Sample Term Paper
This term paper discusses the life of Muhammad. He was a part of a merchant family fit in to the Hashimite branch of the Quraysh tribe living in the wealthy town of Mecca, in what is today Saudi Arabia.
The life of Muhammad and the growth of Islam have to be understood in terms of both religious image and worldly impact. Islam was initiated by the Prophet Mohammad, who lived from 570 A.D. to 632 A.D. He was a part of a merchant family fit in to the Hashimite branch of the Quraysh tribe living in the wealthy town of Mecca, in what is today Saudi Arabia. Muhammad married a widow for whom he did business for and had several children with her. When he was forty years old he started to get revelations from God which was sent through the angel Gabriel. For the next twenty two years he continued to receive the revelations. The messages were written down in a book format after his death in shape of Quran. Mohammad condemned the blatant polytheism which was prevalent in that region and the materialistic lifestyle of the Makkans who were pagan idolaters. His message was not received well by his clan and other people and in 622 he left Makkah and migrated, with a group of followers, to the town of Yathrib, which was later called Medina. He had been invited by the people of Yathrib to build a community there and merge the political and religious leadership in his own hands. Although there were several battles which took place between his followers and the people of Makkah, however, the decisive turn came when he led his followers unarmed for pilgrimage and he was not allowed to perform the pilgrimage, The Quraysh, in violation of their role as custodians of the Ka’bah and hosts of the pilgrimage, deprived of entry. A treaty was signed with the enemies, which was breached by the Makkans and Muslims eventually captured Makkah peacefully. The Muslim forces had developed into a force both in terms of military ability, number of supporters of Islam, and in alliances with other tribes. While the Quraysh’s position became militarily, economically and politically weaker. (Rao, 1978).
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