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Current time:0:00Total duration:9:40

Video transcript

I'm going to give an overview on the beginning of Islam and regardless of whether you are part of an Islamic culture you are practicing Muslim or you believe in the Islamic traditions it's valuable to learn about the beginnings of Islam because today nearly one-fourth of the world's population either is a practicing Muslim or has grown up in an Islamic tradition now the beginnings of Islam really are centered on the life and the revelations of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad now the term Islam means surrender and as we'll see a lot of the revelations of Muhammad are about surrendering to God about the oneness of God about not worshiping idols and to put Muhammad in perspective on a timeline I have other significant biblical figures here and these are important not just to get a reference towards Christianity and Judaism but because according to Islamic tradition Islam is built on top of the teachings of Abraham or the teachings of Moses and the Torah and the teachings of Jesus Muslims believe that the Quran is the final Testament so to speak now get some - get some context Muhammad was born in sixth century Arabia and sixth century Arabia was an interesting place in many other videos we've talked about various empires around the Mediterranean around the Mesopotamia and Persia and even on this map in the time of Muhammad you see significant empires the Byzantine Empire the eastern Roman Empire you have Sassanid Persia but Arabia was never really consolidated or ruled by a formal or most of Arabia by a formal government or a formal Empire the rule of law in most of Arabia in the world in which Muhammad was born into was a tribal world where you protect you're protected by your tribe and it was really the laws of vendetta and revenge that kept certain things in check but also would lead to a lot of war a lot of violence and it would in Arabia there were many folks who are bed wins who are nomadic people who traveled through the the desert allowing their livestock to graze on whatever a suitable land they found but you also had settled people in places like Mecca you had played people who'd settled and started agriculture around oases remember most of the Arabian Peninsula is really desert and Mohammed was born into a fairly or a very prominent family in Mecca he was born to the Quraysh tribe and the Quraysh tribe was essentially in control of Mecca and Mecca was a very powerful City to control because it was a religious center for the region this is the Kaaba which exists today and is the center of Islamic worship and at the time it housed hundreds of idols which were important to the various tribes and people of Arabia at the time and so you can imagine as they did the pilgrimage towards Mecca to worship their idols it also benefitted the economy of Mecca in a significant way and not only was Muhammad born into this powerful tribe he was born to one of the most powerful clans within that tribe and within one of the most powerful houses within that clan but even though he was born into this very powerful family clan and tribe his early life was quite difficult his father died right before he was born his mother dies at the age of six years old and then his grandfather who is who then takes custody of him and by most is by most accounts he doesn't get a lot of privileges there's when you're a member of a tribe but your source essentially orphaned the tribe is doing essentially just the base necessities to keep you alive but then his grandfather dies when he is 8 years old and he becomes he goes under the custody of his uncle Abu Talib now as he grows older he does learn a skill he essentially becomes a merchant he goes on trading journeys with his uncle Abu Talib to places like Syria and as he does that according to Islamic tradition he gets a very favorable reputation he gets these titles like al-amin the trustworthy one or al Siddiq the truthful now he continues doing that until the age of 25 at 25 years old something very interesting happens a very wealthy widows arguably one of the wealthiest people in all of Mecca who runs a trading a vast trading enterprise Khadija who was 40 years old she employs Mohammed and apparently is so impressed by his honesty by his his ability to be trustworthy that she proposes to him and he remembers she's 40 this would be her third marriage and he is 25 and he accepts the proposal now this is significant because as we'll see on in this video in the next cathedra is the first one to follow Mohammed or believe in Muhammad's revelations so he continues to do to work with his life arguably work for his wife and then in 610 he's now 40 years old he is praying in a cave or on the outskirts of Mecca and while he is praying he is purported to get his first revelation from God according to Islamic traditions and that first revelation and this is the mountain where it is purported to happen the mountain of Light Jabal al noor this is the cave cave hira the first revelation is proclaim in the name of thy lord and cherisher who created man out of a clot of congealed blood proclaim and thy Lord is most bountiful who taught by the pen taught man that which he knew not and so Muhammad according to Islamic account he's kind of very concerned by this he does not view himself as a preacher he does not view himself as as someone who should be a prophet and he goes to Khadija and he's worried and cathedra takes him to her Christian cousin who reassures Muhammad who tells Muhammad that he believes that he is a prophet in the tradition of Abraham and Moses and so that to some degree makes Muhammad feel a little bit better and he doesn't have some revelations for a while and he becomes concerned but then he eventually starts to have many many revelations but he keeps it to himself at first but roughly three years later he starts to publicly preach these revelations so these revelations which really talk about the oneness of God there's no god but God it's very appealing especially to some of the economically lower strata but you could also imagine it's very very threatening to the establishment of Mecca you have to remember the establishment of Mecca it revolves around the the worship of these idols and now you have this guy a member of the Quraish tribe the tribe that that worships who Baal the tribe that is in charge of mecca that benefits from all these people worshipping these various idols he's now saying that idol worship is a sin he's saying that there's no god but God that all of these idols are false idols and so the Quraish tribe Muhammad's own tribe begins to significantly persecute the early Muslims so much so that many of the early Muslims have to migrate from Mecca to the kingdom of Aksum which was ruled by a Christian king who protects them from the Quraish tribe this now modern-day Ethiopia or Eritrea and so things are not going well for these early Muslims they're really they're they're really in the on there being targeted by the Quraysh tribe they're being killed they're being tortured and then things get even worse for Muhammad in 6:19 you have the death of his wife Khadijah and just to get a sense of how powerful Khadija was to Muhammad we have this quote that we get from the hadith which are accounts of Muhammad's life and sayings and it tells us God Almighty never granted me any one better in this life than her she accepted me when people rejected me she believed in me when people doubted me she shared her wealth with me when people deprived me and God granted me children only through her this is once again according to the the the the sayings or the life of Muhammad as accounted for by one of the Hadid and not only did his wife who up to that time was his only wife died and was a significant figure but in that same year his uncle also dies so you can imagine this year 6:19 often referred to as a year of Sorrows it's a it's a fairly low point for Muhammad he's been preaching for about or he's been getting these revelations and preaching for around nine years now and things are not looking good