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Transcript of Islam
Fragmented into bedouin tribes
Bedouins believed that their
gods lived in a building called
was called a Sheik
Bedouins had large
herds of animals, were
nomadic, and many warriors
Struggle for existance created
fierce clan loyalties. To be cut
off from the tribe was fatal.
War often broke
out over minor events.
PreIslamic Arabia was
a world of constant fighting.
Muhammad was involved
in a caravan trading company
with his uncle. It was during one
of his trading trips that he met
and married his wife Khadija.
Working for his uncle
brought Muhammad into contact with Jews and Christians.
Muhammad became a
wealthy merchant, but was
bored. He spent a lot of times
in the moutains outside of
Mecca. It was in these moutains
in 610 CE that Muhammad claimed
to receive revelations from the Angel
These revelations continued for twenty years.
His first revelations attacked idolatry and the beliefs of the Bedouins.
His message was rejected and mocked
in Mecca when he tried to preach it publicly.
In 622 CE, Muhammad
fled from Mecca to Medina
in an event known as the "hijra."
This marks the first year on the Islamic
In Medina, Muhammad
establishes the first Islamic government and begins converting the people of Medina.
In 629, after converting
many of the people of Medina, Muhammad leads them on a conquest of Mecca.
While in Medina, Muhammad
was able to create the umma
(Community of the faithful.)
Muhammad knew that
this new religion would not
be safe without an empire to
By 632, he had conquered
most of Arabia.
Muhammad died in 632 suddenly
with no surviving sons. He had not
appointed an heir to his empire.
This led to a major fight over the
leadership of the Islamic Empire
and to an actual split in the religion.
Sunnis believe that the
people closest to Muhammad
should choose a successor, but
that the successor did not have to be
related to Muhammad.
Shiites believe that Muhammad
appointed his son-in-law, Ali, before
he died. They maintain that the leader
must be someone directly related to
The majority of the
world's Muslims are
Sunni-- about 85%
There are four countries
with populations that are