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Jessica Bartman
History G161
TTH 225
April 3, 2012
Muslims: The Beginning
In every civilization there is religion, a basic center to each group of people with whom
they live their lives, abiding to the rules of their government and their religion. Religion can be
described as a belief in something more, a never-ending hunt for the reason of life and for many
a deeper meaning of human existence. Before the rise of Islamic people there were the Arabs.
The Arabs were polytheistic meaning they believed in many Gods. Arabs had a communal faith
that everyone was involved with; they had no priesthood, and believed in sprits residing in
objects like a tree, or a rock. During the 5th and 6th century with the rise of trade, life for the
Arabs changed drastically. With the development of new trade routes, the rise of Christianity
and Judaism brought about a new religion. It is with this new religion that Muhammad begins
the development of the Muslims, and the Quran.
With every religion there is a leader and for the Muslims, that was Muhammad.
Orphaned by the age of six, Muhammads spiritual visions unified the Arab world. Troubled by
everyones values Muhammad went into the hills to meditate, it is on these hills where his world
changed. Muhammad was encountered by the angel Gabriel who commanded him to preach
the revelations that he would be given. (Duiker and Spielvogel, p.158) It is with this meeting
that began Muhammads quest. Muhammad set out to preach his revelations to the people of
Mecca. To his great displeasure the people of Mecca were convinced he was crazy, in fact after
three years Muhammad only had thirty followers. He then traveled to Medina where he formed

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the first Muslim community, the Umma. Muhammad didnt just develop a new religion; he
created a new way of life.
Just like Christians, Muslims were a people of the book, the great Quran. The Quran is
a book recording Muhammads revelations, it is the heart of Islam. With 114 chapters it was the
basic concept by which followers were to live, the Quran is not only the sacred book of Islam
but also an ethical guidebook and a code of law and political theory combined. (Duiker and
Spielvogel, p. 161) Within this book is the basic ethical code of the Muslims, the Five Pillars of
Islam. The Five Pillars of Islam laid out the basics for Muslims, for example the belief in Allah
and Mohammad as his prophets, everyone must pray five times a day, a public prayer must be
done every Friday, observing the holy month Ramadan, which includes fasting from dawn to
sunset, every person must go to Mecca once in their life and lastly every person should give alms
to the poor. All those who obeyed the laws were guaranteed a place in a never ending paradise.
In conclusion, Muhammad was able to overcome the hypocrisy of the government, and
with the help of the angel Gabriel, he developed the Muslims, and a book of revelations, the
Quran. In my opinion religion is the foundation for every civilization. It provides hope and
meaning to individuals, and provides a sense of morals. It is surprising that even with the severe
torture and murders of faithful Christians and Muslims, these religions rose quickly with
increasing popularity, perhaps its these punishments that strengthen the faith and devotion of
individuals all around the world.