Respond to one Prompt (250 Words)
Was jihad necessary for the security of the nascent community of Muslims for their survival? What did jihad mean to them? What struggles does Christianity ask its adherents to overcome?
What was its attraction? Why was it so appealing, especially to the poor. What was so revolutionary about it?
The Crusades: What was/is the fallout?
How were women viewed/treated in the pre-Islamic Middle East? How were they viewed/treated after the advent of Islam? Think about the “East” as a whole and the traditions of veiling women (Byzantine did this and even Russian women veiled themselves before Westernization…and some do now for religious reasons). What does the veil mean? What does it mean to a Westerner? Is it just a part of a culture that got packaged into the religion? Also, those of you familiar with the Bible, what does it say about women veiling themselves when they pray?
How was the introduction of Islam into the Arabian Peninsula progressive? Was it a religion of reform?
The sense of tribal and extended family identity is very strong in the Middle East today. It is also very strong in all Mediterranean societies in general. In the US and in Westernized (Western) Europe, we may find this a little difficult to understand. What role does this sense of extended family, honor, duty, and tradition play in these early societies in the Middle East?
How did the Muslims take over Persia? What happened to the Persian culture and the Zoroastrian religion?
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