Battle of Badr
The Battle of Badr, fought on Tuesday, 13 March 624 CE in the Hejaz region of western Arabia, was a key battle in the early days of Islam and a turning point in Muhammad's struggle with his opponents among the Quraish in Mecca. The battle has been passed down in Islamic history as a decisive victory attributable to divine intervention, or by secular sources to the strategic genius of Muhammad, it is one of the few battles mentioned in the Quran. All knowledge of the battle at Badr comes from traditional Islamic accounts, both hadiths and biographies of Muhammad, recorded in written form some time after the battle. There is little evidence outside of these of the battle. There are no descriptions of the battle prior to the 9th century. Prior to the battle, the Muslims and the Meccans had fought several smaller skirmishes in late 623 and early 624. Badr, was the first large-scale engagement between the two forces. Advancing to a strong defensive position, Muhammad's well-disciplined force broke the Meccan lines, killing several important Quraishi leaders including the Muslims' chief antagonist Abu Jahl.
For the early Muslims the battle was the first sign that they might defeat their enemies among the Meccans. Mecca at that time was one of the richest and most powerful cities in Arabia, fielding an army three times larger than that of the Muslims; the Muslim victory signaled to the other tribes that a new power had arisen in Arabia and strengthened Muhammad's position as leader of the fractious community in Medina. The battle established the position of Ali ibn Abi Talib as the best fighter among the Muslims, as he alone killed 22 Meccans, while the rest of the Muslims combined killed 27 Meccans. Muhammad was born in Mecca around 570 CE into the Quraish tribe. After Muhammad's revelation from Gabriel in 610 until his proclamation of monotheism to the Quraysh, Islam was practiced in secret; the Quraiysh, who traditionally accepted religious practices other than their own, became more intolerant of the Muslims during the thirteen years of personal attacks against their religions and gods. In fear for their religion and economic viability, which relied on annual pilgrimages, the Meccans began to mock and disrupt Muhammad's followers.
In 622, Muhammad bade many of his followers to migrate from Mecca to the neighboring city of Medina, 320 km north of Mecca. Shortly thereafter, Muhammad himself left for Medina; this migration is referred to as the Hijra. The Quranic Verse 22:39 uttered by Muhammad sometime shortly after the migration permitted Muslims, for the first time, to take up arms in defence. During this period Muhammad employed three broad military strategies against the Meccans. Firstly, to establish peace treaties with the tribes surrounding Medina with those from whom the Meccans could derive most advantage against the Muslims. Secondly, to dispatch small groups to obtain intelligence on the Quraish and their allies and provide, thereby, an opportunity for those Muslims still living in Mecca to leave with them. Thirdly, to intercept the trade caravans of the Meccans that passed close to Medina and to obstruct their trade route. In September 623, Muhammad himself led a force of 200 in an unsuccessful raid against a large caravan.
Shortly thereafter, the Meccans launched their own raid against Medina led by Kurz bin Jabir and fled with livestock belonging to the Muslims. In January 624, Muhammad dispatched a group of eight men to Nakhlah, on the outskirts of Mecca, led by Abdullah bin Jahsh to obtain intelligence on the Quraysh. However, Abdullah bin Jash and his party disguised as Pilgrims with shaved heads, upon being discovered by a Meccan caravan, decided to attack and kill as many of the caravan as possible, resulting in killing one of its men, Amr bin Al-Hadrami, the seizing of its goods and taking two as prisoners; the situation was all the more serious since the killing occurred in the month of Rajab, a truce month sacred to the Meccans in which fighting was prohibited and a clear affront to Arab traditions. Upon their return to Medina, Muhammad disapproved of this decision on their part, rebuked them and refused to take any spoil until he claimed to have received revelation stating that the Meccan persecution was worse than this violation of the sacred month.
After his revelation Muhammed took the prisoners. The Muslims' raids on caravans prompted the Battle of Badr, the first major battle involving a Muslim army; this was the spot where the Meccans had sent their own army to protect their caravans from Muslim raiders. In April 624, it was reported in Medina that Abu Sufyan was leading a caravan from Syria to Mecca containing weapons to be used against the Muslims. Muhammad went to Badr to intercept the caravan. However, Meccan spies informed Abu Sufyan about the Muslims coming to intercept his caravan. Abu Jahl gathered an army to fight against the Muslims. Muhammad's forces included Abu Bakr, Ali, Mus`ab ibn `Umair, Az-Zubair bin Al-'Awwam, Ammar ibn Yasir, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari; the Muslims brought seventy camels and two horses, meaning that they either had to walk or fit three to four men per camel. The future Caliph Uthman stayed behind to care for the daughter of Muhammad. Salman the Persian could not join the battle, as he was still not a free man.
Many of the Quraishi nobles, including Amr ibn Hishām, Walid ibn Utba and Umayah ibn Khalaf, joined the Meccan army. Their reasons varied: some were out to protect their financial inte
Encyclopaedia of Islam
The Encyclopaedia of Islam is an encyclopaedia of the academic discipline of Islamic studies published by Brill. It is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies; the first edition was published in 1913–1938, the second in 1954–2005, the third was begun in 2007. According to Brill, the EI includes "articles on distinguished Muslims of every age and land, on tribes and dynasties, on the crafts and sciences, on political and religious institutions, on the geography, ethnography and fauna of the various countries and on the history and monuments of the major towns and cities. In its geographical and historical scope it encompasses the old Arabo-Islamic empire, the Islamic countries of Iran, Central Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Indonesia, the Ottoman Empire and all other Islamic countries". EI is considered to be the standard reference work in the field of Islamic studies; each article was written by a recognized specialist on the relevant topic. However, unsurprisingly for a work spanning 40 years until completion, not every one of them reflects recent research.
The most important, authoritative reference work in English on Islamic subjects. Includes long, signed articles, with bibliographies. Special emphasis is given in this edition to economic and social topics, but it remains the standard encyclopedic reference on the Islamic religion in English; the most important and comprehensive reference tool for Islamic studies is the Encyclopaedia of Islam, an immense effort to deal with every aspect of Islamic civilization, conceived in the widest sense, from its origins down to the present day... EI is no anonymous digest of received wisdom. Most of the articles are signed, while some are hardly more than dictionary entries, others are true research pieces – in many cases the best available treatment of their subject; this reference work is of fundamental importance on topics dealing with the geography and biography of Muslim peoples. The first edition was modeled on the Pauly-Wissowa Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World. EI1 was created under the aegis of the International Union of Academies, coordinated by Leiden University.
It was published by Brill in four volumes plus supplement from 1913 to 1938 in English and French editions. An abridged version was published in 1953 as the Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, covering law and religion. Excerpts of the SEI have been translated and published in Turkish and Urdu; the second edition of Encyclopaedia of Islam was begun in 1954 and completed in 2005. Since 1999, has been available in electronic form, in both CD-ROM and web-accessible versions. Besides a great expansion in content, the second edition of EI differs from the first in incorporating the work of scholars of Muslim and Middle Eastern background among its many hundreds of contributors: EI1 and SEI were produced entirely by European scholars, they represent a European interpretation of Islamic civilization; the point is not that this interpretation is "wrong", but that the questions addressed in these volumes differ from those which Muslims have traditionally asked about themselves. EI2 is a somewhat different matter.
It began in much the same way as its predecessor, but a growing proportion of the articles now come from scholars of Muslim background. The persons do not represent the traditional learning of al-Azhar, to be sure. So, the change in tone is perceptible and significant. Publication of the Third Edition of EI started in 2007, it printed "Parts" appearing four times per year. The editorial team consists of twenty'Sectional Editors' and five'Executive Editors'; the Executive Editors are Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Everett Rowson, John Nawas, Denis Matringe. The scope of EI3 includes comprehensive coverage of Islam in the twentieth century. M. Th. Houtsma; the Encyclopædia of Islam: A Dictionary of the Geography and Biography of the Muhammadan Peoples. Leiden: E. J. Brill. 1913–38. 4 vols. and Suppl. Vol.1. A–D, M. Th. Houtsma, T. W. Arnold, R. Basset eds. 1913. Reprint A-Ba, Ba-Bu Vol.2. E–K, M. Th. Houtsma, A. J. Wensinck, T. W. Arnold eds. 1927. Reprint Itk-Kan Vol.3. L–R, M. Th. Houtsma, A. J. Wensinck, E. Levi-Provençal eds.
1934. Reprint L-M, Morocco-Ruyan Vol.4. S–Z, M. Th. Houtsma, A. J. Wensinck, H. A. R. Gibb, eds. 1936. Reprint S, T-Z, Supplement Suppl. No.1. Ab-Djughrafiya, 1934. Suppl. No.2. Djughrafiya-Kassala, 1936. Suppl. No.3. Kassala-Musha'sha', 1937. Suppl. No.4. Musha'sha'-Taghlib, 1937. Suppl. No.5. Taghlib-Ziryab, 1938. M. Th. Houtsma, R. Basset et T. W. Arnold, eds. Encyclopédie de l'Islam: Dictionnaire géographique, ethnographique et biographique des peuples musulmans. Publié avec le concours des principaux orientalistes, 4 vols. Avec Suppl. Leyde: Brill et Paris: Picard, 1913–1938. M. Th. Houtsma, R. Basset und T. W. Arnold, herausgegeben von, Enzyklopaedie des Islām: Geographisches, ethnographisches und biographisches Wörterbuch der muhammedanischen Völker, 5 vols. Leiden: Brill und Leipzig: O. Harrassowitz, 1913–193
Mecca spelled Makkah, is a city in the Hejazi region of the Arabian Peninsula, the plain of Tihamah in Saudi Arabia, is the capital and administrative headquarters of the Makkah Region. The city is located 70 km inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m above sea level, 340 kilometres south of Medina, its resident population in 2012 was 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah. As the birthplace of Muḥammad, the site of Muhammad's first revelation of the Quran, Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam and a pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims. Mecca is home to the Kaaba, by majority description Islam's holiest site, as well as being the direction of Muslim prayer. Mecca was long ruled by Muhammad's descendants, the sharifs, acting either as independent rulers or as vassals to larger polities, it was conquered by Ibn Saud in 1925.
In its modern period, Mecca has seen tremendous expansion in size and infrastructure, home to structures such as the Abraj Al Bait known as the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, the world's fourth tallest building and the building with the third largest amount of floor area. During this expansion, Mecca has lost some historical structures and archaeological sites, such as the Ajyad Fortress. Today, more than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca annually, including several million during the few days of the Hajj; as a result, Mecca has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Muslim world, although non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the city. "Mecca" is the familiar form of the English transliteration for the Arabic name of the city, although the official transliteration used by the Saudi government is Makkah, closer to the Arabic pronunciation. The word "Mecca" in English has come to be used to refer to any place that draws large numbers of people, because of this some English speaking Muslims have come to regard the use of this spelling for the city as offensive.
The Saudi government adopted Makkah as the official spelling in the 1980s, but is not universally known or used worldwide. The full official name is Makkah al-Mukarramah or Makkatu l-Mukarramah, which means "Mecca the Honored", but is loosely translated as "The Holy City of Mecca"; the ancient or early name for the site of Mecca is Bakkah. An Arabic language word, its etymology, like that of Mecca, is obscure. Believed to be a synonym for Mecca, it is said to be more the early name for the valley located therein, while Muslim scholars use it to refer to the sacred area of the city that surrounds and includes the Ka‘bah; this form is used for the name Mecca in the Quran in 3:96, while the form Mecca is used in 48:24. In South Arabic, the language in use in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of Muhammad, the b and m were interchangeable. Other references to Mecca in the Quran call it Umm al-Qurā, meaning "Mother of All Settlements"/"mother of villages". Another name of Mecca is Ṫihāmah.
Another name for Mecca, or the wilderness and mountains surrounding it, according to Arab and Islamic tradition, is Faran or Pharan, referring to the Desert of Paran mentioned in the Old Testament at Genesis 21:21. Arab and Islamic tradition holds that the wilderness of Paran, broadly speaking, is the Tihamah and the site where Ishmael settled was Mecca. Yaqut al-Hamawi, the 12th century Syrian geographer, wrote that Fārān was "an arabized Hebrew word, one of the names of Mecca mentioned in the Torah." Mecca is governed by the Municipality of Mecca, a municipal council of fourteen locally elected members headed by a mayor appointed by the Saudi government. As of May 2015, the mayor of the city was Dr. Osama bin Fadhel Al-Bar. Mecca is the capital of the Makkah Region; the provincial governor was prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from 2000 until his death in 2007. On 16 May 2007, prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud was appointed as the new governor; the early history of Mecca is still disputed, as there are no unambiguous references to it in ancient literature prior to the rise of Islam.
The Roman Empire took control of part of the Hejaz in 106 CE, ruling cities such as Hegra, located to the north of Mecca. Though detailed descriptions were established of Western Arabia by Rome, such as by Procopius, there are no references of a pilgrimage and trading outpost such as Mecca; the first direct mention of Mecca in external literature occurs in 741 CE, in the Byzantine-Arab Chronicle, though here the author places it in Mesopotamia rather than the Hejaz. Given the inhospitable environment and lack of historical references in Roman and Indian sources, historians including Patricia Crone and Tom Holland have cast doubt on the claim that Mecca was a major historical trading outpost; the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus writes about Arabia in his work Bibliotheca historica, describing a holy shrine: "And a temple has been set up there, holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians". Claims have been made. However, the geographic location Diodorus describes is located in northwest Arabia, around the area of Leuke Kome, closer to Petra and within the form
Fiction broadly refers to any narrative, derived from the imagination—in other words, not based on history or fact. It can refer, more narrowly, to narratives written only in prose, is used as a synonym for the novel. In its most narrow usage fiction refers to novels, but it may denote any "literary narrative", including novels and short stories. More broadly, fiction has come to encompass imaginative storytelling in any format, including writings, theatrical performances, films, television programs, games, so on. A work of fiction implies the inventive act of constructing an imaginary world, so its audience does not expect it to be faithful to the real world in presenting only characters who are actual people or descriptions that are factually true. Instead, the context of fiction understood as not adhering to the real world, is more open to interpretation. Characters and events within a fictional work may be set in their own context separate from the known universe: an independent fictional universe.
Fiction's traditional opposite is non-fiction, a narrative work whose creator assumes responsibility for presenting only the historical and factual truth. The distinction between fiction and non-fiction however can be unclear in some recent artistic and literary movements, such as postmodern literature. Traditionally, fiction includes novels, short stories, legends, fairy tales and narrative poetry, plays. However, fiction may encompass comic books, many animated cartoons, stop motions, manga, video games, radio programs, television programs, etc; the Internet has had a major impact on the creation and distribution of fiction, calling into question the feasibility of copyright as a means to ensure royalties are paid to copyright holders. Digital libraries such as Project Gutenberg make public domain texts more available; the combination of inexpensive home computers, the Internet and the creativity of its users has led to new forms of fiction, such as interactive computer games or computer-generated comics.
Countless forums for fan fiction can be found online, where loyal followers of specific fictional realms create and distribute derivative stories. The Internet is used for the development of blog fiction, where a story is delivered through a blog either as flash fiction or serial blog, collaborative fiction, where a story is written sequentially by different authors, or the entire text can be revised by anyone using a wiki. Types of literary fiction in prose include: Short story: A work of at least 2,000 words but under 7,500 words; the boundary between a long short story and a novella is vague. Novella: A work of at least 7,500 words but under 50,000 words. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness is an example of a novella. Novel: A work of 50,000 words or more. Fiction is broken down into a variety of genres: subsets of fiction, each differentiated by a particular unifying tone or style, narrative technique, media content, or popularly defined criterion. Science fiction, for example, predicts or supposes technologies that are not realities at the time of the work's creation: Jules Verne's novel From the Earth to the Moon was published in 1865 and only in 1969 did astronaut Neil Armstrong first land on the moon.
Historical fiction places imaginary characters into real historical events. In the early historical novel Waverley, Sir Walter Scott's fictional character Edward Waverley meets a figure from history, Bonnie Prince Charlie, takes part in the Battle of Prestonpans; some works of fiction are or re-imagined based on some true story, or a reconstructed biography. When the fictional story is based on fact, there may be additions and subtractions from the true story to make it more interesting. An example is Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, a series of short stories about the Vietnam War. Fictional works that explicitly involve supernatural, magical, or scientifically impossible elements are classified under the genre of fantasy, including Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Creators of fantasy sometimes introduce imaginary beings such as dragons and fairies. Literary fiction is a term used in the book-trade to distinguish novels that are regarded as having literary merit, from most commercial or "genre" fiction.
Neal Stephenson has suggested that while any definition will be simplistic there is today a general cultural difference between literary and genre fiction. On the one hand literary authors nowadays are supported by patronage, with employment at a university or a similar institution, with the continuation of such positions determined not by book sales but by critical acclaim by other established literary authors and critics. On the other hand, he suggests, genre fiction writers tend to support themselves by book sales. However, in an interview, John Updike lamented that "the category of'literary fiction' has sprung up to torment people like me who just set out to write books, if anybody wanted to read them, the more the merrier.... I'm a genre writer of a sort. I write literary fiction, like spy fiction or chick lit". On The Charlie Rose Show, he argued that this term, when applied to his work limited him and his expectations of what might come of his writing, so he does not like it, he suggested that all his works are literary be
The Arabic term ḥaram has a meaning of "sanctuary" or "holy shrine" in the Islamic faith or Arabic language. The Arabic language has two separate words, ḥaram and ḥarām, both derived from the same triliteral Semitic root Ḥ-R-M. Both of these words can mean "forbidden" and/or "sacred" in a general way, but each has developed some specialized meanings. A third related word derived from the same root, ḥarīm, most directly corresponds to English "harem"; this article covers the word ḥaram. As used in Islamic urban planning, the word ḥaram means "inviolate zone", an important aspect of urban planning in Muslim civilization; such protected areas were sanctuaries, or places where contending parties could settle disputes peacefully. Towns were built near a river which provided drinking and domestic water and carried away waste and sewage. Muslims claim to have introduced the idea of carrying capacity, sometimes did limit the number of families in any given town; the harams were positioned to ensure access to parkland and nature, to restrict urban sprawl, protect water-courses and watersheds and oases.
In this respect the rules resembled modern zoning laws, with the same purposes. The distinction between haram and hima is thought by some modern scholars to have been necessary due to a different means of deciding which regions were to have restrictions - the selection of haram was considered to be more up to the community while the selection of hima had more to do with natural characteristics of the region, which were considered to be best respected by jurists; this idea arises from two different obligations of the Muslim to respect the ijmā‘ and practice khilâfah. It may not reflect actual means of decision making historically; as a protected and inviolate zone, haram is employed referring to the consecrated space in a mosque where rituals and prayer take place: it is the prayer hall. Ḥaram can mean a site of high sanctity. The two sites whose Islamic sanctity are unchallengeably the highest of all are Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca, the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, so the Arabic dual form al-ḥaramān or al-ḥaramayn refers to these two places, both of which are in the Hejazi region of the Arabian Peninsula.
Since 1986, the Saudi monarchy has disclaimed all royal titles except "Custodian of the Two Holy Sanctuaries" or "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques". In addition, the term ḥaram is used to refer to certain other holy sites, such as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem — though over the protests of some, such as Ibn Taymiyyah, who declared that the only places which could be legitimately called "ḥaram" were Mecca and also the valley of Wajj in Ta'if, thus rejecting other places like Hebron and Jerusalem. In fact, one of the Islamic names of Jerusalem, thālith al-ḥaramayn resolves the tension between the unchallengeable pre-eminence of Mecca and Medina versus the desire to recognize Jerusalem as having a special status in Islam in a somewhat paradoxical manner. Jerusalem, being home to Al-Aqsa Mosque is seen as being holy in its own right. Abraham's relationship with harams Taboo, from tapu in Polynesian culture means both "sacred" and "forbidden"
Early social changes under Islam
Many social changes took place under Islam between 610 and 661, including the period of Muhammad's mission and the rule of his four immediate successors who established the Rashidun Caliphate. A number of historians stated that changes in areas such as social security, family structure and the rights of women improved on what was present in existing Arab society. For example, according to Bernard Lewis, Islam "from the first denounced aristocratic privilege, rejected hierarchy, adopted a formula of the career open to the talents". Other scholars disagree, with Leila Ahmed stating that historical evidence shows that pre-Islamic Arabia contained many of the same progressive customs that scholars like Lewis attribute to Islam. Bernard Lewis believes that the advent of Islam was a revolution which only succeeded due to tensions between the new religion and old societies that the Muslims conquered, he thinks that one such area of tension was a consequence of what he sees as the egalitarian nature of Islamic doctrine.
Islam from the first denounced aristocratic privilege, rejected hierarchy, adopted a formula of the career open to the talents. Lewis however notes that the equality in Islam was restricted to free adult male Muslims, but that "represented a considerable advance on the practice of both the Greco-Roman and the ancient Iranian world". Bernard Lewis writes about the significance of Muhammad's achievements: The Constitution of Medina known as the Charter of Medina, was drafted by Muhammad in 622, it constituted a formal agreement between Muhammad and all of the significant tribes and families of Yathrib, including Muslims and pagans. The document was drawn up with the explicit concern of bringing to an end the bitter intertribal fighting between the clans of the Aws and Banu Khazraj within Medina. To this effect it instituted a number of rights and responsibilities for the Muslim and pagan communities of Medina bringing them within the fold of one community-the Ummah; the precise dating of the Constitution of Medina remains debated but scholars agree it was written shortly after the hijra.
It established the first Islamic state. The Constitution established: the security of the community, religious freedoms, the role of Medina as a sacred place, the security of women, stable tribal relations within Medina, a tax system for supporting the community in time of conflict, parameters for exogenous political alliances, a system for granting protection of individuals, a judicial system for resolving disputes, regulated the paying of blood-wite. John Esposito sees Muhammad as a reformer who condemned practices of the pagan Arabs such as female infanticide, exploitation of the poor, murder, false contracts, fornication and theft, he states that Muhammad's "insistence that each person was accountable not to tribal customary law but to an overriding divine law shook the foundations of Arabian society... Muhammad proclaimed a sweeping program of religious and social reform that affected religious belief and practices, business contracts and practices, male-female and family relations". Esposito holds that the Qur'an's reforms consist of "regulations or moral guidance that limit or redefine rather than prohibit or replace existing practices."
He cites women's status as two examples. According to some scholars, Muhammad's condemnation of infanticide was the key aspect of his attempts to raise the status of women. A much cited verse the Qur'an that addresses this practice is: "When the sun shall be darkened, when the stars shall be thrown down, when the mountains shall be set moving, when the pregnant camels shall be neglected, when the savage beasts shall be mustered, when the seas shall be set boiling, when the souls shall be coupled, when the buried infant shall be asked for what sin she was slain, when the scrolls shall be unrolled...", though a hadith links the term used to the pull-out method. The true prevalence of gendercide in this time period is uncertain. Donna Lee Bowen writes in Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an that it was "common enough among the pre-Islamic Arabs to be assigned a specific term, waʾd" Some historians believe it was once common, but had been in steep decline in the decades leading up to Islam, while others believe it occurred with some regularity as a means of birth control among destitute families both before and after Islam.
Though the belief that pre-Islamic Arabs practiced female infanticide has become common among both Muslims and Western writers, there are few surviving sources referencing the practice before Islam. An inscription in Yemen forbidding the practice, dating to 400 BC, is the sole mention of it in pre-Islamic records. Among ṣaḥīḥ Muslim sources, the only specific individual named as having partaken in, observed, or intervened in a case of infanticide is Zayd ibn Amr, as stated in a hadith narrated by Asma bint Abi Bakr. William Montgomery Watt states that Muhammad was both a moral reformer, he asserts that Muhammad created a "new system of social security and a new family structure, both of which were a vast improvement on what went before. By taking what was best in the morality of the nomad and adapting it for settled communities, he established a religious and social framework for the life of many races of men." The Qur'an makes numerous references to slavery, regulating but thereby implicitly accepting this existing institution.
Lewis states that Islam brought two major changes to ancient slavery which were to
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.