Thesis: In his book, No god but God, Reza Aslan recounts the history and teachings of Islam in order to deconstruct the barriers within interreligious comprehension. Within the Arabian desert rests the town of Mecca which houses the Ka‘ba, the pantheon site where the all the pagan Arab pilgrims converged to worship their tribal deities. Although no one knows who built the square, roofless structure, or when it was set up, the Ka‘ba became the center of the religious life in pre-Islamic Arabia, the sixth century Anno Domini (AD), is characterized as a time of complex beliefs of no universalism or moral absolutism, neo-animism (providing a host of intermediary deities between the creator god and his creation), and henotheism (belief in a…show more content… While Muhammad was regarded as an honorable and trustworthy man in the community, he remained unmarried and without any capital or business of his own for twenty five years. After succeeding at almost doubling the expected profit for a caravan, Muhammad was awarded a proposal of marriage from the rich forty-year old widow named Khadija. Although this marriage elevated Muhammad to the upper echelon of society, he felt conflicted by his dual status in society: his renowned reputation and tahannuth (self justification), which led to his seeking of solitude. In 610 AD, Muhammad received his first revelation from Allah, and while he feared madness and contemplated suicide, Muhammad was granted a second revelation from Allah, declaring his sanity and Prophethood. Muhammad thusly began to preach about social reform and the demise of tribal ethic.
In 613 AD, Muhammad’s message transitioned into a shahadah: the twofold profession of faith claiming that there is no god but God and Muhammad is God’s Messenger. Although religious proclamation was not new to Mecca, Muhammad’s claim to being unequal from others and attack on the uselessness of the Ka‘ba set him apart from previous prophets. Additionally, this message targeted Muhammad for persecution from the Quraysh, who did not want their religio-system upturned. Despite some persecution and a boycott on trading with