The history and origins of jihad are found in the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad who died in 632 AD. Throughout the Qur’an there are several references to jihad as a personal and inner struggle to become a better person. The Islamic faith is based upon striving for a life that is worthy in God’s eyes. A personal jihad is basically the struggle to avoid temptations and stay on the right path to salvation and for God, which is what the prophet Mohammed preached throughout his life. One scholar writes, “Muslims for centuries have engaged themselves and the world in pursuit of inner jihad.
Because of these reasons, the religious conflict between the Shia and Sunni Muslims in Iraq has only been exacerbated during the last 1300 years. Islam started in the 7th century C.E. when the Prophet Muhammad received revelations from God. Originated in Mecca and Medina, now present day Saudi Arabia, Islam quickly became a very prominent religion because “Muhammad himself had successfully establish the new faith through the conversion and conquest of those who stood against him” (World History Project 2002). After Muhammad’s death in 632, the expansion of Islam continued at an even faster pace because of the Muslim’s dedication to jihad, or “holy war,” which calls for the protection of Islam and the converting of non-believers.
The Sunnis also believed that the Qur’an approved and backed the majority decision of the Muslim community (246). Muslims who were Shia thought the all inheritors of the title Caliph must be of direct blood relation to Muhammad and his son in law, such as a child or grandchild and so forth (246). The Shia also believed that that Ali, Muhammad’s son in law, had special gifts like Muhammad and could explain and clarify the Qur’an (246). It was because of both groups lack of approval of the other ones beliefs, that many wars began over the decision on who would lead the Muslim religion since the death of Muhammad
This conflict has caused tensions and violence to flare up throughout Islamic history. This conflict has carried into modern times and has becoming a rallying point for Muslim people calling for change with their government and across the Middle Eastern region. The Sunni Shia conflict is major division within Islam that has and continues to shape Islam and the Middle East. History of the Conflict The Sunni Shia conflict can trace its roots back to 632 C.E. when Muhammad died without clearly naming a successor to his budding Islamic empire (Egger 2004).
Muhammad started off with very few followers but as the faith of Allah started to spread, he gained more followers and he became a threat to Mecca’s rulers. As mentioned in World Civilization, “in 622 Muhammad left Mecca for Medina where his skilled leadership brought new followers.” In Medina, Muhammad became the religious authority in the area and he used this power to conquer Mecca, a holy place for Islamic believers. By the time of his death, he was able to have created a religious empire that controlled all of the Arabian Peninsula. Along with Muhammad’s influence on Islam, trade routes also provided a significant impact on the spread of Islam. The most important and remembered trade routes were the Silk Roads and the Indian Ocean trade route.
He basically set up Islam and preached and converted many to this religion. He insisted that it was wrong to build a private fortune but good to share wealth and create a society where the weak and vulnerable were treated with respect (51). Umar, Muhammad's second successor and father-in-law, was very important to Islam's history. He was originally opposed to Islam but converted right after he heard some verses from the Quran. Islam made its largest and fastest expansion under Umar's reign; the Muslim forces conquered Syria, Jerusalem, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and armies of Persia.
Many of the early tribes that were present in the Pre-Islamic world found it problematic to accept the message of Islam. A prime example of a tribe that found the message of Islam to be highly controversial was Quraysh. Quraysh found that the message of Islam would not coincide with their traditional ways. They even fought a number of battles against Prophet Muhammad (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to show their disapproval of the religion of Islam. One of the leading battles was the Battle of Badr, which brought major victory for the people of Muhammad (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Over the years Islam has faced an uphill battle, in terms of public opinion, because of its association with Terrorism. However recently it has begun to pick up steam as stereotypes begin to diminish. The Islamic religion is similar to my own religion of Christianity, because it is considered an Abrahamic Religion, which means that it traces its roots back to Abraham. It is also a monotheistic Religion. When one would examine the Islamic Religions it is important that they look at these three important aspects: the origin and history of the Islamic Religion, the practices and belief systems that it has, and where it is most popular in our world today.
The Ghazi thesis was used by the Ottomans as well and it is based on the idea of a “holy war” against the infidels. The Ottomans were religion based and they went along with “Jihad in the path of God” which meant that they were fighting for God. Their goal in the beginning was to strive to be a more pious Muslim community. Like mentioned before, some Mughal rulers did not put religion as their top reason to conquer. Babur was more of a one of a kind ruler, “No Ottomans, sultans or conquerors, are known to have been as openly frank as the Mughal found Babur, who in his Turki-language autobiography explains that he left Kabul for India to satisfy his mulkgirliq, his "kingdom-seizing" or imperial ambitions” (Dale 56).
Muhammad and Jesus started rebellions that indefinitely sparked two major religions, Islam and Christianity. Jesus’s and Muhammad’s rebellion are more similar than different. In a general sense, Muhammad and Jesus’s rebellion are the same, the conditions that caused both are dissatisfaction and a desire for change, their rebellions both sparked the formation of two major religions, and their ideas were not accepted in their communities. But, in a more specific sense, they were different; Muhammad’s rebellion was not only religious but also martial. MUHAMMAD’S DISSATISFACTION: Muhammad was dissatisfied with religions as they were.