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23

In my History of Islam classes there was some review of Pre-Islamic Arabia and a few things were covered, from my class notes we talked about: Arabia being a part of the major trade route along the Red Sea Coast, from southern Palestine to Yemen. Medina and Mecca were located along this route, Mecca was the more important city where caravans stopped and ...


17

The short answer to your question is that the general avoidance of consuming pork meat is not unique to Islam, and dates back at least roughly to the ancient Egyptians. The oldest confirmed evidence of pigs domesticated and kept for pork meat come from Hallan Cemi in Southeastern Turkey from about 8000 BC. Shortly thereafter, the consumption of pork appears ...


15

Translation of Qu'ran was always problematic question in Islamic theology. In Islamic world there is doctrine called I'jaz that holds that Qu'ran is miraculous, both in content and in form and that no human speech can match. According to I'jaz Muslims oppose to text from Qu'ran be reproduced in another language or speech. Also there are some words which have ...


14

It's not a full answer, but if you're interested by medieval Arabic travels, the unavoidable reference is Ibn Baṭūṭah. In his Rihla, he describes three travels he made during the 14th century : from Tangiers to middle-East, with a travel along the East coast of Africa, down to Zanbar and Kilwa. (map here) from Mecca to Beijing, and back, through Eastern ...


12

Short answer Pre-Islamic Arabians were polytheistic, worshiping 360 gods; the chief god was the moon-god. They later became monotheistic because of Muhammad. Long answer In 1944, Gertrude Caton-Thompson (1888-1885), an influential English archaeologist, discovered a temple of the moon-god in southern Arabia. The symbols of the crescent moon and no less ...


10

I take your question as "just before the advent of Muhammad." Therefore I will not delve into ancient history, and limit the answer to late-antiquity and early Middle Ages. First of all we have to note that people in the Arabic Peninsula could (and can) be divided geographically between the (mostly) arid North (notwithstanding oases and narrow coastal ...


9

Omar occurs also in the bible Genesis 36:11 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz. Genesis 36:15: These were the chiefs among Esau's descendants: The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: Chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz, Chronicles 1:36 - same as Genesis 36:11 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam and Kenaz;


8

The Wahhabi ideology started as a revivalist movement (return to the roots) and quickly became strongly conservative, emphasizing intolerance not just to other religions, but to other variants of Islam. This provides a tool for dealing with the dissenters (accuse them of deviations from the party line). Also, the emphasis on the early "Rightly Guided ...


7

From what I have been able to research, numerous sources such as this and this trace back rap to the griots of pre-colonial, western Africa. Griots were essentially poets and bards who communicated history and political messages through song. According to the article "Politics of Diaspora: Sahwari poets and postcolonial transformations of a trans-Saharan ...


7

In this web posting by Charles Kent Smith, former president of the American Names Society, he claims the popularity of Omar as the name of Americans in the 19th century (as in Omar Bradley) is due to the popularity of poems like the Rubaiyat. They are named after the famed poet Omar Khayyam, much the same way the names Homer or Milton or Virgil came into ...


6

Muhammad was a member of the Quraish tribe, which controlled the Kaaba in Mecca. Prior to Islam, the Kaaba was an important pagan pilgrimage site. So that suggests at least what his cousins and extended family may have believed. Today the Kaaba is the official direction of Muslim prayer and all mosques and prayer locations will have a qibla to orient the ...


5

The first ever verse of Qu'ran is: Read (commencing) with the Name of Allah, Who has created (everything) The first word being "read", I guess whomever is making it easy for people to "read" Qu'ran is not doing something illegal.


4

There is little reason to believe in the historicity of Abraham. He could be a real person, a character composite of many different people, a symbolic representation, or just entirely fictional. And accordingly, there wouldn't be any proof as such that anyone is descended from him. Even if archaeologists were to miraculously stumble upon his remains, it is ...


4

There were sadly few writers of the Arab world who wrote in French until 1945. There were, however, lots of French writers who wrote about the Arab culture. My preferred one is René Guénon, also known as Shaykh `Abd al-Wahid Yahya. On the other side, the French culture influenced a lot of francophile writers. In Lebanon nowadays a lot of writers write in ...


4

I have recently written an answer to the question you have linked. There I explain in detail how, alongside preexisting polytheistic religions, the Arabic Peninsula was largely monopolized by Judaism and Christianity by the 5th century. The structure of religious belief was then not different from that of other countries of the time. By the 6th century, ...


3

In Libya they completely ousted the regime and they are in an intermediate phase towards implementing democracy. In Egypt they namely ousted the official dictator, but de facto nothing changed: the military are still in power and are oppressing the people much more than before. The protesters must certainly hope to somehow remove the military from power.


3

This is a homework-style question and should be tagged as such. That said, comparing the wiki articles for the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and the Russian Revolution, we can come up with a few basic differences. One key difference is the scale and scope of the results. For instance, Wikipedia notes some of the concessions given in 2011: Ouster of President ...


3

While there are many similarities in the causes (high unemployment, poverty, a feeling of opression from the regime etc.), the mechanics are somewhat different. I would say that in the Russian revolution of 1917, the people had a leader, an elite, and an ideology of how the state should be after the revolution. While it is true, in hindsight, that the ...


2

The basis for binding genies or jinn to household objects comes from medieval Islamic lore surrounding King Solomon of Israel. King Solomon used a magic ring to control djinn and protect him from them. The ring was set with a gem, probably a diamond, that had a living force of its own. With the ring, Solomon branded the necks of the djinn as his slaves. ...


2

Mubarak was ousted but the corrupt military are still in charge, even more openly than before. The Russian Revolution managed to completely change the state.


2

The major causes of the Bolshevik revolution can be seen in their two most popular slogans "All power to the Soviets" and "Peace, Bread, and Land". The Russian revolution was in some ways a conclusion of previous revolutions in Russia (1898, 1905, the March 1917 revolution) in that the peasants still did not have control over their land and the industrial ...


2

The main difference is that we know more than 300% of information on the Russian revolution and its consequences. (Everything in 3 or more versions). And we know nothing about the Egyptian revolution and its consequences. Hmm.. One little problem. In Russia in 1917 there were two revolutions. Absolutely different, nothing in common. Which one are you ...


2

They used to divide themselves into Tribes, the famous one being the Quraysh, they were the one guarding the Kaaba and its surroundings. Among other things they would legislate laws and organize matters related to pilgrimage. Also it was known that they were the descendant of the Prophet Abraham(a.s) through is son Ishmael (a.s), in there ignorance they ...


2

I'd put it down to zeal - the Rashidun Muslim armies were literally fearless and welcomed death. Any reference to Muslim armies of the period by Rome/Persia noted their fearlessness. There was a strong sense of camaraderie down command chain, in that the lower ranks of soldiers knew what they were fighting for. Compare this to the Persian system which ...


1

A good point of departure is the wiki page on the Rashidun Army, which gives an overview of early Islamic infantry and cavalry. Also, the Military Legacy section of the Khalid ibn al-Walid wiki entry has some great info on the organization and makeup of his armies. The "Mobile Guard" is especially famous - the exceptionally quick Islamic light cavalry.


1

Libya: Gaddafi was ousted from power and killed. Most of his sons (heirs) are in captivity or dead. Right now, the interim government is still trying to find its place. There are still conflicts going on. Libya is a tribal country, and there are reports of cells of Gaddafi loyalists still fighting on. The situation there is still very fragile and hard to ...



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