Islam dates back to the 7th century when, according to religious tradition, a forty-year-old merchant named Muhammad was visited by the Archangel Gabriel near the city of Mecca on the Arabian Peninsula. Muhammad was told that he was the last prophet in a line of prophets that included Moses and Jesus. Allah’s revelations to Muhammad were made in Arabic thus establishing Arabic as the official language of the Quran and Islam. The message of Muhammad and the religion of Islam now makes up one of the most populous religions in the world. As a result of the remarkable spread of Islam starting in the 7th century, Islam not only influenced the hearts and minds of millions of people, but also manifested itself in many tangible items. The following lesson plan draws on the vivid primary source materials from an existing Emerging America source set to explore the physical representations of Islam on Earth with particular attention paid to the architecture, art, and literature of Islam. Using the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis Tool and Ninian Smart’s Seven Dimensions of Religion, students will learn through the use of inquiry and classroom discussion.
Emerging America brings this lesson to you thanks to the outstanding primary sources and materials provided by the Library of Congress and is aligned to the Common Core and National History Standards.