You are on page 1of 16

ISLAM, a major world religion, founded in Arabia and based on the teachings of Muhammad, who is called the Prophet

. The Arabic word islam literally means "to surrender," but as a religious term in the Koran, it means "to surrender to the will or law of God." ne who practices !slam is a Muslim. According to the Koran, !slam is the primordial and uni"ersal religion, and e"en nature itself is Muslim, because it automatically obeys the laws God has ingrained in it. #or human beings, who possess free will, practicing !slam does not in"ol"e automatically obeying but rather freely accepting God$s commandments. A Muslim is a follower of the re"elation %the Koran& brought by Muhammad and thus is a member of the !slamic community. 'ecause the name Muslim is gi"en in the Koran itself to the followers of Muhammad %Koran (()*+&, Muslims resent being called Muhammadans, which implies a personal cult of Muhammad, forbidden in !slam. They also object to the spelling Moslem as a distortion of Muslim. Although e,act statistics are not a"ailable, the Muslim world population is estimated at more than - billion. !slam has flourished in di"erse climatic, cultural, and ethnic regions. !t has begun to grow rapidly in the ../. The major groups comprising the world community of !slam include the Arabs %0orth Africa and the Middle 1ast&2 sub3/aharan Africans %from /enegal to /omalia&2 Tur4s and Tur4ic peoples %Tur4ey and 5entral Asia&2 !ranians2 Afghans2 the !ndo3Muslims %Pa4istan, !ndia, and 'angladesh&2 /outheast Asians %Malaysia, !ndonesia, and the Philippines&2 and a small percentage of 5hinese. !n 1urope, !slam is the second largest religion after 5hristianity. !/6AM!5 7 5T8!01 The two fundamental sources of !slamic doctrine and practice are the Koran and the /unna, or the e,emplary conduct of the Prophet Muhammad. The Koran Muslims regard the Koran as the speech of God to Muhammad, mediated by Gabriel, the angel of re"elation2 they belie"e that God himself, not Muhammad, is the author and therefore that the Koran is infallible. The document called the Koran is the collection of the passages re"ealed to Muhammad during the appro,imately (( years of his prophetic life %9-:;<(&. !t is di"ided into --= chapters of une>ual length, the shortest containing only < short "erses, the longest containing <:9 long "erses. 'oth !slamic and non3!slamic scholars agree on the essential integrity of the te,t of the Koran throughout its history. The /unna The second substanti"e source of !slam, the /unna, or e,ample of the Prophet, is 4nown through ?adith, the body of traditions based on what the Prophet said or did regarding "arious issues. .nli4e the Koran, which was memori@edAeither in whole or in partAby many followers of Muhammad during their lifetime and which was compiled in written form >uite early, the transmission of ?adith was largely "erbal, and the present authoritati"e collections date from the Bth century.

!n the early !slamic period. is a source secondary to the Koran. 'y doing so. is the primary sign and proof of God and his unity. are found in nature. who created the uni"erse out of sheer mercy. it was conceded that error could enter into the human transmission. they will de"elop the inner moral >uality that the Koran calls ta>wa %usually translated "fear of God." that is. has demonstrated that much of ?adith was not deri"ed from the Prophet but represents the opinions of the early generations of Muslims. All nature has been made subser"ient to humanity.. ?adith. whether or not the Prophet himself was infallible %apart from the re"elations in the Koran& was a point of contro"ersy. is bound to sustain it as well. The Koran insists. God presides o"er and go"erns the uni"erse. which.tension of God$s di"inity to any person is emphatically rejected. ?adith is not considered infallible. narrow3minded. that indi"iduals transcend their pettiness and enlarge themsel"es. not yet accepted by the large body of Muslims." says the Koran. 8ecent research. This. The result is a well3ordered. for God promises prosperity in return for generosity to the poor. 'elief in a plurality of gods or in the e. and others&. so that it follows a characteristic pattern. or ruptures. According to !slam. 'ecause ?adith was mainly transmitted orally. turn to God. a cosmos in which e"erything has its proper place and limitations. 0o gaps. he panics. to worship him alone and to construct an ethical social order free from "corruptions. but additions to it were later made by Muslims who wanted to ad"ance certain theological or legal opinions." 1thics The Koran declares that "reforming the earth" is the ideal of human endea"or. opinions that were subse>uently attributed to the Prophet. harmonious whole.ploit it and benefit from it. or laws go"erning its conduct. God has four fundamental functions with respect to the uni"erse and to humanity in particular) creation. but although the Koran accepts the miracles of earlier prophets %0oah. !n some cases a genuine statement of the Prophet was preser"ed. 'y this . 6ater. 'ecause of their shortsightedness. and selfish. The basic criticism of humanity in the Koran is that it is too proud and too petty. with its orderly functioning. is to be in the "ser"ice of God. Moses. it declares them outdated2 Muhammad$s miracle is the Koran. is /atan$s influence. God pro"ided each element of his creation with its own proper nature. Abraham. howe"er. the li4e of which no human can produce. although it is almost e>ually fundamental for most Muslims. people fear that charity and sacrificing for others will result in their own impo"erishment." This pettiness causes indi"iduals to become so submerged in nature that they lose sight of its 5reatorAonly when nature fails them do they. God Monotheism is central to !slamAa belief in only one God. Desus.nli4e the Koran. in their utter frustration. "Man is by nature timid. but when good things come to him he pre"ents them from reaching others. howe"er. God. Ciolations of the natural order in the form of miracles occurred in the past. howe"er. therefore. "Ehen e"il befalls him. The ultimate purpose of humanity. therefore. God created nature through a primordial act of mercy2 otherwise there would be pure nothingness. howe"er. the consensus of the !slamic community was that both he and the earlier prophets were infallible. dislocations. therefore." but actually meaning "to guard against danger"&. unitary and omnipotent. guidance. which may e. sustenance. and judgment.

posed." 8eligions are. all humanity will be gathered. which is meted out in history to nations. the Koran describes Muhammad as the "/eal of all Prophets. God forga"e him his lapse %for this reason !slam does not accept the doctrine of original sin&. particularly in steadfastness under trial. therefore. The real worth of a person$s deeds can be judged only through ta>wa. Profession of #aith !n accordance with !slam$s absolute commitment to monotheism. can e"aluate their own actions properly. howe"er." or the e"il. Thus. Adam was the first prophet2 after his e. power. and guidance end with the final act of judgment. All prophets are human2 they ha"e no share in di"inity. This guidance is uni"ersal2 no one on earth has been left without it. unless they reform.emplars for humanity. may be corrupted by wealth. ften people thin4 they ha"e done something conse>uential. not the immediate pleasures or ambitions of the self. /ome prophets are superior to others. sustenance. and indi"iduals will be judged solely according to their deeds.pulsion from the Garden of 1den. these nations are punished by being destroyed or subjugated by more "irtuous nations. 'esides the 6ast Dudgment. 4nown as the "pillars of !slam. although God is merciful and will forgi"e those who deser"e forgi"eness. and an indi"idual$s aim should be the ultimate benefit of humanity. and one must belie"e in all of them. The 7ay of Dudgment The di"ine acti"ities of creation. and communities. basically one. The messages of all prophets emanate from the same di"ine source. After creation and sustenance.T! 0/ #i"e duties. and the "losers. God$s mercy is consummated in these acts of di"ine guidance.>uality humans can discern right from wrong and. which will be on indi"iduals." or "The Mother of All 7i"ine 'oo4s. n the 7ay of Dudgment. peoples. abo"e all. and." are regarded as cardinal in !slam and as central to the life of the !slamic community. Although right and wrong are inscribed in the human heart. but they are the most perfect e. but the deed has no importance in the long run. Prophets 'ecause of humanity$s moral wea4ness." "The ?idden 'oo4. will go to hell. The "successful ones" will go to the Garden %hea"en&. li4e indi"iduals. the Koran recogni@es another 4ind of di"ine judgment. P8A5T!51/ A07 !0/T!T. consummating and superseding all earlier ones. which in the Koran is called "The Preser"ed Tablets. the first duty is the profession of faith %the /hahadah&) "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet. e"en though their institutionali@ed forms may differ. 0ations. Prophets are one indi"isible unity. and pride. escaping self3deception." This profession must be made publicly by e"ery Muslim at least once in his or her lifetime "by the . for to accept some and reject others amounts to a denial of the di"ine truth. a danger to which they are always e." #rom this arises the !slamic belief that prophethood was consummated and finished with him and that the Koran is the final and most nearly perfect re"elation of God. the inability or refusal of many people to decipher that inscription has made prophetic guidance necessary. God has sent prophets to teach both indi"iduals and nations correct moral and spiritual beha"ior.

cube3shaped structure in the courtyard of al3?aram %the "in"iolate place"&. "call to prayer"&. but this would entail a complete re"ision of its rates and structure to conform with the needs of a modern state. !n most Muslim states @a4at is no longer collected by the go"ernment and instead has become a "oluntary charity. This was originally the ta. for some reason. a small. Muslim women pray at home. !n the Middle 1ast and !ndonesia. but it is still recogni@ed as an essential duty by all Muslims. there are special prayers followed by sermons in the morning. most Muslims meticulously obser"e fasting. and se. !n recent times the call has been made o"er a microphone so that those at some distance can hear it. de"otional prayers are not obligatory. primarily to help the poor. smo4ing. All fi"e prayers in !slam are congregational and are to be offered in a mos>ue. Throughout the month one must abstain . 1"en during hot summers. Prayer The second duty is that of fi"e daily prayers. nly when @a4at has been paid is the rest of a Muslim$s property considered purified and legitimate. 'ecause the !slamic calendar is lunar. although they pray in a separate room or hall. The first prayer is offered before sunrise. but they may be offered indi"idually if. also called the Khatib.tongue and with full assent from the heart"2 it defines the membership of an indi"idual in the !slamic community. according to the Koran commentators. n the two annual religious festi"al days called !ds %one immediately after the end of the fasting month of 8amadan and the other immediately after the pilgrimage to Mecca&.. or holy war&. and the fifth before retiring and before midnight. and finally a sitting posture. the fourth immediately after sunset. /pecial early afternoon prayers are offered on #ridays in congregational mos>ues. These are preceded by a sermon from the pulpit by the imam. but Muslims are encouraged to offer them after midnight2 they are called tahajjud %"night3"igil"&. drin4ing. !ndi"idual. Almsgi"ing The third cardinal duty of a Muslim is to pay @a4at. the great mos>ue of Mecca. the second in the "ery early afternoon.ual intercourse from dawn until sunset. which. the third in the late afternoon. !n a number of countries strong demands ha"e been made to reinstate it as a ta. !slamic festi"als are not confined to any one season. includes health and education2 and for facilitating tra"el and communications. !t was also used for winning con"erts to !slam2 for the ransom of war capti"es2 for the relief of people in chronic debt2 for jihad %the struggle for the cause of !slam. then a genuflection followed by two prostrations. the worshiper must ma4e ablutions. Muslims face the Kaaba. These prayers are not held in mos>ues but in a wide space outside set apart for this purpose. !n the !ndian subcontinent. #asting The fourth duty is the fast of the month of 8amadan. A single unit of prayer consists of a standing posture. women also join the congregational prayers. 'efore praying. !n prayers. one must refrain from eating. a formal public call to prayer is made from a minaret of the mos>ue by the mue@@in %from a@an. !n each of these postures prescribed prayers and portions of the Koran are recited. 'efore e"ery congregational prayer. a person cannot be present with a congregation. 7uring the fasting month. le"ied by Muhammad %and later by Muslim states& on the wealthy members of the community.

where daily prayers are offered. 7uring recent years. 'esides these fi"e basic institutions. The main constituents of this lengthy rite are se"en circumambulations of the Kaaba. !slamic thin4ers ha"e conse>uently offered "arious diagnoses of Muslim society and proposals for reform. howe"er. air tra"el has allowed Muslims from all parts of the world to perform the pilgrimage. !f one is sic4 or on a journey that causes hardship. ?eld during the first ten days of the last month of the lunar year. offering a sacrifice in a memory of Abraham$s attempted sacrifice of his son. other important laws of !slam include the prohibition of alcohol consumption and of eating the flesh of swine. and once again circumambulating the Kaaba. staying the afternoon and listening to a sermon there. and a"oid all forms of "ulgarity. the rite re>uires that the pilgrims enter into a state of purity in which they wear only a seamless white garment. then proceeding si. !ts mission is to "command good and prohibit e"il" and thus to reform the earth. The community must be moderate. miles to Arafat. then marching bac4 to Mecca. the central shrine of !slam.from all sinful thoughts and actions. 'esides the Kaaba. 1"ery adult Muslim who is physically and economically able to do so must ma4e this pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime. and economicAform an indi"isible unity that must be thoroughly imbued with !slamic "alues.tremes. the Kaaba has played an important role as a meeting place of !slamic scholars for the e. 1"en the cardinal religious duties prescribed in the fi"e pillars of !slam ha"e clear social implications. . but the 1uropean colonial domination of Muslim countries led to speculation that the community must ha"e erred and was being punished. This ideal informs such concepts as "!slamic law" and the "!slamic state" and accounts for !slam$s strong emphasis on social life and social duties. 7uring the Middle Ages. !slamic social philosophy is based on the belief that all spheres of lifeAspiritual. one need not fast but must compensate by fasting on subse>uent days. where #riday ser"ices are held. Those who can afford it must also feed at least one poor person. The 5ommunity of the #aithful The basis of !slamic society is the community of the faithful. although religious authorities ha"e had considerable political influence in some Muslim societies. #or the past two decades. and the cathedral mos>ue.change and diffusion of ideas. the most important centers of !slamic life are the mos>ue. and a"oid all e. imply clerical rule. wal4ing fast between two mounds near the sanctuary se"en times. abstain from shedding blood and cutting either hair or nails. Through the centuries. social. !n -B** the reported number was close to ( million. !n the (:th century. political. the pilgrimage has also been used to promote political solidarity in the Muslim world. Pilgrimage The fifth duty is the pilgrimage to the Kaaba at Mecca. !slamic religious authorities began to claim a degree of infallibility for the community. which is consolidated by the performance of the fi"e pillars of !slam." This does not. !/6AM A07 / 5!1TF The !slamic "iew of society is theocratic in the sense that the goal of all Muslims is "God$s rule on earth. marching three miles to Mina. howe"er.

#or the same reason. because !slamic law includes both legal and moral imperati"es. founded %-:9*& at 'aghdad by the !ranian statesman 0i@am al3Mul4 %-:-+. which is reached by gradually discarding some opinions and accepting others. 'ecause !slam has no official dogmatic authority. called the /haria.+<<& founded an academy at 'aghdad for the study of secular subjects and for the translation of Gree4 philosophical and scientific te. astronomy. taught religious law and other subjects. a renewed emphasis has been placed on the inno"ati"e thin4ing of ijtihad.ts. mathematics. 8ulers and wealthy patrons usually made funds a"ailable for indi"idual scholars. !n the Bth century the caliph al3Mamun %*+9. 'ecause of the profound changes in the Muslim world community during the last few decades. especially in Tur4ey and !ndia.1ducation The !slamic uni"ersity system contributed to the great cultural de"elopments of !slam. These officials formed an important political class. 6ater. >adis %judges&. The third source is called ijtihad %"responsible indi"idual opinion"&. founded %-(<=& at 'aghdad. the #atimid caliphs also established an academy for secular learning. this is an informal process that often re>uires a long period of time. howe"er. not all !slamic law can be stated as formal legal rules or enforced by the courts. /chools of law . The four sources !slamic law is based on four sources. and the natural sciences2 between the Bth and -<th centuries the !slamic community was the most producti"e ci"ili@ation in the world. Medie"al !slamic scholars made important contributions to the fields of philosophy. Much of it depends on conscience alone." The first two are the documentary sources. and other high religious officials were trained. or "roots of law. /uch reasoning was first employed when !slamic theologians and jurists in con>uered countries were confronted with the need to integrate local customs and laws with the Koran and /unna. muftis %interpreters of the law&. medicine. the Koran and the /unna. the ulama ha"e lost much of their former influence. The fourth source is the consensus %ijma& of the community. still the most important center for !slamic learning. !n the -:th century. the 0i@amiya.B(&. Among other famous !slamic uni"ersities. howe"er. where they had much influence o"er state policies. where the ulama %religious scholars&. al3A@har. at 5airo. !slamic 6aw !slamic law. The uni"ersities were founded as institutions of religious learning. !n many (:th3century Muslim countries. !slamic authorities considered this original thin4ing a threat to the Koran and /unna and laid down strict rules limiting its use. the term law has a wider significance than it does in the modern secular Eest. !t has been used when an issue is not co"ered by passages in the Koran or /unna2 a jurist may then resol"e the issue by using analogical reasoning %>iyas&. theology. spells out the moral goals of the community. and !slamic tradition and had on its staff the famous philosopher al3Gha@ali2 the Mustansiriya. especially among Eestern3educated Muslims who do not wish a strictly religious code of go"ernment2 in Tur4ey the ulama ha"e been stripped of legal power altogether. !n !slamic society. therefore. or ?adith. taught law.

the rest of the world. the Arabian Peninsula was inhabited by nomadic 'edouins engaged in herding and brigandage. The Koran stresses filial piety and "lo"e and mercy" between husband and wife. usually translated "holy war. those powers with whom Muslims ha"e peace agreements2 and the ?ouse of Ear.tent in 1gypt. /e. but each school recogni@es the conclusions of the others as being perfectly legitimate and within the framewor4 of orthodo. and Palestine2 the Mali4i in 0orth Africa2 the /hafi$i in /outheast Asia2 and the ?anbali in /audi Arabia. They differ primarily in their emphasis on te. According to classical !slamic law. and to some e. The Koran appro"es polygamy. "e. but the assumption of political power in order to implement the principles of !slam through public institutions. Dordan.#i"e schools of law de"eloped in !slam. although neither Dudaism nor 5hristianity . allowing as many as four wi"es. four /unnite and one /hiite. The Koran repeatedly emphasi@es the 4ind treatment of women and grants to wi"es the right of di"orce in case of maltreatment. although only half of that allotted to boys. or at least a belief in a supreme deity.penditure. jihad came to be interpreted more in defensi"e than in offensi"e terms.isted. "if you fear you cannot do justice among co3wi"es.ual fidelity is sternly demanded. !slam." which may include the use of armed force if necessary. the ?anafi. The /hiite school %called the Dafari& pre"ails in !ran. an old tradition of monotheism. howe"er. then marry only one wife. formerly pre"alent among certain tribes. G*:. !n the (:th century the concept of jihad inspired Muslims in their struggle against Eestern colonialism. the Mali4i. The four /unnite schools emerged in the first two centuries of !slam) the /hafi$i. Dewish and 5hristian communities probably contributed to a growing recepti"ity to monotheistic doctrines. and pro"en adultery is punishable by -:: lashes. 0onetheless. Men and women are declared e>ual. the world was di"ided into three @ones) the ?ouse of !slam.tual authority or analogical reasoning. Gradually." The abuse of polygamy and of the husband$s right in traditional !slam to repudiate his wife. Tur4ey. is not territorial e. 1ach school tends to predominate in certain areas) the ?anafi in the !ndian subcontinent. Dihad The term jihad. where Muslims are ascendant2 the ?ouse of Peace. The prescribed purpose of jihad. The concept of jihad was ne"ertheless used by some medie"al Muslim rulers to justify wars moti"ated by purely political ambitions. !ra>.9<(&. All use systematic reasoning to deal with areas of law not co"ered by the Koran or /unna. /yria.pansion or the forcible con"ersion of people to !slam. and by city3dwelling Arabs engaged in trade. The infanticide of girls. e"en when her conduct is faultless. The #amily The early !slamic community aimed at strengthening the family at the e. has recently led to the enactment of reformed family laws in most Muslim countries. The religion of the Arabs was polytheistic and idolatrous.pense of old tribal loyalties. and the ?anbali. is forbidden2 daughters are gi"en a share of inheritances. ?!/T 8F !n Muhammad$s time %c. The Koran ad"ocates measures that were intended to impro"e the condition of women." designates the struggle toward the !slamic goal of "reforming the earth.cept that men are a degree higher" because they are charged with the household e. but also states. e. although it was not able to suppress the latter. 5entral Asia. howe"er.

Muhammad. After four years he had con"erted some =: persons to his "iews. The 5lassical Period 7uring the first centuries of !slam %*th. e. Arab tribes declared their allegiance to him. Their fundamental emphasis. Good wor4s. and subse>uent political struggles. and not just faith. At his death in 9<( Muhammad was the leader of an Arab state growing rapidly in power. its law and theology. and he then began to preach openly in his nati"e city of Mecca. 7i"ine justice re>uires human free will. and war was underta4en against Mecca.thman ibn Affan %G*GH. Theological speculation began soon after Muhammad$s death. cannot withhold reward from the good or punishment from the e"il. when. the ?egira that the !slamic calendar is dated. and still e. because attributes would imply multiplicity. was on the absolute unity and justice of God. At Medina. he went in 9(( to Medina. and the Muta@ilites maintained that a person who committed a gra"e sin without repenting was neither a Muslim nor a non3Muslim but occupied a middle ground.cludes e"en an obser"ant Muslim %who continues to subscribe to the articles of faith& from the !slamic community. in modified form. called ibadis. Theology is ne. howe"er. but it was rooted in the pre3!slamic Arabic tradition2 such central institutions as the pilgrimage and the Kaaba shrine were absorbed. although it is not as essential as 5hristian theology has been to 5hristianity. .pro"ed attracti"e to the Arabs. therefore. are essential to !slam. As rationalists. the basic orthodo. because he is perfectly just. !slamic disciplines. The >uestion of the importance of good wor4s persisted. A more moderate faction of Kharijites. Muhammad confided to his family and close friends the substance of this and succeeding "isions. Arab and Dewish opposition to him in Medina was crushed. God. and after numerous rebellions. The Kharijites came to regard almost all Muslim political authorities as impious. were de"eloped. in reforming the pre3!slamic Arabic tradition. he claimed.-:th cent. A fanatical group called the Kharijites maintained that the commission of serious sins. Muhammad$s central teachings were the goodness. and Mecca surrendered in 9<:.t in importance to law in !slam. the Muta@ilites maintained that human reason is competent to distinguish between good and e"il. /yria. and unity of God and the need for generosity and justice in human relations. called the Muta@ilites. who stressed reason and rigorous logic. reward and punishment become absurd.ists in 0orth and 1ast Africa. howe"er. and man. !mportant elements from Dudaism and 5hristianity were incorporated into the emergent religion. 8idiculed by the Meccans. . Muhammad Muhammad began his ministry at the age of =:. the archangel Gabriel appeared to him in a "ision. they were finally suppressed. because if the indi"idual is not free to choose between good and e"il. !ncreasingly. sur"i"ed.&. omnipotence. The Muta@ilites The translation of Gree4 philosophical wor4s into Arabic in the +th and Bth centuries resulted in the emergence of the first major !slamic theological school.9G9&. They declared God to be pure 1ssence without attributes. ha"ing been recogni@ed as a lawgi"er and prophet. The first major dispute was pro"o4ed by the assassination of the third caliph. without due repentance. !t is from this e"ent. also confirmed it. although it may be supplemented by re"elation. from Arabic paganism. The >uestion was whether a Muslim remains a Muslim after committing gra"e sins. A number of monotheistic preachers preceded Muhammad but had little success. Muhammad soon held both temporal and spiritual authority.

B((&. reacting against the growing worldliness of the !slamic community. /ome of their opponents used the same methods. the Tur4 al3#arabi was the first !slamic philosopher to subordinate re"elation and religious law to philosophy. regarding the concept as incompatible with God$s absolute power and will. /ufism The mystical mo"ement called /ufism originated in the +th century. but it was at the e.B<GH& and his followers. !n the -:th century. or orthodo. A"erroIs. They also denied that natural human reason can lead to a 4nowledge of good and e"il. As were subse>uent !slamic philosophers of this period. who tried to bring the concepts of Gree4 philosophy into line with the re"ealed truths of !slam. began to emphasi@e the inner life of the spirit and moral purification. who are unable to grasp philosophical truths in rational formulations. and they still pre"ail among most conser"ati"e Muslims. !slamic thin4ers. the -(th. was e. The "iews of al3Ashari and his school gradually became dominant in /unnite. has been to tolerate and accommodate minor differences of opinion and to emphasi@e the consensus of the community in matters of doctrine. !n the --th century.isting religions are symbolic e. which he synthesi@ed into a single philosophical system. !slamic commitment to monotheism. They denied the freedom of the human will. Al3#arabi argued that philosophical truth is the same throughout the world and that the many different e. the Persian !slamic philosopher and physician A"icenna achie"ed the most systematic integration of Gree4 rationalism and !slamic thought. howe"er.pressions of an ideal uni"ersal religion. +G+.pounding their "iews. The tendency of the /unnites. 7uring the Bth century /ufism de"eloped into a mystical doctrine. framewor4. notably the theologian al3Gha@ali. which relied hea"ily on the Arabic translation and study of Gree4 philosophical and scientific wor4s. he was primarily influenced by the wor4s of Aristotle and by 0eoplatonism. who was accused of ha"ing asserted his identity with God. Prominent /ufis subse>uently attempted to achie"e a synthesis between moderate /ufism and orthodo. and in B(( al3?allaj %c. and the debate initiated the !slamic philosophical mo"ement. ?e also contended that religion is merely philosophy in a metaphorical form that ma4es it palatable to the masses. with direct communion or e"en ecstatic union with God as its ideal.ecuted in 'aghdad. These "iews led to attac4s on A"icenna and on philosophy in general by more orthodo. Medie"al Philosophy The Muta@ilites were probably the first Muslims to borrow Gree4 philosophical methods in e. !slam. encouraged by the caliph al3Mamun. The first important !slamic philosopher was the Bth3century Arab al3Kindi. whose boo4 7estruction of the Philosophers had much to do with the e"entual decline of rationalist philosophical speculation in the !slamic community.century /panish3Arab philosopher and physician. Moral truths are established by God and can be 4nown only through re"elation.y. This aspiration to mystical union with God "iolated the orthodo. but by the -:th century a reaction had set in.pense of se"eral orthodo. . which he still considered superior to philosophical reasoning. when small circles of pious Muslims. led by the philosopher al3Ashari %+*<. and in the --th century al3Gha@ali largely succeeded in bringing /ufism within the orthodo. articles of faith.. defended Aristotelian and 0eoplatonic "iews against al3Gha@ali and became the most significant !slamic philosopher in Eestern intellectual history through his influence on the /cholastics.The theology of the Muta@ilites was established as a state creed by the caliph al3Mamun. such as the belief in personal immortality and in the creation of the world.

popular mo"ement.tension beyond the Middle 1ast into Africa and 1ast Asia. The first such mo"ement was the Eahhabi. . which emerged in Arabia in the -+th century and became a "ast re"i"alist mo"ement with offshoots throughout the Muslim world %see EA??A'!/&.!n the -(th century /ufism ceased to be the pursuit of an educated elite and de"eloped into a comple. declared 'ahai to be a religion independent of !slam. the most important of which is the !smailis. were se"erely persecuted by the /hiite clergy.nder the leadership of his disciple Mir@a ?oseyn Ali 0uri %-+-*.a young /hiite.-B:G&. The /hiites belie"e in a series of -( infallible leaders beginning with !man Ali and are thus also 4nown as the "Twel"ers. !smailis are found mainly in !ndia and Pa4istan2 others ha"e recently emigrated from 1ast Africa to 5anada. emphasi@e esoteric 4nowledge rather than the consensus of the community.. /unnites. They emerged out of a dispute o"er political succession to Muhammad. the 'ahais %as the group came to be called& de"eloped a uni"ersalist pacifist doctrine. in !ran. The /hiites The /hiites are the only sur"i"ing major sectarian mo"ement in !slam.-:(-&. who not only ministered to the spiritual needs of their followers but also helped the poor of all faiths and fre>uently ser"ed as intermediaries between the people and the go"ernment. in contrast to the orthodo.B(&.G:& of /hira@.nli4e the primarily doctrinal and philosophical mo"ements of the Middle Ages. who belie"ed that reason . and he was e.ecuted in -+G:. The /ufi emphasis on intuiti"e 4nowledge and the lo"e of God increased the appeal of !slam to the masses and largely made possible its e. The most influential reformist of the -Bth century was the 1gyptian Muhammad Abduh %-+=B. The Eahhabi mo"ement aimed at re"i"ing !slam by purifying it of un3!slamic influences. which arose after the mysterious disappearance in 5airo of the !smaili #atimid caliph al3?a4im %B+G. proclaimed himself the 'ab %"gateway" to God& and assumed a messianic role. The theological ideas of the !smailis are more radical than those of the /hiites and are largely deri"ed from Gnosticism and 0eoplatonism.ntil that time e"en the best ruler is only half legitimate. the modern mo"ements were chiefly concerned with social and moral reform. . the /hiites claiming that rule o"er the community is a di"ine right of the Prophet$s descendants through his daughter #atima and her husband Ali. at which time the world will be filled with justice. The tremendous success of these fraternities was due primarily to the abilities and humanitarianism of their founders and leaders. ther /ects /e"eral small sects ha"e de"eloped out of /hia !slam. and /hiites await his return.B(&. . !n -+=. /ufi brotherhoods multiplied rapidly from the Atlantic to !ndonesia2 some spanned the entire !slamic world2 others were regional or local. 4nown as 'ahaullah. !bn Abd al3Eahhabi %-*:<. particularly those that had compromised its original monotheism./. called the 'abis. ?is followers. and won many con"erts in the . -+-B. Many 7ruses belie"e al3?a4im to ha"e been an incarnation of God." The -(th and last imam disappeared in ++:. The /hiites. !slam in the Modern Eorld The stagnation of !slamic culture after the medie"al period led to a reemphasis on original thin4ing %ijtihad& and to religious reform mo"ements. ther !slamic reformers ha"e been influenced by Eestern ideas. Mir@a Ali Muhammad %c. An offshoot of !smailism is the 7ruse sect. and by stressing the responsibility of Muslims to thin4 independently rather than blindly accepting tradition. named after its founder.

" which in modern times. The reaction against modernism has been gathering momentum since that time for se"eral reasons. !nc. !slam and ther 8eligions 5on"inced of the absolute truth of !slam. The name was applied by Muhammad to each indi"idual portion of the re"elations. can best be reali@ed by representati"e go"ernment rather than monarchy. as concei"ed by the Eest. sacred scripture of !slam. from >araa. ther intellectuals in 1gypt. and the emancipation of women. modernist leaders and officials in some Muslim countries ha"e failed to impro"e significantly the condition of the mostly poor and rapidly increasing populations of those countries. science. to whom its fundamental egalitarianism appeals. Although the modernist ideas were based on plausible interpretations of the Koran. which. Muslims ha"e engaged in dialogues with representati"es of 5hristianity and Dudaism. The collection as it is now was compiled by his followers a few years after his death in 9<(. 0onetheless.thman ibn Affan .and modern Eestern thought would confirm the truth of !slam rather than undermine it.ual morality. Moreo"er. but they accuse the modernists of being pur"eyors of Eestern morality. /ir Muhammad !>bal is the most important modern philosopher to ha"e attempted the reinterpretation of !slamic doctrines. and his followers memori@ed them. They belie"e that the emancipation of women. Tur4ey. Ehene"er Muhammad told of his re"elations. Luran. they argued. An authori@ed "ersion was produced in the early 9G:s by a group of Arabic scholars under . had passed it on to 1urope and abandoned it. K 8A0 K 8A0 %Arab. and its licensors. and perhaps most important. who had grossly abused polygamy. after a few centuries of brilliant scientific wor4. but the name was later used for the boo4 containing all the di"ine re"elations gi"en to Muhammad. and that !slamic doctrine could be reformulated in modern terms. science. memories of Eestern colonialism ha"e generated suspicion and impeded ecumenical efforts. they were bitterly opposed by !slamic fundamentalists. according to Muslim beliefs. howe"er. They pointed out that the Koran encourages the study and e. the bitter resentment Muslims feel toward Eestern colonialism has made many of them regard e"erything Eestern as e"il. and !ndia attempted to reconcile with the teachings of the Koran such ideas as those raised by constitutional democracy. he recei"ed from Allah. Muslims traditionally ha"e not sought dialogue with representati"es of other religions. The Koran teaches the principle of "rule by consultation. 8ecently. 7uring the modern period !slam has continued to win new con"erts. but Muslims. and technology per se. although medie"al !slamic scholars wrote fairly objecti"e wor4s about them. secretaries wrote them down. or God. recogni@ed in !slam as the two other "religions of the boo4" %based on re"elation&. especially among blac4 Africans and some blac4 Americans.ploitation of nature. "to read"&. also spelled Alcoran. #inally. is responsible for the disintegration of the family and for permissi"e se. /ome fundamentalists are suspicious of democracy because they do not trust the moral sense of the masses. but these had been usurped by men. They argued that the Koran had gi"en women e>ual rights. J 5opyright -BBB /imon K /chuster. The fundamentalists do not oppose modern education. especially after the -B<:s.

%G*GH. canonical /unnite collections of ?adith. social. The /unnites %followers of the /unna.nder Muhammad the Muslim state was a theocracy. 5ommentaries on the Koran are numerous2 the library in Tripoli. which date from the Bth century. but some sur"i"ed and are now accepted. Desus 5hrist. . The tone of the boo4 is authoritati"e and dogmatic throughout2 the second chapter opens.9G9&. Accepted by Muslims as the miraculous utterance of the Almighty. . which constitute his /unna. the religious and moral principles of !slam. ?A7!T?.-(G+& The Abbasids in 5airo %-(9-.ts from the Koran are characteristic decorations for banners. They attempted to destroy all other "ersions. the body of !slamic custom or the Eay of the Prophet&.-G-*& The #atimid 7ynasty and the . and the corresponding /hiite collections of the -:th and --th centuries delineate the "arious relationships among indi"iduals and between the indi"idual and God. . reportedly contains (:. The si. actions. many of which also are found in the Dewish and 5hristian /criptures and Apocrypha. such as methods of fasting and prayer. and commercial conduct. the Koran is regarded as abo"e criticism and a wor4 not to be pro"ed but itself the standard of merit. 6aws. or e. the caliphs were not empowered to promulgate dogma. CALIPHATE The !mmediate /uccessors The . " 5opies of the Koran are treated by Muslims with great re"erence2 they are ne"er held below the girdle and are not touched without prior purification of the person.mayyads of /pain The ttomans and the Modern Period 5A6!P?AT1. 6ebanon. and admonitions to "irtue also parallel those of the Dewish writings.::: commentaries. military. generally consider the period of the first four caliphs the . with the just being rewarded with eternal bliss and the sinners punished2 and when human4ind turned from truth. office and realm of the caliph as supreme leader of the Muslim community and successor of the Prophet Muhammad. and Muhammad. directions. and codes of personal. commercial.ample. !t is accepted as a chief source of !slamic belief and practice and is second in authority only to the Koran.*G:& The Abbasid 5aliphs %*G:. Punishments and rewards are depicted with "i"id imagery and are e. The Koran is the earliest 4nown wor4 in Arabic prose2 it is di"ided into --= suras %chapters& of "arious lengths and contains the !slamic religious. "This is the boo4 in which there is no doubt. the record of the Prophet Muhammad$s precepts. who constitute a majority of Muslims. discussions of theological matters. . as the law of the land.mayyad 5aliphs %99-. Te. because it was considered that the re"elation of the faith had been completed by Muhammad. the greatest of whom were Moses. weapons. social. Although both secular and religious leaders. ci"il. buildings. They include pro"isions of law. and life. and legal codes. The chief doctrines laid down in the Koran are that only one God and one true religion e. God sent prophets to lead the way bac4. and other objects.ist2 all will undergo a final judgment. with the /haria.emplified by stories.

7uring the course of !slamic history the issue of the caliphate probably has created more dissension than any other article of faith. "successor to the Messenger of God"&. he carried on . Ali$s son. later 4nown as the Kharijites.. !n 9G* the ri"al parties met at /iffin. Meccan electors.thman earned the enmity of many of his subjects. . as both his temporal and spiritual successor. was appointed the third caliph by a panel of si. . 1"entually. refused to recogni@e Ali as caliph and called for "engeance for the death of . 8ebellious Muslim troops from al3Kufah %!ra>& and 1gypt besieged .thman also antagoni@ed the !slamic preachers by issuing an official te. . . concerning the caliphate. and the armies of the Persian 1mpire were routed se"eral times. !slamic leaders met in Medina %now in /audi Arabia&. The !mmediate /uccessors Muhammad died in 9<(. was ac4nowledged as the fourth caliph by the Medinians and the rebellious Muslim troops.thman ibn Affan %G*GH. near the site of the modern city of ar38a>>ah.mar$s policy of territorial e. howe"er.9G9&. as caliph. ther sects. all these re>uirements were rarely met. and as a result great hostility has fre>uently arisen between the /unnites and other Muslims.thman %who was Muawiyah$s 4insman&. After . they agreed to arbitrate the dispute. such as the /hiites. and the northern part of Mesopotamia became !slamic territories.mar ! %G+-H. the Luraysh2 he should be elected and appro"ed by a council of elders representing the Muslim community2 and he should be responsible for enforcing di"ine law and spreading !slam by whate"er means necessary. There.+:& the first . accepted only Ali$s descendants %by #atima. deserted and "owed to assassinate both Ali and Muawiyah. who felt he fa"ored the Meccan aristocracy in political and commercial affairs. Ali found himself being considered as a mere candidate for the caliphate on e>ual grounds with Muawiyah. The /hiites. including war. the capital of the Muslim world at that time.. Muhammad$s son3in3law and one of his first con"erts. after an inconclusi"e battle. They succeeded in 4illing only Ali. howe"er. !ra>. /yria.t of the Koran. and elected Abu 'a4r.pansion of !slam outside of Arabia too4 place.9==& became the second caliph in 9<=. . from which the term caliph %Arab. belie"ing that the Prophet himself had designated his son3in3law. a group of his followers. Angered by this indignity and with Ali for submitting to it. the Prophet$s father3in3law and closest associate. . /yria. 1gypt.mar added the title amir3al3muminin %Arab. Ali. 'ased on the e. a cousin and son3in3law of Muhammad.mar$s death in 9==.golden age of !slam. ?asan %c. the first great e. with an accompanying order to destroy all other "ersions.mayyad caliph. Ali.thman in Medina and assassinated him in 9G9. Muhammad$s daughter& as legitimate caliphs. designated by Abu 'a4r as his successor and accepted by all the important members of the Muslim community. the /unnites formulated the following re>uirements of the caliphate) the caliph should be an Arab of the Prophet Muhammad$s tribe. Although an elderly man. .+:&. as they were formed.. in contrast. lea"ing no instructions for the future go"ernment of the Muslim community. howe"er. "successor"& is deri"ed. !n the history of the caliphate. "commander of the belie"ers"& to that of caliph.nder his leadership.pansion. The go"ernor of /yria Muawiyah %9:(H.amples of the first four "rightly guided" caliphs and companions of the Prophet. later Muawiyah ! %99-. came to regard this period and subse>uent caliphates differently. Abu 'a4r too4 the title 4halifat 8asul Allah %Arab. 4halifah.

!ranian. A second rebellion by Meccans was finally >uelled during the caliphate %9+G. and other Muslim and non3 Muslim groups dissatisfied with the . Fa@id$s third successor.*:G& of Abd al3Mali4 %9=9H. The mawali accused the .mayyads. The rebels were led by the Abbasid family. bringing the Muslim rulers into contact with the more ad"anced cultural and administrati"e traditions of the 'y@antine 1mpire. Muawiyah also dispensed with the practice of electing the caliph by designating his son Fa@id %d. as caliph. The principle of election was ac4nowledged formally.mayya. by ha"ing the council of elders pledge to support the designated heir. later disappro"ed of it as a de"iation from the essential nature of !slam. mar4s the true beginning of the /hiite schism. ?usayn left Medina for al3Kufah.nder the . ?usayn %9(9H. the /hiites. then northward through /pain and o"er the Pyrenees Mountains into #rance. 'y *=* they had secured enough support to organi@e a rebellion in northern !ran that led to the defeat of the .mayyad caliphs.mayyad caliphs were descendants of aristocratic cara"an merchants. the first .mayyad caliphate three years later. and assimilated much of the pomp and ceremony of the former Persian monarchy into their own courts.9(=H. more than any other.mayyad family.*BH&. where the #ran4ish infantry under the 5arolingian ruler 5harles Martel chec4ed them near Poitiers in *<(. then claimed %99-& the still disputed caliphate but abdicated within a few months under pressure from Muawiyah$s supporters.mayyad 5aliphs %99-. in !ra>. to which Muawiyah.+<& succeeded his father but was faced immediately with two rebellions. Muawiyah stabili@ed the Muslim community after Ali$s assassination. Many Muslims. Greatly encouraged.ecuted most of the . mawali& fre>uently re"olted against the . This e"ent.+:&.mayyad caliph. mo"ed the capital of the empire to 'aghdad. "astly enlarged the Muslim empire and created a bureaucracy capable of administering it. /hiite. Kharijite. n the plain of Karbala. descendants of the Prophet$s uncle Abbas. The Kufan /hiites recogni@ed Ali$s second son %and the Prophet$s grandson&. ne"ertheless.ity and of indifference to their demands for full brotherhood in the Muslim community.mayyads of religious la.*G:& The . The . howe"er.mayyads and in subse>uent dynasties. The Abbasid 5aliphs %*G:. The Abbasids e. the . and other groups of Muslims and non3Arabic con"erts %Arab.mayyads were o"erthrown by a combination of /hiite. The practice of hereditary succession continued throughout the . each supporting a ri"al claimant to the caliphate. belonged. Muslim armies swept eastward to the borders of !ndia and 5hina. #rom about *-+ the Abbasids had plotted to ta4e the caliphate. he and his small escort were intercepted and slaughtered. 9+<& as heir apparent. ?e mo"ed the capital of !slam from Medina to 7amascus. howe"er. 9+:.*:G&. sending agents into "arious parts of the Muslim empire to spread propaganda against the .mayyads. westward across 0orth Africa to the Atlantic cean.-(G+& The . Fa@id ! %r. .mayyad regime. despite warnings that Fa@id$s troops had >uelled the Kufic uprising.mayyads. who greatly outnumbered Ali$s followers. . . 7uring his reign.

. . one in 0orth Africa and another in /pain. emperor of the Eest. They were the first Muslim rulers to become leaders of an !slamic ci"ili@ation and protectors of the religion rather than merely an Arab aristocracy imposing an Arab ci"ili@ation on con>uered lands. proclaiming the #atimid caliphs to be infallible and sinless and the bearers of di"ine illumination handed down directly from Ali. industry and commerce de"eloped greatly. the #atimid caliphate constituted a serious threat to the Abbasids in 'aghdad. the Abbasid caliphate lasted fi"e centuries2 it is the most durable and most famous !slamic dynasty. ruled by the #atimid dynasty. the Abbasid caliphs had "irtually no power. the Abbasid caliphs increasingly began to delegate administrati"e responsibility to ministers of state and other go"ernment officials and to lose control o"er their 'aghdad guards. 1mbassies also were e. sultan of 1gypt. the power of the Abbasids barely e. two ri"al caliphates were established. the grandson of Genghis Khan. The Abbasids became patrons of learning and encouraged religious obser"ance. The final defeat of the Abbasid dynasty came from outside the Muslim world.bayd Allah %c. As they gradually ga"e up personal political power. 7uring their reigns scholars were in"ited to the court to debate "arious topics.tended outside 'aghdad. 1"entually. They sent missionaries from their capital in 5airo to the rest of the Muslim world. both within and outside their domain.mayyads of /pain 7uring the decline of Abbasid power.G=&. two members of the Abbasid family escaped to 1gypt. as well as /icily and /yria. At the height of its power.+<<& are especially renowned for their encouragement of intellectual pursuits and for the splendor of their courts. the caliphs placed more and more emphasis on their role as protectors of the faith. !n addition the #atimids claimed the allegiance of other /hiites. was founded by . ser"ing merely as figureheads at the mercy of the military commanders. successi"ely. +*<. the fourth caliph.'eginning in *G: with Abu al3Abbas %*(-H.9G&. Persian. Their dynasty was o"erthrown in --*. The +th3 and Bth3century caliphs ?arun ar38ashid and his son Abdullah al3Mamun %*+9. Muhammad$s daughter. -(=(. and independent caliphates were subse>uently established in 0orth Africa and in /pain. se"eral successful re"olts in the eastern pro"inces led to the establishment of independent principalities. and the !slamic empire reached a pea4 of material and intellectual achie"ement. 1ach was named caliph. The Abbasids in 5airo %-(9-. The #atimids ruled most of northern Africa from 1gypt to present3day Algeria. when al3Mustasim %r. claiming descent from #atima %thus the name #atimid&.B<=&. and by the middle of the -:th century. The first. ne result of this change in emphasis was the increased persecution of heretics and non3Muslims. The #atimid 7ynasty and the . About the same time.G+& was put to death by the in"ading Mongols at the order of ?ulagu Khan %-(-*. and /yriac wor4s. and the descendants of the second caliph remained politically powerless under the Mamelu4e sultans. by the sultan2 but they were allowed to assume only religious duties. !n the late Bth century. The #atimids were /hiites. and translations were made from Gree4.changed with 5harlemagne. the Mamelu4e sultan.-G-*& Ehen the Mongols sac4ed 'aghdad in -(G+. where they too4 refuge with 'aybars !. in the latter half of the -:th century. who proclaimed himself caliph in Tunisia in B:B. and her husband Ali.by /aladin.nder their caliphate 'aghdad replaced Medina as the center of theological acti"ity.

the sultan began to emphasi@e his role as caliph in an effort to gain the support of Muslims li"ing outside his realm. resulting only in an appeal to the Muslims of the world to wor4 together to reestablish a caliphate. howe"er. !n the -Bth century. who proclaimed himself caliph in /pain in B(B. The con>uest %-B(G& of al3?ija@ by Abdul A@i@ ibn /aud. The .mayyad dynasty of /pain. /yria. and its licensors. ?is claim. and parts of Arabia. /ubse>uently. The abolition of the caliphate brought consternation to many sections of the Muslim world. !nc. ruled from its capital in 5Mrdoba until -:<-. Mecca and Medina. The ttoman 1mpire collapsed during Eorld Ear ! %-B-=. howe"er. the preoccupation of Muslim nations has been with national independence and economic problems. ?e was the descendant of an . responsible for a brilliant period in /panish history. The title held little significance for the ttoman sultans until their empire began to decline. and the restoration of the caliphate may now be regarded as irrele"ant. now part of /audi Arabia& laid claim to the title by "irtue of his direct descent from the Prophet and his control of the two holy cities. After the war. The ttomans and the Modern Period #rom about the -<th century "arious monarchs throughout the Muslim world. King ?usein ibn Ali %-+G9.-+&. with the ad"ent of 5hristian powers in the 0ear 1ast.mayyad prince who fled the Abbasid massacre of his family and settled %*GG& in /pain. and the caliphate was finally abolished %March -B(=& by the Tur4ish Grand 0ational Assembly. An international Muslim congress held in 5airo in -B(9 to choose an acceptable successor to the caliphate pro"ed aborti"e. and protests were directed against the action of the Tur4ish go"ernment. ruler of 0ajd. recei"ed little attention outside of Palestine.The second ri"al caliphate was established by Abd3ar38ahman !!!. 1"er since Eorld Ear !!. made ?usein$s claim e"en less significant. J 5opyright -BBB /imon K /chuster. when the caliphate bro4e up into numerous petty states. . particularly the ttoman sultans. assumed the title caliph indiscriminately without regard to the prescribed re>uirements of the caliphate. Tur4ish nationalists deposed the sultan.-B<-& of al3?ija@ %?eja@. Arabia.