Pr03a_Islam: A Global Faith (Slide by Slide Description)
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Pr03a_Islam: A Global Faith
(Cover) Slide #1: Images of Muslims depicting the diversity of cultures and races.
Slide #2: This satellite image encompasses the Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia, Levant, and Nile River Delta). To the south, midway on the Arabian Red Sea coast is Mecca. A commercial center for for over 1000 years and the birthplace/ home of The Prophet Muhammad. This is the holiest city in the Islamic faith for another reason as well.
Slide #3: Mecca’s commercial success was primarily attributable to it’s proximity to caravan trade routes of the peninsula, access to the sea, hospitable living conditions, and proximity to markets in Africa and the Mediterranean Sea basin. To a lesser degree, the city was inviting to merchants because their deities were, or could be, represented in the oldest structure in the area, The Ka’aba.
The people of the interior of the Arabian peninsula were predominantly bedouin in culture. That nomadic lifestyle still thrives on the peninsula and North African desert. Historically, nomads are very protective of their independence and will become a major obstacle to anyone trying to unite them as a single people.
Slide #4: Common, but often poorly translated Arabic words.
ISLAM- To surrender your Will to God.
MUSLIM- Someone who surrenders their Will to God.
ALLAH- “God” This is the God of Abraham, Moses, Ezekiel, Jesus, etc.
QUR-AN- “Recite” The word or command from Allah to The Prophet via the Arch Angel Gabriel (“Jibril” in Arabic). The Prophet was illiterate and could only memorize the words by repeating them after hearing them spoken. The words were compiled in what is now the holiest Islamic source, the book known as the Qur-an.
HADITH/ SUNNA(H)- The Hadith and Sunna(h) are texts containing the “Sayings” and “Practices”, respectively, of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They serve as authoritative religious texts, but are still secondary to the Qur-an.
JIHAD- “Struggle” The struggle for every Muslim is to determine God’s Will and to make it their own. That is diificult to do, and thus a struggle that lasts a lifetime.
Slide #5: An excerpt from the Qur-an that forbids the forced-conversion of others. The once common Western view that the Islamic Civilization, and thus all of Islam, forcibly converted it’s subjects as a traditional practice is erroneous.
Slide #6: Pivotal elements of the story of the birth of Islam. In keeping with the prophetic stories of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, The Prophet Muhammad is persecuted by the pagan inhabitants of Mecca. They were polytheistic and The Prophet’s teachings were monotheistic. The Meccans could have easily interpreted as a threat to their commercial lifestyle since the Ka’aba played a role in attracting business to the city.
The Prophet was forced to flee Mecca and setup residence in the nothern city of Medina (Madinah). This ‘journey’ from Mecca to Medina is called the “Hijra” (‘Journey’ in Arabic). It marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. Their, he built a community of followers, the first Islamic community ever formed. He gained an enormous amount of respect and loyalty from the inhabitants he met and preached to. This would lay the foundation for an attempt to regain Mecca and re-dedicate the Ka’aba to God.
Slide #7: The Five Pillars: These five statements are meant to encapsulate the essence of the faith’s quest to do God’s Will. No faith could be so easily described or explained, so students are cautioned not to extract much from these statements. While these are traditional requirements for observant Muslims, they do not fully reveal all that there is to know about Islam. Using The Five Pillars of Islam as a way to introduce the Islamic faith to non-Muslims, is just another poor method the education system uses to teach a complex human culture.
Statement #1: Monotheism. Stating the importance of The Prophet Muhammad.
Statement #2: Keep God on your mind and do so while facing his ‘house’ in Mecca. The ‘house’ is the Ka’aba.
Statement #3: You must use the Islamic (Lunar) calendar month of Ramadan to fast. The fast serves the same purpose here as in other faiths- Keep God on your mind. Make all other desires (food, comfort, pleasures, etc) secondary to your focus on God.
Statement #4: Aid the poor and those in need.
Statement #5: Visit the Ka’aba and the city of Mecca once in your life, at least.
Slide #8: A table showing some of the commonality between the three great monotheistic faiths.
Slide #9: Here are concepts that Islam adheres to.
Item #1: Though there are many types of Muslims, they are all united in One faith.
Item #2: The world was granted to Humanity as a trust. To be studied, but to never enter the realm of the divine. To determine the nature of God is fruitless and a poor use of time/ resources.
Item #3: All people will have to face God’s final judgment.
Item #4: This phrase refers to Jews and Christians, who are people that accept God’s revelations via the prophets of the Bible.
Item #5: The revealed words/ commands of God. Often revealed to Humanity via the prophets.
Slide #10: The Grand Mosque in Mecca. This mosque can hold as many as one million people. The small cube-shaped structure in it is the Ka’aba. ‘Ka’aba’ means ‘Cube’ in Arabic. It is traditinally accepted as the first temple built to God. Built by Abraham and his eldest son, Ishmael. It is the holiest site in Islam.
Slide #11: Closeup of the Ka’aba. The black netting shrouding the structure has quotes from the Qur-an stitched in gold.
Slide #12: An example of Unified Diversity.
Slide #13: The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem. Contains the rock that tradition says was being used by Abraham to sacrifice his son. It was on this site that the temple built by Solomon was erected. That temple held the Ark of the Covenant (Torah). This convergence of two faiths has led to many disputes. Often violent, the disputes have spread worldwide in the form of terrorism.
Slide #14: Another view of the Dome of the Rock and the ‘Western Wall’. The latter is the holiest site in Judaism, representing the only remains of the temple built by Solomon.