By Encyclopædia Britannica

ISBN-10: 1593398492

ISBN-13: 9781593398491

Glossy Islam can look so assorted as to defy description, but it's held jointly by way of more desirable forces than virtually the other global group—the annual hajj to Mecca itself draws greater than a million Muslims. And regardless of major non secular ameliorations, Islam continues to be one of many least sectarian of worldwide religions. such a lot Muslims dwell in societies within which the impression of culture is especially robust, and within which modernization has additionally penetrated to a point. The Britannica consultant to the Islamic global introduces the guidelines which are the least understood to these outdoor the faith, and the place Islam is practiced through the global.

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In or around 621 a delegation from Yathrib, a city north of Mecca, con tacted Mu~ammad and, having heard of his sense of justice and power of leadership, invited him to go to their city and become their leader. At that time Yathrib end ured a constant struggle between its two leading tribes, the 'Aws and the Khazrai, with a sizeable Jewish community constituting the third important social group of the city. After some deliberation by Mu~ammad, a preliminary meeting was held in Al'Aqabah (now in Jordan ), and during the pilgrimage season of 622 a formal agreement was made with the people of Yathrib according to which Mu~ammad and his followe rs would be protected by the people of that city.

The age-old Arab institution of inter-tribal revenge (tha'r) - whereby it was not necessarily the killer who was executed but a person equal in rank to the slain person - was rejected. The pre-Islamic ethical ideal of manliness was modified and replaced by a more humane ideal of moral vi rtue and piety. J4 THE ISLAMIC WORLD Fundamental Practices : The Five Pillars of Islam During the earliest decades after the death of the Prophet, certain basic features of the religious and socia l o rganization of Islam were singled out (0 serve as anchoring points for the commu nity's life.

Mu~ammad, however, has many other names, including "sacred names", which Muslims believe were given to him by God and by which he is called in various contexts. Trad itionally, 99 names for him are commonly used in litanies and prayers. Among the most ofren used and also central to the understanding of his nature is A~mad ("the Most Glori fi ed"), which is considered an inner and celestial name for Muhammad . Over the centuries Muslim authorities have believed that, when Christ spoke of the coming reign of the Pa raclete, he was referring to A ~mad.

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The Britannica Guide to the Islamic World by Encyclopædia Britannica


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