23 Aralık 2010 Perşembe

Religion in the Irano-Mediterranean World

Islamic World (“Dar al-Islam”) up to the 9th c.

Late Antiquity
3rd to 7th centuries:
Byzantine and Sasanian Empire

Christianity, 4th – 5th c.

-Debates over the true nature of Jesus Christ (Human? Divine? Both?)
-3 main Christological positions:

-Nestorian: Human nature
-Nestorian Church (Iraq, Iran and Asia)

-Monophysite: Divine nature
-Eastern Christian Churches [Armenian, Syrian, Coptic (Egyptian)]

-Chalcedonian: Both natures united in one person
-Orthodox Church (official church of the Byz. Empire)

Sasanian Empire: 221-651
-capital: Ctesiphon
-wars with Byzantine Empire: 602-28
Dualist religions (cosmic struggle between good and evil deities):

-teachings of Zoroaster (11th c. BC)
-state religion of the Sasanian Empire
-Ahura Mazda (supreme god, principle of good)
-Ahriman (deity responsible for evil)

-teachings of Mani (3rd c.)
-universal message, drawing on Christianity, Zoroastrianism, etc.
-conflict between good and evil
-missionary activities in Iran, Central Asia and Inner Asia

•Arabian society in the 6th c.


•Tribal customs instead of government
•Arabic as common language

Mecca, 19th c. view of the Haram (“holy site”) with the Ka’ba in the center

Lineage of the Prophet Muhammad

Tribe: Quraysh
Clan: Banu Hashim
570: birth
610: first revelation

622: hijra (emigration) to Medina (Yathrib)
-emergence of the Muslim community (umma)
-Constitution of Medina
-struggles against Mecca (until 630)

Ka‘ba, Haram of Mecca

Revelation of the Qur’an, 610-632:
First Revelation:

Recite (iqra’): In the name of your Lord who created
Created mankind from a clot of blood.

Recite: And your Lord is most generous
He who instructed with the pen
Instructed mankind what he knew not.

(Opening verses of Chapter 96)
Q – R – ‘ (root)
 iqra‘ : recite, read (imperative)
 Qur’an : recitation

Central message of the Qur’an:

God (Allah):
-almighty, all-knowing, eternal, omnipresent Creator
-transcendent (no associates in any form)
-One (doctrine of tawhid: Unity of God)
-merciful and compassionate
Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim (basmala)