Thursday, May 22, 2008

Class Evaluation-9th History

My overall impression of the class this year was good. I enjoyed the movies that we watched and how we took time to understand the materials provided. There would only be one thing that I think did not work. Other than that I learned a lot.

I really enjoyed how the movies we watched that corresponded with what we were learning in the book. One thing that sometimes confused me is when we would be watching a movie but in the book we were learning something else. Sometimes this would confuse me when it came to quizzes and tests. Other than that the movies really enforced what we were learning, it was nice to get information besides just what the text book supplies.

I also enjoyed how this year we took time to understand what we were going to be quizzed on. This really helped me when it came to quizzes. This was a change that began during the middle of the year and I think it really helped me. After being told what to study I could really understand what concepts i needed to grasp.

One thing that I think did not work was towards the beginning of the year. We weren't told when quizzes were going to be and what we were to study. It seemed very unorganized and all were confused. This is the only thing that I think did not work.

In conclusion, Many things in the class worked. The fact that we watched movies to reinforce what we learned was really good and so was quiz and test preparation. One thing that did not work was the un organization. This was my overall impression of the class.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Islam and Christianity

The religions of Christianity and Islam have many things in common and many differences. The belief in only one God is the largest aspect that they have in common. One huge difference is the fact that they view Mohammad as just a prophet and also Jesus. As Christians we believe that Jesus is not just a prophet, he is part of the trinity, he is divine. These main points will be visited later on in this essay. (Wilkinson 13)

The biggest similarity between the two religions is that they are monotheistic. They both have a belief in one God. As Christians we believe in God as Yahweh and Muslims believe in Allah. They believe that Allah is the only supreme God as we view our God. They believe that one is to surrender all things to God and much more. We as Christians believe the same. Both religions believe in the creation of all things by God and believe in the power of prayer.

The biggest difference is the viewing of Jesus. We as Christians believe that Jesus was a prophet but also much more. We believe he is "God in a bod". He is part of the Trinity. We believe that God sent his son Jesus to come and give us the word of God. With Islam they believe that Jesus was just a prophet bringing Allah's message. They don't believe that he is the Messiah or that he is part of the Trinity. This is one of the biggest differences between the two religions.(Gordon 15)

Another difference between the two religions is the viewing of War. No where in the Bible does it say that we as followers of Christ should slaughter people because they do not believe in what we believe. We are told to show them the love of God and show the Character of Christ through us. Muslims believe in Jihad. Jihadis believed to mean, "Struggle in the way of God." Or it is also known as holy war. If one looks at 9-11 they can see the difference.

In conclusion, we have view to of the worlds largest religions. They are both very similar and very different in many ways. We have viewed these two religions with their similarities and differences. The biggest similarity would have to be the fact that they are both Monotheistic religions. The biggest difference is the viewing of Jesus.

Gordon, Matthew S. Islam:World Religions. New York: Facts on File Inc, 1991.

Wilkinson, Philip. Islam. New York: DK, 2002

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Muslim Conquest of Byzantium

The Byzantines were one of the first peoples to feel the wrath of the Arabs. The Battle of Yarmuk is one of the most well known battles where the Arabs defeat the Byzantines. The Muslims take over the Byzantines and establish a new Dynasty. (Wilkinson 22)

The Byzantine Empire was established with the center being Constantinople. The Byzantines began to worry because the Turks had just become Muslim. They did not want the Islamic religion to overpower the Christian religion. This is the beginning of the Crusades.

In 639 the Muslim army conquered part of Byzantium. They conquered Syria, Egypt, and Jordan. The Byzantines though, were able to keep Constantinople safe when the Muslims tried to capture it.(Gordon 46-47)

The Muslims conquered the Byzantines. They used their knowledge and their might. At the time they may have been the only superpower. Within a forty year time period the Muslims had the birth of their faith and became a superpower. This is amazing.

In conclusion, the Muslims wanted to take over Byzantium and change the religion from Christianity to Islam. The Byzantines became afraid of the Turks because they had recently became a Islamic nation. This is how the Crusades began. Crusades means "wars of the cross"

Gordon, Matthew S. Islam:World Religions. New York: Facts on File Inc, 1991.

Wilkinson, Philip. Islam. New York: DK, 2002

Friday, May 2, 2008

Two Sects of Islam

There are two main sects of Islamic beliefs. One is the Sunni and the other is the Shi'a. These two sects make up the Islamic culture. The branch of Sunni Islam is the largest sect in most countries, but in some it is the minority.The split between the Shi'a and the Sunni Muslims is mainly over Caliphs.

When Muhammed died in 632 he left no clear successor. When this was known the Muslims came together to elect a leader, this is called a Caliph. The Caliph was the head of the Muslim throughout the world. They were to lead the army and gave authority to Muslim leaders. Caliph means "successor." (Gordon 32)

They elected Abu Bakr, Mohammed's father in law. Many thought that the next successor should be 'Ali, Mohammed's cousin, who married Fatima, Mohammed's daughter. Those who followed 'Ali were known as the Shi'a Muslims. In 656 'Ali ruled as Caliph, but the Muslims were still separated when it came to how a Caliph should be chosen. Sunni Muslims believe that they should be chosen by election. Shi'a Muslims believed that the Caliphs should be of the 'Ali of Fatima bloodline. (Wilkinson 20)

Now lets understand what the Shiites are all about. The Shi'a Muslims are a sect of Muslims who were the supporters of 'Ali. They wanted many Arabs to be followers too. One thing that many do not know is that Shi'a sect revolts only against the upper Arab class, not all Arabs in general.

The Sunni Muslims are the largest sect of Muslims. They are the followers of Abu Bak'r. Sunni means the "way" or the "example" referring to the example of Mohammad. Abu Bak'r was one of the first to embrace Islam so he is highly revered.
Gordon, Matthew S. Islam:World Religions. New York: Facts on File Inc, 1991.
Wilkinson, Philip. Islam. New York: DK, 2002