Mohammed10

Tree of Life Lessons

Level 1   Lesson 7   World Religions

MOHAMMED-10

 

As perhaps most of you know, in the Arabian Desert where now stands the city of Mecca , there fell from the skies (no one knows just when) a black stone.

 

This meteorite -- for actually, this is what the stone is -- became the impetus for the establishment of one of the world’s greatest religions. This stone was declared to be a sign from heaven and was named The Kaaba, or the cube.

 

Thousands traveled annually to see it and worship before it. Finally, in the 17th century of the Christian era, a flood partially destroyed the shrine in which it was enclosed.

 

The various families of the Koreish tribe vied for the ineffable honor of replacing The Kaaba in a new structure. They decided that the honor should befall the first man to enter the gates of the sacred enclosure.

 

In the distance, they saw Kutham, a wealthy uneducated but religious merchant of their tribe, approaching. Being attracted by the sounds of excited voices, he entered the gate and was informed of their decision, and he acquiesced to the honor.

 

He was given the appellation MOHAMMED, “the praised one”. The experience turned his mind toward divine or spiritual matters. He neglected his business, and was frequently found meditating in a cave.

 

He was very familiar with the Hebrew legends of Abraham and Moses, and a devout believer in what constitutes most of our Old Testament.

 

Arabia , however, was generally, at this time, in a state of religious degeneration reverting to animism and polytheism. A reform was needed.

 

Mohammed saw the necessity of what might be termed a national religion -- one not of a syncretistic nature, but purely Arabian in origin and intended for Arabians.

 

One night in his cave -- so it is related -- he was Cosmically illuminated; that is, there was revealed to him the way of righteousness and the Word of God, and a new religion was born from that experience.

 

He gathered about himself a group of his friends and related the divine message to them: “There is no God but Allah; and Mohammed is his prophet.”

 

This is truly an advance in the religions of Arabia ; for it, at least, was a monotheistic conception. His doctrines were not generally accepted at first.

 

When he declared that the religious customs built around The Kaaba were superstitious and false, hostility towards him broke out. He retaliated by directing a campaign of a moral clean-up against the licentiousness and corruption existing in Mecca .

 

He organized certain Jewish and Arabian tribes and met the force of opposition with a religion of the sword.

 

After his death, there was a reversion to the old faiths, but Mohammedanism was salvaged by Mohammed’s friend, Abu Bekr.

 

Mohammedanism forced itself at the point of the sword into the heart of the Old East -- Egypt , Persia , and Arabia . Its large bible, the “Koran”, is the most read book in the world.

 

Every Mohammedan has read the Koran -- a collection of precepts -- at least twice thoroughly. Comparatively few, who profess to be Christians, can claim to be so assi­duous in their reading of the Christian Bible.

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