Shahada: Muslim Profession of Faith (01:47)
Muhammad, the channel through which God sent his revelation to man, is named in the first Pillar of Islam as his messenger. Adherence to the prescription for living, as recited and embodied by Muhammad, is an integral part of being Muslim.
570 CE: Birth of Muhammad (01:16)
Born an "orphan" in Mecca, on the Arabian Peninsula, Muhammad becomes a caravan manager and later an accountant. He marries his employer Khadija, a wealthy woman 15 years his senior, with whom he has four daughters.
610 CE: Muhammad Receives God's Revelation (02:03)
In 610 CE, while meditating in a cave in Mecca, the angel Gabriel appears to Muhammad and reveals the Quran. Inspired by Khadija he preaches and gains followers. Early Muslims were subject to persecution.
622 CE: The Hijrah: Muhammad's Flight to Yathrib (Medina) (01:33)
Muhammad flees Mecca, and establishes a living social order, the "Medina model," a prescription for behavior revealed by the Quran. The creation of the "umma," or organized community, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.
Isra and Mi'raj: Ascent of the Prophet (02:30)
God takes Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem (Masjid-al-Aqsa), and then to heaven. Five times daily prayer enters the practice of Islam because of this journey. Jerusalem, the original direction of prayer, remains a sanctuary for Muslims.
630 CE: The First Hajj (02:22)
Muhammad marches to Mecca with an army of ten thousand and restores the Ka'aba. Islam is now a military, political, and spiritual organization. Muhammad dies in 632 CE, and for the next 100 years Islam spreads throughout the Mediterranean world.
Quran as the Verbatim Word of God (04:28)
Muslims believe that the Quran contains God's exact words as revealed to the illiterate Muhammad. Quran means "to make a recitation." Traditionally, only one who is "clean," who has performed the proper ablutions, touches the Quran.
Quran as Historical Document (01:30)
The 6000 verses of the Quran are organized into 114 chapters called "suras." Muhammad is the "last" prophet, following the prophets of Christianity and Judaism, all of which are accepted by Islam. Muslims believe that the Bible and the Torah are no longer valid because the original writings no longer exist.
Quran vs. Bible (03:23)
Addressing history, philosophy, economics, and more, the Quran is a book of guidance, its verses named for the place where revelations were made. The bible is a story of creation, the fall or Man, redemption, and the restoration of man.
Untranslatable Quran (03:47)
Translated into many languages, all versions of the bible are "authentic." The Quran is "authentic" only in Arabic. Recitation of the Quran, an act of worship, is a reenactment of the original revelation and must be performed in Arabic.
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