Obadiah is a Biblical theophorical name, meaning "servant of God" or "worshiper of Yahweh". The form of Obadiah's name used in the Septuagint is Obdios; the Bishops' Bible has it as Abdi. The political situation implied in the prophecy points to a time after the Exile in the mid-fifth century B. C. No value can be attributed to traditions identifying this prophet with King Ahab's steward or with King Ahaziah's captain. — The Interpreters' Bible According to the Talmud, Obadiah is said to have been a convert to Judaism from Edom, a descendant of Eliphaz, the friend of Job. He is identified with the Obadiah, the servant of Ahab, it is said that he was chosen to prophesy against Edom because he was himself an Edomite. Moreover, having lived with two such godless persons as Ahab and Jezebel without learning to act as they did, he seemed the most suitable person to prophesy against Esau. Obadiah is supposed to have received the gift of prophecy for having hidden the "hundred prophets" from the persecution of Jezebel.
He hid the prophets in two caves, so that if those in one cave should be discovered those in the other might yet escape. Obadiah was rich, but all his wealth was expended in feeding the poor prophets, until, in order to be able to continue to support them he had to borrow money at interest from Ahab's son Jehoram. Obadiah's fear of God was one degree higher than that of Abraham. In some Christian traditions he is said to have been born in "Sychem", to have been the third centurion sent out by Ahaziah against Elijah; the date of his ministry is unclear due to certain historical ambiguities in the book bearing his name, but is believed to be around 586 B. C, he is regarded as a saint by several Eastern churches. His feast day is celebrated on the 15th day of the Coptic Month Tobi in the Coptic Orthodox Church; the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite celebrate his memory on November 19. He is celebrated on February 28 in the Syriac and Malankara Churches, with the other Minor prophets in the Calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31.
According to an old tradition, Obadiah is buried in Sebastia, at the same site as Elisha and where the body of John the Baptist was believed to have been buried by his followers. It is related to "Abdeel", "servant of God", cognate to the Arabic name "Abdullah" or "Obaidullah"; the equivalent Turkish name is Abdi. Other individuals named Obadiah in the Old Testament are listed as: the servant of king Ahab of Israel. According to the rabbinic tradition, the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches, this is the same individual as the prophet; the son of Hananiah, a descendant of king David of Israel through Solomon the son of Uzzi, a descendant of the Hebrew patriarch Issachar the son of Azel, a descendant of King Saul of Israel through Jonathan the son of Shemaiah, a descendant of the Hebrew patriarch Levi a warrior of the Tribe of Gad who served King David the father of Ishmaiah, governor of the tribe of Zebulun during the reign of King David a prince of the southern kingdom of Judah during the reign of King Jehoshaphat a Levite, overseer of the reconstruction efforts during the reforms of King Josiah of Judah the son of Joab, one of the individuals who returned from the Babylonian captivity with the priestly scribe Ezra, the Levite mentioned in as a porter of Jerusalem's gates after the city's reconstruction under Nehemiah BookHolweck, F. G.
A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co. 1924. Prophet Obadiah Orthodox icon and synaxarion
Books of Kings
The two Books of Kings a single book, are the eleventh and twelfth books of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. They conclude the Deuteronomistic history, a history of Israel comprising the books of Joshua and Judges and the two Books of Samuel, which biblical commentators believe was written to provide a theological explanation for the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah by Babylon in c. 586 BCE and a foundation for a return from exile. The two books of Kings present a history of ancient Israel and Judah from the death of King David to the release of Jehoiachin from imprisonment in Babylon, a period of some 400 years. Scholars tend to treat the books as made up of a first edition from the late 7th century BCE and a second and final edition from the mid 6th century BCE; the Jerusalem Bible divides the two books of Kings into eight sections: 1 Kings 1:1–2:46 = The Davidic Succession 1 Kings 3:1–11:43 = Solomon in all his glory 1 Kings 12:1–13:34 = The political and religious schism 1 Kings 14:1–16:34 = The two kingdoms until Elijah 1 Kings 17:1 – 2 Kings 1:18 = The Elijah cycle 2 Kings 2:1–13:25 = The Elisha cycle 2 Kings 14:1–17:41 = The two kingdoms to the fall of Samaria 2 Kings 18:1–25:30 = The last years of the kingdom of JudahIn David's old age, Adonijah proclaims himself his successor but Solomon's supporters arrange for David to proclaim Solomon as his successor, so he comes to the throne after David's death.
At the beginning of his reign he assumes God's promises to David and brings splendour to Israel and peace and prosperity to his people. The centrepiece of Solomon's reign is the building of the First Temple: the claim that this took place 480 years after the Exodus from Egypt marks it as a key event in Israel's history. At the end, however, he oppresses Israel; as a consequence of Solomon's failure to stamp out the worship of gods other than Yahweh, the kingdom of David is split in two in the reign of his own son Rehoboam, who becomes the first to reign over the kingdom of Judah. The kings who follow Rehoboam in Jerusalem continue the royal line of David. At length God brings the Assyrians to destroy the northern kingdom, leaving Judah as the sole custodian of the promise. Hezekiah, the 14th king of Judah, does "what right in the Lord’s sight just as his ancestor David had done" and institutes a far reaching religious reform, centralising sacrifice at the temple at Jerusalem and destroying the images of other gods.
Yahweh saves the kingdom from an invasion by Assyria. But Manasseh, the next king, reverses the reforms, God announces that he will destroy Jerusalem because of this apostasy by the king. Manasseh's righteous grandson Josiah reinstitutes the reforms of Hezekiah, but it is too late: God, speaking through the prophetess Huldah, affirms that Jerusalem is to be destroyed after the death of Josiah. In the final chapters, God brings the Neo-Babylonian Empire of King Nebuchadnezzar against Jerusalem; the final verses record how Jehoiachin, the last king, is set free and given honour by the king of Babylon. In the Hebrew Bible and Second Kings are a single book, as are the First and Second Books of Samuel; when this was translated into Greek in the last few centuries BCE, Kings was joined with Samuel in a four-part work called the Book of Kingdoms. Orthodox Christians continue to use the Greek translation, but when a Latin translation was made for the Western church, Kingdoms was first retitled the Book of Kings, parts One to Four, both Kings and Samuel were separated into two books each.
What it is now known as 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel are called by the Vulgate, in imitation of the Septuagint, 1 Kings and 2 Kings respectively. What it is now known as 1 Kings and 2 Kings would be 3 Kings and 4 Kings in old Bibles before the year 1516 such as the Vulgate and the Septuagint respectively; the division we know today, used by Protestant Bibles and adopted by Catholics, came into use in 1517. Some Bibles still preserve the old denomination, for the Douay Rheims Bible. According to Jewish tradition the author of Kings was Jeremiah, who would have been alive during the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BCE; the most common view today accepts Martin Noth's thesis that Kings concludes a unified series of books which reflect the language and theology of the Book of Deuteronomy, which biblical scholars therefore call the Deuteronomistic history. Noth argued that the History was the work of a single individual living in the 6th century BCE, but scholars today tend to treat it as made up of at least two layers, a first edition from the time of Josiah, promoting Josiah's religious reforms and the need for repentance, a second and final edition from the mid 6th century BCE.
Further levels of editing have been proposed, including: a late 8th century BCE edition pointing to Hezekiah of Judah as the model for kingship. The editors/authors of the Deuteronomistic history cite a number of sources, including a "Book of the Acts of Solomon" and the "Annals of the Kings of Judah" and a separate book, "Chronicles of the Kings of Israel"; the "Deuteronomic" perspective is e
The Byzantine Rite known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek/Byzantine Catholic churches, in a modified form, Byzantine Rite Lutheranism. Its development began during the fourth century in Constantinople and it is now the second most-used ecclesiastical rite in Christendom after the Roman Rite; the Byzantine Rite was developed and used in Greek language and with introduction of Eastern Orthodoxy to other ethnic groups it was translated into local languages and continued further development. Most important non-Greek variants of Byzantine Rite are: Byzantine-Slavonic and Byzantine-Georgian; the rite consists of the divine liturgies, canonical hours, forms for the administration of sacred mysteries and the numerous prayers and exorcisms developed by the Church of Constantinople. Involved are the specifics of church architecture, liturgical music and traditions which have evolved over the centuries in the Eastern Orthodox Church and which are associated with this rite.
Traditionally, the congregation stands throughout the whole service, an iconostasis separates the sanctuary from the nave of the church. The faithful are active in their worship, making frequent bows and prostrations, feeling free to move about the temple during the services. Traditionally, the major clergy and monks neither shave nor cut their hair or beards. Scripture plays a large role in Byzantine worship, with not only daily readings but many quotes from the Bible throughout the services; the entire psalter is read each week, twice weekly during Great Lent. Fasting is stricter than in the Roman Rite. On fast days, the faithful give up not only meat, but dairy products, on many fast days they give up fish and the use of oil in cooking; the rite observes four fasting seasons: Great Lent, Nativity Fast, Apostles' Fast and Dormition Fast. In addition, most Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year are fast days and many monasteries observe Monday as a fast day. There are two ancient liturgical traditions from which all of the Eastern Rites developed: the Alexandrian Rite in Egypt and the Antiochene Rite in Syria.
These two Rites developed directly from practices of the Early Church. Of these two traditions, the Rite of Constantinople developed from the Antiochene Rite. Prior to the see of Constantinople's elevation to the dignity of patriarch by the Second Ecumenical Council in 381, the primary jurisdiction in Asia Minor was the Patriarchate of Antioch. With the council's elevation of Constantinople to primacy in the East, with the words "The Bishop of Constantinople... shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome. Because the Rite of Constantinople evolved as a synthesis of two distinct rites — cathedral rite of Constantinople called the "asmatiki akolouthia" and the monastic typicon of the Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified near Jerusalem — its offices are developed and quite complex. Further developments continued to occur, centered around Constantinople and Mount Athos. Monasticism played an important role in the development of the rituals. In Constantinople, the work of the monastery of the Studion enriched the liturgical traditions with regard to the Lenten observance.
Iconography continued to develop and a canon of traditional patterns evolved which still influences Eastern religious art to this day. Historical events have influenced the development of the liturgy; the great Christological and Trinitarian controversies of Late Antiquity are reflected in the glorifications of the Trinity heard in the numerous ekphonies encountered during the services. In response to Nestorius' attack on giving the title of Theotokos to the Virgin Mary, the Byzantines increased the use of the term in the liturgy, now every string of hymns ends with one in her honour, called a theotokion. All liturgical rites develop over time; as new saints are canonized, new hymns are composed. The rite profits from the fact that the Christian East is not so centralized in ecclesiastical polity as the West; this allows for greater diversity, as members of one church visit another, a natural cross-pollination occurs with resultant enrichment on all sides. In spite of its great emphasis on tradition, the Byzantine Rite comprises a growing and expanding ritual, with room for local practice.
The tradition of the Church of Constantinople ascribes the older of its two main Divine Liturgies to St. Basil the Great, Metropolitan of Cæsarea in Cappadocia; this tradition is confirmed by the witness of several ancient authors, some of whom were contemporaries. It is certain that St. Basil made a reformation of the Liturgy of his Church, that the Byzantine service called after him represents his reformed Liturgy in its chief parts, although it has undergone further modification since his time. St. Basil himself speaks on several occasions of the changes he made in the services of Cæsarea. and other contemporary witnesses attest his arrangement of the services. Basil had as his goal the streamlining of the services to make them more cohesive and attractive to the faithful, he worked to reform the clergy and improve the moral life of Christians. He wrote a number of new prayers; the most important work attributed to him is the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, he took as his basis the Liturgy of St. James as it was celebrated at his time in the r
Abraham Abram, is the common patriarch of the three Abrahamic religions. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenant of the pieces, the special relationship between the Jewish people and God; the narrative in Genesis revolves around the themes of land. Abraham is called by God to leave the house of his father Terah and settle in the land given to Canaan but which God now promises to Abraham and his progeny. Various candidates are put forward. Abraham purchases a tomb at Hebron to be Sarah's grave. Abraham marries Keturah and has six more sons; the Abraham story cannot be definitively related to any specific time, it is agreed that the patriarchal age, along with the exodus and the period of the judges, is a late literary construct that does not relate to any period in actual history. A common hypothesis among scholars is that it was composed in the early Persian period as a result of tensions between Jewish landowners who had stayed in Judah during the Babylonian captivity and traced their right to the land through their "father Abraham", the returning exiles who based their counter-claim on Moses and the Exodus tradition.
Terah, the ninth in descent from Noah, was the father of three sons: Abram and Haran. The entire family, including grandchildren, lived in Ur of the Chaldees. In his youth, Abram worked in Terah's idol shop. Haran was the father of Lot, thus Lot was Abram's nephew. Haran died in Ur of the Chaldees. Abram married Sarah, barren. Terah, with Abram and Lot departed for Canaan, but settled in a place named Haran, where Terah died at the age of 205. God had told Abram to leave his country and kindred and go to a land that he would show him, promised to make of him a great nation, bless him, make his name great, bless them that bless him, curse them who may curse him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, the substance and souls that they had acquired, traveled to Shechem in Canaan. There was a severe famine in the land of Canaan, so that Abram and Lot and their households, traveled to Egypt. On the way Abram told Sarai to say that she was his sister, so that the Egyptians would not kill him.
When they entered Egypt, the Pharaoh's officials praised Sarai's beauty to Pharaoh, they took her into the palace and gave Abram goods in exchange. God afflicted Pharaoh and his household with plagues, which led Pharaoh to try to find out what was wrong. Upon discovering that Sarai was a married woman, Pharaoh demanded that Sarai leave; when they came back to the Bethel and Hai area, Abram's and Lot's sizable herds occupied the same pastures. This became a problem for the herdsmen; the conflicts between herdsmen had become so troublesome that Abram suggested that Lot choose a separate area, either on the left hand or on the right hand, that there be no conflict amongst brethren. Lot chose to go eastward to the plain of Jordan where the land was well watered everywhere as far as Zoar, he dwelled in the cities of the plain toward Sodom. Abram went south to Hebron and settled in the plain of Mamre, where he built another altar to worship God. During the rebellion of the Jordan River cities against Elam, Abram's nephew, was taken prisoner along with his entire household by the invading Elamite forces.
The Elamite army came to collect the spoils of war, after having just defeated the king of Sodom's armies. Lot and his family, at the time, were settled on the outskirts of the Kingdom of Sodom which made them a visible target. One person who escaped capture told Abram what happened. Once Abram received this news, he assembled 318 trained servants. Abram's force headed north in pursuit of the Elamite army, who were worn down from the Battle of Siddim; when they caught up with them at Dan, Abram devised a battle plan by splitting his group into more than one unit, launched a night raid. Not only were they able to free the captives, Abram's unit chased and slaughtered the Elamite King Chedorlaomer at Hobah, just north of Damascus, they freed Lot, as well as his household and possessions, recovered all of the goods from Sodom, taken. Upon Abram's return, Sodom's king came out to meet with him in the Valley of Shaveh, the "king's dale". Melchizedek king of Salem, a priest of God Most High, brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram and God.
Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom offered to let Abram keep all the possessions if he would return his people. Abram refused any deal from the king of Sodom, other than the share to which his allies were entitled; the voice of the Lord came to Abram in a vision and repeated the promise of the land and descendants as numerous as the stars. Abram and God made a covenant ce
Hebrews is a term appearing 34 times within 32 verses of the Hebrew Bible. While the term was not an ethnonym, it is taken as synonymous with the Semitic-speaking Israelites in the pre-monarchic period when they were still nomadic. However, in some instances it may be used in a wider sense, referring to the Phoenicians, or to other ancient groups, such as the group known as Shasu of Yhw on the eve of the Bronze Age collapse. By the time of the Roman Empire, Greek Hebraios could refer to the Jews in general, as Strong's Hebrew Dictionary puts it, "any of the Jewish Nation", at other times more to the Jews living in Judea. In early Christianity, the Greek term Ἑβραῖος refers to Jewish Christians as opposed to the gentile Christians and Judaizers. Ἰουδαία is the province. In Armenian, Modern Greek, Bulgarian, Romanian, a few other modern languages, there is a pejorative connotation associated with the word corresponding to the word Jew; the translation of "Hebrew" is used in the Kurdish language and was once used in French.
With the revival of the Hebrew language and the emergence of the Hebrew Yishuv, the term has been applied to the Jewish people of this re-emerging society in Israel or anything associated with it. The definitive origin of the term "Hebrew" remains uncertain; the Biblical term Ivri, meaning "to traverse" or "to pass over", is rendered as Hebrew in English, from the ancient Greek Ἑβραῖος and the Latin Hebraeus. The Biblical word Ivri has Ibrim. Genesis 10:21 refers to Shem, the elder brother of Ham and Japheth and thus the first-born son of Noah, as the father of the sons of Eber, which may have a similar meaning; some authors argue that Ibri denotes the descendants of the biblical patriarch Eber, son of Shelah, a great-grandson of Noah and an ancestor of Abraham, hence the occasional anglicization Eberites. Since the 19th-century CE discovery of the second-millennium BCE inscriptions mentioning the Habiru, many theories have linked these to the Hebrews; some scholars argue that the name "Hebrew" is related to the name of those seminomadic Habiru people recorded in Egyptian inscriptions of the 13th and 12th centuries BCE as having settled in Egypt.
Other scholars rebut this, proposing that the Hebrews are mentioned in older texts of the 3rd Intermediate Period of Egypt as Shasu of Yhw. In the Hebrew Bible, the term "Hebrew" is used by Israelites when speaking of themselves to foreigners, or is used by foreigners when speaking about Israelites. In fact, the Torah in parashat Lekh Lekha calls Abraham Avram Ha-Ivri, which translates as "Abram the one who stands on the other side."Israelites are defined as the descendants of Jacob, son of Isaac, grandson of Abraham. Eber, an ancestor of Jacob, is a distant ancestor of many people, including the Israelites, Edomites, Ammonites and Qahtanites. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia the terms "Hebrews" and "Israelites" describe the same people, stating that they were called Hebrews before the conquest of the Land of Canaan and Israelites afterwards. Professor Nadav Na'aman and others say that the use of the word "Hebrew" to refer to Israelites is rare and when used it is used "to Israelites in exceptional and precarious situations, such as migrants or slaves."
By the Roman period, "Hebrews" could be used to designate the Jews. The Epistle to the Hebrews was written for Jewish Christians. In some modern languages, including Armenian, Italian and many Slavic languages, the name Hebrews survives as the standard ethnonym for Jews, but in many other languages in which there exist both terms, it is considered derogatory to call modern Jews "Hebrews". Among certain left-wing or liberal circles of Judaic cultural lineage, the word "Hebrew" is used as an alternatively secular description of the Jewish people. Beginning in the late 19th century, the term "Hebrew" became popular among secular Zionists; this use died out after the establishment of the state of Israel, when "Hebrew" was replaced with "Jew" or "Israeli". Jewish Encyclopedia Jewish History Resource Center Ancient Judaism, Max Weber, Free Press, 1967, ISBN 0-02-934130-2 Media related to Hebrews at Wikimedia Commons
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs; the primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, the teachings and normative example of Muhammad. Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith, revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, following Islamic law, which touches on every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment.
The cities of Mecca and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam. Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east; the Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the Muslim world was experiencing a scientific and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire and conversion to Islam by missionary activities. Most Muslims are of one of two denominations. About 13 % of Muslims live in the largest Muslim-majority country. Sizeable Muslim communities are found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world. Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words relating to concepts of wholeness, submission and peace.
In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God". Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, means "submission" or "surrender". Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, means "submitter" or "one who surrenders"; the word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Quran. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal spiritual state: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam." Other verses connect Islam and religion together: "Today, I have perfected your religion for you. Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith. In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān, ihsān. Islam was called Muhammadanism in Anglophone societies; this term has fallen out of use and is sometimes said to be offensive because it suggests that a human being rather than God is central to Muslims' religion, parallel to Buddha in Buddhism.
Some authors, continue to use the term Muhammadanism as a technical term for the religious system as opposed to the theological concept of Islam that exists within that system. Faith in the Islamic creed is represented as the six articles of faith, notably spelled out in the Hadith of Gabriel. Islam is seen as having the simplest doctrines of the major religions, its most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawḥīd. God is described in chapter 112 of the Quran as: "He is God, the One and Only. Muslims repudiate polytheism and idolatry, called Shirk, reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension and thus. God is described and referred to by certain names or attributes, the most common being Al-Rahmān, meaning "The Compassionate" and Al-Rahīm, meaning "The Merciful". Muslims believe that the creation of everything in the universe was brought into being by God's sheer command, "Be, it is" and that the purpose of existence is to worship or to know God.
He is viewed as a personal god who responds whenever a person in distress calls him. There are no intermediaries, such as clergy, to contact God who states, "I am nearer to him than jugular vein." God consciousness is referred to as Taqwa. Allāh is the term with no plural or gender used by Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews to reference God, while ʾilāh is the term used for a deity or a god in general. Other non-Arab Muslims might use different names as much as Allah, for instance "Tanrı" in Turkish, "Khodā" in Persian or "Ḵẖudā" in Urdu. Belief in angels is fundamental