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Historical Context

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The geography and cultural influences in Arabia during the 6th century a.d. had a significant influence on the beginning and development of the religion of Islam. Muhammad's early life was normal. When he was 40, he claimed to have a revelation from the angel Gabriel about worshiping the one "true" God, Allah. He receives further revelations that he records in what has become known as the Quran. Because of his revelation, Muhammad destroyed the family idols and then fled to Medina with a group of his supporters. There were significant military battles in which Muhammad and his followers defended themselves even though they were greatly outnumbered. Some of the Muslim mosques that were built have great religious and historical significance.


The Historical Context of Islam


I. Arabia in the Sixth Century

A. Inhabitants

B. Mecca and the Ka'ba


II. Muhammad

A. Early Life

B. Call to Public Ministry

C. Revelations

D. The Qur'an

E. Early Christian Influences

F. The Hegira (622)

1. Powerful Corporate Movement

2. Birth of a New Religion

3. Emergence of a New Political Authority

G. Battles

1. Badr (624)

2. Uhud (625)

3. Return to Mecca (630)


III. Mosques

A. The Prophet's Mosque

B. The Grand Mosque

C. The Prophet's Prayer Mosque

D. The Dome of the Rock


For more on The Historical Context of Islam, go to "Introduction to Islam" in the Leadership Education section of this site:

Lecture #1 - Introduction

Lecture #2 - Pre-Islamic Arabia

Lecture #3 - Muhammad: The Man - His Life and Influences, Part 1 and Part 2

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