30 Muhammads Life and the Origins and Spread of Islam for Middle School Students

January 24, 2017

What do you know about Islam? Maybe that the word Islam comes the Arabic root "Salema": peace, purity, submission and obedience. Maybe you know that it's The fastest growing religion in the world, the center of study for millions in the United States, and a trending topic on Social Media everywhere. In today’s edition of the Hauger History podcast, we separate hype and fiction, and discuss some of the origins of Islam for MIddle School Students.

Thanks for joining us on this 6th grade edition of Hauger HIstory Podcast with Mr. Hauger, I am the second part. Today we discuss the origins and spread of Islam. Thanks for listening, you can find the Hauger History Podcast on YouTube at the Danny Hauger Channel, at Haugerhistory.podbean.com, on itunes, or on Twitter @HaugerHistory. (www.dannyhauger.com

Islam began on the Arabian Peninsula and spread outward. Islamic traders from the Arabian Peninsula who traveled to Persian, Egypt, Spain, and elsewhere brought their religion with them. Islam spread through trade, war, and peace.

Today, more than a billion people around the world practice Islam, and the Middle East, which includes the Arabian Peninsula, is one of the most important regions in the world. In this unit, you will take a closer look at this region.

The prophet Muhammad was born sometime around 570 C.E. (For a Christian reference point, this was about 540 years or so after the time of Jesus. Muhammad taught of a faith called Islam. The word Islam comes the Arabic root "Salema": peace, purity, submission and obedience. Followers of Islam are called Muslim. Muslim is an Arabic word that means one who submits to Allah. Allah is told to be the same God worshipped by the JEws and Christians, who are often referred to as people of the book. Islam shares many of the Old Testament and Christian prophets. Muhammad teaches that he is the seal of the prophets, who is the final messenger with a direct line of communication to teach the will of God.

Muhammad’s birthplace, Mecca, was an ancient place of worship and is sacred ground for Muslims. There are also many relevant locations to Abraham and other Old Testament prophets, building on the history of the people of the book and making reference to it.

 

Abraham built a house of worship at the site, called the Ka’bah. Over time, people settled near it. By the time of Muhammad’s birth, this settlement, now known as Meccas, was a prosperous city at the crossroads of great trade routes. Muhammad had a difficult time growing up, losing his father, and was sent to live with a family of nomads in the desert. He learned the skills of being a merchant from his family and became a skilled trader, and communicator who won the respect of colleagues and people around him. He married an influential woman at 25 and had several children.

Between 610 and 611 CE, Muhammad had a vision within a cave in the Mountains and was visited by the Angel Gabriel. He was told he was a messenger of God. His teachings were recorded by his followers in the Qur’an, as Muhammad could neither read nor write. Not everyone accepted him readily as a prophet, and he was met with significant resistance. The ideals of charity, peace, and generosity won many people over as Muhammad continued to travel and teach people of his faith. Muhammad led an army to eventually remove all previous idols of worship in Mecca, and did so without battle, after finding loyalty from other clans and tribes who were appreciative of his message.

After Muhammad’s death shortly after, there was disagreement over who should continue to lead the faith, Abu Bakr, the chosen Caliph, or Muslim Ruler, Bakr used military force and converted much of the Arabian Peninsula. Caliph Umar continued to expand territory of Muslim influence after Bakr’s death. Most Muslims, called Sunnis, supported the line of the Caliphate, as leaders of Islam. A split came when Shi’ah Muslims, believed that true leadership could only come from Muhammad’s bloodline through his daughter Fatima, should be acknowledged as the true leaders of the faith.

Many people came to worship and make pilgrimage to the Ka’bah. This still occurs today, as one of the five pillars of Muslim faith, to make at least one trip to Mecca in your life, if you are able.

After Muhammad’s call to faith and diligent work, which was challenged by many at the time, the Ka’bah became a center of Islamic worship as the faith spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula and beyond.

The Qur'an is the holy book of Islam. Its pages record Muhammad's teachings. Eric Von Seggern/Shutterstock

Importance to modern day: In the religious sense, Islam means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law.

A Pew Research poll in 2015  are predicting a jump from 1.6 to 2.7 billion Muslims by the year 2050 if current trends continue (Becoming nearly 31% of the world’s population).

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