Islam Change over Time Essay

1324 Words Dec 28th, 2008 6 Pages
Islam Change Over Time

The spread of Islam throughout the world was among the most significant worldwide movements in history. Beginning as the faith of a small community of believers in Arabia in the seventh century, Islam rapidly became one of the major world religions. The core beliefs and culture of this faith is the belief that Muhammad (570-632), a respected businessman in Mecca, a commercial and religious center in western Arabia, received revelations from God that have been preserved in the Qur'an. The core of Islam remains the same today after 1396 years. Islam still translates to “submission” and Muslims still live by the Qur’an and follow the 5 Pillars of Islam. However, throughout the Pre-Islamic, Umayyad, and Abbasid
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The political structure of the new community was rather informal. In this early era, the characteristically Islamic sense of the community of believers, rather than a concept of church or state, was firmly established as the central institutional identification for Muslims. In this way, Islam can be described as a way of life rather than as a religion separate from politics or other dimensions of society. Because of his role as the messenger of God, Muhammad's own personal actions and words had special prestige. When Muhammad died, Muslims faced the challenge of creating institutions to preserve the community. This is the Middle period of Islam. Muslims believe that the revelation was completed with the work of Muhammad, who is described as the seal of the prophets. The leaders after Muhammad were described only as caliphs, or successors to the Prophet, and not as prophets themselves. The first four caliphs were companions of the Prophet and their period of rule (632-661) is described by the majority of Muslims as the age of the Rightly Guided Caliphate. This was an era of expansion during which Muslims conquered the Sasanid (Persian) Empire and took control of the North African and Syrian territories of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire. The Muslim community was transformed from a small city-state controlling much of the Arabian Peninsula into a major world empire, in this case the Umayyad empire, extending from northwest Africa to central Asia. The emphasis