History of Islam
The history of Islam centers around one person, Muhammad. He was born around 570 A.D. and was raised by his extended family after the death of his parents. As he grew, he became unhappy with polytheism and came to believe in one god, Allah (Arabic for god). At around the age of forty he began receiving religious messages or revelations from Allah. He was told to write and memorize them in order to teach them to his close followers. The messages he wrote down were then recorded into the Islamic bible or the Qur’an. Muhammad would receive these messages until his death in 632 A.D. The origin of Islam can be traced back to seventh century Saudi Arabia.
Muhammad’s new faith was not widely accepted in his hometown of Mecca. Therefore, he and his followers moved to Medina, which means “the city of the prophet.” This well known movement was called he Hijirat or “the flight.’ This movement marks the turning point in Islam and serves as the beginning date on Islamic calendars. At first, Muhammad was sympathetic to both the Christians and Jews, but after their rejection of his teaching, he turned from Jerusalem as the center of worship for Islam to the city of Mecca, and he did, conquering the city. With that Islam spread like wildfire throughout the surrounding areas.
When the prophet died he left no evidence appointing to his successor. This led some people to believe that he or one of his family members was the true god or Allah. Eventually a power struggle developed, as different groups of Muslims believed their method of establishing a successor were the best. The largest argument was over whether the successor should be elected or chosen through heredity. This controversy produced two major sects of Islam known as the Sunnis (followers of the prophets way) and the Shi’a. The Sunnies are the majority in Islam today making up the wealthy and more upper class.
The Muslims follow the five pillars of faith, which control everyday...