1.List the "Five Pillars of Islam."
(A) Shahadah (submission to Allah, their God)
(B) Salah (Pray to Allah five times a day at fixed times while facing Mecca)
(C) Sawm during Ramadan (The Muslim must fast from dawn to Dusk from any food or drink during the month of Ramadan. This was a time for them to make repentance for their sins and remember the needy while still trying to come closer to Allah.)
(D) Zakat (Muslims must be charitable to the poor in other words, almsgiving)
(E) The Hajj (The pilgrimage to Mecca that is required of everyone once in their lifetime.)
- Superb, may use as a model answer! Note that Shahadah (also spelled "Shahada") includes acceptance of Muhammad as their prophet.
3. Charles the Hammer, Pepin the Short, and Charlemagne: which one is your favorite, and why?
Pepin the Short must have been pressured greatly by his people to live up to his father’s name, the great “Charles the Hammer”. In A.D. 752 Pepin was anointed King of the Franks by the Pope. Because the Pope approved of Pepin the Short, the people highly respected Pepin as God’s chosen ruler. Pepin offered protection to the Church by his powerful army if the Pope would grant him a blessing. Pepin the Short knew he could gain more awe and respect from his subjects if they saw the Pope, who represents Jesus, bountifully bless him. At that time, the Church in Rome was being attacked by the Lombards and the Pope sought help from the Franks since the Byzantine Empire did not want to interfere. Pepin helped remove the Lombards from Rome in A.D. 754. The relationship between the Catholic Church and the Franks increased because the Franks had kept their promise to aid the Church whenever it was in danger, while the ties between the Church and the Byzantines were weakened because they did not send help when it was needed.
- Superb again, could also be a model answer!
4. Describe what you like about feudalism in Western Europe.
Feudalism helped society to flourish and its income to increase. I think that people, specifically peasants, who lived in Western Europe were tired of being ruled under one king, having to work like slaves and receiving barely enough to feed their families. They wanted a change as we all do. The fiefs were happy when they could start gaining some profit for themselves by working hard on the land owned by the lords who in turn hired vassals to oversee everything that was going on in the fields and their businesses. Even though the fiefs were very much like the slaves that used to work the plantations in America, they were given enough to eat and maybe even some land for their own if they harvested an excellent crop. There is an argument as to whether the fiefs were treated like slaves since the lords are like the plantation owners who hired overseers to watch how the slaves were progressing in the fields. There will always be different views on the subject.
5. Explain the difference between the Sunnis and the Shiites, and give examples of one country controlled by each.
The two branches of religion that Mohammed founded are the Sunnis and the Shiites. The main controversy between these two branches was the decision about who would succeed Mohammed. The Sunnis believe that the rightful leaders of the Muslims are the heirs of the first of the four caliphs, Mohammed’s successors, while the Shiites believed Ali, the fourth caliph, should be the Muslim leader. Since they could not make a peaceful decision, they separated and each chose to recognize their own leader. Additionally, the Sunnis and the Shiites disagree about Mahdi, “the rightly guided one”, the god who created all living things. The Shiites believe he was already present on earth and will return from hiding to govern his people righteously while the Sunnis consider that he has not yet come and gained his place in history. Iran is now ruled by a Shiite theocracy while Iraq’s government is led mostly by a Shiite government. The Tiny Bahrain, a group of 33 Persian Gulf islands, remains to this day the only nation in the world where a Shiite majority is led by a Sunni minority. I wonder what caused this to happen.
- Terrific explanation and analysis! (Note that the more common spelling is "Muhammad" ("...ad"), rather than "Muhammed").
6. Current events: Comment on the table of Islamic populations by country. Do you notice anything interesting about it?
The countries which are over 50% Islamic are almost 100% Islamic and those underneath 50% are have a very low Islamic population. There is either an extremely large population of Muslims or a very low number of those who are Islamic. The reason for this is that when someone enters the Islamic religion he can never turn back or he shall be in danger of his life. When Islam has gained more than 50% of the population, everyone who is of another religion has no choice other than to convert to Islam or die while trying to practice their own faith. Islam forces people to convert to its religion and it does not let them choose for themselves, which results in an increase of the Islamic population in the world every year. When I saw the table of the Islamic population in the world, I was greatly surprised that so many people have converted to Islam. Unlike Christianity, Islam does not give its followers free will to choose between right and wrong. They have to obey what they are told.
- Superb explanation.
7. Briefly describe four major civilizations or tribes in South America, as discussed in the lecture.
(A) Maya (A.D. 300-900) The Maya tribe was a Mesoamerican civilization known for its unique, fully-developed written language, which was the only one at that time noted in the pre- Columbian Americas. The tribe is well known for mathematical and astronomical systems which helped us discover things we could never have discovered without them.
(B) Moche (A.D. 200-700) The Moche tribe greatly thrived in northern Peru. They did not have many intellectual minds and were not politically organized. There were no classes or levels in their society. They all lived and shared a common elite culture. They spent a lot of their time painting exquisite ceramics, creating gold possessions, and building great huacas (great constructions) and irrigation systems.
(C) Incas (A.D. 1250-1537) The Incas were a civilization that flourished into a powerful tribe until a controversy weakened them against the Spanish. They were wonderful craftsmen and are widely known for their large gold earrings. They were a tribe of wealth and power. Most people think of the Incas when someone mentions the ancient civilizations in South America.
(D) Aztecs (A.D. 1200-1521) The Aztecs are known for playing ballgames, the use of a calendar, and customs of their ancestors. The only major difference is that the Aztecs were more war-like; the Aztecs were not intellectual. They themselves did not advance knowledge or civilization but used the methods of their predecessors.
- Fantastic analysis. Could use this as a model answer!
H6. Do you think the term "faith" properly applies to any religion other than Christianity?
The term “faith” means believing in God and all that He has revealed. Some religions do not have a god. Many religions are only a way or practice on how to live your life according to what you think is just. In this case, I do not think the term “faith” could be properly applied since most people do not believe that there is even a god that exists. For other religions, such as Islam, the Muslims do have God or Allah, whom they respect greatly. There is definitely faith in this religion because God exists in Islam and the people believe in Him. They must be able to trust and put their fate into His hands. Faith has a specific meaning and it should be used properly.
- Very good and thorough analysis. Personally, I think "faith" means even more than "believing", including a confidence or trust in the achievement of something good. Your well-reasoned answer earns full credit. If you have more interest about this, then you might want to consider the entry here about faith, which suggests that the term is uniquely Christian. In contrast, "faith" is rarely mentioned in the Koran.
- Absolutely fantastic homework, one of the best in the class by anyone all year! 70/70. Congratulations!