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Social Studies
Religious Studies

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Muhammad, a merchant in the city of Mecca, one day came across an angel that changed the course of history. Born in 570 AD, Muhammad was orphaned at the of six, and grew up with his uncle. In the early 600s, according to the Quran, Muhammad encoutered the angel Gabriel. The arcangle orally gave him the Quran and told him to spread Islam around the world. He was afraid of what the polythiestic Meccans might think, so he kept his views to himself for years. When he eventually became public about Islam, the Meccans drove Muhammed and his followers out of Mecca. They went to Yathrib, or Medina, Saudi Arabia. His jouney to this city is new reffered to as the hegira. After ten years of gathering followers in Medina, Muhammad made peace with the Meccans until they killed a Muslim follower. Muhammad then took over Mecca and destroyed all non-Muslim statues in Mecca. Muhammad spent the restof his life converting people to Islam until his death in 632 AD.


Key Terms

After the death of Muhammad, there was a dispute of who should rule since Muhammad had not named successor and had no sons. The first two caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar, were killed in battle. Uthman, an Umayyad, took over the caliphate. Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad, did not like this because he was another favorite to be caliph. In retaliation, Ali’s followers killed Uthman and took over the caliphate. Ali was soon murdered and the Umayyads regained control of the caliphate. The followers of Ali became known as the Shia, while the followers of the Umayyad became known as the Sunnis. There are many differences between the two sects, but the main difference is that nothing stands between Sunnis and God while the Shia have imams, or "leaders "in Arabic. These men interpret the Quran and work out religious disputes in the sect. Most of Muslims are Sunni while Shia are only majorities in Iran and Azerbaijan.


Sunni Shia Split

Top Five Most Populous Muslim Countries

Indonesia- 209,120,000 India- 176,190,000Pakistan- 167,410,000Bangladesh- 133,540,000Nigeria- 77,300,000*these numbers are related to how many Muslims reside in these countries as of 2015

Arabian Penninsula

The Arabian Penninsula is located in the Middle East acnd contains the contries Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait. In the sixth century AD, most Arabs lived near the ocean and traded due to the harsh Arabian Desert covering most of this penninsula. Mecca and Medina were large trade centers in these times and were located on the western part of the penninsula

Muslims believe in the god of Abraham, who is also the god of Christians and Jews. They record most of their sacred scriptures in the Quran, which is their holy book. This book tells stories about Noah, Moses, Abraham, Jesus, and most of the prophets including Muhammad. They believe in a heaben and a hell, but they do not believe that Jesus is God's only son and that he died for everyone's sins unlike the Christians do. The Quran also tells poeple that if they complete the five pillars of Islam, then they will reach eternal life. The First Pillar of Islam is to agknowledge God as the one, true god and that Muhammad, a man, is his last messenger. The Second Pillar is to give alms to the poor if you have the money to do so. The Thrid Pillar is to pray five times a day in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca. A Muslim should also clense themself before they pray. The Fourth Pillar is to fast during the day in the month of Rammadan. They do this is because Muhammad spent a month in a cave with the angel Gabriel learning the Quran. The Fifth Pillar of Islam is to go to Mecca during the month of Hajj once in their lifetime if they have the money.

- The man who started Islam- The trip from Mecca to Medina Muhammad took in 620- The sacred text of Islam- An Arabic word translated as "a struggle for the faith"- The place were Muslims go to worship - A month in the Islamic month when Muslims fast to remember to month when Muhammad copied down the Quran from Gabriel.-An Arabic word for "sucessor"- The clan of Mecca who were Muhammad's enemies- The time of the year when pilgrimages to Mecca happen.- A sect of Islam that followed the Umayyad- A sect of Islam that followed Ali - A sect of Islam that seeks a mystical connection with God- An instrument used to find the positions and movements of stars and planets- A city in western Saudi Arabia where Muhammad was born.

This map shows where most Muslims live; dark green being high concentrations of Muslims and white being very little concentrations of Muslims.

An imam sings the Qu'ran aloud.

Basic Fundamentals of Islam

Muslim Extremism

While it seems that many Muslims are terrorists, less than one percent of Muslims are. The Major Sunni terrorist groups are the Taliban, Al Queda, Hammas, ISIS, and the Nusra Front. The major Shia groups are Hezbullah of Lebanon and Asaib Ahl al-Haq of Iraq. Most Sunni dislike Sunni terrorism while most Shia tolerate Shia terrorism.This is because Shia terrorism is not targeted at other Sias.. unlike Shia terrorism, Sunni terrorism is sometimes directed at other Sunnis. This Muslim extremism is based of of the word "jihad" in the Qur'an. This word means "a struggle for the faith" in Arabic, but some Muslims interpret it as spreading terror throughout the world in order to go to Heaven. A Muslim's "jihad" could be praying 5 times a day.

There 2.6 Million Muslims in America as of 2010. The largest concentration of muslims in America is in Dearborne, MI

There are 1.57 Billion muslims around the world today. Muslims make up almost a quarter of the world population, and Islam is the world's the 2md largest religon!

Cultural Achievements

Many Muslims have made great achievements in our world. Muslims have made great achievements in astronomy. Muslims took the great astronomer Ptolemy’s work and made an accurate calendar that is still used in places today. They also perfected the astrolabe, an instrument used to help travelers find their way. They perfected it by making it more accurate and efficient. The astrolabe helped Muslims find Mecca for prayer. Muslim society also created algebra, trigonometry, and the Arabic numerals that all schools use today. The drum, tambourine, flute, and horn originated in the Middle East and central Asia. These instruments can be found in bands, festivals, performances, and most households today.


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