What was the context behind Islam?

What exactly was the context behind Islam? What made a man like Mohammed rise up and start a religion based around the God of Israel? What social and political conditions would have sparked this? Did he see it as a way to unite the tribes of Arabia? Did he feel alienated from those around him and decided to create a religion? Do you think Mohammed, to an extent at least, really believed in what he was teaching (this is coming from a Christian perspective)? Is there any scholarly historical study’s behind what exactly made a religion like Islam come about? Was it a product of its time bound to happen?

If you want a non-muslim’s perspective, check out Karen Armstrong. She wrote some pretty good books that may be to your liking; ‘Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time’ and ‘Islam: A Short History’. She’s not a muslim, but she did a pretty good job with both books. She appeals to scholarly works too, especially Ibn Ishaq [may Allah have mercy on him]. I found her citation of certain Qur’anic verses to be a little out of context, but otherwise, she did well.

Greater Arabia had been in a state of ever increasing flux for a long time. It was accelerated by the collapse of the Ma’rib Dam in about 500 and with it, of Yemeni civilisation that went back to the Queen of Sheba and long before her. Greater mobility of population developed and with it, ever increasing interchange of ideas.

The Byzantine and Persian Empires had, meantime, since about 300 over-concentrated on weakening each other no matter how that contributed to destabilising surrounding nations.

There had been a large number of Jewish, semi-Jewish, Christian and semi-Christian groups and sects. There had also for some time been a number of Islamic-like sects and groups (one led by a person called Musallam). Some of them “borrowed” some texts and/or ideas from some of those other groups, some of which were less close to canonical Scriptures. Also, the relation between scriptures and traditions and/or teachings is different. Hence the confusion as to whether they draw on what is Jewish and Christian or not. The Arabic for Jesus is Yesu’ (stress on second syllable).

Monotheism, not being monolithic, has existed in various forms for a very long time in many places. Islam is more monotheistic than the Jewish and Christian faith.

So, Muhammad and his colleagues were building on various facets of the situation in various ways.

The conditions of the time and place is when God Sends His Messenger.

When man reaches far below the level of the animal, God reminds us why we are here. This was such a time and was foretold in the bible.

Regards Tony

You can be certain that it was not the Archangel St. Gabriel that spoke to Mohammed.

Here is a site where Dr. Taylor Marshall explains much about Islam:



There is a good general BBC documentary here: youtube.com/watch?v=oVGieY0W6lY

It should be considered that a Catholic would not post such things.

This is the Catholic way - forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=1009060

God Bless and Regards Tony

Hello same as above - forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=1009060

Sorry, I don’t understand that comment.

God bless +


Muhammad was a false prophet. He did not speak to God. Muhammed was not foretold in the Bible. The Messiah, which is Jesus, was foretold throughout the Old Testament though. The prophecys concerning Christ can be debated over but it cannot be denied that the Messiah was foretold. Muhammed was never foretold of. There was no concept of him in the minds of any of the Jewish writers.

Of course it was Gabriel. It’s written all throughout the Qu’ran.

Prophets generally don’t make prophecies about other prophets. Perhaps you are confusing the role of Jesus and the role of Muhammed. No one is claiming that Muhammed is the Messiah.

+“Thy Word
have I hid in mine heart,
that I might
sin against thee.”
Psalm 119:11 +

+To answer the original question from a Catholic perspective of, *“What is the context behind Islam?” *one needs to go way back in mankind’s history. The answers are revealed deep in the heart of Sacred :bible1: Scripture:

**The LORD and Father Abraham . . . **

Father Abraham had a very deep and profoundly personal encounter with the . . . LORD our God . . . here on earth during his lifetime, which encounter is revealed in considerable detail in the first book of the Holy :bible1: Bible, the book of Genesis:

[INDENT]“And after he [Abraham] began to be ninety and nine years old, the LORD appeared to him: and said unto him: I Am the Almighty God: walk before Me, and be perfect. And I will make **My **covenant between Me and thee: and **I *will multiply thee exceedingly.” * - Genesis 17:1-2

Abraham was our Wonderful God’s chosen one in a specific and perfect plan in the will of God for the salvation of all sinful,mankind. And . . . further along . . . as recorded in this chapter . . . the LORD reveals that SARAH, Abraham’s wife, was also a chosen one for the fulfillment of this promise . . .

“SARAH your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name ISAAC. **I **will establish **My **covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.” (Genesis 17:19).

However, both Abraham and SARAH not only had trouble believing, when they received the original prophecy/promise from the LORD that . . . they-two . . .were to have a son . . . they-two impatiently taking matters into their own hands . . . had come up with a really . . . not-so marvelous . . .way to . . . “help God out” . . . in this matter . . . and following a human cultural tradition of their day . . . long-story-short . . . Abraham had fathered a son with SARAH’S Egyptian handmaid named HAGAR (Genesis 16:1-4) . . . named ISHMAEL . . . and thus Abraham wound up having two sons . . . only one of which . . . was the son of the promise of the LORD . . . [/INDENT]
**Thus we have the beginning of both the Arabic and Jewish peoples as equally descended from Father Abraham . . . with very different futures as revealed by the LORD in Sacred Scripture . . . **

ISHMAEL - the Son of the Handmaid HAGAR . . .

**God’s **prophecy regarding Abraham’s son, ISHMAEL, with HAGAR, the Egyptian handmaid to HAGAR:

[INDENT]“Behold, you are with child, and shall bear a son; you shall call his name ISHMAEL; because The LORD has given heed to your affliction. He shall be a wild *** of a man, his hand against every man and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.” - Genesis 16:11-12.
God’s prophecy regarding ISHMAEL to Abraham:

“As for ISHMAEL,** I **have heard you; behold, I will bless him and make him fruitful and multiply him exceedingly; he shall be the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation" - Genesis 17:20.[/INDENT]

**ISAAC - God’s Promised Son . . .**God’s prophecy/promise regarding Abraham’s son, ISAAC, with his wife SARAH, given prior to Ishmael’s conception and birth (Genesis 15:2-6):

[INDENT]“SARAH your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name ISAAC. **I **will establish **My **covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.” (Genesis 17:19).

Abraham’s son ISAAC was grandfather to twelve grandsons who became the heads of the twelve tribes of Israel . . . and . . . Jesus . . . **God Incarnate **. . . ** the Blessed Christ of God **. . . the promised . . . Messiah . . . of mankind . . . was to spring forth from one of those tribes . . . the tribe of Judah . . . as Saviour of the world . . .

“For God so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.”* - John 3:16*[/INDENT]

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank You dear Lord+

The Qu’ran says different things about Jesus, than what the Gospels say.

There are many texts out there that are different from the what is written in the Gospels. Have you read the Gospel of Thomas? Or of the Gospel of Philip?

The Qu’ran was recorded centuries after the life of Jesus. I would imagine it contains many things that were handed down orally.

Are you saying, though, that because it has different words than the Christian Scriptures, it cannot be accurate?

It is enough for me to say that I do not believe that it was the Archangel Gabriel that spoke to Mohammad.

What you mention above are non-canonical writings. I believe in the Church’s authority on faith and morals, and accept only the writings the Church has approved.

I don’t think a good Muslim would ask you to believe that their Scriptures are holy in the same way; it is enough to say another’s Scriptures are holy to them. Gabriel can be shared amongst our two other Abrahamic faiths.





Sacred Scripture is **the speech of God **as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit.


In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it ** not** as human word, "but as what it really is, the Word of God."

[quote]**In the sacred books,
the Father who is in heaven
comes lovingly :heart: to meet his children,
and talks with them. **


[/INDENT][INDENT]:bible1: “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand …” Psalms 139:17-18b[/INDENT]

Regarding Mohammed . . . we are guided by Sacred :bible1: Scripture not to limit our pursuit of wisdom and understanidng of earthly matters to mankind alone as the source of activities here on earth . . . particularly spiritual activities . . . as Christians and Catholics we are counseled by the . . . Sweet Spirit of our Holy God . . . as follows . . .

[INDENT][INDENT]Ephesians 6:12
For our wrestling is NOT against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.

1 John 4:1
Dearly beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits if they be of God: because many FALSE PROPHETS are gone out into the world.

Matthew 7:15
Beware of FALSE PROPHETS, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Matthew 24:11
And many FALSE PROPHETS shall rise, and shall seduce many.

Matthew 24:24
For there shall arise false Christs and FALSE PROPHETS, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect.[/INDENT][/INDENT]

[RIGHT]. . . all for Jesus+
. . . thank you Holy Mother Church+[/RIGHT]

To me this is the Context behind any Faith, showing a Loving Heart such as this. This is the attitude that is Christian and moves the world to the Love Christ wants for us :thumbsup:

God Bless and regards Tony

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