Islam and the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him
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The documentary about the Islamic religion and its founding prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was very interesting to me because, I come from a dominant Muslim country know as Iran and I have never really knew how, from where and by who the Islamic religion started. This movie sums it up in about an hour.
The azan is the sound called five times a day everyday across the world. Nearly a quarter of the people on earth respond to it, bound together by the spirit of Islam. There is no god but Allah (God). In history Islamic civilization has been one of humanities grandest achievement. Worldwide power founded simply on faith. In the western world the Islamic religion has been misunderstood behind the veil of fear but the history of Islam is interwoven in the western civilization. From the way we heal the sick to the numerical ways of counting, cultures across the globe have been shaped by the Islamic civilization.
The prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was born in or around 570 A.D in the Arabian Peninsula. He was from Mecca but was sent to the better one where they had the deeper Arab values. The better one being the town people they kept the authentic Arab culture and poetry. When the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was six years old both of his parent had died and he was taken on to the protection of his uncle, chief of his clan. Because he was an orphanage at an early age he developed a passion for those who were left out of society.
The prophet had many fathers many mothers so he was known a child of everybody. In his clan the most important people were the poets because, pre Islamic Arabian civilization was an oral culture and had respect for people who can express themselves orally. The poets linked the tribes to its ancestors and celebrated values older than memory. He was living in a world of warfare between clans so his uncle taught him the skills he needs to survive.
Water was precious in the dry desert. Each clan had their own gods and totems to water and wind to fire and night. They were kept in the caravan town of Mecca in a shrine of wood stone and cloth it was called the Kaba which means the cube in Arabic. The Hebrew patriarch Abraham build the Kaba centuries before and the sacred black stone held within, had fallen from the sky. Kaba was a place for peace and trading most of all a place of mixture of cultures Christians, Jews and Arabs of the desert who followed an animist religion.
The prophet Muhammad peace be upon him became a merchant and had a great fair for trade. At the age of 25 he caught the eye of a wealthy widow by the name of Khadija and she proposed marriage. He was a very intelligent man and very open minded and able to communicate with great variety of people. He had a way with people.
When the Kaba fell into disrepair and before violence can irrupt the prophet proposed a solution which the four leaders united as one carried the weight and the honor, in gratitude they invited the prophet himself to replace the sacred stone he became known as Al-Amin which means “the trusted one”. He was interested in religion; he talked to Jewish sages Arab sages. On his own time he would go into the mountain and meditate. There he had a vision in a cave above Mecca an angel appeared in front of him in a form of a man instructing him to recite in the name of god almighty.
This is the beginning of the prophetic career of Muhammad peace be upon him. The revelations that came out of his mouth were more powerful and the most beautiful meanings than Arabic poetry. He barred one message to his people that “there is only one God”. To be thinking about status, power, positions are intellectual idols. One god means one people, Islam was a new order, a way of life a beautiful way of life because everyone was equal. Some people called him a poet but in one of the sura in the Quran say he is not a poet, poets speak through desire this is the voice of God. The prophet’s followers called themselves Muslims for those who surrender to God. They set out to spread the message so the first Quran was written down in order so it wasn’t corrupted and the original message was maintained.
The Quran was ethical and social guidance and reveled in Arabic and stays in Arabic. In the Quran the world of water and paradise are symbolically tied to one another in a few beautiful words. There was no easy description of God. The description of God keeps changing so we cannot reify God so we can’t get a physical image of God. To Muslims God is the Quran. The prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him was not to be recognized as God because he was divine. There are images of the prophet as a historical figure but not to be prayed upon.
People started to wonder where are his miracles because Jesus had miracles, Moses had miracles so where is his miracles. His response was that the Quran is the miracle but to the people this was not enough. They didn’t believe in reincarnation. Followers’ increased but non believers, pilgrims and travelers worried for their safety so they left Mecca. Business slowed down and the four leaders decided that the prophet and his believers must be removed from Mecca and the Kaba, they even plot his assassination.
In 619 A.D. the prophets wife Khadija died and his uncle as well. His first love and only protector gone, this was the opportunity that his enemies were waiting for. The prophet was welcomed to a town north of Mecca know as Yatrik. The town clans were in rival battle and they wanted the prophet to be the peace maker in return he and his followers would receive safe refuge. By doing so they began a new community, a new tribe for the first time they were bound together not by blood but bye faith. In this journey Islam marked its true beginnings.
Their journey is known as the Hijra in 622 Christian calendar marks the Muslim calendar year one, the town which became known as “the city of the prophet” is Medina. Medina became a Muslim town but the prophet did not challenge the tasks of other beliefs. A freed Abyssinian slave named Bilal was the first to call the believers to the prophet’s house for prayer, it was the first Masque. Physical gestures of prayer in worship that unify our mind body and soul all at the same moment when bowing and touching the head to the ground toward the center the representation of unity.
The Muslims would pray towards Kaba in Mecca because it was the shrine of Abraham the first believer in one true God. But his enemies in Mecca were preparing for battle against him and his believers, so he and his believers prepared for battle although they were out number and out matched. He always wanted to bring Islam peacefully to the people of Mecca. The battles were very bloody and at one point the Muslim community was on the edge of being completely wiped out.
Every town that was conquered he embraced the people and was very merciful of them, they were shocked. When he conquered Mecca he went straight to the Kaba and circled it seven time and them entered the shrine and destroyed the pagan people’s gods, smashed into dust symbolizing the unity of everyone as one. The world wide unity of faith was developed. From east to west, north to south until the seas stopped them. From Morocco to China was all his empire. In Tunisia they developed fresh water filters before anyone had thought of this idea. Developed irrigation system, agriculture flourished in the region.
Muslims saved the most monumental feat for the holy city of Jerusalem “the dome of the rock”. This was build next to the place where Jesus was said to be buried. The dome of the rock was holy to Abraham and Isaac. In the eleventh year of the Islamic calendar 632 A.D. after two years of conquering Mecca the Prophet Muhammad Peace be upon him died. Now that the prophet had left them so has God. The massage that was left the prophet died but God lives forever. That led them to unifying power of one God the merciful and the compassionate.