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History of Islam

27 Mar 2019 National Radio TV of Afghanistan

The history of Islam concerns the political, social, economic and developments of the Islamic civilization. Despite concerns about the reliability of early sources,[1] most historians[2]believe that Islam originated in Mecca and Medina at the start of the 7th century, approximately 600 years after the founding of Christianity. Muslims, however, believe that it did not start with Muhammad, but that it was the original faith of others whom they regard as prophets, such as Jesus, David, Moses, Abraham, Noah and Adam.[3][4][5]

In 610 CE, Muhammad began receiving what Muslims consider to be divine revelations.[6]Muhammad’s message won over a handful of followers and was met with increasing opposition from Meccan notables.[7] In 618, after he lost protection with the death of his influential uncle Abu Talib, Muhammad migrated to the city of Yathrib (now known as Medina). With Muhammad’s death in 632, disagreement broke out over who would succeed him as leader of the Muslim community.

By the 8th century, the Islamic empire extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east. Polities such as those ruled by the Umayyads (in the Middle East and later in Iberia), Abbasids, Fatimids, and Mamluks were among the most influential powers in the world. The Islamic Golden Age gave rise to many centers of culture and science and produced notable astronomers, mathematicians, doctors and philosophers during the Middle Ages.

In the early 13th century, the Delhi Sultanate took over the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. In the 13th and 14th centuries, destructive Mongol invasions and those of Tamerlane from the East, along with the loss of population in the Black Death, greatly weakened the traditional centers of the Islamic world, stretching from Persia to Egypt. Islamic Iberia was gradually conquered by Christian forces during the Reconquista. Nonetheless, in the Early Modern period, the Ottomans, the Safavids, and the Mughals were able to create new world powers again. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, most parts of the Muslim world fell under the influence or direct control of European “Great Powers.” Their efforts to win independence and build modern nation states over the course of the last two centuries continue to reverberate to the present day.

Islamic origins

Islam arose within the context of Late Antiquity.[18]The second half of the sixth century saw political disorder in Arabia, and communication routes were no longer secure.[20] Religious divisions played an important role in the crisis.[21] Judaism became the dominant religion of the Himyarite Kingdom in Yemen after about 380, while Christianity took root in the Persian Gulf.[21] While much of Arabia remained polytheistic, in line with broader trends of the age there was yearning for a more spiritual form of religion.[21] Many were reluctant to convert to a foreign faith, but those faiths provided intellectual and spiritual reference points, and Jewish and Christian loanwords from Aramaicbegan to replace the old pagan vocabulary of Arabic throughout the peninsula.[21] On the eve of the Islamic era, the Quraysh was the chief tribe of Mecca and a dominant force in western Arabia.[22] To counter the effects of anarchy, they upheld the institution of “sacred months” when all violence was forbidden and travel was safe.[23] The polytheistic Kaaba shrine in Mecca and the surrounding area was a popular pilgrimage destination, which had significant economic consequences for the city.[23][24]

According to tradition, the Islamic prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca around the year 570.[25] His family belonged to the Quraysh. When he was about forty years old he began receiving what Muslims regard as divine revelations delivered through the angel Gabriel, which would later form the Quran. These inspirations enjoined him to proclaim a strict monotheistic faith, to warn his compatriots of the impending Judgement Day, and to castigate social injustices of his city.[6] Muhammad’s message won over a handful of followers and was met with increasing opposition from notables of Mecca.[7] In 618, after he lost protection with the death of his influential uncle Abu Talib, Muhammad migrated to the city of Yathrib (subsequently called Medina) where he was joined by his followers.[26] Later generations would count this event, known as the hijra, as the start of the Islamic era.[27]

In Yathrib, where he was accepted as an arbitrator among the different communities of the city under the terms of the Constitution of Medina, Muhammad began to lay the foundations of the new Islamic society, with the help of new Quranic verses which provided guidance on matters of law and religious observance.[27] The surahs of this period emphasized his place among the long line of Biblical prophets, but also differentiated the message of the Quran from Christianity and Judaism.[27] Armed conflict with Meccans and Jewish tribes of the Yathrib area soon broke out.[28] After a series of military confrontations and political maneuvers, Muhammad was able to secure control of Mecca and allegiance of the Quraysh in 629.[27] In the time remaining until his death in 632, tribal chiefs across the peninsula entered into various agreements with him, some under terms of alliance, others acknowledging his prophethood and agreeing to follow Islamic practices, including paying the alms levy to his government, which consisted of a number of deputies, an army of believers, and a public treasury.[27] A few months before his death, Muhammad delivered a sermon regarding his succession. The final verse of the Quran (Chapter 5, Verse 3) was revealed after Muhammad finished his sermon. After the sermon, Muhammad ordered the Muslims to pledge allegiance to Ali; the future Sunni leaders Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman were among those who pledged allegiance to Ali at this event.[29][30][31][32][33]

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