Islamic Archaeology : Islam And Muslims Essay

836 Words Jun 10th, 2015 4 Pages
Islamic archaeology is defined by Marcus Millwright as archaeology of “the regions where the ruling elite has professed the faith of Islam” (Milwright 2010: 6-7). This paper seeks to explore the ways in which Islamic archaeology can aid in the understanding of Islam and Muslims in the medieval world, by first examining the requirements of Islam and Muslim customary practices, and then evaluating three sources through which they may be manifest in material remains. Archaeological evidence of Muslim burial customs, religious pilgrimage (hajj), and the urban organization of an Islamic city are all ubiquitously indicative of a Muslim cultural framework established by Prophet Muhammad. Muslims adhere to Islam through requirements comprised within the Five Pillars of Islam, with the addition of Prophet Muhammad’s teachings in the Hadith, which supplements the Qu’ran in regulating the daily lives of Muslims. The pillars include the Shahada, or “witness”, that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger; Salat, which is prayer five times a day at appointed times towards the ka’bah (home of Allah in Mecca); Zakat, which is almsgiving to the needy; Sawm, is the requirement for fasting in the month of Ramadan, in which the Qu’ran was first revealed; and Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca once in one’s lifetime. The requirements of Islam manifest materially through the routes leading Muslims performing Hajj from major cities in the Middle East to Mecca, the construction of…

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