophysitism and Nestorianism. Jews - immigrants from the Roman Empire - brought to Arabia their faith called Judaism.
In the year 610 in Mecca, where the most famous in the northern Arabian pagan sanctuary - the Kaaba was settled, a merchant named Muhammad delivered a sermon of faith in God. The exact date of the birth of Muhammad is not known. The "Life of the Messenger of Allah" (IX c.) argues that the Prophet was born on Monday, the 12th day of the lunar month of Rabi al-auvval in the Year of the Elephant. So the Arabs called the year unsuccessful campaign for governor of Mecca Ethiopian king Abraha, who ruled Yemen (the state in southwestern Arabia). Researchers attribute the campaign Abraha to 570 this year is considered the year of birth of the Prophet.
A significant changes occurred with twenty-five year old Muhammad - he became a husband of a rich widow Khadija, who invited the young man to go to Syria with her caravan, promising a board of four young camels. The opinion that Khadija was much older than Muhammad and he married on the calculation, is hardly fair. From a previous marriage, Khadija had a son, Mohammed, she gave birth to six children as well. Their union was happy until the death of Khadija, and she remained his only wife.
In adulthood, Muhammad had a tendency to contemplation and spiritual search. Muhammad loved to retire in the surrounding mountains and was often absent for several days. In one of these periods, about 610, in a cave on Mount Hira Muhammad flooded a vision: he was a "spirit", he was holding a book, wrapped in brocade bedspread. In the "Life of the Prophet" provides a vivid emotional story about Muhammad as the "spirit" ordered him to read, but he refused, saying that illiterate. Finally, funky, Muhammad read after the "spirit": "Read in the name of your Lord who created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord Generous, who taught Kalam, taught man what he did not know". When he awoke, Muhammad left the cave and when he reached the middle of the mountain, he heard a voice from heaven, "O Muhammad, you are the Messenger of Allah, and I am Gabriel".
So, according to the legend, the prophetic ministry of Muhammad began, which lasted for almost 23 years until the death of the Prophet. The exact date of that memorable night is not known, but it is traditionally celebrated as the Night of Power or Night of deciding the fate of (Laylat al-Qadr) 27 of the month of Ramadan.
After the first long vision Muhammad had received no revelation that made him suffer and doubt his calling. Two years later, the message will appear again. The first faith preached by Muhammad, took his wife's cousin Ali and several other relatives and friends. Despite the fact that the number of followers of Muhammad grew slowly, the tip of the Quraysh began to worry persistent calls do not worship other gods besides Allah, that threatened the cult of the Kaaba.
Some Attempts to persuasion and threats to force Muhammad to abandon sermons were not successful. Then the Quraysh decided to impose a ban on all trade, business, military and personal ties with the family of Hashim, which doomed to poverty not only companions of Muhammad, but the whole race. In 615, a group of Muslims were forced to emigrate to Ethiopia, where they were granted asylum Negus (ruler) - Christian.
The year 619 came with heavy losses and mental agony. Two closest people - Abu Talib and Khadija passed away almost simultaneously. Becoming a head of the clan, Abu Lahab refused Muhammad's protection. Muhammad continued to preach faith in God, but decided to leave Mecca. Trying to move to a nearby oasis of Taif and to get support ended in failure there. Once, during a pilgrimage Muhammad heard the Arabs who came from Yathrib. They thought that with the help of Muhammad they can defuse tensions tribes inhabiting the large agricultural oasis. While living in an oasis of Arab tribes Aws and Khazraj and several Jewish tribes were stored independently. A constant struggle took place between Arab tribes, which involves both the Jewish tribes. By the 20 th year of VII century a situation, where the reconciliation without the intervention of an external force was no longer possible - the arbitrator was required for the trial of disputes and the establishment of peaceful relations.
After negotiations, the tribe of Yasribints pledged to Muhammad and his companions, the right to live in their city in a special community and promised to protect them. Muhammad, in turn, was bound to be a fair judge and ruler. So he gets the right authoritative arbiter - hakama enjoyed great respect in pre-Islamic Arabia and, to some extent, the head of the tribe - Sayid, Sayid was recognized as Muhajirs (ie, those who migrated to Yathrib with Muhammad). Moving Muhammad from Mecca to Yathrib (later Madinat al-Nabi (the city of the Prophet), or simply Medina) called Hijra ("move").
Hijra is the first absolutely certain event in the history of Islam. The Muslim era begins with its start, conducted chronology of the lunar calendar.
Before this, the persecution of Muslims in Mecca had increased. Muhammad narrowly escaped death. Quraysh in the House of Assembly (in two en-gift) prepared a plan to attempt and tried to implement it, but on a bed with a green cloak of the Prophet Muhammad, Mohammad was not found, but Ali was under the cloak.
First, Muslims were leaving in small groups. The Prophet himself, had left for a while his daughter Fatima and one of his wives in Mecca, secretly left the town with Abu Bakr. According to the legend, fleeing from his pursuers, Muhammad and Abu Bakr did not go first to the north and to the south, in the direction of Yemen, and were hiding in a cave for three days, the entrance to which had been weaved with web of a giant spider. Then they entered in Mecca in the 8th month of Rabi al-auvvala (24 September 622).
The principal value of the Hijra is that there was a gap of blood ties, the Muslim community has gone beyond one tribe, created a new system of relations based on the unity of faith, and with it the preconditions for the formation of the state.
An addition of the Muslim community in Medina went on simultaneously with the fierce struggle between the Medin’s and the Mecca’s aristocracy. The first great battle took place after several collisions in the 624 at the town of Badr amd was the first great battle, which ended in victory for the Muslims. Muhammad, in addition to its previous functions as sayid and hakama, assumed the duties of Commander (aqidah). An enormous power was concentrated in his hands that had been distributed between many individuals and groups of the ruling elite before.
Meanwhile, the Meccans were preparing to avenge the defeat at Badr. In March 21 (625) a large army of Abu Sufyan and his wife accompanied the soldiers and widows of Badr was located near the Mediny at Mount Uhud. Medinites were caught off guard. Muhammad and experienced soldiers at the military council did not offer to enter into an open battle to lure the enemy on the narrow streets of the city, after burying women and children. However, their opinion was not accepted. Fierce and bloody battle ended with the victory of the Meccans, Muhammad's supporters left the battlefield, taking the wounded Prophet with them.
In 627, a large force of Meccans approached Medina one more time. This time Medinites did not dare to fight and began to prepare for defense. The three sides of the city was well protected, but the north was completely open. Persian Salman al-Farisi suggested digging around this part of the city with a moat. Arabs did not know about this method of defense before, but immediately appreciated his merits. All residents took part in the works, and the moat was ready after 6 days of hard work.
When the Meccans approached the city, they were amazed with previously unseen obstacle that they could not overcome. Meccans were forced to retreat. The outcome of the "battle of the Trench" had put an end to the armed struggle of Mecca and Medina.
The early advance of Islam went hand in hand with military expansion - whether it was the motivation for it is difficult to tell, although one recent book suggests that Islam certainly facilitated the growth of Muslim power. (BBC, 2009)
Prophet began to seek recognition for the rights of Muslims to worship the Kaaba as the "House of Allah" in order to get an approval of Islam as the dominant religion The tradition of worship the Kaaba, coming from the depths of centuries of ancestors to the memory of their fathers and grandfathers, was firmly linked to the way of life of the Arabs and the warehouse of their thinking. Muhammad saw that his attacks on the idolaters did not cause any damage to the authority of the ancient sanctuary. Even in the Meccan period, Muhammad called Allah "Mr. Kaaba," and the faithful - "the people of the Kaaba." The Kaaba is already mentioned as "House of God" in Medina revelations, which was built by Adam and rebuilt by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham Bible) and his son Ismail. Muhammad saw his mission in returning to the forgotten and trampled the faith of Abraham, in the revival of the proper ritual worship the Kaaba. Upon arrival in Medina, Muhammad first determine the direction of prayer (qibla) to Jerusalem, and changed it to Mecca in 16 or 17 months, recognizing the intrinsic sanctity of the Kaaba and pointing to the ultimate goal of the struggle - victory over unbelief.
In 628, having collected a caravan of more than a thousand people, taking 70 of sacrificial camels, Muhammad marched towards Mecca. The aim of the company was so impressive pilgrimage (Hajj) to the Kaaba, as Muhammad in Medina had announced yet, and in order to confirm their intentions, dressed in a white robe pilgrim (ihram). The Meccans expressed determination to prevent the Prophet to the sanctuary, but Muhammad did not put away - he had been ready to use force and even demanded that all pilgrims took an oath to die for their faith. After a long and difficult negotiations, the Meccans agreed to conclude a treaty with Muhammad as his equal, although the Messenger of Allah did not recognize him.
The agreement was signed at the watering Hudaybiya: peace was concluded for ten years, during which time stops and enmity is neither robbery nor wiles; the following year a three days pilgrimage was allowed to Muhammad and his companions but without military weapons, only with a sword in its sheath.
Fulfilling the conditions of the contract, Muhammad gathered about two thousand Muslims and join them Bedouin Gentiles in 629, and came to Mecca. Residents of the city from a distance watched the pilgrimage rituals are performed and the like respect for Muhammad, who unquestioningly obeyed thousands of people.
In January of 630, a preparations for a new military campaign to Mecca begins in Medina. During negotiations with the inhabitants of Mecca, Muhammad guaranteed immunity to all who will not put up any resistance. On the 12th of January, troops of the Prophet entered Mecca almost without a loss; half a dozen of the Meccans were killed, and the rest took refuge in the homes. Several people declared enemies of the community and personally Muhammad, were later executed.
Subsequent events are described by Arab historians and biographers of the Prophet Muhammad, accompanied by Abu Bakr traveled mule through the city to the Kaaba to worship and give her honor, as instructed tradition. Without getting off the mule, the Prophet made a seven-time tour of the Kaaba and only then dismounted. After two prostrations Kaaba, drank water from Zamzam and gave an order to destroy the idols. All idols standing around the Kaaba, and inside it, were cast; painting, except for the image of the Virgin Mary with Child, erased. Prayed silently in the cleansing of the temple, Muhammad delivered a speech in which he declared that the merciful God nothing blames the Meccans and forgives them (K 12:92). Quraysh retained the prerogative to protect the Kaaba and provide pilgrims with water.
In 632, there was the "farewell pilgrimage" of Muhammad in Mecca. The Prophet himself led a caravan of pilgrims for the first time heading for the "Big Hajj" month of Dhu al-Hijjah; he took all his wives and 100 camels with him. At this time, after the seven-time bypass the Kaaba and ritual running between the hills of Safa and al-Marwa al-by drinking water from the well of Zamzam, covering the Kaaba cover (kiswa), Muhammad visited the valley of Mina and Arafat, where he completed the rites stoning of Satan and brought in a sacrificed 36 camels. Shaved his head in completing the pilgrimage, Muhammad left Mecca, as you'll discover, forever. Their main hajj rites determined by the Prophet, became mandatory for all Muslims who are able to perform one of the most important precepts of Islam.
Shortly after returning to Medina, Muhammad fell ill suddenly ceased to lead the prayer, entrusting it to Abu Bakr. Prophet spent the last five days of his life in the chambers of his beloved wife Aisha, leaving only once to participate in common prayer. On the 12th of Rabi al-auvvala 632, Muhammad died and was buried in the place where his deathbed was placed. Muslims who commit Hajj to Mecca, usually visit the grave of the Prophet in Medina.
Immediately after the Prophet's death in 632, Abu Bakr, as the first Caliph, continued the effort to abolish paganism among the Arab tribes, and also to incorporate Arabia into a region controlled by the political power of Medina. United by their faith in God and a commitment to political consolidation, the merchant elite of Arabia succeeded in consolidating their power throughout the Arabian peninsula and began to launch some exploratory offensives north toward Syria. (History World, 2002)
The period of the Muslim community ended with the death of the Prophet, when it ruled, according to believers, divine providence. Muhammad was a link between humanity and God. Now the connection was lost; had to live by the Qur'an and the example of the Prophet. After a brief dispute Emigrants chosen caliph ("Deputy of the Prophet"). The first four successor to Muhammad, which is called "righteous" - Abu Bakr (632-634), Omar (634-644), Osman (644-656), Ali (656-661) - continued the spread of Islam not only among Arabs but also outside Arabia.
In the 20th century, Islam reemerged on the world stage as a major political and economic presence. Despite great changes in traditional societies as well as the demands of the contemporary age, Islam has demonstrated its unique adaptability and grown as a dynamic and universal religion with a continued impact on world affairs. (Saudiembassy)
BBC UK. (2014). BBC - Religions - Islam: Early rise of Islam (632-700). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/history/earlyrise_1.shtml
History-world.org. (2002). Islam, The Spread Of Islam. Retrieved from http://history-world.org/islam4.htm
Jewishhistory.org. (n.d.). The Rise of Islam. Retrieved from http://www.jewishhistory.org/the-rise-of-islam/
Saudi Embassy official website. (n.d.). The Rise Of Islam. Retrieved from http://www.saudiembassy.net/about/country-information/Islam/the_rise_of_Islam.aspx
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