The founder of Islam. Born in 570 in Mecca in Quraysh clan. Raised by uncle. Married Khadija, daughter Fatima. Worked as caravan trader. 610 CE - visits from Archangel Gabriel about One True God, Allah and a coming judgment day. Preached his visions in the street to non-believers.
The pilgrimage to the sacred places of Islam.
Arabic title of the one God.
The original shrine of pagan Arabic religion in Mecaa containing the Black Stone; now one of the holiest places of Islam.
Holy war on behalf of the Muslim faith.
Literally, "flight"; Muhammad's forced flight from Mecca in 622 CE; it marks the 1st year of the Muslim calendar.
The holy scripture of Islam, thought to be (literally) the word of God.
The entire Muslim community, meaning something like the Christian concept of the "Church."
Arabic (Khalifa) for "deputy" to the Prophet Muhammad; leader of the Islamic community. "Deputy of God's Messenger."
The caliphs resident in Damascus from 661-750 CE. Initiated by the governor of Syria, Muawiya.
A minority sect of Islam; adherents believe that kinship with Muhammad is necessary to qualify for the caliphate. Supporters of Ali (Muhammad's cousin/son-in-law).
The majority group in Islam; adherents believe that the caliphate should go to the most qualified individual and should not necessarily pass to the kin of Muhammad. Supporters of Muawiya and his successors.
The dynasty of caliphs who governed the Islamic Empire from 750-1258 CE. Claimed descent from Abbas, Muhammad's uncle. More accepting than Umayyads.
Poll tax collected from non-Muslims.
The sacred law of Islam; based on the Qu'ran and the oral traditions of/examples set by (Sunna) the Prophet Muhammad.
An official of Muslim government, especially a high Turkish official equivalent to prime minister.
Arabic term for a popular form of Islam that emphasizes emotional union with God and mystical powers.
Muslim religious scholars, usually specialists in Holy Law; sometimes called "mullah."
Five Pillars of Islam
Popular term for the basic tenets of Muslim faith. Includes:
1) profession of faith (shahada)
5) giving alms