Islam: A Very Short Introduction by Malise Ruthven - Chapter 1 Quiz

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12 Questions

What is the etymological connection between the word 'Islam' and 'salam'?

Islam means 'submission' in Arabic

How was Islam mainly spread in its earliest phase according to the text?

By trade routes and peaceful means

What was a key factor in the spread of Islam in peripheral regions?

Local scholars and holy men adapting to local customs

Why is the term 'conversion' considered inappropriate when discussing the spread of Islam?

Because it implies conscious intentionality which was not always the case

What is the significance of the standard Muslim greeting 'as-salaam 'alaikum'?

It is a wish for peace upon others

Why is Islam referred to as a 'Religion of the Book' in the text?

Because it has a sacred text like Christianity and Judaism

What event served to trigger a 'war on terror' by the United States and its allies?

The removal of Muslim governments in Afghanistan and Iraq

What is a subject that has raised the profile of Islam throughout the world?

The 'war on terror'

Where have the debates about Islam taken place since 11 September 2001?

In media, cafés, bars, and homes

What triggered discussions about Islam in various public forums?

Removal of Muslim governments in Afghanistan and Iraq

What has become an ideology of hatred for an angry minority according to the text?

'Law of jihad'

Which event led directly to the removal of Muslim governments in Afghanistan and Iraq?

Hijacking of American airliners on 11 September 2001

Study Notes

Islam, Muslims, and Islamism

  • Since 11 September 2001, Islam has become a subject of analysis and discussion globally, triggering a "war on terror".
  • The event raised the profile of Islam, leading to debates about the religion, its beliefs, and practices.
  • Questions about Islam, previously discussed in academic circles, have entered the mainstream of public consciousness.

Islam: A Religion of Peace

  • The word "Islam" means submission to God, and is etymologically related to the word "salam", meaning peace.
  • The standard Muslim greeting, "as-salaam 'alaikum", means "peace be upon you".
  • Muslims argue that Islam is a religion of peace, and that its pacific nature is often misunderstood.

Historical Spread of Islam

  • In its early phase (up to around 750 CE), Islam spread through the Arab conquest.
  • In subsequent centuries, its spread was largely peaceful, along trade routes from Africa to China and Southeast Asia.
  • Islam absorbed local traditions and customs, often merging with older religious traditions, such as Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, or Hinduism.

Agents of Islamic Spread

  • Scholars, holy men, and merchants played a crucial role in spreading Islam, often "Islamizing" local cults and customs.
  • The process of acculturation, rather than conscious conversion, characterized the spread of Islam over the centuries.

Test your knowledge on the topics covered in Chapter 1 'Islam, Muslims, and Islamism' from the book 'Islam: A Very Short Introduction' by Malise Ruthven. Explore concepts such as the history of Islam, differences between Islam and Islamism, and societal impacts post 9/11.

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