Islam and the Shariah

Essay by Jon AcklenHigh School, 11th grade October 1996

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Islam began in seventh century Arabia. Within a hundred years of its start Islamic rulers controlled an empire larger and more vast than the Roman empire. Within four hundred years Islam was part of the richest culture in the world.

Islam, which means submission to God, includes the life and culture as well as religion. Islam is sometimes called Mohammedanism. The followers of Mohammedanism do not worship Mohammed as the name would imply, they worship only Allah, their One God.

Islam was founded by Mohammed. Mohammed was born in Mecca shortly after his father died. A few years later his mother died and he was left to care for his uncle and grandfather. As a young Arab, Mohammed began to heard sheep early in his life. His years of solitude made him thoughtful and observant. At that time there were no schools so as an eager boy he learned where and what he could.

At twelve years old Mohammed made his first long journey in a caravan. Mohammed, who was traveling with his uncle, traveled into Syria and became familiar with different cultures and people. When Mohammed returned home he was more thoughtful than ever.

During his life Mohammed made many trading trips. Between these trips he spent very much time alone. On one occasion, when he was alone, he was spoken to by Allah. Mohammed was confused but eventually had a revelation about life. Mohammed started with his family and as time went on he began to convince others to follow him and worship only Allah. Mohammed proceeded to found Islam.

Two books included in the Islamic religion are the Koran and the Shariah. The Koran is the word of God for Muslims, The Koranic revelations set basic standards of conduct. The Koran, though, is in no way...