ISLAM

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SHEIKH

the leader of an Arab village or family

REVELATION

communication of knowledge to man by a divine or supernatural agency

IMAM

Muslim prayer leader

SUNNI

a member of the branch of Islam that accepts the first four caliphs as rightful successors to Muhammad

HAJJ

the fifth pillar of Islam is a pilgrimage to Mecca during the month of Dhu al-Qadah

MUHAMMAD

Founder of Islamic religion and is regarded as a messenger and prophet of God

MUSLIMS

those who practice the religion of Islam; believe in one God, and the prophet Muhammad whom they believe God spoke through

QURAN

the sacred writings of Islam revealed by God to the prophet Muhammad during his life at Mecca and Medina

SHIITE

a member of the branch of Islam that regards Ali as the legitimate successor to Mohammed and rejects the first three caliphs

CALIPH

the civil and religious leader of a Muslim state considered to be a representative of Allah on earth

JIHAD

a doctrine within Islam. Commonly translated as "Holy War," Jihad represents either a personal or collective struggle on the part of Muslims to live up the religious standards set by the Qu'ran.

CALLIGRAPHY

beautiful handwriting

UMAYYAD DYNASTY

Who: Governor of Syria, Muawiya, and his successors, Shi'ites, Sunnis, Kharijites, Uthman. What: Dynasty based on succession rather than election following the first period of caliphates. Continued advances in the kingdom, venturing as far as China and deep into Asia, claiming Afghanistan for a Muslim base. Fell apart due to tension in the kingdom between the Sunnis, Shi'ites, and Kharijites, the malawis (Muslim converts) and born Muslims, and the religion and state. When: 661-750 Where: Middle East, Damascus Why: Beginning of great strife in the Muslim community

MECCA

the holiest city of Islam; Muhammad's birthplace

MEDINA

City in western Arabia to which the Prophet Muhammad and his followers emigrated in 622 to escape persecution in Mecca.

RAMADAN

Holy month in which believers of Islam must fast during the time the sun is up and pray

MUSLIM CALENDAR

is a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. It is used to date events in many Muslim countries and used by Muslims everywhere to determine the proper day on which to celebrate Islamic holy days and festivals.

BEDOUIN

wandering/nomadic Arab tribes

ABU BAKR

Companion of 1st muslim leader after Muhammad. Regarded by Sunni's as the 1st caliph and rightful succesor. The Shi'ah regard him as a traitor of Muhammad. Known as best interpretter of dreams following Muhammad's death.

MUHAMMED'S JOURNEY

Who: Prophet, teacher, founder of Islam What: Lived a normal life for forty years, and then retreated to a cave wherein the angle Gabriel told him all about Allah, he then preached. However, he was soon forced to flee to Medina by merchants and religious leaders who were losing business because he was causing people to rethink their ways. In Medina he gradually formed an army, and went back to take Mecca by force. He then became the leader of the Umma, or Muslim community.

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