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The Beginnings of Islam
Arabian Peninsula Map
Tigris River PENINSULA
Euphrates River Red Sea
EGYPT Persian Gulf
Nile River Arabian Sea
Jerusalem Aden
Indus River Medina
Ganges River

Life on the Arabian Peninsula
Most of the Arabian peninsula is deserts.

Arabian peninsula is about 1,200 miles from north to south

and 1,300 miles from east to west.

The Arabian Peninsula is about (one-fourth) the size of the


For centuries, a group of nomadic Arab herders called

Bedouins lived in the Arabian Peninsula.

The Bedouins would trade and rest in an oasis.

Bedouins organized themselves into groups called clans.

Bedouins would help create the Muslim Empire.


Crossroads of Three Con9nents
The Arabian peninsula is located between Asia,
Africa, and Europe.

The Arabian peninsula is surrounded by the

Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and the
Persian Gulf.

By the early 600s C.E., most Arabs moved into

market towns and oases including Aden, Mecca,
and Medina.

Products and informaDon moved through the
Arabian trade centers by sea on eets and by land
on camel caravans.

Islam spread through Africa, Asia, and Europe on

the trade routes.

WATCH Grand Bazaar (Istanbul, Turkey)

The Holy City of Mecca
Mecca was an important trade and religious

Each year millions of Muslims travel to Mecca for a
pilgrimage known as Hajj.

In Mecca, Muslims will visit the Kaaba.

It is believed that Abraham and his son (Ishmael)

built Kaaba as a temple to God.

In Arabic, God is called Allah.

ChrisDans, Jews, and Muslims share many of the
same beliefs including monotheism.

Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, was born in
Mecca at around 570 C.E.

WATCH NaDonal Geographic Mecca

The Life and Teachings of Muhammad
Islam believe that there is only one god named Allah,
and those who believe in Islam are called Muslims.

At about the age of 40, Muhammad was told by the
angel Gabriel, You are the Messenger of God.

Early Muslims were persecuted in Mecca, and

Muhammad and his followers were forced to move
out of Mecca.

Muhammad and his followers ed 200 miles north to

Yathrib in what is called the Hijrah.

Yathrib was later renamed Medina, which in Arabic

means City of the Prophet.

WATCH The History of Islam

Islamic Beliefs, Prac9ces, and Law
Muslims believe the angel Gabriel shared with Muhammad the words
from the one God, Allah.

The words Gabriel shared with Muhammad were wricen in Arabic for the
Islamic holy book called the Quran.

Muhammads words and deeds for proper living are called Sunnah.

Muslims do not eat pork or drink alcohol.

Muslims follow the Five Pillars of Islam
1) Faith
2) Prayer
3) Alms
4) FasDng
5) Pilgrimage

Friday is the day of worship for Muslims.

Muslims worship in buildings called mosques, and pray in the direcDon of


WATCH Worlds 5 Most BeauDful Mosques

Connec9ons to Judaism and Chris9anity

ChrisDans, Jews, and Muslims believe Abraham

and Jesus were prophets.

Muslims believe Allah is the same God worshiped

by ChrisDans and Jews.

ChrisDans (Bible), Jews (Torah), and Muslims
(Quran) are known as people of the book
because their religions have holy books.

Muslims believe the Quran is the nal holy book

and Muhammad is the last prophet.

ChrisDans, Jews, and Muslims believe in heaven,

hell, and a nal judgment.

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Islam AGer Muhammads Death
When Muhammad died in 632 C.E. most of the Arabian
peninsula believed in Islam

Aher Muhammad died his father-in-law (Abu Bakr)

became the leader of the Muslim Empire.

Abu Bakr (Sunni) was the rst caliph, a Dtle that means

First 4 caliphs
1) Abu Bakr (632-634)
2) Uman (634-644)
3) Uthman (644-656)
4) Ali (656-661) (Shia)

The Muslim Empire conquered what remained of the

ByzanDne and Persian Empires.

Muslims let conquered people keep their own

religions, but non-Muslims had to pay extra taxes.

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Islam AGer Muhammads Death
Aher Uthman and Ali were assassinated the
Umayyads family became leaders of the
Muslim Empire.

Those that supported the leadership of the

Umayyads were called Sunnis.

The Umayyads family set up a hereditary

dynasty, meaning rulers would all come from
the same family.

The Umayyads moved the capital from

Medina, Saudi Arabia to Damascus, Syria.

A group called Shia (Shiite) believed that the
caliph should be a relaDve of the Prophet

WATCH Conict between Sunnis and Shiites