Part 3: Who Was Muhammad [Mohammed], the Prophet

Mohammed and Mohammedanism: The Founder
TAKEN FROM Moslems, Their Beliefs, Practices and Politics, by Gabriel Oussani and Hilaire Belloc
Roger McCaffrey Publishing, Ridgefield, CT
Original Material:
Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

This portion of this chapter of our series is by Gabriel Oussani. It is an excerpted form and not the entire text of Oussani's presentation.

Mohammed, "the Praised One", the Prophet of Islam and the founder of Mohammedanism, was born at Mecca (20 August?) A.D. 570. Arabia was then torn by warring factions. The tribe of Fihr, or Quraish, to which Mohammed belonged, had established itself in the south of Hijas (Hedjaz), near Mecca, which was, even then, the principal religious and commercial centre of Arabia. The power of the tribe was continually increasing; they had become the masters and the acknowledged guardians of the sacred Kaaba [a shrine - the Web Master], within the town of Mecca - then visited in annual pilgrimage by the heathen Arabs with their offerings and tributes - and had thereby gained such preeminence that it was comparatively easy for Mohammed to inaugurate his religious reform and his political campaign, which ended with the conquest of all Arabia and the fusion of the numerous Arab tribes into one nation, with one religion, one code, and one sanctuary.

Mohammed's father was Abdallah, of the family of Hashim, who died soon after his son's birth. At the age of six the boy lost his mother and was thereafter taken care of by his uncle Abu-Talib. He spent his early life as a shepherd and an attendant of caravans, and at the age of twenty-five married a rich widow, Khadeejah, fifteen years his senior. She bore him six children, all of whom died very young except Fatima, his beloved daughter.

On his commercial journeys to Syria and Palestine he became acquainted with Jews and Christians, and acquired an imperfect knowledge of their religion and traditions. He was a man of retiring disposition, addicted to prayer and fasting, and was subject to epileptic fits. In his fortieth year (A.D. 610), he claimed to have received a call from the Angel Gabriel, and thus began his active career as the prophet of Allah and the apostle of Arabia. His first converts were about forty in all, including his wife, his daughter, his father-in-law Abu Bakr, his adopted son Ali Omar, and his slave Zayd. By his preaching and his attack on heathenism, Mohammed provoked persecution which drove him from Mecca to Medina in 622, the year of the Hejira (Flight) and the beginning of the Mohammedan Era. At Medina he was recognized as the prophet of God, and his followers increased. He took the field against his enemies, conquered several Arabian, Jewish, and Christian tribes, entered Mecca in triumph in 630, demolished the idols of the Caaba, became master of Arabia, and finally united all the tribes under one emblem and one religion. In 632 he made his last pilgrimage to Mecca at the head of forty thousand followers, and soon after his return died of a violent fever in the sixty-third year of his age, the eleventh of the Hejira, and the year 633 of the Christian era.

The sources of Mohammed's biography are numerous, but on the whole untrustworthy, being crowded with fictitious details, legends, and stories. None of his biographies were compiled during his lifetime, and the earliest was written a century and a half after his death. The Koran is perhaps the only reliable source for the leading events in his career. His earliest and chief biographers are Ibn Ishaq (A.H. 151=A.D. 768), Wakidi (207=822), Ibn Hisham (213=828), Ibn Sa'd (230=845), Tirmidhi (279=892), Tabari (310=929), the "Lives of the Companions of Mohammed", the numerous Koranic commentators [especially Tabari, quoted above, Zamakhshari (538=1144), and Baidawi (691=1292)1, the "Musnad", or collection of traditions of Ahmad ibn Hanbal (241=855), the collections of Bokhari (256=870), the "Isabah", or "Dictionary of Persons Who Knew Mohammed", by Ibn Hajar, etc. All these collections and biographies are based on the so-called Hadiths, or "traditions", the historical value of which is more than doubtful.

These traditions, in fact, represent a gradual, and more or less artificial, legendary development, rather than supplementary historical information. According to them, Mohammed was simple in his habits, but most careful of his personal appearance. He loved perfumes and hated strong drink. Of a highly nervous temperament, he shrank from bodily pain. Though gifted with great powers of imagination, he was taciturn. He was affectionate and magnanimous, pious and austere in the practice of his religion, brave, zealous, and above reproach in his personal and family conduct. Palgrave, however, wisely remarks that "the ideals of Arab virtue were first conceived and then attributed to him". Nevertheless, with every allowance for exaggeration, Mohammed is shown by his life and deeds to have been a man of dauntless courage, great generalship, strong patriotism, merciful by nature, and quick to forgive. And yet he was ruthless in his dealings with the Jews, when once he had ceased to hope for their submission. He approved of assassination, when it furthered his cause; however barbarous or treacherous the means, the end justified it in his eyes; and in more than one case he not only approved, but also instigated the crime.

Concerning his moral character and sincerity contradictory opinions have been expressed by scholars in the last three centuries. Many of these opinions are biased either by an extreme hatred of Islam and its founder or by an exaggerated admiration coupled with a hatred of Christianity.

A. Divisions and Distribution of the Mohammedans

After Mohammed's death Mohammedanism aspired to become a world power and a universal religion. The weakness of the Byzantine Empire, the unfortunate rivalry between the Greek and Latin Churches, the schisms of Nestorius and Eutyches, the failing power of the Sassanian dynasty of Persia, the lax moral code of the new religion, the power of the sword and of fanaticism, the hope of plunder and the love of conquest - all these factors combined with the genius of the caliphs, the successors of Mohammed, to effect the conquest, in considerably less than a century, of Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, North Africa, and the South of Spain. The Moslems even crossed the Pyrenees, threatening to stable their horses in St. Peter's at Rome, but were at last defeated by Charles Martel at Tours, in 732, just one hundred years from the death of Mohammed. This defeat arrested their western conquests and saved Europe. In the eighth and ninth centuries they conquered Persia, Afghanistan, and a large part of India, and in the twelfth century they bad already become the absolute masters of all Western Asia, Spain and Northern Africa, Sicily, etc. They were finally conquered by the Mongols and Turks, in the thirteenth century, but the new conquerors adopted Mohammed's religion and, in the fifteenth century, overthrew the tottering Byzantine Empire (1453). From that stronghold (Constantinople) they even threatened the German Empire, but were successfully defeated at the gates of Vienna, and driven back across the Danube, in 1683.

Mohammedanism now comprises various theological schools and political factions. The Orthodox (Sunni) uphold the legitimacy of the succession of the first three caliphs, Abu Bakr, Omar, and Uthman, while the Schismatics (Shiah) champion the Divine right of Ali as against the successions of these caliphs whom they call "usurpers", and whose names, tombs, and memorials they insult and detest. The Shiah number at present about twelve million adherents, [1907 - the Web Master] or about one twentieth of the whole Mohammedan world, and are scattered over Persia and India. The Sunni are subdivided into four principal theological schools, or sects, viz., the Hanifites, found mostly in Turkey, Central Asia, and Northern India; the Shafiites in Southern India and Egypt; the Malikites, in Morocco, Barbary, and parts of Arabia; and the Hanbalites in Central and Eastern Arabia and in some parts of Africa. The Shiah are also subdivided into various, but less important, sects. Of the proverbial seventy-three sects of Islam, thirty-two are assigned to the Shiah. The principal differences between the two are (1) as to the legitimate successors of Mohammed; (2) the Shiah observe the ceremonies of the month of fasting, Muharram, in commemoration of Ah, Hasan, Husain, and Bibi Fatimah, whilst the Sunnites only regard the tenth day of that month as sacred, and as being the day on which God created Adam and Eve; (3) the Shiah permit temporary marriages, contracted for a certain sum of money, whilst the Sunnites maintain that Mohammed forbade them; (4) the Shi'ites include the Fire-Worshippers among the "People of the Book", whilst the Sunnites acknowledge only Jews, Christians, and Moslems as such; (5) several minor differences in the ceremonies of prayer and ablution; (6) the Shiah admit a principle of religious compromise in order to escape persecution and death, whilst the Sunni regard this as apostasy.
There are also minor sects: ... The distinctive features of these various sects are political as well as religious; only three or four of them now possess any influence
In spite of these divisions, however, the principal articles of faith and morality, and the ritual are substantially uniform.

B. Tenets

The principal tenets of Mohammedanism are laid down in the Koran. As aids in interpreting the religious System of the Koran we have: first, the so-called "Traditions", which are supposed to contain supplementary teachings and doctrine of Mohammed, a very considerable part of which, however, is decidedly spurious; second, the consensus of the doctors of Islam represented by the most celebrated im
âms, the founders of the various Islamic sects, the Koranic commentators and the masters of Mohammedan jurisprudence; third, the analogy, or deduction from recognized principles admitted in the Koran and in the Traditions. Mohammed's religion, known among its adherents as Islam, contains practically nothing original; it is a confused combination of native Arabian heathenism, Judaism, Christianity, Sabiism [worshippers of the sun and stars - the Web Master], Hanifism [see below for definition by the Web Master], and Zoroastrianism [Ibid].
The system may be divided into two parts: dogma, or theory; and morals, or practice. The whole fabric is built on five fundamental points, one belonging to faith, or theory, and the other four to morals, or practice. All Mohammedan dogma is supposed to be expressed in the one formula: "There is no God but the true God; and Mohammed is His prophet." But this one confession implies for Mohammedans six distinct articles: (a) belief in the unity of God; (b) in His angels; (c) in His Scripture; (d) in His prophets; (e) in the Resurrection and Day of Judgment; and (f) in God's absolute and irrevocable decree and predetermination both of good and of el. The four points relating to morals, or practice, are: (a) prayer, ablutions, and purifications; (b) alms: (c) fasting; and (d) pilgrimage to Mecca.


Hanifism was a form of the monotheistic religious movement that arose in pre-Islamic Arabia, influenced by both Judaism and Christianity but accepting neither Christianity nor Judaism entirely, they strove to create a relatively simple religious system that would be accessible to the inhabitants of Arabia of the sixth and early seventh centuries. Hanifism exerted a significant influence on early Islam. Its most active and consistent representative was the prophet Musaylimah, who died in 633.

Zoroastrianism is an ancient Iranian religion and a religious philosophy. It was once the state religion of the Achaemenid Empire and Sassanid Empire. The number of Zoroastrians worldwide varies from between 145,000 to 2.6 million today. Zoroastrianism believes in one god, Ahura Mazda who is omniscient and unchanging, impossible for a human being to conceive of; his prophet is Zoroaster.

(1) Dogma [Emphasis in bold and red added.]

The doctrines of Islam concerning God - His unity and Divine attributes - are essentially those of the Bible; but to the doctrines of the Trinity and of the Divine Sonship of Christ Mohammed had the strongest antipathy. As Nöldeke remarks, Mohammed's acquaintance with those two dogmas was superficial; even the clauses of the Creed that referred to them were not properly known to him, and thus he felt that it was quite impossible to bring them into harmony with the simple Semitic Monotheism; probably, too, it was this consideration alone that hindered him from embracing Christianity (Sketches from Eastern History, 62). The number of Prophets sent by God is said to have been about 124,000, and of Apostles, 315. Of the former, 22 are mentioned by name in the Koran - such as Adam, Noe, Abraham, Moses, Jesus.

According to the Sunni, the Prophets and Apostles were sinless and superior to the Angels, and they had the power of performing miracles. Mohammedan angelology and demonology are almost wholly based on later Jewish and early Christian traditions. The Angels are believed to be free from all sin; they neither eat nor drink; there is no distinction of sex among them. They are, as a rule, invisible, save to animals, although, at times, they appear in human form. The principal Angels are: Gabriel, the guardian and communicator of God's revelation to man; Michael, the guardian of men; Azrail, the Angel of death, whose duty is to receive men's souls when they die; and Israfil, the Angel of the Resurrection. In addition to these there are the Seraphim, who surround the throne of God, constantly chanting His praises; the Secretaries, who record the actions of men; the Observers, who spy on every word and deed of mankind; the Travellers, whose duty it is to traverse the whole earth in order to know whether, and when, men utter the name of God; the Angels of the Seven Planets; the Angels who have charge of hell; and a countless multitude of heavenly beings who fill all space. The chief devil is Iblis, who, like his numerous companions, was once the nearest to God, but was cast out for refusing to pay homage to Adam at the command of God. These devils are harmful both to the souls and to the bodies of men, although their evil influence is constantly checked by Divine interference. Besides Angels and devils, there are also jinns, or genii, creatures of fire, able to eat, drink, propagate, and die; some good, others bad, but all capable of future salvation and damnation.

God rewards good and punishes evil deeds. He is merciful and is easily propitiated by repentance. The punishment of the impenitent wicked will be fearful, and the reward of the faithful great. All men will have to rise from the dead and submit to the universal judgment. The Day of Resurrection and of Judgment will be preceded and accompanied by seventeen fearful, or greater, signs in heaven and on earth, and eight lesser ones, some of which are identical with those mentioned in the New Testament. The Resurrection will be general and will extend to all creatures - Angels, jinns, men, and brutes. The torments of hell and the pleasures of Paradise, but especially the latter, are proverbially crass and sensual. Hell is divided into seven regions: Jahannam, reserved for faithless Mohammedans; Laza, for the Jews; Al-Hutama, for the Christians; Al-Sair, for the Sabians; Al-Saqar, for the Magians; Al-Jahim, for idolaters; Alh
âwiyat, for hypocrites. As to the torments of hell, it is believed that the damned will dwell amid pestilential winds and in scalding water, and in the shadow of a black smoke. Draughts of boiling water will be forced down their throats. They will be dragged by the scalp, flung into the fire, wrapped in garments of flame, and beaten with iron maces. When their skins are well burned, other skins will be given them for their greater torture. While the damnation of all infidels will be hopeless and eternal, the Moslems, who, though holding the true religion, have been guilty of heinous sins, will be delivered from hell after expiating their crimes.

The joys and glories of Paradise are as fantastic and sensual as the lascivious Arabian mind could possibly imagine. "As plenty of water is one of the greatest additions to the delights of the Bedouin Arab, the Koran often speaks of the rivers of Paradise as a principal ornament thereof; some of these streams flow with water, some with wine and others with honey, besides many other lesser springs and fountains, whose pebbles are rubies and emeralds, while their earth consists of camphor, their beds of musk, and their sides of saffron. But all these glories will be eclipsed by the resplendent and ravishing girls, or houris, of Paradise, the enjoyment of whose company will be the principal felicity of the faithful. These maidens are created not of clay, as in the case of mortal women, but of pure musk, and free from all natural impurities, defects, and inconveniences. They will be beautiful and modest and secluded from public view in pavilions of hollow pearls. The pleasures of Paradise will be so overwhelming that God will give to everyone the potentialities of a hundred individuals. To each individuals a large mansion will be assigned, and the very meanest will have at his disposal at least 80,000 servants and seventy-two wives of the girls of Paradise. While eating they will be waited on by 300 attendants, the food being served in dishes of gold, whereof 300 shall be set before him at once, containing each a different kind of food, and an inexhaustible supply of wine and liquors. The magnificence of the garments and gems is conformable to the delicacy of their diet. For they will be clothed in the richest silks and brocades, and adorned with bracelets of gold and silver, and crowns set with pearls, and will make use of silken carpets, couches, pillows, etc., and in order that they may enjoy all these pleasures, God will grant them perpetual youth, beauty, and vigour. Music and singing will also be ravishing and everlasting" (Wollaston, "Muhammad, His Life and Doctrines").

The Mohammedan doctrine of predestination is equivalent to fatalism. They believe in Gods absolute decree and predetermination both of good and of evil; viz., whatever has been or shall be in the world, whether good or bad, proceeds entirely from the Divine will, and is irrevocably fixed and recorded from all eternity. The possession and the exercise of our own free will is, accordingly, futile and useless. The absurdity of this doctrine was felt by later Mohammedan theologians, who sought in vain by various subtle distinctions to minimize it.

(2) Practice

The five pillars of the practical and of the ritualistic side of Islam are the recital of the Creed and prayers, fasting, almsgiving, and the pilgrimage to Mecca. The ... Creed's recital is necessary for salvation. The daily prayers are five in number: before sunrise, at midday, at four in the afternoon, at sunset, and shortly before midnight. The forms of prayer and the postures are prescribed in a very limited Koranic liturgy. All prayers must be made looking towards Mecca, and must be preceded by washing, neglect of which renders the prayers of no effect. Public prayer is made on Friday in the mosque, and is led by an imam. Only men attend the public prayers, as women seldom pray even at home. Prayers for the dead are meritorious and commended. Fasting is commended at all seasons, but prescribed only in the month of Ramadan. It begins at sunrise and ends at sunset, and is very rigorous, especially when the fasting season falls in summer. At the end of Ramadan comes the great feast-day, generally called Bairam, or Fitr, i.e., "Breaking of the Fast". The other great festival is that of Azha, borrowed with modifications from the Jewish Day of Atonement. Almsgiving is highly commended: on the feast-day after Ramadan it is obligatory, and is to be directed to the "faithful" (Mohammedans) only. Pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime is a duty incumbent on every free Moslem of sufficient means and bodily strength; the merit of it cannot be obtained by deputy, and the ceremonies are strictly similar to those performed by the Prophet himself. Pilgrimages to the tombs of saints are very common nowadays, especially in Persia and India, although they were absolutely forbidden by Mohammed.

It is hardly necessary here to emphasize the fact that the ethics of Islam are far inferior to those of Judaism and even more inferior to those of the New Testament. ... What is really good in Mohammedan ethics is either commonplace or borrowed from some other religions, whereas what is characteristic is nearly always imperfect or wicked.

The principal sins forbidden by Mohammed are idolatry and apostasy, adultery, false witness against a brother Moslem, games of chance, the drinking of wine or other intoxicants, usury and divination by arrows. Brotherly love is confined in Islam to Mohammedans. Any form of idolatry or apostasy is severely punished in Islam, but the violation of any of the other ordinances is generally allowed to go unpunished, unless it seriously conflicts with the social welfare or the: political order of the State. Among other prohibitions mention must be made of the eating of blood, of swine's flesh, of whatever dies of itself, or is slain in honour of any idol, or is strangled, or killed by a blow, or a fall, or by another beast. In case of the necessity, however, these restrictions may be dispensed with. Infanticide, extensively practiced by the pre-Islamic Arabs, is strictly forbidden by Mohammed, as is also the sacrificing of children to idols in fulfillment of vows, etc. The crime of infanticide commonly took the form of burying newborn females, lest the parents should be reduced to poverty by providing for them, or else that they might avoid the sorrow and disgrace which would follow, if their daughters should be made captives or become scandalous by their behaviour.

Religion and the State are not separated in Islam. Hence Mohammedan jurisprudence, civil and criminal, is mainly based on the Koran and on the "Traditions". Thousands of judicial decisions are attributed to Mohammed and incorporated in the various collections of Hadith. Mohammed commanded reverence and obedience to parents, and kindness to wives and slaves. Slander and backbiting are strongly denounced, although false evidence is allowed to hide a Moslem's crime and to save his reputation or life. As regards marriage, polygamy, and divorce, the Koran explicitly (sura iv, v. 3) allows four lawful wives at a time, whom the husband may divorce whenever he

pleases. Slave-mistresses and concubines are permitted in any number. At present, however, owing to economic reasons, concubinage is not as commonly practiced as Western popular opinion seems to hold. Seclusion of wives is commanded, and in case of unfaithfulness, the wife's evidence, either in her own defense or against her husband, is not admitted, while that of the husband invariably is. In this, as in other judicial cases, the evidence of two women, if admitted, is sometimes allowed to be worth that of one man. The man is allowed to repudiate his wife on the slightest pretext, but the woman is not permitted even to separate herself from her husband unless it be for illusage, want of proper maintenance, or neglect of conjugal duty; and even then she generally loses her dowry when she does not if divorced by her husband, unless she has been guilty of immodesty or notorious disobedience. Both husband and wife are explicitly forbidden by Mohammed to seek divorce on any slight occasion or the prompting of a whim, but this warning was not heeded either by Mohammed himself or by his followers. A divorced wife, in order to ascertain the paternity of a possible or probable offspring, must wait three months before she marries again. A widow, on the other hand, must wait four months and ten days. Immorality in general is severely condemned and punished by the Koran, but the moral laxity and depraved sensualism of the Mohammedans at large have practically nullified Koranic ethics.

Slavery is not only tolerated in the Koran, but is looked upon as a practical necessity, while the manumission of slaves is regarded as a meritorious deed. It must be observed, however, that among Mohammedans, the children of slaves and of concubines are generally considered equally legitimate with those of legal wives, none being accounted bastards except such as are born of public prostitutes, and whose fathers are unknown. The accusation often brought against the Koran that it teaches that women have no souls is without foundation. The Koranic law concerning inheritance insists that women and orphans be treated with justice and kindness. Generally speaking, however, males are entitled to twice as much as females. Contracts are to be conscientiously drawn up in the presence of witnesses. Murder, manslaughter, and suicide are explicitly forbidden, although blood revenge is allowed. In case of personal injury, the law of retaliation is approved.

In conclusion, reference must be made here to the sacred months, and to the weekly holy day. The Arabs had a year of twelve lunar months, and this, as often as seemed necessary, they brought roughly into accordance with the solar year by the intercalation of a thirteenth month. The Mohammedan year, however, has a mean duration of 354 days, and is ten or eleven days shorter than the solar year, and Mohammedan festivals, accordingly, move in succession through all the seasons. The Mohammedan Era begins with the Hegira, [flight from danger - the Web Master] which is assumed to have taken place on the 16th day of July, A.D. 622. To find what year of the Christian Era (A.D.) is represented by a given year of the Mohammedan Era (A.H.), the rule is: Subtract from the Mohammedan date the product of three times the last completed number of centuries, and add 621 to the remainder. (This rule, however, gives an exact result only for the first day of a Mohammedan century. Thus, e.g., the first day of the fourteenth century came in the course of the year of Our Lord 1883.) The first, seventh, eleventh and twelfth months of the Mohammedan year are sacred; during these months it is not lawful to wage war. The twelfth month is consecrated to the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and, in order to protect pilgrims, the preceding (eleventh) month and the following (first of the new year) are also inviolable. The seventh month is reserved for the fast which Mohammed substituted for a month (the ninth) devoted by the Arabs in pre-Islamic times to excessive eating and drinking. Mohammed selected Friday as the sacred day, of the week, and several fanciful reasons are by the Prophet himself and by his followers for the
selection; the most probable motive was the desire to have a holy day different from that of the Jews and that of the Christians. It is certain, however, that Friday was a day of solemn gatherings and public festivities among the pre-Islamic Arabs. Abstinence from work is not enjoined on Friday, but it is commanded that public prayers and worship must be performed on that day. Another custom dating from antiquity and still universally observed by all Mohammedans, although not explicitly enjoined in the Koran, is circumcision. It Is looked upon as a semi-religious practice, and its performance is preceded and accompanied by great festivities.

In matters political Islam is a system of despotism at home and aggression abroad. The Prophet commanded absolute submission to the imam. In no case was the sword to be raised against him. The rights of non-Moslem subjects are of the vaguest and most limited kind, and a religious war is a sacred duty whenever there is a chance of success against the "Infidel". Medieval and modern Mohammedan, especially Turkish, persecutions of both Jews and Christians are perhaps the best illustration of this fanatical religious and political spirit.

Note from the Web Master [text in green]:

The Glenn Beck Program on THE BLAZE TV had a powerful segment on the Turkish genocide - over a million - of the Armenians, the cruelty of which extended to literally crucifying Christian girls naked on crosses. He showed a picture of a row of crucified girls. Now I understand what they mean when Armenians I have known refer to this barbarity and their hatred of the Turk. Until the Glenn Beck Program, I could not penetrate the bitter hatred. Now, I still do not approve of hatred of anyone, regardless of the root cause, but in human terms, I now grasp the why.


Islam, an Arabic word which, since Mohammed's time, has acquired a religious and technical significance denoting the religion of Mohammed and of the Koran, just as Christianity denotes that of Jesus and of the Gospels, or Judaism that of Moses, the Prophets, and of the Old Testament.

Grammatically, the word Islam is the infinitive of the so-called fourth verbal form of the regular intransitive stem salima, "to be safe", "to be secure", etc. In its second verbal form (sallama) it means "to make some one safe" and "to free", "to make secure", etc. In its third form (salama), it signifies "to make peace", or "to become at peace", i.e., "to be reconciled' In its fourth form (aslama), the infinitive of which is islam, it acquires the sense of "to resign", "to submit oneself" or "to surrender". Hence Islam, in its ethico-religious significance, means the "entire surrender of the will to God", and its professors are called Muslimun (sing. Muslim), which is the participial form, that is "those who have surrendered themselves", or "believers", as opposed to the "rejecters" of the Divine message, who are called Kafirs, Mushriks (that is those who associate various gods with the Deity), or pagans. Historically, of course, to become a Muslim was to become a follower of Mohammed and of his religion; and it is very doubtful whether the earliest Muslims or followers of Mohammed, had any clear notion of the ethico-religious significance of the term, although its later theological development is entirely consistent and logical. According to the Shafiites (one of the four great Mohammedan schools of theology), Islam, as a principle of the law of God, is "the manifesting of humility or submission, and outward conforming with the law of God, and the taking upon oneself to do or to say as the Prophet has done or said"; and if this outward manifestation of religion is coupled with "a firm and internal belief of the heart", i.e., faith, then it is called Iman. Hence the Mohammedan theological axiom "Islam is with the tongue, and Iman is with the heart." According to the Hanafites (another of the four above-mentioned schools), however, no distinction is to be made between the two terms, as Iman, according to them, is essentially included in Islam.

Islam is sometimes divided under two heads of "Faith", or "Iman", and "Practical Religion", or "Din". Faith (Iman) includes a belief in one God, omnipotent, omniscient, all-merciful, the author of all good, and in Mohammed as His prophet, expressed in the formula: "There is no God but God, and Mohammed is the Prophet of God." It includes also, belief in the authority and sufficiency of the Koran, in Angels, genii, and the devil, in the immortality of the soul, the resurrection, the day of judgment, and in God's absolute decree for good and evil. Practical religion (Din), on the other hand, consists of five observances, viz.: recital of the formula of belief, prayer with, ablution, fasting, almsgiving, and the pilgrimage to Mecca.

This last portion is based on Serge Trifkovic, The Sword of the Prophet, Regina Orthodox Press, 2002:

Mohammed hoped that the Jews in Mecca would be amenable to his religion by accepting him as the messenger of God - in order to gain this victory he had his adherents turn toward Jerusalem when they prayed and had them take on the belief of the Jewish Day of Atonement as a Muslim Holy Day. But he did not reckon with the Jews' piety for Old Testament and their realization of the ill effects if they accepted the discrepancies in the Muslim religion that conflicted with their own. He was further hampered in his efforts because he had but a superficial knowledge of Jewish texts and as a result was unable to match their arguments. This was the turning point for Mohammed, who had, up until that time held a favorable view of the Jews. From that time on he had a virulent, unyielding hatred of the Jews. It was in his temperament to take great umbrage at any slight, but this refusal of the Jews caused him to be enraged.

Mohammed had the area "cleansed" of Jews by expulsion or genocide in successive stages. [p. 42]

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