First of all, it should be pointed out that Islam was founded by Muhammad. One is to keep in mind that Muhammad is considered to be a messenger, whom Allah provided with his last revelations. The final prophet stated that Allah established high ethical standards, which people are to follow. These standards involve generosity, just, truth and purity.
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Those, who refuse to live according to the principles, will be punished by the one true God. One of the messenger’s key aims was to rectify mistakes other prophets made while introducing their religious teachings. Muhammad’s major aim is to encompass all people and show them the ways, which lead to Paradise. Treating parents with respect, seeking knowledge, cleanliness, treating women with distinction, self-control, the richness of the soul, modesty and faith, compassion are some of the key values Muhammad highlighted.
Generally, the religious roots Muhammad used to craft Islam involve teachings of other religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism; although the key of the teaching is that the one true God is Allah. Koran is considered to be the God’s last revelation to people.
The final prophet faced resistance when he started to preach Allah’s final revelations to the representatives of the Quraish tribe, “but in 622 CE the city of Yathrib (270 miles north of Mecca), invited Muhammad to take power as its governor, to preach to its people, and to mediate disputes between rival tribes” (“In the Wake of Rome: the Islamic, Byzantine, and Carolingian Empires,” n. d.).
Muhammad stated that the God’s will was to convert Arab tribes to the new faith. A base for military expansion was also given to the final prophet. Thus, Muhammad obtained religious and political success using “a combination of intimidation, politics, and charismatic preaching to convert other Arab tribes” (“In the Wake of Rome: the Islamic, Byzantine, and Carolingian Empires,” n. d.).
To convert non-Arabs to Islam, the power of the Koran and the oral traditions established by the final prophet were used. Non-Arabs were deeply impressed how the God’s last messenger solved numerous governmental contradictions and law problems. A political alliance with other communities allowed to convert non-Arabs to the new faith (Tahir-ul-Qadri, 2001).
When Allah’s final prophet died, he left no instructions how to rule the Islamic Empire. However, within a century, his followers established a powerful empire. Abu-Bakar who was a well-known Meccan businessman and one of Muhammad’s followers expanded Islamic power.
He started war against those Arab tribes, which did not want to accept him as a ruler. A dynasty of Caliphs was established. Christians and Jews got an opportunity to live according to their own faith; although they had to accept Islam as a dominant faith and were obliged to pay taxes.
Faith, spiritual perfection and practice are considered to be the most important variables Islam is based on. The three key things are associated with peace and mercy. Finally, it should be noted that Muhammad’s teaching must not be regarded as a religion.
The most appropriate word, which can be used to explain the connotative meaning of Islam, is Deen; despite the fact that Deen is translated as a religion, the semantic meaning of the Arabic word differs from the meanings English dictionaries contain. One can probably conclude that Islam is not a religion; it is a mode of life.
In the Wake of Rome: the Islamic, Byzantine, and Carolingian Empires. (n. d.). Bloomu.edu. Retrieved from http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/mhickey/to%201650%20lecture%208.htm
Tahir-ul-Qadri, M. (2001). Islam and Politics. Mediamonitors.net. Retrieved from https://www.mediamonitors.net/islam-and-politics/