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What is Islam
The History of Islam:
The Arabian Peninsula the birthplace of Islam is one of the hottest and driest regions in the world, consisting mainly of deserts. Since ancient times tribes of the nomadic race had populated the region. Considered the descendents of Noah’s third son Shem they are called Semites. Over the centuries theses Semitic people have migrated into the Fertile Crescent and were assimilated to into existing civilizations.
In the sixth century AD, north of the Arabian Peninsula two great powers were locked in a seesaw power struggle. The Christian Byzantine kingdom, successors of the Roman Empire was to the Northwest and controlled the Mediterranean Sea, North Africa and the lands of Palestine. In the northeast lay the Zoroastrian Persian kingdom. Both the Byzantine and Persian kingdoms had client Arab tribes allied to their cause of trade and conquest.
The Arabian Peninsula became a land of refuge for those seeking escape from both of these empires. Heretic Christian sects like the Nestorians, and Jewish tribes escaping the oppressive Byzantines found refuge in the protective deserts and cities of the Peninsula.
Arabia was divided into tribes and cities. Each city had gods and goddess. Once a year the tribes and cities of Arabia would meet in the city of Mecca during an event known as the Hajj. In Mecca, the Kaba (Cube), a large cube shaped building housed 360 idols from all the tribes of Arabia. The Kaba was the center of Arabian religious life. Here all the warring tribes would put aside their differences as they circled the Kaba. From the Kaba they would proceed to the other shrines outside of Mecca during this five day religious event. The Hajj was a tradition that Arabs of the peninsula remembered going back hundreds of years.
It was in this world Mohammad Ibn Abdallah was born in the year 570 AD in the city of Mecca. His father died before he was born and his mother Amina died when he was 6 years old. Al-Muttalib his grandfather took charge of the youth and died 2 years later. Abu Talib his uncle adopted young Mohammed into his family and raised him as his own son. At the age of 12, young Mohammed was taken on a caravan-trading venture to Syria and experienced the world outside of Arabia for the first time. Here Islamic tradition informs us that a Christian monk named Buhaira, proclaimed Talib’s young nephew is the last prophet and warns him about the Jews. For the next 13 years little is known of his life except that he was involved in caravan trading in and out of Arabia.
At the age of 25, Mohammed marries a 40 year old wealthy, widow named Khadijah who owns trading caravans. During the next 15 years of his life he interactes with Arabs known as the Hanefites. Hanefites were Arabs who rejected idol worship and were searching for the true religion. They looked to the religion of the Jews and Christians as being close to the goal. The Hanefites abandonded their idols and would retreat to the caves of Mecca in meditation and prayer.
At age 40 Mohammed had his first vision in the year 610 AD. He was in a cave on Mt. Hera and thought he was demon possessed. He went to Khadijah and told her about the event. She consulted with her uncle Waraca, a Hanefite who converted to Christianity, who assured them Mohammed vision was from God. Waraca declared Mohammed was a prophet to the Arab peoples, Waraca died 2 years later never becoming a Muslim.
Mohammed proclaimed Allah as the one true god and rejected the idol worship of Mecca. Khadijah, his wife, was Mohammed first convert to Islam. Few listened to Mohammed’s message and animosity grew against him as he confronted the idol worshippers and preached his religion to Mecca. Abu Talib his uncle and his tribe the Hasims protected him during this early Meccan period. In 619 Khadijah and Abu Talib died. Abu Talib headed the Hasim clan, which Mohammed was a member. The new leader of the Hasim tribe his uncle Abu Lahab refused to protect Mohammed. During the next 3 years Mohammed would fear for his life. He sought refuge and protection in nearby cities from those seeking his life.
Then in 621 during the Hajj, Arab tribes from the city of Yatrob later to be called Medina, came for the annual pilgrimage. They met Mohammed and thought him to be a prophet and invited him to their city to bring peace and settle disputes between the warring tribes. Yathrob was founded by three Jewish tribes and the idea of monotheism was familiar to its Arab tribesmen. The Arabs of Medina had been told by Jewish tribesmen about the coming Messiah who would one day conquer the world including the Arabs. The Arab tribes hoped to find this individual before the Jews. Meeting Mohammed they thought he was the one.
The Hejira (Flight)
The next year the situation became intolerable for the Muslims and in in June 622 they made what has become known as the Hejira or flight. In small groups the 150 Muslims of Mecca left for the city of Medina 280 miles to the north. When word reached those of Mecca about the escape to Medina they tried to kill Mohammed. Mohammed and Abu Bakr were able to sneak out of the city and escape to Medina by another route in September 622.
In Medina the warring Arab tribes submitted to Mohammed leadership and prophet-hood. The Jewish tribes rejected his claims of prophet and ridiculed his revelations. With most of the new arrivals from Mecca without work they needed to earn a living. Ghazu or caravan raiding was a way tribes would prevent one tribe from becoming to powerful. The Muslims in Medina began to rob the caravans heading toward Mecca. This is where the Muslim doctrine of Jihad was created.
With their caravan business being threatened, Mecca responds with one thousand solders at the battle of Bedr in March 624 the Muslims fielded 300 warriors. The battle went to the Muslims. Mohammed proclaimed his victory was a sign from Allah and his status in Medina was magnified. The lack of enthusiasm by one of the Jewish tribes caused them to be expelled by the victorious Muslim army. The direction of prayer was also changed from Jerusalem to Mecca as the Jews rejected Mohammad’s prophet-hood.
Exactly one year latter Mecca amassed 3000 solders at the battle of Uhud and the Muslims fielded 1000 solders. The battle did not go as planned. The Muslims defeated by Mecca retreated to Medina. Disheartened, Muslims blamed the second Jewish tribe as conspirators against their cause. Their homes and possessions were confiscated, and they are expelled from the city in 626 AD.
The Meccans in the hope of ending the caravan raids by the Muslims assembled 10,000 solders to attack the city of Medina in the year 627. After a two weeks siege in the hot sun they are unable to penetrate the fortress like city. They returned to Mecca. After this unsuccessful attack, Mohammed and the Muslims attacked the last remaining Jewish tribe. The tribe surrendered to the mercy of Mohammed. The men were killed and the women and children were sold into slavery.
The Muslims then begin to consolidate their power with the surrounding Arab tribes and cities.
Mecca began to feel the economic impact of its trading losses and Mohammed’s power grew in the north. They reluctantly signed the 10 year Hudaybiah peace agreement with Mohammed and the Muslims in march 628. Muslims are allowed to return to Mecca and worship at the Kaba once a year. The people of Mecca would leave their city so the Muslim could come and worship.
Two years later, in January 630, Mohammed leads 10,000 warriors to Mecca and nullifies the treaty of Hudaybiah because Muslims have been killed. The city submits to Mohammed and his warriors and accepts him as prophet. Mohammed goes to the Kaba and destroys the 360 idols in the structure. From Mecca, the “Muslims” wage Jihad on the surrounding cities forcing them to accept Islam as their religion and Mohammed as their prophet.
Mohammed made his final Hajj in 632 and died unexpectedly 3 months later in June. His friend and father in law Abu Bakr (Father of Aisha) succeeded him as leader of the Muslims
Abu Bakr received the title “Caliph” or successor of Mohammed. Their was a struggle for about who would succeed Mohammad, some felt Ali the husband of Fatima, Mohammed’s daughter deserved the position. Under Abu Bakr Islam's power in Arabian peninsula was completed. In 634 AD Abu Bakr died and was succeeded by Umar (Omar) the 2nd Caliphate.
Umar advanced the Muslim armies against Syria and Palestine. In 637 A D, the armies of Byzantium lost control of Jerusalem to Islam. Uthman the 3rd Caliph succeeded Umar. Uthman ordered a complete revision of the Quran, this would cause a mutiny. He was killed and his death was considered justified because the mutineers claimed he ceased to be a Muslim. Following Uthman’s There was a struggle between rival factions of Islam about who was the rightful successor to lead Islam.
Ali the 4th Caliph, Mohammad’s son-in-law and husband of Fatima, succeeded Uthman everybody did not accept him as rightful Caliphate. War broke out between the rival groups, his succession was short lived, 2 years later he was killed, the Shi’a (Party of Ali) mourned the death of Ali, and his two sons (Grandsons of Mohammed). Ali is revered as a saint by the Shi’a who are dominate in Iran and Iraq. The Shi’a feel Ali was the rightful successor to Mohammed and don’t recognize the three earlier Caliphs. The Sunnis accept Ali and the first three Caliphate as legitimate.
After the defeat the Byzantines and Persian kingdoms in successive battles, the armies of Islam advanced on Europe. Within 100 years of Mohammad’s death the armies of Islam reached the city of Tours, in France. In Tours the Muslim advance was stopped.
In the Battle of Tours Charles Martel the grandfather of Charlemagne defeated the advancing Muslim armies. From Tours Muslim power in Europe retreated and in the 1489 Fredinand and Isabella of Spain defeated the last remaining forces in Spain. Later, the Ottoman Empire would retreat from the rest of Europe.
In the East, Islam was also expanding by the 13th century; Islam had reached the Pacific Ocean. The Islamic faith now spanned from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Ferdinand Magellan, in his attempt to bypass Muslim controlled areas in the Indian Ocean, found the passageway to Asia via the Atlantic Ocean. His desire was to bring Christianity to Asia, before Islam. Magellan was successful in introducing Christianity to the Philippines (Named after King Philip of Spain) Islam and Christianity met in the Philippines as the Northern Islands were converted to Christianity and the Southern parts of the Philippines and Indonesia were converted to Islam. Islam and Christianity became the two major rival religions in the world.
Islam today is in conflict, between western secular culture and traditional Islamic culture. The growth of Islamic Fundamentalism is an attempt to reach back to the glories of Islamic history. Many Fundamentalist (Muslim) ask themselves the question, If Islam is the religion of Allah, why are we being defeated by the West (United States) and Israel. The fundamentalist sees the problem with the failure of Islamic nations to live as the Quran commands. This view of not living the life required by Allah, as specified in the Quran and traditions and therefore being defeated by the West, is the spark of fundamentalism. Today in Islam there is a struggle between moderate and fundamentalist ideology. Understanding the books of the Islamic faith is just as important to understanding its history. The books of Islam shape both the culture and philosophy of the Muslim world
The Books of Islam
History of the Quran:
“Reading” The Quran is the “Word of God” to Islam. About 4/5 the length of the New Testament. Muslims believe the identical book is in Heaven and Allah sent the angel Gabriel to Mohammed to reveal his “Word”. The Quran is divided into 114 chapters or Surahs. The Surahs are revelations given to Mohammed during his 23 years of “Prophethood” from 610 AD to 632 AD.
The Quran, composed during Mohammed’s lifetime corresponds to the time and circumstances of his life. The Surahs or chapters can be divided into three time periods.
The earliest Surahs are the shortest and known as Early Meccan, and date from 610 to 622 AD. Composed in Mecca, prior to Hejira where Mohammed fled to Medina in September 622 AD.
The Median Surahs were composed during the time Muslims controlled the city of Medina. They date from 622 to 630 AD. The doctrine of Jihad was introduced as war was waged against Mecca and its idol worshipers. Animosity toward the Jews and Christians increased as they rejected Mohammed as a prophet from God.
Late Meccan Surahs were between 630 and 632 AD. The last 2 years of Mohammed’s life after Mecca surrendered to his authority.
Surahs were at this time not collected in one book but were memorized and collected on various items. In the battle of Yamamah in 633 AD many of the Hafiz died. The Hafiz were Muslims who had committed much of the Quran to memory. With the urging of Umar, Zayd ibn Thabit, one of Mohammed most trusted secretaries was appointed to the task of collecting the Quran into one book. Still later after different versions of the quran began to appear Zayd was put in charge of collecting all the Qurans throughout the Muslim world and issuing an authorized copy in the place of ones collected.
The Quran makes the appeal to its beauty and consistency with previous scriptures as proof of its inspiration.
23 And if ye are in doubt as to what We have revealed from time to time to Our servant, then produce a Surah like thereunto; and call your witnesses or helpers (if there are any) besides Allah, if your (doubts) are true.
24 But if ye cannot - and of a surety ye cannot - then fear the Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones - which is prepared for those who reject Faith. Surah 2:23-24
“Tradition” After the death of Mohammed, his followers collected his sayings and actions in books to guide and direct their beliefs. They give additional meaning behind the Surahs and help interpret their meanings. The most respected Hadith are Bukari, and Muslim. Muslims do not feel the Hadith is the “Word of God”. They would compare the Hadith, to the Gospels, which reports what Jesus said. The Quran is the Word of God from Heaven via Gabriel.
Who is a Muslim: A Muslim is someone who has submitted to Allah. One submits to Allah by confession of the Shahada or the 5 pillars of faith. Besides the five major beliefs or doctrines in Islam, there are these are observances in Islam which are foundational practices or duties every Muslim must observe.
The Five Pillars of Faith
1. “The Confession” "La ilaha illa llah" "There is no God but God." The Shahada, (Testimoney)
Kalima There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah.
2. Salat Prayer 5 times a day facing Mecca
3. Zakat Almsgiving
4. Fasting during the month of Ramadan, from sun-up till sundown.
5. Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca once a lifetime
The Beliefs of Islam
The Five Articles of Faith
1. God: There is only one true God and his name is Allah. Allah is all knowing, all-powerful and sovereign judge. Yet Allah is not a personal God, for he is so far above man in every way that he is not personally knowable. The emphasis of the God of Islam is on judgment and power, not grace and mercy. To the Muslim mind, calling God father means God connotes sexual relationship.
255 Allah! there is no god but He, the living, the self subsisting, eternal. No slumber can seize him nor heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in his presence except as he permitteth? he knoweth what (appeareth to his creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of his knowledge except as he willeth. His throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and he feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for he is the most high, the supreme (in glory).Surah 2:255
2. Angels: Angels in Islam serve Allah’s will such as Gabriel delivering the Koran to Mohammed. Angels do not perform any bodily functions (sexual, eating., etc) as they are created of light. Angels serve different purposes; each person has two recording angels who record his/her good or bad deeds.
Jinn : Are spiritual beings created out of fire….who are ranked between angels and men and can be either good or bad. Satan was a Jinn and not a fallen angel according to Islam.
27 And the Jinn race, we had created before, from the fire of a scorching wind.
Satan: A Jinn who refused to fall prostrate before Adam after he was created. He is the leader of evil ones in the world.
50. And (remember) when We said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam,
and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the Jinn, so he
rebelled against his Lord's command. Will ye choose him and his seed for
your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are an enemy unto you?
Calamitous is the exchange for evil doers!
3. Scripture: There are four inspired books in Islam: Quran, Torah, Ingil and Zabur. The Torah, Ingil and Zabur: “Books of Moses, The Gospel of Jesus, and Psalms of David” These are books mentioned in the Koran as God’s Word but most Moslems feel the current books are corrupt. For this reason Allah gave Mohammed the “Quran”. Many Muslims try to find Mohammed in the Bible and feel he is referred to in Deuteronomy 18:16, John 14:6.
4. Prophets: In Islam God has spoken through numerous prophets down through the centuries, including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. The greatest prophet and the last prophet is Muhammmad, he is the seal of the prophets.
163 We have sent thee inspiration, as We sent it to Noah and the Messengers after him: We sent inspiration to Abraham, ismail Ismaÿil, Isaac, Jacob and the Tribes, to Jesus, Job, Jonah, Aaron, and Solomon, and to David We gave the Psalms.
164 Of some messengers We have already told thee the story; of others We have not- and to Moses Allah spoke direct-
5. Last Days: The last days will be a time of Ressurrection and judgment.:
Resurrection: Everybody will be resurrected to stand before Allah to be judged in the Last Day. Those who follow Allah and Mohammed will go to Paradise others will go to Hell. Everybody will pass through Hell and even some Muslim will spend time in Hell till their sins are burned away and Mohammad intercedes for them.
Hell: Hell is a place of Allah judgment where Muslims will spend sometime before entering paradise, unbelievers will have no escape. Muslim’s believe Mohammed will intercede for them and deliver them from Hell.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: The (permanent) inhabitants of the Fire are those who are doomed to it, and verily they would neither die nor live in it (quran al-QurŸan, xx.47; liiixii.13). But the people whom the Fire would afflict (temporarily) on account of their sins, or so said (the narrator) "on account of their misdeeds," He would cause them to die till they would be turned into charcoal. Then they would be granted intercession and would be brought in groups and would be spread on the rivers of Paradise and then it would be said: O inhabitants of Paradise, pour water over them; then they would sprout forth like the sprouting of seed in the silt carried by flood. A man among the people said: (It appears) as if the Messenger of Allah lived in the steppe.
AL-MUWATTA of Imam Malik (Hadith)
Abdullah ibn Abbas
Then I saw the Fire - and I have never seen anything more hideous than what I saw today - and I saw that most of its people were women.'
They said, 'Why, Messenger of Allah?'
He said, 'Because of their ungratefulness (kufr),'
Someone said, 'Are they ungrateful to Allah?'
He said, 'They are ungrateful to their husbands and they are ungrateful for good behaviour (towards them). Even if you were to behave well towards one of them for a whole lifetime and then she were to see you do something (that she did not like) she would say that she had never seen anything good from you.'"
Paradise: Described in the Quaran as place underneath the Earth that flows with rivers of wine and “wide eyed” virgins of beauty.
And round about them will (serve) youths of perpetual (freshness): If thou seest them, thou wouldst think them scattered Pearls.
20 And when thou lookest, it is there thou wilt see a Bliss and a Realm Magnificent.
21 Upon them will be green Garments of fine silk and heavy brocade, and they will be adorned with bracelets of silver; and their Lord will give to them to drink of a Wine Pure and Holy.
22 Verily this is a Reward for you, and your Endeavour is accepted and recognized.
Surah 76:19-22 See Also Surah 2:25,
Christianity and Islam
Jesus: Jesus is just a prophet and not the Son of God. He is only a prophet to the Jews who was not crucified but was caught up into Heaven. God placed a substitute in his place on the cross. Many Muslims feel the substitute was Judas. Jesus is the Messiah who is coming at the end. He will kill all the Jews, Christians and pigs break all crosses get married and die 40 years later and be buried in Medina next to Mohammed. The Resurrection will follow.
157 That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah"- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not-
158 Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise- Surah 4:157-158,
So peace is on me The day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that
I shall be raised up to life (again)!
Holy Spirit: The angel Gabriel is recognized as the Holy Spirit within Islam, or as some commentators think angels in general.
If ye two turn is repentance to Him, your hearts are indeed so inclined; but if ye back up each other against him, truly Allah is his Protector, and Gabriel, and (every) righteous one among those who believe, and furthermore, the angels will back (him) up.
Salvation: The Muslims believe in salvation by obedience to Allah. Mohammed will intercede on the behalf of Muslims before Allah. In a scale, Allah will weight the sins and good deeds to determine the punishment. Time in Hell will be necessary to pay for sins that outweigh good deeds. After which the “Muslims” will be accepted into Paradise. Non-Believers will go to Hell with no hope of escape. Those who die in Jihad or Holy War will go directly to Paradise where 72 virgins will be awaiting him.
Al-Miqdam ibn madikarib Ma'dikarib (Hadith)
MISHKAT AL-MASABIH (Hadith)
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "The martyr receives six good things from Allah: he is forgiven at the first shedding of his blood; he is shown his abode in Paradise; he is preserved from the punishment in the grave; he is kept safe from the greatest terror; he has placed on his head the crown of honour, a ruby of which is better than the world and what it contains; he is married to seventy-two wives of the maidens with large dark eyes; and is made intercessor for seventy of his relatives."
Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah transmitted it.
MISHKAT AL-MASABIH (Hadith)
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "The lowliest of the inhabitants of Paradise will be he who has eighty thousand servants, seventy-two wives, and for whom a round pavilion of pearls, chrysoprase and rubies as large as the distance between al-Jabiyah and San'a will be set up." By the same isnad he said, "Those who are to go to Paradise, who die whether young or old,
Sin: Man is born sinless and all people are Muslims at birth. But lack of obedience to Allah is sin. Sin is by action only and not by nature.
Sources of the Quran:
Where did the Quran come from? The Quran claims Allah is its source of the Quran is a copy of an identical book is written in Heaven that was given Gabriel to give to Mohammad in intervals.
105 We sent down the (Quran) in truth, and in truth has it descended: and we sent thee but to give glad tidings and to warn (sinners).
106 (It is) a Quran which we have divided (into parts from time to him), in order that thou mightest recite it to men at intervals: we have revealed it by stages.
History gives us a different answer. The Quran’s content can be traced to sources in existence prior to Mohammed birth. A few of these sources can be found below.
Jewish sources of the Quran
1. Visit by the queen of Sheba to Solomon as recorded in Sura 27:17-30
And before Solomon were marshalled his hosts, of Jinns and men and birds, and they were all kept in order and ranks.
18 At length, when they came to a (lowly) valley of ants, one of the ants said: O ye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it.
This same story is recorded almost verbatim in the Talmud work II Targum of Ester 1,2
2. Abraham saved from Nimrod’s Fire as recorded in the following Suras 2:260, 6:74-84, 21:52-72, 19:42-50, 26:69-79, 24:15-16, 37:81-95,
We bestowed aforetime on Abraham his rectitude of conduct, and well were we Acquainted with him.
52 Behold! he said to his father and his people, what are these images, to which ye are (so assiduously) devoted? 53 They said, we found Our fathers worshipping them.
Sura 21: 52-53
The source for this story is from the Midrash Rabbah on Genesis
3. Cain and Abel Sura 5:30-35
Then Allah sent a raven, who scratched the ground, to show him how to hid the shame of his brother. Woe is me said he; was I not even able to be as this raven, and to hide the shame of my brother? then he became full of regrets
The source of this story can be found in the book
Pirke Rabbi Eleaszer in the Midrash. The only difference being that the crow shows Adam not Cain how to bury Abel.
4. Harut and Marut The two angles of Babylon.
They followed what the evil ones gave out (falsely) against the power of Solomon: the blasphemers were, not Solomon, but the evil ones, teaching men magic, and such things as came down at Babylon
the angels Harut and Marut.
This same story is taken from the Midrash Yalkut the only difference being the two angels named are Shamhazi and Azael. But the names of Harut and Marut were two idols worshipped far back in Armenia. They were assistants to the female goddess Aspandaramit. The Zoroastrians regarded her as the spirit of the earth.
Heretical Christian Sources
5. The Seven Sleepers, or Companions of the Cave. Surah 18:9-26
9 Or dost thou reflect that the companions of the cave and of the inscription were wonders among our Signs?
10 Behold, the youths betook themselves to the cave: they said, our Lord bestow on us mercy from thyself, and dispose of our affair for us in the right way
11 Then we draw (a veil) over their ears, for a number of years,
in the cave, (so that they heard not): Sura 18:9-11
The legend is Greek and is found in the Latin work of Gregory of Tours. Seven men of the city of Ephesus take refuge from persecution in a cave during the reign of Decius (249-251 AD) they wake in the reign of Theodorus II 447 AD. Christianity being the faith of the empire. This was a mere story to illustrate the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire.
6. Quranic view of Paradise Sura 55:72, 56:22
Round about them will (serve) youths of perpetual (freshness),
18 With goblets, (shining) beakers, and cups (filled) out of Clear flowing fountains:
19 No after ache will they receive therefrom, nor will they suffer intoxication:
20 And with fruits, any that they may select;
21 And the flesh of fowls, any that they may desire.
22 And (there will be) Companions with beautiful, big, and lustrous eyes
The picture of Paradise with beautiful virgins waiting for men is not found in any of the Old or New Testament but can be traced to the Zoroastrian concept of Paradise Paries or Fairies –spirits in bright array and beautiful, to captivate the heart of a man. The name houry is derived from an Avesta or Pahlavi source. As well as jinn for genii and bihvisht (Paradise) signifying in Avestic “The better land”.
Fundamentalism is a hard-line literal view of the world through the eyes of the Quran. Islam is at war with Jews and Christians for world domination in the cause of Allah. As the earlier Muslims were at war with cities refusing to accept Mohammed as the prophet, Fundamentalist see themselves involved in a Jihad or Holy War against the West.
Fundamentalist see the United States as Satan’s power in the battle with Islam. Television, movies, alcohol, carnal lifestyles and their influence on Muslim countries pits the US and the West at war with Islam. Furthermore, the United States support for Israel enrages Muslims, Israel is seen as Enemy No.1 to Muslim nations. For three main reasons;
1. There is great deal of hostility toward Jews within the Koran and Hadith. They view Jews are seen as the killers of prophets and enemies of God. Muslims who are strict students of the Koran see themselves at war with Jews.
Bukari ( Hadith)
Allah's Apostle (peace be upon him) said: The Last Hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.
SAHIH MUSLIM (Hadith)
O ye who believe take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust. Surah 5:51
2. The nation of Israel occupies land formerly held by Muslims and Fundamentalist see themselves as solders in a battle to regain the land. Palestinian suffering is a rallying cry to Muslim nations for Jihad.
3. Jerusalem and The Dome of the Rock: The location of Solomon's Temple is the 3rd most Holy Place to Muslims. And Jerusalem has been a Holy Muslim city for the last 13 centuries. The Dome of the Rock was built on the Temple site to demonstrate Islam as the final religion in the world. Jewish talk of rebuilding the Temple infuriates the Muslim world.
The situation with Israel, the West and Islam cause Fundamentalist to apply the principle of Jihad to the West. America is seen as idolatrous Mecca who stood in the way of the Islam advance. Attacks on the West via terrorism are seen as justified based on the attacks on the enemies of Islam in the same way the early armies of Islam waged war on its enemies.
Jihad: Jihad is battle in the cause of Allah in which the fighter gains immediate entry to Paradise. The Muslim has the right to slay anybody who has attacked Muslim sovereignty. This was considered one of the
Allah hath purchased of the Believers their persons and their goods; for their (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise): they fight in His Cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in Truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the quran QurŸan: and who is more faithful to his Covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.
if they withdraw not from you nor give you (guarantees) of peace besides restraining their hands, seize them and slay them wherever ye get them: in their case we have provided you with a clear argument against them.
190 Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.
191 And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them.
Such is the reward of those who suppress faith
 Jihad: Jihad is battle in the cause of Allah in which the fighter gains immediate entry to Paradise.