Season 2

History of Religion

Season 2 Episode 4

Have you ever wondered what religion does to a person. Makes them believe in more supernatural things then in any movie combined and takes you places you cant even describe.

In this episode we travel back to 7th century Arabia where a prophet is about to claim His message and the pagan citizens have responded exactly how anyone, who's GODs have been questioned would. This is the history of one of the largest religion, one that has been advertised enough by news channels.

S2E4

History Of Islam 

Blessed are those who have not seen him and yet believe, blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness and bless those who persecute in your name cause they are the believers who believe in words, surely they believe in words with all its reference, context and history. Welcome back to History Encoded season 2. This is the display of the inquiries of karim, so that things done by man may not be forgotten in time, and that great and marvelous deeds, some presented by fantasy, some by the barbarians, may not lose their glory, including among others, what was the cause of their waging war on each other. And that we shall reflect on it unlike ever before. Todays episode History of Islam. 


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This is probably the heated topic of its time clash of civilizations or clash of monotheisms 11th sept 2001 is this islam? The books indeed back this up, are they believers or opportunists, in his interview with CNN Trump said: (trump clip) so what is religion, whats the history of Islam and whose words are beling followed. 

Before we begin let's recap last episode GOD sends ADAM to earth, later on follows a line of prophets from Noah to Abraham and Moses and David and many others. Some leave us with books, some only with the stories. Remember Abraham had to travel to mesopotamia, the promised land and finally get blessed with sons. His son Isaac continues his lineage in the promised land and the other son Ishmael is banished to the desert with his mother. A minor figure thereafter in the traditions of   Judaism and Christianity, Ishmael continued to play a foundational role in Islamic tradition. According to the most well-known of these traditions, after Ishmael and Hagar were banished, they settled in Mecca, near which they had found relief and water at the Well of Zamzam. Later, in nearby Minā, Abraham attempted to sacrifice Ishmael (rather than Isaac, as stated in the Old Testament), an event which will mark as the celebration of Eid and also the tradition of pilgrimage.  Now let's shift our lenses from the promised land to Mecca. Also as a side note Ishmael becomes Ismail now. Akcent baby. 

Here we go, 

In the arid, desolate basin of Mecca, surrounded on all sides by the bare mountains of the Arabian desert , stands a small, nondescript sanctuary referred to as Kaaba or the cube. It is here inside the cramped interior of the sanctuary , that the gods of Arabia reside in. Hubal, the Syrian god of the moon. Al-uzza the powerful goddess also known as Aphrodite by the Greeks, Jesus, the incarnate god of cristians and holy mother mary also among them are status of Allah the god of rain or sky like zeus only in times of great peril would anyone bother consulting him. Otherwise, it was far more expedient to turn to the lesser, more accessible gods who acted as Allah's intercessors, the most powerful of whom were his three daughters, Allat, al-Uzza and Manat. In total Kaaba housed some 360 idols. Outside Mecca was a busy market place that invited pilgrims every year. The surroundings were filled with poets, preachers and preachers who were poets, merchants and caravans and the quraish. Every pilgrim season Mecca is transformed into a city. Sounds of children playing fills the air along with men playing dice and people chatting. Meanwhile, inside the Kaaba an old man in spotless white tunic shuffles between the wood and stone idols, this man is no priest but he is a quraysh a member of the powerful and wealthy tribe in Mecca also known as the tribe of GOD and the wardens of sanctuary. Busy with trade and assessing the value of textiles or oil or dates the quraysh control the city. Patrolling the streets like police they are aware that this busy pilgrim season is about to see an uprising but they are least bothered by this, like every poet that gathers an amused crowd around him runs the show for no more than five minutes. Standing in the shadow of the kaaba, his back pressed against it, zayd rebuked his fellow Meccans shouting “I will not worship Hubal, tough he was our lord in the days when I had little sense… ” he continues “Not one of you follow the religion of Abraham but I”. Just like many others Zayd was ignored by the meccans and the quraysh. So zayd left mecca and traveled to spread the message. One day while resting under a tree, Zayd is greeted by a stranger. “ Why is it that I see you hated by your people? '' asked the stranger. “I found them associating divinities with god and I was reluctant to do the same, '' Zayd replied. The stranger accepted  this explanation and offered him some slaughtered meat and water. “Isn't this the meat you slaughtered for your idols? I never eat of these sacrifices and I want nothing from them.” Zayd was never happy to interact with idol worshippers but something about this strange man struck him.  “ Before you leave, what's your name stanger ”  asked zayd.  “Muhammad” . Almost like John the baptist has met Jesus but strangely everything stayed normal. Not that it will continue to be.  Muhammad is headed to His wedding and even thou He is in a rush to be back to mecca he in no way will ever forget this man. Ends our interaction between the buildup and the main character, lights dim at the center stage and curtains fall.  Lets shift our cameras from Zayd to Muhammad now.  Muhammad almost 25 years old now is about to be married to khadija. Since he was in a hurry he never really thought about zayd much . But soon after, he will appreciate him. Muhammad has been a man of character, A man of reputation. Sad for him he never saw his father and soon after birth lost his mother too. In a wild society like Mecca it was imminent for him to become a slave now but luckily his uncle looked after him. Raised him to be a merchant and a man loved by his people so much that they would call him by names like sadiq and amin meaning trustworthy and faithful. Regardless he finds himself different from his surroundings, many times in his life people have told him he will fulfill a prophecy but he couldn't conclude anything. He is regular at this cave where he meditates and finds peace away from people for “self justification” a common pagan practise. One day as he was meditating he heard a voice asking him to read. The next thing we know he ran back home and crawled under for support. He soon realised what had happened, taken aback by the experience he wondered if this was a voice in his head or an experience that will go down in history. Little to conclude, this was muhammads burning bush the moment in which he ceased being a Meccan businessman concerned with society's ills and became what in the abrahamic traditions is called Prophet. His wont be easy as we have seen from history, as muhammad himself has seen from history but he knows its time to arise and warn. 


For the first few years he keeps himself in company of few early followers backed by his uncle and wife politically, financially and many others ways like mentally he sticks around Kaaba preaching but soon after the loss of both his wife and uncle things won't be the same meccans who have been harmed enough understood this was no zayd unlike him muhammad was backed by a voice this was no decision of choice but he realized this was his duty and only. Zayd who believed and preached what he understood from his knowledge can find his own place in society but muhammads work was not the same he had to die converting if it's necessary, a drive unlike any other he was in no way going to stand down or turn away from persecution but stand in the face of adversity. So Meccans had a way to deal with such threats or actually it's the same for everyone to kill Him. So a murder plan is scripted late in the night when he sleeps in his bed they will tiptoe to his place take their shoes off and cover their faces surrounding the bed as he sleeps in middle with lantern reflecting their big shadows and stab him to death laughing wickedly and  finally be done with it, So when the night arrived and they tiptoed to his place, took their shoes off and covered their faces surrounding the bed as he slept in the middle with a lantern reflecting their big shadows and removed the blanket about to stab him when they realised it wasn't him but Ali . hahaha got ya see muhammad had it covered late in the night when they think he wil be sleeping in his bed and will tip toe around his place and surround his bed as he sleeps in the middle with lantern reflecting their big shadows and stab him with their daggers they will not find him but Ali his cousin brother and meanwhile Muhammad would have already made his way to medina with his friend Abu Bakr. He is the prophet for God's sake he gets revelation from the GOD himself don't you know about Jesus or Noah? Thats why i ask everyone to know your history anyways its wasnt that, they werent just discreet enough with their planning and muhammad got to know about it before hand and even got invited to medina so he had the perfect escape plan.

 IN YOUR FACE.  

But that wouldn't be the end of it. It is important to bear in  mind that the quraysh were quite sophisticated with regard to their religion . After all, they made their living off it.  As soon as the prophet will settle in Medina he will build a mosque, lay foundations for an islamic state and prepare the city to face meccans marching forward for a war. Something to be mindful of is that muslims under the prophet never choose to go to war for let's say expansion of state or propagation or to show their might if anything most of the times they were outnumbered, but it was an act of self defense or as the last stance. According to me modern day jihadist are fighting for something way different then what i could gather from history. Suicide bombing could be concluded as the simplist way to paradise and it could be common to misunderstand any non believers as evil doers. The Prophet was never happy to choose war as a solution even when it was the last of options. This could be understood by his hesitation in the battle of uhud. The second battle fought in the way of islam.

 In Medina the messenger of GOD is dreaming. He stands tall and confident waiting for the fight to come to him, sweating though. When he wakes up, he understands at once the meaning of the dream. What he cannot know however, is that they are marching forward with three thousand heavily armed warriors and two hundred cavalrymen to put an end to muhammad and his movement once and for all. As is the custom, the soldiers are trailed by a small group of women dressed in their finest tunics. The women are lead by Hind, a year earlier when quraysh first clashed with muhammad and his followers Hinds brother and father both had been killed. “Quench my thirst for vengeance ” she shouts at the men marching in front of her “and quench your own!”. The first battle also known as battle of badr didn't go as planned so they are back this time with better plan and more determination.  

It is true that the Quraysh are charging toward Yathrib, he announces; but rather than go out to meet them in battle, Muhammad reveals his plans to stay put and wait for their enemies to come to him. He is convinced that his dream represented Medina's invulnerable defenses. If the Quraysh were truly fool- ish enough to attack this oasis, he proclaims, then the men will fight them in the streets and alleyways, while the women and children hurl stones at them from atop the palm trees.

His followers are skeptical about Muhammad's plan. They remember well the beating they gave the Quraysh a year ago at Badr. Though ridiculously outnumbered, Muhammad's small band had inflicted heavy casualties on the mighty Meccan army, forcing them to retreat in utter humiliation. Surely they would destroy them again in battle.

"O Messenger of God," they declare, "lead us out to our enemies so that they may not think we are too cowardly and weak to face them." Their response confuses Muhammad. Finally, exasperated by the debate and knowing a decision must be made, Muhammad stands and orders , They will face the Quraysh in the open desert. With just a few hundred men and a handful of women His heart sinks when sees hundreds of their horses and camels grazing in a nearby pasture. His men have managed to round up only two horses; they have no camels. Falling back, He  places his archers on top of a mountain near his flank, ordering them to "hold firm to your position, so that we will not be attacked from your direction." To the rest of his men he shouts his final instructions and almost immediately, the Quraysh are put to flight. Muhammad's archers release a steady hail of arrows onto the battlefield, protecting his meager troops and forcing the Meccan army to retreat from their positions. But as the Quraysh pull back, the archers — in direct violation of Muhammad's orders not to move from their position run down the mountain to claim the booty left behind by the retreating army. It does not take long for the Quraysh to regroup, and with his flank unguarded, the Prophet and his warriors are quickly surrounded. The battle becomes a slaughter. The massive Meccan army makes quick work of Muhammad's forces on the ground. The bodies of the dead litter the battlefield. Muhammad opens his eyes and finds himself in the middle of nowhere, around him lay the bodies of slaughtered muslims as soon as he picks up his eyes he finds horses racing towards him, men with their arrows ready who couldnt wait to finally put an end to it. Muhammad closes his eyes and realises its the end of the message and the messenger as he finds the quraysh racing towards him and not slowing down he looks up to the sky asking GOD if its the end. As soon as he opens his eyes he finds around him a shield of men. As the Quraysh draw closer, some of Muhammad's men form a tight circle to shield him from the advancing army and the volley of arrows raining down on all sides. One by one the men fall at his feet, their bodies riddled with arrows, until only one man is left. Then he falls.

Now alone, Muhammad kneels beside his dead warriors and continues to fire his arrows blindly at the Quraysh until the bow snaps in his hands. He is defenseless and seriously wounded: his jaw cracked, his teeth broken, his lip split, his forehead cut and covered in blood. For a moment, he considers summoning what strength he has left and charging the enemy, when suddenly one of his men — a hefty warrior — runs onto the battlefield, catches hold of him, and drags him into the mouth of the gorge, where the last of the survivors have gathered to attend their wounds.

The Prophet's sudden disappearance from the battlefield launches a rumor that he has been killed, and ironically, this is exactly the reprieve Muhammad's men need. With news of his death, the Quraysh halt their assault and the battle is over. 


Muslims regrouping back in Medina have learned their lessons. Firstly, to not leave their post but secondly, to understand war was never an answer they would have been far off better without it. But this wasn't the end of war for anyone, meccans were still powerful and mulims still a thorn in their way. A third war will soon be ragged but this time muslims were smart enough to defend themselves and finally see themselves a position to march to mecca and in december 629 they walk down to the city of GODS and without even spilling a single drop of blood made it the city of GOD. Soon the prophet will, having completed his message, ascend to heaven leaving behind the book of GOD known as Quran. 

Part of me wants to conclude every episode with how,   divination even after all this was still not being clear enough. How the message of GOD still doesn't justify one message, we saw that with the Gita and the Bible. It's not that I like it but it's an undeniable truth. So it happened with islam  even when it claimed that quran was untouchable and is unchanged still the words of prophet got corrupted to the point they dito narrated the gospels. And the words of the Quran? Let's look at an example. We have two different translated editions of a Quranic verse. Let's look at the translation from Princeton first 

“Men are the support of women as god gives some more means than other “

and second by New York university. 

“Men are in charge of women, because Allah made some of them excel the other.”

 

Because of the variability of the Arabic language both these are grammatically and defentionally correct.  The phrase Qawwamuna ala an nisa and excuse my Arabic can be understood as watchover, protect, support, look after or be in charge.

 So if religion is really interpretation I can drive anything out of it and it should justify my message right. LIke in Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Yusuf Azzam, professor of Islamic philosophy at King Abdulaziz university, used his influence among the country's disaffected youth to promote his version of jihad, which was jihad and the rifle alon. He proclaimed to his students “no negotiations, no conferences and no dialogue”. His teachings had an exceptional impact on one student in particular, Osama Bin Laden. Who will put his mentors ideology to practise that will climax with the attack on September 11, 2001. The fact that nearly one out of four people in the world are muslims and may or may not share Bin Laden's ideology they definitely suffered from it. I wonder, if these books of GOD could speak, who would they justify. If only these words could defend themselves what would be the truth then and what will happen to the history of religion. 

 

---------------------------------------------------- outro ----------------------------------------

You know there were many things that populated Mecca then just the people. For example, literature. Arabic poetry is the earliest form of Arabic literature. Poetry held an important position in pre-Islamic society with the poet or sha'ir filling the role of historian, and propagandist. To earn a living from this they often praised Gods and bashed other tribes to please their audience and collect some coins tossed their way, thankfully now history could be conveyed in many different ways, and all you have to do is subscribe to the show and tell your friends about it ofcourse if you wanna toss a coin my website and ratings await your praises.  Thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed the show today. till we meet again. This is your host karim trying to explore the history of religions and thus questioning our own foundations only at History Encoded. 

History of Islam

The second largest religion in the world, this month we revisited the history of Islam. With about 1.8 billion Muslims in the world its root goes back to the 7th century, making it the youngest of the major world religions. This text will look into its few basic meanings and historically significant times that lead to the Islam as we know it today. 

 

Islam Facts

  • Muslims are monotheistic and worship one, all-knowing God, who in Arabic is known as Allah.
  • The word “Islam” means “submission to the will of God.”
  • Followers of Islam aim to live a life of complete submission to Allah. They believe that nothing can happen without Allah’s permission, but humans have free will.
  • Some important holy places include the Kaaba shrine in Mecca, the Prophets mosque in Medina and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. 

The podcast begins with a question of what actually is religion and weather or not the words of the prophet and holy books are firstly, as they were meant to be originally and secondly, that were they used in the wrong context. How is one to judge the meaning of words when all we know is just a line or a quote. It could be relevant with 100s of scenario and can conclude more then one meaning. 

The prophet Muhammad, sometimes spelled Mohammed or Mohammad, was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in 570 A.D. Muslims believe he was the final prophet sent by God to reveal their faith to mankind.

According to Islamic texts and tradition, an angel named Gabriel visited Muhammad in 610 A.D. while he was meditating in a cave. The angel ordered Muhammad to recite the words of Allah.

Muslims believe that Muhammad continued to receive revelations from Allah throughout the rest of his life.

Starting in about 613, Muhammad began preaching throughout Mecca the messages he received. He taught that there was no other God but Allah and that Muslims should devote their lives to this God.

Its best to keep in mind that Meccans before the revelations were not ignorant of religion, they believed in “GODS” and just not one. Also something worth mentioning here is that Muhammad wasn’t the only one to spread the message of monotheism. Meccans were well aware of Jews and Christians and it would be common for Meccan citizens in every once in a while to come and shout about how the 360 idols sitting in Kaaba were not true GODS. We look into one of these personalities in the podcast. 

 

 

Brief History of Islam

Islam Started with Muhammad meditating in the cave of Hira were angels descend to reveal the message and ask him to read the message from GOD. From there on He will continue getting these revelations which will eventually be compiled in a book form a few years after Prophets death. The Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, provides very little detail about Muhammad’s life; however, the hadiths, or sayings of the Prophet, which were largely compiled in the centuries following Muhammad’s death, provide a larger narrative for the events in his life (although there is significant debate in the Muslim world as to which Hadiths are accurate). 

The message wont be accepted by everyone. In His initial years many of Prophets close relatives and friends converted including many who believed in the unjust society of that time, for example slaves. Soon after loosing His uncle Muhammad had to make his way out of Mecca. He was prepared for this on many occasions He had tried to move Muslims to a different place like Taif or Abyssinia but it didn’t always go as planned. Medina being a small city had many Muslims who openly invited the prophet to come and live with them. Once he migrates Meccans wont be happy and wars would soon be raged to kill the message and the messenger.

Eventually, Muhammad was victorious and reentered Mecca in 630.
One of Muhammad’s first actions was to purge the Kaaba of all of its idols (before this, the Kaaba was a major site of pilgrimage for the polytheistic religious traditions of the Arabian Peninsula and contained numerous idols of pagan gods). The Kaaba is believed to have been built by Abraham (or Ibrahim as he is known in Arabic) and his son, Ishmael. The Arabs claim descent from Ishmael, the son of Abraham and Hagar. The Kaaba then became the most important centre for pilgrimage in Islam.
In 632, Muhammad died in Medina. Muslims believe that he was the final in a line of prophets, which included Moses, Abraham, and Jesus.

Life after the Prophet

We have a serious problem in hand. After the prophet Muslims were left questioning who will succeed the prophet, since the line of prophets were concluded with Muhammad the question arose who will lead the community. To say the least this of course, wont be acceptable for everyone. The other problem that Muslims faced was that since people memorised the words of Prophet and never actually wrote it anywhere was a big issue when  the third caliph Usman will try to compile these, there will be some questions and some resentments within the society as to firstly the compilation and secondly, in doing so, Uthman alienated important members of the community when he decided to round up the variant collections of the Quran, bring them to Medina, and set fire to them. Lastly, the words of the Prophet. Arabs started collecting the words of Prophet when it was too late, to say the least. Anyone who has heard the word of prophet from someone and can chain it back to the Prophet will be credited and cited. In his book No god but God  Reza Aslan looks into the matter of how the so-called Muslim women’s movement is predicated on the idea that Muslim men, not Islam, have been responsible for the suppression of women’s rights.  Here’s an example from his book which is briefly talked about in the podcast. 

 

Consider, for example, how the following verse (4:34) regarding the obligations of men toward women has been rendered into English by two different but widely read contemporary translators of the Quran. The first is from the Princeton edition, translated by Ahmed Ali; the second is from Majid Fakhry’s translation, published by New York University:
“Men are the support of women [qawwamuna ‘ala an-nisa] as God gives some more means than others, and because they spend of their wealth (to provide for them). . . . As for women you feel are averse, talk to them suasively; then leave them alone in bed (without molesting them) and go to bed with them (when they are willing).”

“Men are in charge of women, because Allah has made some of them excel the others, and because they spend some of their wealth. . . . And for those [women] that you fear might rebel, admonish them and abandon them in their beds and beat them [adribuhunna].”

Conclusion

In our journey to explore the religions and its history we question the very foundations of human belief system. This system is a mechanism that is backed by religion to keep holding on to many things including hope, believe in someone almighty and for some its power. With religion you can never get it right but its too early to conclude anything. If you enjoyed reading this head over to the Podcast and we will continue exploring a few more religions before we could conclude what’s up with Islam from Muhammad to Bin laden and why some take the message in a certain way then others. 

Thank you. 

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FAQ

FAQ

Most frequent questions

According to tradition, the Quran was composed in the early 7th century CE, but according to historian Tom Holland, "only in the 690's did a Caliph finally get around to inscribing the Prophet's name on a public monument; only decades after that did the first tentative references to him start to appear in private inscriptions". All Qurans available in the world today are exactly identical to the Uthman's version, which was completed less than twenty years after the death of Prophet Muhammad.

The religious obligations of all Muslims are summed up in the Five Pillars of Islam, which include belief in God and his Prophet and obligations of prayer, charity, pilgrimage, and fasting. The fundamental concept of Islam is the Sharīʿāh—its law, which embraces the total way of life commanded by God.

What does Quran teach?
 
 
The book teaches Muslims how to live good lives and follow God. The book is kept on a high shelf above other books, and the boys wash before handling it, to show their respect for the word of God, or Allah.

Since we live in a time where Islam is portrayed with many dimensions and as stupid as this question may sound, Indeed interpretation for everyone different. In case of Islam it would vary to extreme ends. 

4 thoughts on “s2e4”

  1. I was more than happy to discover this site. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely loved every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to see new information in your blog.

    1. Thank you for your comment i really appreciate it. I hope you are enjoying the podcast as well. With every new episode ill make sure to keep delivering blog content.

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