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CCOT Essay

Rausey Mason
APWH Period 3A
Mr. Harris
Throughout history, religion has been an extremely important part of human
nature and has developed into a more and more advanced ideology just as humans have
changed into beings far more advanced than they ever wouldve dreamed to be. Not only
has the human race changed, but also our religions have changed with us, especially in
the Middle Eastern region of our planet. From the years 600-1450 C.E., the Middle East
experienced monumental religious changes, which included the creation of Islam and
later society based on Islamic rule, although a very important continuation during this
time period was Mecca staying the regions religious center.
First and foremost, the greatest change during this time period had to have been
the creation of the new religion of Islam. This brand new ideology was birthed when
Muhammad of Mecca was born in 570 C.E. (Page 228). Within 40 years he began to
meditate in the mountains around the city where he began having revelations and was
said to have been visited by the angel Gabriel who further reinforced the existence of one
all-powerful god who created the universe. (Page 229) His revelations claimed the
blameless would go to heaven and the sinful to go to hell and all that submitted to this
would be deemed Muslim meaning one that makes Islam, or submission, to the will of
god. (Page 230) Thus began the Islamic faith, which at first was not accepted by many
and even threatened by the leaders of Mecca who in 622 forced Muhammad and his
followers to venture to the agricultural city of Medina where they developed the first
Umma or Islamic community. (Page 230) Finally, in 630 Mecca surrendered and became

the Islamic capital of the world, and although Muhammad died two years later his
teachings are still in place today including the Five Pillars of Islam and the Quran or the
book of the unalterable word of god as Muhammad told it. (Page 230-231) This was
easily the greatest change of the tine period in the Middle East, but there is plenty more to
come as society continued to develop into what it is today.
In essence to the creation Islam, society was bound to change as the new rules put
in place to follow the teachings of the Quran. This was known as Sharia law or the law
of Islam, which became harder and harder to interpret as more and more people
converted to Islam including non-Arab peoples of distant lands. (Page 239) Islamic
leaders began developing laws going beyond the Five Pillars and the Quran to govern
social and religious life and eventually collected thousands of reports known as Hadith,
which purported the precise deeds of Muhammad. (Page 239) Many of these hadith dealt
with simple laws such as washing prior to prayer, and eventually Sharia law was set as
the official set of rules for Islam, which are still followed with some adjustments in
modern times. (Page 239-240) For starters had limited rights in the paternal society; They
seldom travelled with those living in rural areas tending to the farm and animals while
those living in Urban areas lived in seclusion. (Page 241) No woman was allowed to
venture into public without the proper covering in which only your eyes are visible. (Page
241) Although women is Islamic society actually fared better than those under Christian
and Jewish laws when it came to legal status as they were allowed to remarry after
divorce, practice birth control, and could actually initiate divorce. (Page 242) The final
and probably most controversial aspect of society under Islamic rule is slavery. Islam
allowed slavery, but it forbade the enslavement of people of the book, which included

Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. (Page 243) This really proved how serious Islamic
rulers were when it came to the teachings of Muhammad.
Usually, with great change, there is always a common factor, or something that
continues to thrive and in the case of the Middle East, that place was Mecca. Beginning
as a caravan trade hub with multiple routes sprouting off towards distant lands as far
away as china. (Page 228) Seeing as it was already a center for trade it made it easy for a
multitude of religions to make there homes there even prior to the creation of Islam. Two
extremely important structures, one being the Kaba, a shrine filled with the idols of early
polytheistic religions and a holy well called the Zamzam. (Page 228) Meccans often
times associated the shrines with Christianity and Judaism long before the creation of
Islam, commonly regarding Abraham as the creator of the Kaba. (Page 228) When Islam
was created in 610 Muhammad changed the focus of prayer towards Mecca it became
more and more clear to the anti-Islamic rulers of the current Mecca that god favored
Mecca and eventually Muhammad and his followers were able to make their pilgrimage
unhindered and destroyed all of the remaining idols in the Kaba making it their sacred
structure and Mecca their religious center. (Page 230) To this day Muslims make
pilgrimages to Mecca, which proves how even though it was not Islamic at first, it still
continued to be the greatest religious center of the Middle East.
The Middle East experienced some of the greatest changes that ever occurred in
human history between the years of 600 and 1450 C.E. with the birth of Islam and the
society that followed that was based of Islamic rule and policies. Now with this great
change the one thing that truly was the regions common denominator was the city of
Mecca, which had been a religious center in the many years before and soon became the

capital of the Islamic religion. This region really did epitomize great change and the
constant light that shined from Mecca upon Islam and many religions before.