Muhammad's Mission

Author: Tilman Nagel

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

ISBN: 3110675072

Category: History

Page: 338

View: 1561


Combining vast erudition with a refusal to bow before the political pressures of the day, Muhammad’s Mission: Religion, Politics, and Power at the Birth of Islam by Professor Tilman Nagel, one of the world’s leading authorities on Islam, is an introduction to three inseparable topics: the life of Muhammad (570-632 CE), the composition of the Koran, and the birth of Islam. While accessible to a general audience, it will also be of great interest to specialists, since it is the first English translation of Professor Nagel’s attempt to summarize a lifetime of research on these topics. The Introduction, Chapters 1-2, and Appendix 1 provide essential historical background on the Arab tribal system and Muhammad’s position within that system; the political situation in pre-Islamic Arabia; the history of Mecca; and pre-Islamic Arabian religions. Chapters 3-5 cover the beginnings of the revelations that Muhammad claimed to be receiving from Allah, paying special attention to the influence on Muhammad of the hanifs, a group of pre-Islamic pagan monotheists attested in the earliest Islamic sources. The hanifs claimed to trace their religion back to the putative original monotheism of Abraham, from which they claimed Jews and Christians had deviated by, among other things, abandoning animal sacrifice. Chapter 6 explains how Muhammad’s religious message included a thinly-veiled claim to have the right to political power over Mecca, a claim that exacerbated tensions with his own clan and led eventually to his expulsion from Mecca, as recounted in Chapter 7. Chapters 8-10 describe the impact of the hijra on the evolution of Islam. Seeing himself as the true heir to Abraham and the prophets who followed him, Muhammad would demand allegiance from Jews and Christians, as recounted in Sura 2 and other Medinan suras. He would initiate a war against Mecca, not in self-defense, but in order to gain control over the Kaaba, the central hanif shrine and the new qibla or direction of prayer for the Muslims. The Muslim victory at the Battle of Badr in 624 would help to shape a new ideal of a militarized religiosity in which those who waged war under Muhammad’s command would attain the rank of “true believers,” while those converts who refused to make hijra and to fight for Muhammad were relegated to the lower rank of “mere Muslims,” as Suras 8 and 49 make clear. Muhammad’s war against Mecca alienated many of his Medinan followers, the ansar. The refusal of the Jews to convert to Islam, combined with the close connection of the Jews to the ansar, led Muhammad to make war on the Jews as well as the Meccans. The surrender of Mecca in 630 (Chapter 11) did not lead to the end of war, for the aggressiveness and military success of Muhammad’s movement had made it attractive to a slew of new converts whose desire for booty had to be placated. Sura 9, promulgated near the end of Muhammad’s life, served as a broad declaration of war against polytheists, Jews, and Christians. Chapter 12 describes the evolution of Islam late in Muhammad’s life into a “religious warriors’ movement” that sought to extend the rule of Islam over the entire inhabited world. Chapter 13 covers the final pilgrimage and death of Muhammad, while Chapters 14-20 describe the development of Islamic dogma surrounding the figure of Muhammad and its implications for politics in the Islamic world and interfaith relations with non-Muslims up till the present day. The book concludes with appendices in which Nagel summarizes the state of scholarship regarding the life of Muhammad (Appendix 2) and the tensions between competing varieties of Muslim recollection of Muhammad (Appendix 3). Muhammad’s Mission: Religion, Politics, and Power at the Birth of Islam is an erudite and authoritative guide to events of world-historical importance by a scholar who has spent a lifetime mastering the primary sources documenting the birth of Islam.

Muhammad's Grave

Author: Leor Halevi

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231511930

Category: Religion

Page: 416

View: 7542


In his probing study of the role of death rites in the making of Islamic society, Leor Halevi imaginatively plays prescriptive texts against material culture and advances new ways of interpreting highly contested sources. His original research reveals that religious scholars of the early Islamic period produced codes of funerary law not only to define the handling of a Muslim corpse but also to transform everyday urban practices. Relying on oral traditions, these scholars established new social patterns in the cities of Arabia, Mesopotamia, and the eastern Mediterranean. They distinguished Islamic rites from Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian rites and changed the way men and women interacted publicly and privately. In each chapter Halevi explores a different layer of human interaction, following the movement of the corpse from the deathbed to the grave. In the process he analyzes the real and imaginary relationships between husbands and wives, prayer leaders and mourners, and even dreamers and the dead. He describes how Muslims wailed for the deceased, prepared corpses for burial, marched in funerary processions, and prayed for the dead, highlighting the specific economic and political factors involved in these rituals as well as key religious and sexual divisions. Offering a unique perspective on the making of Islamic social and religious ideals during this early period, Halevi forges a fascinating link between the development of funerary rites and the efforts of an emerging religion to carve out its own, distinct identity. Muhammad's Grave is a groundbreaking history of the rise of Islam and the roots of contemporary Muslim attitudes toward the body and society.

The Genealogist

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Genealogy

Page: 616

View: 8490


Bibliotheca Indica

Author: N.A

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: India

Page: 802

View: 1730


The Hadhrami Diaspora in Southeast Asia

Author: Hassan Ibrahim,Abu Shouk

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9047425782

Category: Social Science

Page: 316

View: 2958


This volume addresses the question of the Hadhrami Identity in Southeast Asia from various perspectives, and investigates the patterns of the Hahdrami interaction with diverse cultures, values and beliefs in the region. Special attention is also paid to the Hadhrami local and transnational politics, social stratification and in Southeast Asia.