Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar: Crash Course World History #13

by birtanpublished on July 9, 2020

Hi there I'm John Green this is crashcourse world history and today we'regonna talk about Islam which likeChristianity and Judaism grew up on theeast coast of the Mediterranean butunlike Christianity and Judaism it's notterribly well understood in the West for

Instance you probably know what this isand what this is you probably don't knowwhat that isgoogle it mr green mr green why do youthink people know so little aboutIslamic history did you just ask an

Interesting non annoying question mefrom the past I think we don't know muchabout early Islamic history because wedon't learn about it because we'retaught that our history is the story ofChristianity in Europe when in fact our

History is the story of people on theplanet so let's try to learn somethingtodayso in less than 200 years Islam wentfrom not existing to being the religiousand political organizing principle of

One of the largest empires in the worldand that story begins in the 7th centuryCE II when the angel Gabriel appeared toMuhammad a fortyish guy who made hisliving as a caravan trader and told himto begin reciting the Word of God

Initially this freaked Muhammad out asyou know it would but then his wife anda couple other people encouraged him andslowly he came to accept the mantle ofprophet a few things to know about theworld islam entered first Muhammad

Society was intensely tribal he was amember of the Quraysh tribe living inMecca and tribal ties were extremelyimportant also at the time the ArabianPeninsula was like this crazy religiousmelting pot like most tribal Arabs

Worshipped gods very similar to theMesopotamian gods you'll remember fromepisode three and by the time ofMuhammad cult statues of many of thosegods had been collected in his hometownof Mecca in this temple like structure

Called the kebab but Arabia was alsohome to monotheism like Christianity andJudaism and even a bit of Zoroastrianismso the message that there was only oneGod wouldn't have been like assurprising to Muhammad as it was for

Instance to Abraham also and this willbecome very important the northern partof Arabia was sandwiched between theByzantine Empire and the Persiansasanian empire and you'll rememberthose guys were always fighting

They were like snowboarders and skiersor like the Westboro Baptist Church andeveryone else at its core Islam as whatwe call a radical reforming religionjust as jesus and moses sought torestore Abrahamic monotheism after what

They perceived as straying so too didMuhammad Muslims believe that God sentMuhammad as the final prophet to bringpeople back to the one true religionwhich involves the worship of andsubmission to a single and all-powerful

God the Quran also acknowledges Abrahamand Moses and Jesus among others asprophets but it's very different fromthe Hebrew and Christian Bibles so onething it's much less narrative but alsoit's the written record of the

Revelations Muhammad received whichmeans it's not written from the point ofview of people it is seen as the actualWord of God the Quran is a really broadranging text but it returns again andagain to a couple themes one is strict

Monotheism and the other is theimportance of taking care of those lessfortunate than youQuran says if the good person spends hissubstance however much he himself maycherish it upon his near of kin and the

Orphans and the needy and the wayfarerand the beggars and for the freeing ofhuman beings from bondage theserevelations also radically increase therights of women and orphans which is oneof the reasons that Muhammad's tribal

Leaders weren't that psyched about themtalk more about Islamic faith inpractice let's go to the thought-bubblethe five pillars of Islam are the basicacts considered obligatory at least bySunni Muslims first is the Shahada or

The profession of faith there is no godbut God and Muhammad is God's prophetwhich is sometimes translated as thereis no god but Allah and Muhammad is alaws prophet which tries to make Muslimssound other and ignores the fact that

The Arabic word for God whether you'reChristian or Jewish or Muslim is a lawii salah or ritual prayer five times aday at dawn noon afternoon sunset andlate evening which are obligatory unlessyou haven't hit puberty are too sick or

Are menstruating keep the PGthought-bubblethird psalm the month long fast duringthe month of Ramadan in which Muslims donot eat or drink or smoke cigarettesduring daylight hours since Ramadan is a

Lunar calendar month it moves around theseasons and obviously it's most funduring the winter when the days areshorter and least fun during the summerwhen days are both long and hot fourthis a cot or almsgiving in which non poor

Muslims are required to give apercentage of their income to the poorand lastly Hajj the pilgrimage to Meccathat Muslims must try to fulfill atleast once in their lives provided theyare healthy and have enough money and

There's also more to understanding Islamthan just knowing the Quran like Judaismwith its tall mood and Christianity withits lives of saints and writings ofchurch fathers Islam has supplementarysacred texts chief among which is the

Deep a collection of sayings and storiesabout the Prophet thanks thought-bubbleoh it's time for the open lettermagic and open letter to the 72 virginsoh but first let's check what's in thesecret compartment

Oh it's Andre the Giant did you knowthat Andre the Giant died a virgin is afact that I made up deer 72 virgins heythere it's me John Green did you knowthat not all hadeeth s' were createdequal some sayings of the Prophet are

Really well sourced like for instance agood friend or a relative heard theProphet say something and then it endedup as a hadith but some in deeds areterribly source like not to be areference but some of it is like middle

School gossip like Rachel told Rebeccathat her sisters brothers friend kissedJustin Bieber on the face and the vastmajority of Muslims don't treat terriblysourced hadith says Scripture and theidea that you go to heaven and get 72

Virgins is not in the Quran it's in aterribly source to death so it is mygreat regret to inform you 72 virginsthat in the eyes of almost all Muslimsyou do not exist best wishes John Greenone more thing about Islam like

Christianity and Judaism it has a bodyof law you might have heard of it it'scalled Sharia although we tend to thinkof Sharia as a single set of laws thatall Muslims followthat's ridiculous there are numerous

Competing ideas about Sharia just asthere are within any legal tradition sopeople who embrace this worldview werecalled Muslims because they submitted tothe will of God and they became part ofthe Ummah or community of believers this

Would be a good moment for an umaThurman joke but sadly she is no longerfamous I'm sorry if you're watching thisuma Thurman being part of the Ummahtrumped all other ties including tribalties which got Muhammad into some

Trouble and brings us at last back tohistory so as Muhammad's falling inMecca grew the Ummah aroused thesuspicion of the most powerful tribe inMecca the Quraish and it didn't matterthat Muhammad himself was born into the

Quraish tribe because he wouldn't shutup about how there was only one Godwhich was really bad news to the Qurayshtribe because they managed thepilgrimage trade in Mecca and if allthose gods were false it would be a

Disaster economically although come tothink of it in the end the Meccanpilgrimage business turned out just fineso the Quraysh forced Muhammad and hisfollowers out of Mecca in 622 CE II andthey headed to youth Rob also known as

Medina this journey also known as thehijrais so important that it marks Year Zeroin the Islamic calendarMedina Muhammad severed the religionsties to Judaism turning the focus of

Prayer away from Jerusalem to Mecca alsoin Medina the Islamic community startedto look a lot more like a small Empirethan like a church like Jesus never hada country to run but Muhammad did almostfrom the beginning and in addition to

Being an important prophet he was a goodgeneral and in 630 the Islamic communitytook back Mecca they destroyed all thoseidols in the Kaaba and soon Islam was aspowerful a political force in the regionas it was a religious one and it's

Because the political and religiouscoexisted from the beginning thatthere's no separate tradition of civicand religious law like there is inChristianity and Judaism so then whenMuhammad died in 632 CE II there wasn't

A religious vacuum left behind Muhammadwas the final prophet the revelation ofthe Quran would continue to guide theumma throughout their lives but thecommunity did need a political leader aCalif and the first Calif was Abu Bakr

Muhammad's father-in-law who was notwithout his opponents many people wantedAli Muhammad's son-in-law to lead thecommunity and although he did become thefourth caliph that initial disagreementto radically oversimplify because we

Only have 10 minutes began the dividebetween the two major sects of IslamSunni and Shia and even today SunniMuslims believe Abu Bakr was rightlyelected the first caliph and ShiaMuslims believed it should have been Ali

To Sunnis the first four caliphs AbuBakr Umar Uthman and Ali are known asthe rightly guided caliphs and many ofthe conservative movements in theIslamic world today are all about tryingto restore the Islamic world to those

Glory days which like most warrior dayswere not unambiguously glorious Abu Bakrstabilized the community afterMuhammad's death and began a process ofrecording the Quran in writing andstarted the military campaigns against

The Byzantine and sasanian empires thatwithin 116 years would allow the Islamicempire to go from this to this hissuccessor Umar was both a nun commonlygood general and a brilliantadministrator but like so many other

Great men he proved terrible at avoidingassassination which guided the Caliphateof Othman who standardized the Quran andcontinued both his predecessorstradition of conquest and hispredecessors tradition of getting

Assassinated then Ali finally got histurn as caliph but his ascension wasvery controversial and it ultimately ledto a civil war whicheventually led to the emergence ofearthman's tribe the Umayyads as the

Dynasty that would rule over anever-expanding Islamic empire for morethan a hundred years it's common to hearthat in these early years Islam quotespread by the sword and that's partlytrue unless you are wait for it the

Mongols actually as usual the truth ismore complicated many people includingthe Mongols but also including lots ofpeople in Central and East Asia embracedIslam without any military campaigns andin fact the Quran says that religion

Must not be an act of compulsion butthis much is true the early Islamicempire was really good at winning Warsand situated as they were between twovery wealthy empires the Byzantines andthe sassani ins there was plenty to

Fight for the first of all were thesassani ins the last non-muslimsuccessor to the Persian Empire theywere relatively easy pickings becausethey'd been fighting the Byzantines forlike 300 years and they were super tired

Also they had recently been struck byplague plague man I'm telling you it'slike the red tortoiseshell of historybut in those early days they didprobably some valuable territory likeEgypt and the Holy Land and then

Eventually they got into Spain wherevarious Muslim dynasties would entrenchthemselves until being expelled in 1492but as good as they were at making warit's still tempting to chalk up the Arabsuccess to you know the will of God and

Certainly a lot of the people theyconquered felt that way wars in thispart of the world didn't just pit peopleagainst each other they also pittedtheir gods against each other so whilethe Islamic empire didn't require its

Subjects to convert to Islam they'restunning successes certainly convinced alot of people that this monotheism thingwas legit once again John Green provingsuper hip to the slang of today's younguns

Also you paid lower taxes if you convertit and just as taxes on cigarettes leadto people not wanting to smoke taxes onworshipping your idols lead to peoplenot wanting to worship them anymore soin a period of time that was

Historically speaking both remarkablyrecent and remarkably short a smallgroup of people from an area of theworld with no natural resources managedto create one of the great empires ofthe world and also one of its great

Religions and that very fact may be whypeople of Western European descentremain largely ignorant about thisperiod not only with the Muslims greatconquerors they spawned an explosion oftray

And warning that lasted hundreds ofyears they saved many of the classictext that formed the basis of theso-called Western Canon while Europe wasignoring them and they paved the way forthe Renaissance while that's important

To remember that much of the worldbetween Spain and the Indus River wasn'tarabised most of it was so thoroughlyIslamized that these days we can't thinkof the world we now call the Middle Eastwithout thinking of it as Islamic like

Perhaps the greatest testimony toIslam's power to organize people's livesand their communities is that in Egyptfive times a day millions of people turnaway from the pyramids and toward MeccaEgypt birthplace to one of the longest

Continuous cultures the world has everknown is now the largest Arab country inthe world next week we'll talk about thedark ages spoiler alert they weredarkest in the evening thanks forwatching we'll see you next time

Crash course is produced and directed byStan Muller our script supervisor isDanica Johnson the show is written by myhigh school history teacher Raoul Meyerand myself and our graphics team isthought bubble last week's phrase of the

Week was they might be giants if youwant to guess this week's phrase of theweek or suggest future ones you can doso in comments where you can also askquestions about today's video that ourteam of historians will endeavor to

Answer thank you so much for watchingand as we say in my hometown don'tforget to be awesome

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