This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Is There Anything Original About Islam?

2455 words - 10 pages

Is there such thing as a true paradigm shift in history? Can events take a new course radically independent of the past? Or is such a view a naive, idealised narrative that should be constrained to the great works of fiction? This is the polarising debate among Western academics with the romantic outlook supported by Hegel and popularised by Carlyle's 1841 lecture series On Heroes and Hero Worship losing ground in the second half of the last century to the deterministic view of the social sciences, a tradition beginning with writers such as Marx. The rise of Islam is a particularly fascinating case study for both camps. A new religious tradition is formed, a civilisation born, and within one hundred years of the founder's death an empire stretching from Western Europe to the Indic plains created. This essay will examine the literature placing these events within the cultural context of the Arabian Peninsula. I will begin by outlining the challenge that faces us in such an investigation, consider the social changes of the period, examine the religious background and conclude that Islam saw itself not as a radically different religion, but the continuation of the tradition of Abraham and Moses, the most original aspect of which is the claim that the Koran is the recited word of God.One key difficulty in assessing the position of Islam in the history of salvation is our lack of knowledge of the cultural situation that existed before the life of the Prophet. There is no Muslim equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls, nor is it likely that such evidence will be discovered given what little we do know about the religious background of pre-Islamic Arabia. This issue will taint the main part of this investigation; therefore it is perhaps useful to cite a case study to illustrate the problems that face historians of Islam.Writing in the Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1968) , Kister navigates existing scholarship in order to give a clearer insight into the meaning of a single Arabic term that appears in two key stories about the life of the Prophet. The term 'al-taḥannuth' occurs in stories related by both Ibn Ishāq and Al-Bukhārī, both in reference to the Prophet's sojourn at Mt. Ḥirâ. Early Muslim scholars were unaware as the exact meaning of the term but associated it with practices such as seclusion, meditation or contemplation. Clearly there are similarities here with Eastern practices of the Indic peoples as well as the Christian monastic tradition to the West. Kister shows that modern scholars are also divided with definitions varying from "living a solitary life" to "a kind of service at the temple" . Hirschfield believes the term derives directly from the Hebrew 'teḥinnoth' meaning 'prayers'. Watt tentatively agrees stating the term refers to "some sort of devotional prayer". If this is correct then one could certainly put forward a case for Jewish influences in the Prophet's life before...

Find Another Essay On Is there anything original about Islam?

P_TA: There is Nothing ‘Ethical’ About it

775 words - 4 pages the KKK “inappropriate.” Though, as with most of PETA’s protests, there is a small sliver of truth behind their ludicrous displays. According to the Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA, mixed breed dogs, or “mutts”, are prone to being healthier and “temperamentally sound”, as opposed to their purebred counterparts. In 2011, PETA momentarily shifted their interests away from domesticated animals and struck a nerve in the gaming community by

"Twelfth Night": Thy mind is a very opal. Is this a fair description of Orsino, or is there anything to be said in his favour?

965 words - 4 pages In the Renaissance-era romantic comedy, "Twelfth Night", William Shakespeare presents to us an entertaining play riddled with humorous plots and, in some instances, comical and witty exchanges between the characters in the play. In a novel peppered with subtle notions of deceit and illusion, it is fascinating how some of the most revealing truths about the characters actually lie beneath the innocent banters. Under the influence of illusion and

In the news today there is an article about a

1297 words - 5 pages In the news today there is an article about a high-school boy who brought guns to school and shot several students. The parents of the victims are suing various computer game companies saying that the violent games present shooting and killing people as pleasurable and fail to portray realistic consequences. A representative of one of the companies released a statement saying that this is another example of individuals seeking to elude

Damn Near Everything There Is To Know About Cells:

1029 words - 4 pages Damn Near Everything There Is To Know About Cells: Biology Cell Report There are many parts of a cell, they all have specific duties, and are all needed to continue the life of the cell. Some cells exist as single-celled organisms that perform all of the organism's metabolism within a single cell. Such single-celled organisms are called unicellular. Other organisms are made up of many cells, with their cells specialized to perform distinct

Why is Islam perceived as a threat to the west? What justification is there in viewing Islam as a political threat to the west?

986 words - 4 pages filled with Heretics or Infidels. In modern times another reason for western people's apprehension towards Islam is that they do not understand it's people or customs, they may see a women wearing a veil and automatically think she is a grenade-toting terrorist.In the last 25 years there has been a resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism and many western people automatically link these groups to the mainstream Muslim population and state, this is


1424 words - 6 pages film. The film cross-cuts to Joey talking to Sal, agreeing to talk to Jake about an association with the mobster Tommy. Then it cross-cuts back to the apartment where Jake is violently pushing his wife around as Joey enters the frame. Irma subsequently slams the door, literally putting a barrier between her and her ferocious husband and figuratively showing their isolation once again.. His threat to kill her if she breaks anything further

A brief look at Islam as a religion and what it is all about

1972 words - 8 pages one concept of two which form the basis of Islam. The second concept is the Sunnah of the Prophet which means the way Mohammad lived his life in Arabic. A Muslim can not practice Islam without applying both of them to his life. There are also Hadiths that is a narration about the life of the Prophet and are very important for Muslim world. The quick expansion of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries made the Islamic scholars preserve the knowledge of

Childhood Memories, it is about growing up in Toronto, Ontario and memories from there in

1179 words - 5 pages Growing up was good on my brother and I. Toronto, Ontario. This is the place where it all started, for our family. I look back now and see my time there as invaluable. Oh of course it had its problems, but that's all part of what makes our family our family. After the seemingly endless school years in our urban setting, John (that's my brother) and I would always look forward to the two month stay at our own personal getaway, Crystal Bay. It

The Crucible - What Is There About The Society Of Salem, Which Allows The Girls Stories To Be Believed?

2680 words - 11 pages The Crucible - what is there about the society of Salem, which allows the girls stories to be believed?The edge of the wilderness was close by. The American continent stretched endlessly west, and it was full of mystery for them. It stood dark and threatening, over their shoulders night and day, for out of it Indian tribes marauded from time to time. Act 1

What evidence is there to suggest that the conspiracy theorists might be right about the death of Martin Luther king

3634 words - 15 pages What evidence is there to suggest that the conspiracy theorists might be right about the death of Martin Luther King, Jr?James Earl Ray died in a Nashville Hospital in 1998. He was the principal suspect in the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis Tennessee, on 4 Apr, 1968. Ray had been an out-of-work drifter and was an escaped felon at the time of the shooting; he was captured in London two months after the assassination, and

Amongst brand/marketing management there is a significant polarization about the cost-effectiveness of using celebrities in advertising communications. Explain

970 words - 4 pages with the option of using a celebrity, everything must be thought out carefully. It is of big importance to cast the right star for the advertisement. The chosen star must be well-suited for the product and brand he/she is promoting. It has to have some connection to the product; it has to have the knowledge, experience and to be qualified to talk about the product. The person advertising the product must be credible, trustworthy, honest, ethical

Similar Essays

Is There Anything Special About Religion And Zoos?

1102 words - 5 pages a sense of secureness as i am surrounded by many god statues and priests. Hinduism, just like Islam and Christianity, have significant ways of teaching. Hindus believe in the world’s most ancient sacred writings, the divinity of the four Vedas. Hindus have belief in the universe, which goes through continuous cycles of formation, protection, and cessation. In Hinduism, there is a belief that all souls reincarnates, thereby developing

The World Humanity: Is There Anything Left?

844 words - 4 pages Assalamualaikum w.b.t and very good morning to my lovely lecturer, Sir Nasiruddin Bin Mohd Fazali and my fellow friends. Have u heard story about a cat, HERO and leopard burned alive???Before that I have question to ask, how many of u love cat? And how many of u have pets? Anything pet’s u has? For your information like Charles M.Schulz said “Happiness is a warm puppy.” Animals also can be describes as a good friend for us, that can relate

Is There Really Anything To Fear?

1365 words - 5 pages Is There Really Anything To Fear? Chad Hanes The death penalty has grown into a judicial, legal, and financial circus. It's no longer a law to punish the guilty; it has become an endless economic drain on all counties and a humanity battle. We as Americans have forgotten what the death penalty is to be used for. Whether it is man, woman, or juvenile, if you are facing the death penalty you have committed a violent crime against society and need

Is There Anything In Life Worth Dying For?

570 words - 2 pages and protect this country at any cost.There are other matters like money and fame that lure and attract people to the path of death. Money and fame are one of those issues that every man longs for and is ready to give up anything; eventually this search leads to an ineffectual death. Since my opinion contradicts most people's idea, it doesn't mean I am right. I know there are different people in this world and different people have different