A Brief History of Islam Essay

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Historians Shedding Light on the Islamic Religion

There are two historians who seek to enlighten people about the Islamic religion. The two historians are Marvin E. Gettleman and Stuart Schaar. Notably, a lot of people are not aware of the Islamic teachings yet it was the main religion that converts believed in, in the Middle East. The approach that the two writers used when writing about the Islam religion incorporated a lot of written documents from scholars in order to give diverse information about the religion from the ancient days, to date. As stated earlier, the residents of the Middle East were strong Muslim believers and therefore they were fearful of revenge against their attackers. Moreover, they could reference the Quran to learn about living a righteous life[1]. The teachings of the Quran have so much weight on the believer's lives and therefore people face challenges to live according to its requirements.

The Teachings of the Quran on Everlasting Holy Books

According to the teachings of the Holy book which was revealed to prophet Mohammed, Quran is the only holy book that lasts forever. Believers used to read the holy book and live according to its guidelines. Moreover, some believers could memorize the verses of the Quran as prophet Mohammed taught them. Moreover, religion in the Middle East was used to restrict people to engage in war and immoral activities. With reference to the teachings of the Quran, men were not permitted to have more wives than they could afford to take care of. It is noticeable that human beings are lustrous and have a tendency to fall in love with more than one partner. The writer intended to illustrate that people in the Middle East are immoral. Due to this reason, the prophet taught people on how to overcome sins.

Addressing Inequality Through Religion

In relation to family issues such as property ownership, the writers explain the rules that were laid down to guide the community regarding their rights to ownership. As mentioned, men and women have an equal right to inherit wealth from their relatives. This is a sign that the Muslim community did not have rules and regulations pertaining to property ownership. Therefore, people were enlightened and they could claim an inheritance from their parents. The order in the society was enhanced following Mohammed’s Teachings. It is evident that the inequalities between men and women were addressed through the spread of the Muslim religion in the Middle East.

Social Interactions in the Era of Muhammad

The Author of the content intended to depict the social interactions of individuals who lived in the era of Muhammad. As Muhammad spread the gospel about God, people were resistant to listen and believe in his teachings. Due to this reason, Mohammed faced hostility in the hands of people he met. Later on, Muhammad relocated to the Northern part of the Middle East where he practiced agriculture together with the people who were already converted and believed in his teachings. Due to this movement, the economy of the Middle East was hampered because part of the population did not contribute to the national economy.

Religion as the Opiate of the People

According to Carl Max, religion is the opiate of the people. The meaning of this statement is that people use religion to turn away from the hurting truth. People who believe in God seek to find solace in the word of God which is written in the Quran. In my opinion, religion is a hindrance to finding solutions to real problems[2]. People comfort themselves by believing that God’s mercies are sufficient and therefore when they are unable to resolve their issues, they believe in the power of God that it will restore them.

Society Order and the Role of Religion

The people who embraced the teachings of the Islam religion adhered to the rules that governed social order. According to Muhammad's teachings, Muhtasib was supposed to ensure that there is order in the city. Muhasib’s role was to ensure that people treat animals fairly. On the other hand, Muhammad declared that exchanging money to make a profit is sinful before God. Individuals who engaged in such activities would be considered to be sinners. The law regarding money exchange could be upheld by the people who lived in ancient times. Nonetheless, money exchange business is rampant in the market today and 50% of believers engage in it. I do not support the teaching of Prophet Muhammad regarding money exchange because it is an avenue for one to make a profit and consequently meet their needs.

The Transformation Brought by Islamic Religion

Initially, men and women were never circumcised; they could live in harmony, meet the social needs of members of their family and bear children. Therefore, it was not easy for Muhammad to prove the importance of circumcision among women and men. Additionally, circumcising women leads to the breaks the human right rules. I strongly believe that the teachings of the prophet were unworthy and therefore people would not uphold them. On the other hand, people who would convert to be Muslims would need to endure much pain once they confessed the Islamic religion[3]. Muhammad introduced Islamic religion in the Middle East in order to lure people to turn away from evil activities. Some of the residents had engaged in wars; killing multitudes of people. Muhammad came to reassure them that God would forgive them once they believe in Him and confess their sins.

The Social Impact of Islam

When Muhammad first introduced Islamic religion in the Middle East, people’s lives changed socially, economically and politically. Nonetheless, it took longer for him to attract people to the religion because it was limiting them from engaging from their usual activities. For instance, women were advised to be keen when choosing their dressing code because they were only expected to dress in a manner that would only attract their husbands. The teachings further compelled women to be submissive and follow the teachings of the Quran. One can relate the position of women in today's society to that of the past, in that, women depicted to be a weak gender and therefore they should humble and follow their husband’s authority.

The Role of Religion in Maintaining Law and Order

Moreover, religion has a lot of adverse effects on the believer’s lives. Nonetheless, it helped to maintain order in the community because people who were engaging in wrongful acts were punished. The law stipulated that any person who did not restrain himself or herself from illegal activities should be treated harshly by calling them ‘bad’ names such as ‘Stupid”. People still maintain law and order in the 21st century just like earlier times. The difference between Islamic law and today’s law is that Islamic law only applied to individuals who believed in Muhammad's teachings, while the latter is universal and affects every person living within the territory governed by the law. Notably, the teachings of the Quran were used to formulate the currents societal laws and therefore it is a great asset to the 21st century’s.

Connecting Ancient and Modern Religious Teachings

Ancient religion referred to the belief in one Supreme Being, who is God. Therefore, people who were converted to Islamic religion believed that God created the earth and that He also created man from a tiny sperm. On the contrally, there are Christian converts who believe that God created man from dust although they share the same idea with the Muslims regarding who created the earth, moon, and animals[4]. The narrative about famous people who pioneered religion talks about Abraham, for instance. People who lived a righteous life according to Muhammad's teachings will inherit the kingdom of God while wrong doors will perish in Hell. There is a connection between the ancient and the 21st-century religious teachings and therefore, people who believe in God today still believe that if they follow the teaching of the prophet, they will ascend to heaven and live a fulfilling life.

Religion as a Source of Encouragement

Religion is a strong belief that leads one to have a different view of life. People who get saved constantly refer to the holy book in order to get encouragement to face challenges in life. Moreover, they refer to God as their sole provider and helper in times of need. With reference to religious practice observed today, individuals are exploited by prophets who are not anointed, yet they claim to spreads the good news with an intention of exploiting the converts. Notably, this is contrary to the teachings of Prophet Muhammad because his teachings were inspired by an inner spiritual power.

Disadvantages of Islamic Religion in the Middle East

Conclusively, there were more disadvantages of the introduction of Islamic religion in the Middle East than the advantages. Muhammad's teachings hampered women’s freedom in that they were expected to be subject to their male counterparts. The belief that women should be submissive to their men has denied them a chance to develop financially because they cannot make independent decisions. Additionally, Prophet Muhammad introduced the practice that fostered female circumcision. During his time, people would circumcise women not knowing that is had a negative impact on their future life. As a result of the introduction of female circumcision in the modern world, a lot of women die or develop long-term complications while giving birth. The legal experts make efforts to mitigate the harmful cultural practice in vain because it has a very strong origin; Middle East religion, which was introduced by Prophet Muhammad.

Limitations of Religion in Problem-Solving and Economic Activities

Additionally, people fail to exercise their critical and creative thinking skills to solve their problems. Instead, they relent and claim that God will provide a solution. Taking such a directive in one’s life is not right because one fails to make simple decisions, which may not need the intervention of the Supreme Being. Moreover, Islamic religion restricted people to engage in the money exchange business. Believers would be punished for acting against the teachings of the Quran. Restricting people to engage in this type of business denied them an opportunity to make a profit through an easy and affordable means. The Middle East region also experienced a decline in national income resulting from reduced economic activities. People borrow the teachings of Prophet Mohammed in their life because they were introduced to the same religion through their lineage and therefore they find it challenging to change the vices that are considered to be immoral such as female circumcision, despite the fact that the practices are not helpful in their lives.


Gettleman, Marvin E., and Stuart Schaar, eds. The Middle East and Islamic World Reader: An Historical Reader for the 21st Century. Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 2012.

Kirk, George E. A short history of the Middle East: from the rise of Islam to modern times. Routledge, 2016.

Issawi, Charles. An economic history of the Middle East and North Africa. Routledge, 2013.

Goldschmidt, Arthur, Lawrence Davidson, and Tom Weiner. A concise history of the Middle East. Blackstone Audio, Incorporated, 2010.


Gettleman, Marvin E., and Stuart Schaar, eds. The Middle East and Islamic World Reader: An Historical Reader for the 21st Century. Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 2012.

[2] Issawi, Charles. An economic history of the Middle East and North Africa. Routledge, 2013.

[3] Goldschmidt, Arthur, Lawrence Davidson, and Tom Weiner. A concise history of the Middle East. Blackstone Audio, Incorporated, 2010.

[4] Kirk, George E. A short history of the Middle East: from the rise of Islam to modern times. Routledge, 2016.

November 24, 2023

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