The first years of Islam
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There are three historical sources
The Coran
The Sira (Biography)
The Hadiths (the known as ones of the Prophet).
Coran is the divine revelation. According to the tradition, it was spent in writing approximately 25 years after the death of Mohammad.
The first Sira date of the 1st century after the death of the Prophet. It was written by Ibn Ishaq and the following one is the work of Ibn Hisham, about the 8th century of the Christian era. This second Sira occurs at the time of the advent of the Abbasids and contributes to the legitimacy of this dynasty.
The hadiths are initially transmitted orally. The whole of the hadiths constitutes Sunna. The first writings date from the 9th century (Christian era). The first collection is the “Sahih” of Bukhari. These writings develop the figure of the Prophet by presenting it like an ideal model of behavior.
Mohammad is originating by her father in the Arab tribe of Quraïsh. This tribe, led by Qusay, settled with Mecca during the 5th century before JC. Qusay is the father of Abd el Manaf.
Mohammad’s father is Abd Allah, wire of Abd Al Muttalib which occupied the function of Siqaya, consisting in managing the crowned well of Zem Zem and to supply the pilgrims who came to honour a pagan divinity. Abbas, whose descent will be asserted by the Abbasids, is the half-brother of Abd Allah, therefore Mohammad’s uncle.
The father of the future prophet dies during a business trip in Medina leaving his young pregnant wife of Mohammad. Amina, results from the tribe of Hazraj, the area of Yathrib (which will become, later, Medina). The Mohammad young person is entrusted, in accordance with the habit, with one nourishes of a wandering clan, Halima. The child loses his mother at the six years age. It is his grandfather, then eighty years old who collects him but he dies two years later. It is one of his uncles, Abd Manaf (Abu Talib), which takes care of him. Abu Talib is ‘Ali’s father.
The young Mohammad accompanies his uncle at the time of commercial trip in Syria. Later, he enters to the service of Khadija, a widow who directs an important commercial company.
Although older than him of about fifteen years, she becomes his wife. The couple has seven children: Three boys who die in low age and four girls whose Fatima which will marry `Ali, the young Mohammad’s cousin that this one adopted at the time when businesses of Abou Talib were less prosperous.
Khadija belongs to the clan of Asad, located at a high row of the company in Mecca. Another powerful clan is that of Abd Chams from which will be resulting Omeyyades.
At that time, exists a movement of thought not organized, the Hanif, whose members practise temporary meditation in the loneliness of the surrounding desert. It’s probable that this movement suggests that the idea of single God starts to emerge in certain consciences. The historians indicate this phenomenon by the term of “henotheism” which supposes the existence of a not yet single god dominating but.
Mohammad takes part in Hanif and takes the practice to collect himself with the very close Mount Hira.
It is also probable that the advertisement of the arrival of a prophet among the Arabs starts to circulate. A Khadija’s cousin, Waraqa Ben Nawal, good expert of the writings (the Arabs attend Jews and Christian during their commercial trip) would have declared that Mohammad was the announced prophet. In 610, this last states to have received a first revelation, during one night of meditation in Hira. Khadija, Waraqa Ben Nawal, `Ali and Zaïd, a free slave, are among the first to be informed for it. The revelations stop then begin again towards 613. It is at this time that Mohammad begins his public preaching. The converted first are the people located at the bottom of the social scale, which enables to foresee a tension to come with the oligarchy of Mecca which draws from substantial resources of the pagan pilgrimages (the Arabs adored, in particular, three divinities girls of Allah: Al Lat, Uzza and Manat). Mohammad gradually seems a troublemaker. Uthman (clan of Abd Chams) converts and, moreover, Mohammad profits from the protection of his clan thanks to Abu Talib. This protection is fragile. Abu Talib dies into 619 like Khadija. It’s the year of mourning. The new chief of clan, Abu Lahab, withdraws his protection with the Prophet who must seek the support of another clan. His situation in Mecca is threatened. He contacts six members of the clan to which his mother belonged. The six men convert. In 621, one second delegation of Yathrib passes with Mohammad an oath of fidelity (bay'a). It is the oath of Aqaba or bay'a en nissa (oath of the women). A second oath is pronounced into 622, the oath of the war (bay'a el herb). He is recognized as chief. This oath proclaims that the inhabitants of Yathrib will accomodate the Moslems of Mecca, that Mohammad is the Prophet and the chief. This pact is at the origin of the migration towards Yathrib (Medina). It is Hijra. The inhabitants of Medina need a referee (Hakam) to regulate an internal conflict. The designation of Mohammad is essential. The Prophet’s companions who leave Mecca to follow him in Medina are called Muhajirun (emigrants). As for people of Medina , they are Ansars (allies). Hijra takes place between June and September 622. Where the chamelle one of Mohammad is put at knees is built the first mosque. It is located at the south of Medina.
Mohammad marries several women of which very young Aïcha which will be, according to the tradition, his preferred wife. The competition which will oppose, later, Aïcha with Fatima will have considerable consequences on the evolution of the new community which constitutes itself then around the Prophet, Umma. This one initially includes Moslems and the Jews of Yathrib. Umma will become the community of believing only later. The close relations companions of Mohammad are Mu'minun, the faithful ones.
The tensions between Mecca and Medina increase. Fixings occur. There is a killed man at Nahla. At Badr, in March 624, the Moslems are victorious of people of Mecca but one year later, the latter take their revenge at Huhud. This defeat gives birth to a doubt within Umma. the detractors of the prophet appear publicly. They are the hypocrites (Munafiqun).
The Moslems take again confidence after the victory “of the ditch” in March 627. Umma remains a very mixed group. During a time, Muhammad wants to rejoin with him the Jews but he fails. The latter will be expelled.
Other battles take place: Hunayn and Al Ta’If in 630.
We do not have any precise information concerning the two last years of the life of Mohammad who dies in Medina in 632 without indicating successor.
The divine revelation is composed two periods: Verses received with Mecca then those, more and more with legislating contents, received in Medina. The divine words collected of the lips of Mohammad are learned by heart and recited. They are also registered on all kinds of supports, drink, bone… The whole of the verses will be the subject of the Coranic recension later a few years. Home page