Birth Of Islam Research Paper

1186 Words 5 Pages
In light of the discussion on the circumstances surrounding the birth of what would be called Islam, there is much debate between scholars on what factors had driven the creation of the religion and how its characteristics suited the spiritual needs of the time. Scholars such as Armstrong propose that Islam took on a monotheistic format due to the circumstance of how Arabs at the time suffering a form of spiritual malaise and sought to find a new outlet for their spiritual beliefs. Scholars such as Armstrong further elaborate the malaise by stating how Arabs at the time knew that Judaism and Christianity, which were practiced in the Byzantine and Persian empires, were more sophisticated than their pagan traditions. However, this view comes …show more content…
In light of the time period, polytheism and tribal living conditions defined much of the standards of living before the creation of Islam. Despite their being some monotheistic influences such as the cult of Rahmanan the Merciful mentioned by Andrew Rippin, most religions of the time were structured around polytheistic worship including the ill-coordinated and capricious activities of personal gods. In contrast, the surrounding faiths of organized monotheistic dogma were under the Christian, Judaic, and Zoroastrian pressures of the surrounding kingdoms and empires which provided little way for Arabians to maintain a more predictable and structured faith while asserting their cultural identity. As a probable response, early Arabs would decide to look for and accept a new faith that would serve as a powerful and firm reminder of their culture and capability for splendor, which the Believers movement mentioned by Fred Donner would eventually provide. Michael Cook argues that the monotheistic format of beliefs also proved to be more useful in unifying Arab populations than a polytheistic format, which was a pivotal trait of the movement that allowed it to become popular among various tribes. The new commonality found under this monotheistic belief system allowed Arabians to establish a singular identity, not unlike the effects of Confucianism on the early people of China, and provided a method of unifying people under the guise of a single morally ordered community. The acceptance of monotheism was initiated by the Arabian desire to create a system of belief that reflected Arabian cultural identity in addition to the ethical codes that would mark it as unique among other

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