Enviado por arfe44
Primitive religions have their origins in the search of
God by the men. But the Islam, as the
Judaism, say that they have been created from heaven. The
Islam is a
revelation of God to the men.
We know that the historical revelation of God has made to the
Israel was choose
for God. It was a progresive revelation between them, until
Christ came to complet the God’s revelation to the men:
redeemming them, as God had promesed.
But centuries ago after Christ, in the year of 622, a new
religion appeared in the middle east, proclamming to have origin
in a new and final revelation. It is the Islam, founded by
Mohammad, at whom his followers, the moslems, considerate the
last prophet. The word Islam
means "absolute submission to the will of God".
Many out of the Islam called them Mohammetans, but the moslems do
not use that word. They
want to mean that their cult is
not to Mohammad. In fact, their great truths say that there is
not other God, but Allah.
Alone in a cave, in the mountain, near of La Meca’s city on
the east of Arabia, Mohammad meditated about the deep problems of
good and evil, and about the deity named Allah, at whom people of
La Meca adorated as a creator, and not only as the unique God.
Finally he convinced himself that Allah was the only truth God
and that there is not other one, but Him.
Mohammad was subjugated at terribles experienses, visions, that
turn him fear and doubtful about his welth. His wife, Khadija,
persuaded him that those were prophetical visions and that, in
fact, he was a prophet. By the rest of his life, Mohammad worked
to change his town of beeing disorganized tribes, always figthing
between them, to be an unificated nation dedicated to Allah. He
became a political and religious leader of the arabs.
The word Islam, as we said, means "absolute submission to the
will of God", but also makes reference to the peace in its
derivation. The loyal moslem lives to make the will of God and
cohabite in peace with all menkind.
Muslems have been in numerous battles trying to conquest the
world and erase the christian civilization. But this war spirit
did not born from Mohammad’s teaching. At many times surged
from the ambition of the same moslem´s leaders.
Moslem´s life and his cult are totally governed by
the Koran, the revealed book. Islam says that the archangel
Gabriel dictated to Mohammad all the content of its 114
Is belief of the Islam that Mohammad is the Koran’s author.
But students from outside say that the content of Koran has been
took from jewish and christians fonts, and that Mohammad had
contact with people of both religions. In fact, in his first
predication, he was anctious for mold the Islam with the
Bible’s patern and make it atractive to the chistians and
jewish. It seems that he obtained his knowledge about the
chistian teaching with lot of confusions: it is a combination of
real facts and popular legends.
In the last period of his predication, failed in his traying for
atract convert people from chistianism, he became against them
and trayed to cut all the things that tied him to that religion.
For example, while jewish prayed facing Jerusalem, Mohammad made
of La Meca his saint city, and the moslems have to pray facing La
The Islam prophets the faith in God, who is one, allpowerful,
ethernal, suprem and the one we have to obey. Moslems say they
are Abraham’s descendants trough Ismael, son of the
They think that God talked trough Abraham, Moses and the
prophets. They considered Jesus as a great prophet, but as God.
For Moslems, Mohammad is the last prophet and the biggest.
The Islam prophets the faith in Books of God, the Koran and the
Texts writed before It. They belive in The Judgement Day, when
men will be rewarded in heaven or punished in hell, depending of
their observance of God’s commandments.
Specific PracticePray the Creed: Distinguished for an special
emphasis in God’s unify: "There is no other God, but Allah
and Mohammad, his prophet". In the Koran is repeated many times
that Allah is the only truth God, adoring by jewish and chistians
too. Moslems thing that God is trascendent and allpresent, this
means that He is the suprem being, all over the creatures, and
that He is here with us forever.
Pray five times a day: in the morning, at noon, at middle
afternoon (inmediatly after sunfall) and ninety minutes after
nightfall. At these times moslems pray facing La Meca.
Pay a quantity of money for charity: This is named the Zakat.
Fast during a month, named Ramadan: the ninth month on the moslem
Make a peregrination to La Meca, at least, one time in life.
These five principles are obligated, but there are other
practices and believings among the diferent divisions of
Respect of this topic, even Mohammad had in sight the problems of
the evil in the world of his time, his moral rule
does not have lot of requirements. For example, he allow a man
has various wives, (himself had nine), and allow, even, divorce
of them. Other prescriptions do not allow the liquor or eat
The Koran says clearly that in the Islam there is no monarch
life. Despite of the fact, after a century of Mohammad’s
death, there araised a kind of monarchical life named Sufism.
There are people who think that it is an influence of the
Chistianism and the Buddhism. They develop their own line of
theology and mysticism inside the Islam, wich was strongly
oposited to the legal institution. In XI century existed a famous
philosopher named Al – Ghazzali, who harmonized the
diferent currents of Islam.
However, now a day exist diferents currents of this religion.
They have the tendence to change and/or reform the Islam doctrins
and its practices at lights of the modern world requirements.
There is not an authorized voice now that guides all moslems in
the world. Today the modern moslem is alone in his trying to
straigth ahead whit his faith.
Algazel, Avicena and Averroes
Algazel (1058 – 1111)
His real complete arabic name was Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad
at – Tusi al Ghazzali, Islamic philosopher and theologist,
wich name in latin is Algazel. He was born in Tus, near of
Meshed, Persia (now Irán). After acquire an excellent
reputation as a learned, was destinated to teach at
Nizamiya’s University, in Bagdad, by sultan Seljuk’s
vizier Nizam al- Mulk, in 1091. In 1095, after a faith crisis, he
renunciated to his position, abandoned his family and turned
himself in an hermit. There passed ten years of meditation and
living on that way, until he accepted other work for teaching in
Nishapur, but he left it few time later and went to Tus.
Algazel related his internal fight and the religious solution
that found at the end in his work The Liberation of Error, a text
that has been comparated with The Confessions of Saint Agustin.
In other work, The Reborn of Religious Cience, presented his
unify vision of religion, incorporating elements of three
origins, before considerated in contradiction: tradition,
intelectualism and mysticism. This book is took as the most
importan religious text wrote by a moslem, after the Koran.
After criticised the methods of west philosophy, Algazel begun to
refutes the neoplatonic theories of other moslems philosophers,
particulary Avicena’s, wich were oposite to some orthodox
religious doctrins as the creation, the inmortality of the soul
and the Divine Providence. His attack to the philosophical theory
and the speculation, enunciated in his text The Destruction of
Philosophers, was in great part responsable of the final slope of
the rationalist element existent at the Islam.
Avicena (980 – 1037)
Known in moslem world as Ibn Sina, philosopher and medicine
doctor from Persia, was born near of Bujara (now a day
Uzbekistan). Son of a government functionary, studied medicine
and philosophy in the same city. When he was eighteen, was named
doctor of the Court of the sovereing Samani of Bujara. He kept
that charge until the fall of the Samani’s Empire in 999
and passed the last fourhteen years of his life acting as
scientific and doctor counselor of Ispahan´s
Considerated by moslems as one of their biggest
philosophers, Avicena is an important figure in the field of
medice and philosophy. His work, The Canon of the Medicine, was
for a lot of time the principal text of Near East and Europe. It
is significative as a clasification and systematic sumary of
medicine and pharmaceutical knowledge and before its time. The
firts translation to latin of this work was made in twelfth
century. The hebrew version apeared in 1491 and the arabical text
in 1593. It was the second text printed in arab language.
His most known work is Kitab Ash – Shifa (The Cure Book),
an abridgment of trades about logical, metaphysics, aristotelical
anthropology, nature ciences and other topics. Avicena’s
philosophy is a combination of Aristotels’ and neoplatonic
philosophy. Just as the majority of medieval philosophers, he
denied the inmortality of individual soul, the interest of God
for each person and the world’s creation on the time, all
of them central topics of the main current of the Islam
Avicena turned in to the main target of sunies theologists
attacks, as Algazel. Never the less, Avicena’s philosophy
was very influential all throuhg the medieval age.
Averroes (1126 – 1198)
His arabical name was Ibn Rushd: arab moslem philosopher,
physicist, maliki jurist and ashari theologyst. Was born in
Córdoba, Spain. His father, a Córdoba’s
judge, teached him moslem jurisprudence. In his natal town even
studied theology, west philosophy and mathemathics with Ibn
Tufayl, and medicine with the arab doctor Avenzoar. Averroes were
designated judge in Sevilla in 1169 and Córdoba in 1171.
In 1182 he became the doctor of caliph Abu Yaqub Yusuf, the
almohade’s caliph of Morroco and the moslem spain. The
Averroes’ idea that reason primes over the religion, took
him to the exile in 1195 for order of Abu Yusuf Yaqub al –
Mansur, but it gave him back few time before his death.
Averroes said that metaphysical truths can be expressed by two
ways: trough philosophy (according to the classic philosopher
Aristoteles and the neoplatonics of the latest antiquity) and
trough religion (as we can see at the allegorycal and simplified
idea of the Revelation Books). Although in fact Averroes did not
propose the existence of two kinds of truths –
philosophical and religious –, his ideas were interpretated
by the chistian thinkers classifying them as Theory of Double
Truth. Averroes denied the concept of world’s creation on
the time: he said that world do not have beginning. God is the
first motor, the
propellant strength of every movement that transform the
potential into the real. The individual human soul emanates from
the universal unify soul. Wide Averroes’ commentaries about
Aristoteles’ texts were traduced to the latin and hebrew,
and had a great influece as the scholastic and chistian
philosophy (in medieval Europe) as the jewish philosophers of
Averroes’ main text was Tahafut al – Tahafut, arab
language that means Destruction of Destruction, where he refutes
an Algazel’s text about philosophy.
Pancha – Tantra is a very old collection of
stories. It was translated into many languages
in ancient times and forms the basis for many stories in Middle
East and Europe. Khalila wa Dimna is the arabic version (AD 750),
translated from persian (AD 550).
Pancha – Tantra includes a good number of stories: many are
embedded in others. Each one illustrates a concept of neeti
(policy) and it was rewritten several times.
This quote below is from kaakoluukiiyam, the third tantra (tale).
At the time of composition of Pancha – Tantra, animal
sacrifices were still common, although it had declined
significantly due to opposition by Jainism and Buddhism. The text
sais that one should do yajna (sacrifice) using aja: This is a
seven year old grain and not a specific animal, but most of the
times it means a goat. Even though, the text suggest to be
interpreted as a+ja = not+grow grain that is too old to grow. The
writ cuntinue saying:
Cutting down trees, killing animals, creating mud from flowing
blood: If you go to heaven this way, who will go to hell?
In Pancha – Tantra there is a story of an agnihotri brahmin
named Mitra – Sharma:
While he was carrying a goat for sacrifice, some clever
scoundrels convinced him that it was really a dog, so that he
would give it to them. Moral of the
story is that people should be aware of possible desception,
however the story does suggest contemporary practices.
Animal sacrifice was once common, not only in India but in
many parts of the world. The custom has declined greatly,
although some still continue to practice it. There have heard
about many cases in recent times where Jains were able to
convince others to stop animal sacrifice.
The History of Al Andalus
Data: December 1988
Font from Internet
Early in the eighth century, armies from North Africa began
probing the Visigothic defenses of Spain and ultimately they
initiated the Moorish epoch that would last for centuries. The
people who became known to West Europeans as Moors were the
Arabs, who had swept across North Africa from their
Middle Eastern homeland, and the Berbers, inhabitants of Morocco
who had been conquered by the Arabs and converted to Islam.
In 711 Tariq ibn Ziyad, a Berber governor of Tangier, crossed
into Spain with an army of 12,000 (landing at a promontory that
was later named, in his honor, Jabal Tariq, or Mount Tariq, from
which the name, Gibraltar, is derived). They came at the
invitation of a Visigothic clan to assist it in rising against
King Roderic. Roderic died in battle, and Spain was left without
a leader. Tariq returned to Morocco, but the next year (712) Musa
ibn Nusair, the Muslim governor in North Africa, lead the best of
his Arab troops to Spain with the intention of staying. In three
years he had subdued all but the mountainous region in the
extreme north and had initiated forays into France, which were
stemmed at Poitiers in 732.
Al Andalus, as Islamic Spain was called, was organized under the
civil and religious leadership of the caliph of Damascus.
Governors in Spain were generally Syrians, whose political frame
of reference was deeply influenced by Byzantine practices.
Nevertheless, the largest contingent of Moors in Spain consisted
of the North African Berbers, recent converts to Islam, who were
hostile to the sophisticated Arab governors and bureaucrats and
were given to a religious enthusiasm and fundamentalism that were
to set the standard for the Islamic community in Spain. Berber
settlers fanned out through the country and made up as much as 20
percent of the population of the occupied territory. The Arabs
constituted an aristocracy in the revived cities and on the
latifundios that they had inherited from the Romans and the
Most members of the Visigothic nobility converted to Islam, and
they retained their privileged position in the new society. The
countryside, only nominally Christian, was also successfully
Islamized. Nevertheless, an Hispano-Roman Christian community
survived in the cities. Moreover, Jews, who constituted more than
5 percent of the population, continued to play an important role
in commerce, scholarship, and the professions.
The Arab-dominated Umayyad dynasty at Damascus was overthrown in
756 by the Abbasids, who moved the caliphate to Baghdad. One
Umayyad prince fled to Spain and, under the name of Abd al Rahman
(r. 756-88), founded a politically independent amirate (the
Caliphate of Cordoba), which was then the farthest extremity of
the Islamic world. His dynasty flourished for 250 years. Nothing
in Europe compared with the wealth, the power, and the sheer
brilliance of Al Andalus during this period.
In 929 Abd al Rahman III (r. 912-61), who was half European, as
were many of the ruling caste, elevated the amirate to the status
of a caliphate. This action cut Spain's last ties with Baghdad
and established that thereafter Al Andalus's rulers would enjoy
complete religious and political sovereignty.
When Hisham II, grandson of Abd al Rahman, inherited the throne
in 976 at age twelve, the royal vizier, Ibn Abi Amir (known as Al
Mansur), became regent (981-1002) and established himself as
virtual dictator. For the next twenty-six years, the caliph was
no more than a figurehead, and Al Mansur was the actual ruler. Al
Mansur wanted the caliphate to symbolize the ideal of religious
and political unity as insurance against any renewal of civil
strife. Notwithstanding his employment of Christian mercenaries,
Al Mansur preached jihad, or holy war, against the Christian
states on the frontier, undertaking annual summer campaigns
against them, which served not only to unite Spanish Muslims in a
common cause but also to extend temporary Muslim control in the
The caliphate of Cordoba did not long survive Al Mansur's
dictatorship. Rival claimants to the throne, local aristocrats,
and army commanders who staked out taifas (sing., taifa), or
independent regional city-states, tore the caliphate apart. Some
taifas, such as Seville (Spanish, Sevilla), Granada, Valencia,
and Zaragoza, became strong amirates, but all faced frequent
political upheavals, war among themselves, and long-term
accommodations to emerging Christian states.
Peaceful relations among Arabs, Berbers, and Spanish converts to
Islam were not easily maintained. To hold together such a
heterogeneous population, Spanish Islam stressed ethics and
legalism. Pressure from the puritanical Berbers also led to
crackdowns on Mozarabs (name for Christians in Al Andalus:
literally, Arab-like) and Jews.
Mozarabs were considered a separate caste even though there were
no real differences between them and the converts to
Islam except for religion and liability to taxation, which fell
heavily on the Christian community. They were essentially urban
merchants and artisans. Their church was permitted to exist with
few restrictions, but it was prohibited from flourishing. The
episcopal and monastic structure remained intact, but teaching
was curbed and intellectual initiative was lost.
In the ninth century, Mozarabs in Cordoba, led by their bishop,
invited martyrdom by publicly denouncing the Prophet Muhammad in
public. Nevertheless, violence against the Mozarabs was rare
until the eleventh century, when the Christian states became a
serious threat to the security of Al Andalus. Many Mozarabs fled
to the Christian north.
Efraín Alejandro Gómez Cadena
Medellín Antioquia Colombia