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I s l a m : pics + short timeline April 29, 2015

Posted by anagasto in art, history, Spain.
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Short T i m e l i n e

570 …..Birth of Muhammad.
610 ……. Muhammad receives first vision in a cave near Mecca.
610-22 ….  Muhammad preaches in Mecca.
622 .  …   …. Islamic calendar (AH, Anno Hegirae) begins.
632 …. Death of Muhammad.
633-42…  Muslim armies conquer the Middle East.
650 ….. ….. Qur’an written down.
685-705 …….  Arabic becomes official written language
710 …..  … …….  Arab armies enter Spain from North Africa.
732 ..  …  ….. …  ..  Muslim empire reaches its furthest extent.

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The dark green patches are the countries where Islam is prevalent.
It is often associated with the Arab countries of the Middle East, but  it reaches much further in every direction.

800px-World_Muslim_Population_Map

The map is from Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam

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The Kaaba

Islam began with the teachings of Muhammad some 1400 years ago.
Muslims believe that God revealed the Koran to Muhammad, God’s final prophet, through the angel Gabriel.
It was not considered a new religion, but a rectification of the Bible.

In the Koran Islam is described as “the primordial nature upon which God created mankind”.

See http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/islam/images/172986/title</span/medina-photo

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Muslims love their sacred Book.
Even the illiterate know many of its verses by heart and use them to decorate their living rooms.

They consider the Koran perfect only as revealed in the original Arabic.
They would not believe that Allah’s words can be translated into modern languages.

Its verses are rhymed, and the scholars learn how to recite them.

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Muhammad was an orphan brought up by his uncle.
Later he worked as a merchant and shepherd.
He retreated to a cave in the desert to meditate, and at the age of 40 he received his first revelation in the month of Ramadan.

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tn ritual walking around the k 7 times wiki

Islamic traditions assert that the Kaaba was originally built by Adam.
Ibrahim and Ismail rebuilt it on the old foundations.
Every Muslim who can afford it must visit it at least once to walk around it seven times.

According to tradition, the stone fell from heaven to show Adam and Eve where to build an altar.
The stone was lost in the great Flood, and Mohammed found it again when the angel Gabriel gave him the first message for the Koran.

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kaaba const1

Their laws ask Muslims to give alms to the poor, pray five times a day looking towards the Kaaba, and they must fast during the month of Ramadan.
The website  http://www.ezsoftech.com offers detailed drawings and photos of the inside of the Kaaba and its construction.

In 2009 Ramadan was from August 22 to September 20.
In 2010 Ramadan
was from August 11  to September 9, according to Wikipedia.

The date may vary because our calendar, called the Gregorian calendar, is  solar, while the Islamic calendar is  lunar.
There are also variations from country to country depending on whether the moon has been sighted or not.

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The Koran

Seen at http://www.tit.tn/coffret_qoran.php. I believe inside there is a prayer chain, similar to what Catholics call the Rosary, beads on a string used to count repetitive prayers.

Unlike the Bible, the Koran is first of all a book of guidance  based on divine revelation as received by one man, Islam’s founder, Mohammed.
It is all of one mind.

The Bible spans some 1500 years between the first and the last entries.
Its stories, poetry, laws, and histories each differ in style and focus, and so most people can only get to know some little part of it.

Sultan_Ahmed_Mosque,_Istambul

William Pfaff on the difference between the Koran and the Bible:

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Koran public domain

The Koran acknowledges the scriptures collected by  Jews and Christians  as  coming from God, but considers them corrupted by careless transmission.

The great Biblical names are the same.
Mohammed may have heard about the Bible from the caravans of the traders that stopped at his town.

Added in May 2015:

“In 610 ad, Mohammed fell asleep in a cave, when [ …] the angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him he would be the messenger of God (Allah). He would have this experience repeatedly throughout the rest of his ife. Each time, the angel would provide him with a lesson (sura) which he was to commit to memory. These were eventually recorded, and after his death collected into the Islamic holy book, the Quran (or Koran).”

quoted from
The Philosophies and Religions of the Roman Empire
Dr. C. George Boeree
http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/romanempire.html
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At the time, most people and Mohammed himself could not write, but learnt by heart what they needed to know to teach others.

Then, gradually,  the Koran was recorded on clay tablets, bones and palm leaves. Later, there were printing plates made of stone or wood.
Now,  software firms  and designers are  busy developing computer fonts that can adequately render the Qur’an.

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Islam

5Age of Caliphs wiki year 750

Islam spread fast in the beginning, some 1300 years ago, and there were wars.
It reached Spain (Europe) and ruled large parts of Spain for 800 years. You can see it all over in Spain’s language and architecture and also in many of their customs and ways.

The part of Spain that was under Moslem rule was called Al Andalus.

Al Andalus was prosperous.

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800px-Vista_de_la_Alhambra

The Alhambra of Granada, Spain.
It was built in stages as a palace and a fortress by Muslim rulers and princes in Spain.
It is so full of legends and Heine ballads that it is a surprise to find out it really exists.

The photo by bernjan  is  at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vista_de_la_Alhambra.jpg
under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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Cordoba Spain Mezquita Cathedral

In Cordoba, Spain, there is a mezquita.
It is so large that later a cathedral was built inside it, in its middle.

You can see it on an aerial photo at commons.wikimedia.org/Mezquita

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The Sura

99throne verse

The chapters of the Koran are called Suras and Muslims know many of them by heart.

Sura 2, Verse 255,  is known as The Throne Verse :

“God: there is no god but Him, the Ever Living, the Ever Watchful.
Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him.
All that is in the heavens and in the earth belongs to Him…..”

Complete text:

Sura

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2basmalla

“Basmalla” is a reference to the beginning of every Sura in the Koran : “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”.

Everybody knows it and it is pronounced anytime before a meal or to start working.

Of the Koran there are manuscripts called illuminated manuscripts just as there are of the Bible, dating back to the time when there weren’t yet any printing presses. The important books were copied by hand and often decorated with miniature paintings fitted into the margins of the text or even into the first letter of a paragraph. So there were few books. The same books were read over and over.

from http://www.ee.bilkent.edu.tr/~history/Pictures2/koran.jpg

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6Mosque.Qibla

A Mosque with people at prayer.

You can see them pray like that at the gas stations along the highway when they cross Spain on the way home or coming back from a summer vacation.

The photo is under a CC license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mosque.jpg signed  by Antonio Melina/Agência Brasil. 01.Dec.2003 as 11605.jpg, from where it was downloaded, cropped, and resized by Hajor.

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Public prayer at a mosque. There are pigeons on the floor. Below there are people leaving the mosque: all the paintings are by Jean_Leon_Gerome

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Notice the street vendors. They could be women, but the people leaving the mosque are all men.

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An Arab and his donkey

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He is sitting in the street to sell a pelt.

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That boy is a snake charmer. He probably earns some money this way. In the background there is a wall covered with ceramic plates.

The paintings are by Jean-Leon Gerome from the Jean_Leon_Gerome website.

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4calligraphy of allah

Calligraphy of “Allah” :  Since pictures are basically prohibited, Islam developed its art around abstract shapes and letters.

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.god is the light

Another verse starts out like a fairy tale: “God is the Light […..] His Light is like this: There is a niche, and in it a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, a glass like a glittering star …”

Complete text :

Sura 24, Verse 35

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picture of the prophet236 b

Islam prohibits representations of this kind, but the prohibition is not enforced everywhere. This picture looks very similar to what you could find on Christian web pages.

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tn 7refTajMahalbyAmalMongia

The TajMahal is typical of the kind of beauty that Westerners  mostly associate with Islam art.
It is in India.

This photo is under a CC  Attribution-Share Alike Generic license at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:El_Taj_Mahal-Agra_India0006.JPG

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Babri_mosque

The Babri mosque is also in India.
It is more than 400 years old and was destroyed by fundamentalist fighting.

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800px-Al_aqsa_moschee_2

The Mosque in Jerusalem.
According to Islam, it was from here that Mohammed ascended to Heaven.

“Islam” means submission to God.
The photo is from http://en.wikipedia.org

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Cairo View_from_the_citadel

The great photo by Hussein Allam is from http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d4/View_from_the_citadel.JPG  under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license

Cairo is al-Qāhirah in Arabic

Cairo

All over the East, from those high slender towers or minarets, people are called to prayer five times a day.

The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes the University of Fes in Marruecos as the oldest degree-granting university in the world founded in 859 .
Ibn Al-Haytham is regarded as the father of the modern scientific method and often referred to as the “world’s first true scientist.”
The tradition of citation and referencing may have begun during this time.

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Again by Jean Leon Gerome: a Muslim praying in the desert.

In the background there is a caravan stretching all the way across a desert valley.

This painting is  from  http://hoocher.com/Jean_Leon_Gerome/jean_leon_gerome.htm.

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Added September 6, 2011

On Arab Identity

Arab identity  pre-dates Islam.  Even before Islam, there were Arab Christian kingdoms and Arab Jewish tribes.

Today, only about 20 percent of Muslims are Arab.

See Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_people

As expected, the explanation is long and complex, but seems to be based mainly on language. —

That portrait photo is from an American Congress Library photo collection.  It is an old photo, and it represents or maybe dramatizes a former tourist idea of an Arab.

The picture collection of the US Library of Congress is at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/93513677/

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Comments»

1. Kay - August 14, 2009

Regarding the Kaba (or Cube)—The significance of this place is that it was where Prophet Abraham and his son Ismael built their house of worship. The Kaba is simply a prayer direction in order to unify the community by giving them a focus point and reminding them of Prophet Abraham(pbuh).
The black stone existed at the Kaba during pre-Islamic times along with “idols”. These idols were destroyed after Islam—but the black stone remained—the only item not created by man.

2. S.ARSHAD - March 12, 2010

The article says this:
“Unlike the Bible, the Koran is first of all a book of guidance based on the dictate of one man, Islam’s founder, Mohammed. It is all of one mind.”
This is wrong.Qur’an (Not Koran) is a divine revelation to Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) and is not the dictates of the Prophet.The Prophet only conveyed the words of Allah to the people.

Another error:
“He had probably not read the Bible, but preached from it under dictations that he received through Gabriel, the angel.”

The Prophet did not preach from the Bible, nor did He receive it from Gabriel.Prophet Mohammad received the Holy Qura’n through Gabriel and it mentions that Bible and the Jewish scriptures and all the other scriptures revealed to other prophets sent by Allah and so Muslims have faith in all the other prophets including Hadhrat Jesus,Hadhrat Moses,Hadhrat Abraham,Hadhrat David(Dawood) and all others and in the scriptures and Holy books revealed to them.Every Muslim believes that the Bible,The Jewish Testaments are books of God and their faith is incomplete if he doesn’t believe in it.No Muslim can dare to show disrespect to Hadhrat Jesus or Moses or any other prophet.

3. arah - March 12, 2010

Hi

Hope you enjoy thses shows

A Christian Minister’s Conversion to Islam Dr.Jerald Dirks

British Judge converts to Islam 1/6

cantueso - March 12, 2010

To Kay:

I tried to correct what I had said about the Kaaba.

cantueso - March 12, 2010

To S.ARSHAD
If God tells the angel and the angel tells the prophet and the prophet tells his scribe or the people, why shouldn’t it be called a triple dictation? It had to be written down and had to be written exactly or learnt by heart, all of which takes time and would depend on dictation. How otherwise could it be?

The Bible is also believed to be based on divine revelation, but, unlike the Koran, it is an anthology of very heterogenous texts. It is this I meant to stress, namely that the Koran and the Bible are not similar in any way.

4. Rayan Ali - April 7, 2010

Take a look on my Islamic blog http://www.religionbeliefs.muslimblogs.com which is located on largest Muslim blogging community
muslimblogs.com

5. fruit salad - October 25, 2010

You seem to think that “Wiki Commons” is the same as “public domain”.
Check e.g. your Alhambra photo

jennie32 - November 9, 2010

LOL! But “Wiki Commons” IS the same as “public domain! It’s two words for the same thing!

cantueso - November 13, 2010

No, it isn’t. In Wiki Commons like everywhere else some photos are in public domain and some aren’t, but when I collected the photos for this post I did not see this clearly, and later it became difficult to find the original pictures and their terms of license.

6. septembersky - January 13, 2011

No references for your photos?
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To “Septembersky
December 2012 Thanks for reminding me….
:-(


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