Concept of Allah
- They believe in the oneness of Allah.
- A God without partners.
- Allah has no family.
- Unique to his creation.
- He has no place or time, noone knows where he stays, his origins .
- He has no form or shape.
- a) Omnipresent-Just
- b) Omnipotent- Creator
- c) Omnipresent- Judge
- d) Merciful- Righteous/ Holy one
- f) Giver
Identify the 5 Pillars
- a) SHAHAD
-This is the confession of Faith.
-It is mentioned once in one’s lifetime.
– It gives a full membership either immediately dying or after birth.
-It contains the 6 Articles of Faith which are:
- a) Believe in judgment.
- b) Believe in one God Allah.
- c) Believe in Faith and Destiny.
- d) Believe in Angels e.g Angel Jibreel)
- e) Believe in the Holy Books.
- f) Believe in Prophet Muhammed as the last Prophet(PBUH).
Importances of Shahad
- a) Monotheism
- b) Oneness and Unity among the people as there will be no divisions in the religion.
- c) Brings one to be close to Allah.
- d) Full membership.
- b) SALAT
-This is the pillar of prayer.
-it is obligatory to everyone especially those who have reached the rational age.
-Pray 5times a day.
– The first prayer conducted before Dawn is called the Fajr.
– The second prayer must be offered during the midday is called Zuhr.
– The third prayer before the sunset is called Asr (starts soon after the second prayer.)
– The forth prayer starts at sunset and ends when twilight disappears from sun is called the Majhrib.
– The fifth prayer is done in the evening and end before Dawn is called Ishah.
– The Salat is done facing Mecca (pilgrimage and first altar built by Abraham and Ishamael (Ka’ba).
– Wudu is performed.
– Recitation of the first verses by the prayer leader the lmam .
– Different postures must be done.
* Purifies one’s soul.
* Spiritual upliftment.
* Prevent one from sinning.
* Promotes illiteracy.
* Brings reverence from Allah.
* Improves the faith of the believer.
* Creates monotheism.
– it is obligatory and paid annually.
– it is a Thanksgiving charity.
– Any capable person is obligated to pay at least 2.5%.
– It is paid in form of money, livestock, minerals e.g Platinum and gold.
– The widows, orphans, prisoners , the new believers money used to build charity org and sponsor during wars like Jihad.
# Humanitarian services.
# Brings one closer to Allah.
# Purifies one’s wealth.
# Bridges the gap between the poor.
# Avoids one from being greedy.
# Brings the spirit of compassion towards brothers.
# Promotes oneness and unity.
- d) SAWN
– Known as the fasting pillar.
– It is obligatory.
– It is done on the 9th month on the Lunar Calendar known as the month of Ramadan.
– Fasting from morning to sunset.
– Abstain from food, drink ,sexual intercourse.
-During this time, they put the same type of clothes.
– Women on menstruation , pregnant, traveller , the elderly , children under the age of 12 are not allowed to fast.
* Prayers are answered.
* Spiritual upliftment.
* Closer to Allah.
* Prevent one from sinning.
* Bridges the gap between the poor and rich as both are to experience the same hunger.
- e) HAJJ
-lt is the pilgrimage to Mecca.
– It is a journey that is undertaken by one in his /her lifetime.
– Attended on the 12th month 5-6 day (THULHIJJAH)
– Women are to be accompanied by males to the Mecca.
– Acts of charity are done there.
– Throwing of pebbles at Jamurati pillars.
– Going around the Ka’ba for 7times.
– Slaughtering of the animal which is done in 3portions.
– The first portion sacrificed to Allah.
– The second one given to the poor.
– The third will eat.
* Humanitarian services.
* Economic benefits to the people of Mecca.
* History on the religion is maintained and passed down from one generation to another.
* Spiritual upliftment.
* One goes to paradise.
* Networking business.
Explain the Shariah law and show instances were it is applied.
– Shariah is an Islamic term which means law.
– it constitutes the bold of rules and laws.
– lt contains the punitive laws or disciplinary measures towards the offenders.
– Examples of the Shariah are derived from different sources which :
# Quran /Koran
Where the Shariah is applied.
- Religious matters.
- Morality (moral standards or behaviour in the society.)
- Inheritance distribution
- Marriage in terms of divorce
- Criminal cases e.g rape cases.
- Dietry laws
- Environmental matters
- The politics of the state.
- Business and enterprise
- During the funeral and burial rites
- Applicable to oneself especially when guiding the mind of a human being.
Critically analyse the significance of the Shariah to a Muslim?
IMPORTANCES OF THE SHARIAH
- Controls public behaviour.
- it uphold the moral uprightness of an Islamic society.
- Promotes enterprise and trade.
- Promotes monotheism directed to Allah alone.
- Preservation of the religion and is promoting the expansation of the religion.
- lt promotes good character in young girls.
- Shariah can be used as a pancea to HIV
- Preservation of the environment (dietry laws)
- Gender stereotype according to inheritance.
- Degrades the status of woman.
- Some can be accusedand being punished falsely.
- Early marriages.
Explain the role of Mohammed in the establishment of Islam.
- He is the founder of the religion.
- He is the receiver of the Quran.
- He upholded a monotheistic worship.
- Books that are followed from Islam are from his teachings and his actions.
- He performed miracles.
- Conducted a jihad that the Meccans to be converted into Islam.
- He established the rules and the laws that were to be followed in the Islamic Religion.
- Organized charity that attracted several people.
Evaluate the Legacy of Mohammed.
Legacy refers to the achievements of a person which are left behind for the next generation to benefit from.
- He is the last Prophet and the seal of the prophets.
- The revealed Koran which came to him when he was on Mount Hirah through revelation.
- The religion which he left behind.
- His personal character as well , behaviour and sayings which are recorded in the Sunnah and the Hadith.
- Miracle worker
- Upholder of Monotheism
- The pilgrimage Mecca.
- He was a Mofti.
- Concept of the Jihad.
- Maintenance of peace.
Analyse the concept of a Prophet in Islam/ Examine the characteristics of a Prophet in Islam.
The word Prophet comes from the Arabic word “Nabi” meaning the Messenger. A prophet in Islam therefore Is a Messenger of Allah.
A prophet is one who possess the following:
- Reliability to teach Allah’s word as it is.
- A prophet is one who is honest and transparent.
- They receive and preserve the revelation of God.
- Prophets have a superior mind and intelligence, strong memory, superior logic ability and persuasion as they are not ordinary people.
- They are the bearers of the good news meaning that they are the preachers of Allah to Mankind.
- They give warning to people concerning what is right and what is wrong, the judgment that is to come.
- They reveal the truth as well as the book of truth to people.
- They are the moral guiders that is they provide guidelines of what is right and wrong.
- They can pronounce judgement or punishments to offenders.
- Mujiza , they are miracle workers. Allah gave all his prophets quality to produce some extra ordinary things or events e.g Prophet Mohammed, water dripped out of his hands when they were in a dessert.
Explore the extend of Prophet Muhammad’s prophetic status.
To a greater extent, Mohammed can be considered as a prophet . He is known as the last seal of the prophets in Islam , after him there is no other prophet to be recognized.
- He was a Messenger of Allah.
- A role model to all the prophets in Islam societies and individuals.
- He had high morality , good habits , noble and gentle feelings.
- His character can be clearly illustrated from the Sunnah and Hadith.
- He received revelation from Allah.
- He established a world religion which is recognized world over.
- He was a good leader or a politician, a statesman during his time.
- He pronounced salvation to those who submit to Allah.
- Authority as the prophets is seen in the Sunnah and Hadith.
- He suffered rejection and persecution in order to establish the religion.
- He was called when he was praying.
- He upheld social justice.
- He upheld charity works and high levels of good moral.
- Miracle worker just like other prophets.
- He led in wars during his first Jihad to Mecca.
Assess how Love is demonstrated in Islam
-Love is central in the Islamic religion. There are several ways in which love is demonstrated in Islam.
Through the Faradah.
-These are duties that are given to each and every man to follow and they promote love.
-Love towards Allah and the Koran.
By trying to imitate prophet Muhammad.
-A true Muslim is one who submit to Allah and love others.
Love is also demonstrated by paying Zakat which will help the needy in the Islamic society.
They demonstrate love through following the Sunnah.
– There are the deeds and activities of Prophet Muhammad.
– He loved his wives and was a generous person.
The Hajj also demonstrate brotherly love.
– There is no racial discrimination between the Muslim during the Hajj.
– The poor and the rich wil all converge.
Love is also expressed in Marriage between the husband ,wife and children.
Muslim love non-Moslemas seen in their charitable organization and activities.
-Even non-Muslims receive aid from the Muslim.
- h) Jihad is also the expression of love for it is a good cause of others that is to eliminate social justice ,terrorism and oppression.
- The punitive laws do not demonstrate love e.g when one’s hand has to be amputated or cut or to be killed over a certain crime.
It lacks tolerance.
2. Shariah advocates for punishments which is violent in nature and does not resort to other means of assisting.
3. Laws are harsh on intermarriages.
Show the categories of Love in Islam
Love towards Allah.
– Submitting to Allah.
-Worshiping Allah alone.
– Respecting the word of Allah which is the Koran.
– Teaching or encouraging other people to worship Allah.
Love towards Prophet Muhammad.
– To recognize him as the last Prophet and the seal of the prophets.
– To follow up the teachings of Prophet Muhammad which are in the Sunnah and Hadith.
-Respecting his name by saying (PBUH) Peace Be Upon Him.
Love between Spouses
- I) Husbands
– To love their wives.
– Provide financial and physical needs.
-Give moral support when the wife is sick by doing household chores.
-The husband is supposed to beat the wife for insubordination.
- ii) Wife
-Respect the husband and be submissive.
-Forgive the little mistakes of the husband.
-Provide moral support.
-Submission to the religion of the husband.
iii) Children to Parents.
-Respect the parents and not to call them names during old age.
-Be helpful to the parents.
-Give support to their parents.
- iv) Parents to children.
-Give their children good meaningful names.
-Provide their financial and physical needs.
-Nurturing the children in the word or ways of Allah
-Keep the children away from drugs, alcohol , lying , back biting and gossiping.
– Promotes or encourage the children to follow the religion.
-Arrange their marriages into good families.
Love towards neighbour and the relatives.
-Lend to your neighbour when in need
-Visit them in hospital when they are not well.
-Attend funeral prayers.
-Do not build a house that is higher than that of your neighbour.
-Do not cook food with a smell that will affect your neighbour.
-Avoid back biting your neighbour.
-Visit your relatives.
Love towards the Environment
They are also supposed to show love towards the environment by:
- By not cutting down trees unnecessarily.
- Not wasting resources be it food or anything else.
- Kill animals in a Halawu way(kindest behaviour).
- Not peeing or pollute environment.
- Not starve their domestic animals.
- Practice good Agricultural methods.
Identify the sources of Ethical Principles in Islam.
Definition of Ethical Principles is principles which guides the moral behaviour of the Muslim.
Sources of Ethics.
-It is the Holy Book that involves the direct word of Allah.
–It is divine, heavenly, sacred and authentic & considered to be miracle.
– Laws concerning the good governance.
-The activities and the behaviors of Prophet Muhammad which is adopted by the Muslim e.g the concept of Marriage.
-Consists of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad e.g Muhammad was asked who should be respected the most between the father and the mother and he answered that the mother should be respected the most .
– Legal system of Islam which consists of laws of punishments.
– The beliefs, ideas or thoughts , a doctrine of direct communication.
A doctrine of direct communication.
– Laws in Islam.
Examine the rules of behaviour in Islam.
Candidates should write about the ethics.There should be the respect of :
- No stealing
- Moral upright
Discuss the status of Women in Islam.
- They are created equal with men.
- Rewarded or punished equally, giving a sense of gender equality.
- According to the Hadith , Muhammad claims that a woman must be the most respected person.
- Right to vote.
- Right to inheritance however only of the man’s inheritance.
- Right to the custody during divorce of children below 6yrs however those above 6years to the father.
- Right to choose a professional or a career of choice however in some Islamic states, women are not allowed to take up some certain professions e.f fuel stations ,soccer, modeling, hotels as it is considered as Fatina as it brings disrespect of woman for she will be involved with the interaction with several men.
- To do business and keep their own money.
- Right to own property
- To maintain their own surname after marriage.
- Right to ask for a consent of divorce.
- Right to refuse a man in an arranged marriage.
- Right to participate in taking up public positions such as President, Vice President.
- Not to leave the house without the husband or the father’s consent.
- Not to leave the house without a male acomplice therefore it infringes the right to privacy.
- The hijab being oppressive to women.
- One has to produce four male witnesses during a trial of rape cases.
- Not allowed to drive a car.
- Beating the wife for insubordination.
13 roles of women in Islam.
- Nurturing of children
- Maintenance of homes
- Maintain the property
- Teach or train the children
- Provide moral support to the husband during his ups and downs.
- Satisfy the sexual needs of the other partner.
- Can have their own business
- Become entrepreneurs
- Can give a home an image which is good.
- Hospitality activities.
Analyse the extent to which women are involved in politics
- Right to vote.
- Take up public positions e.g President and also Prime Presidents
- They advice those who are in Political positions e.g Ayisha the wife of Muhammadwho participated in the war of Mecca.
Some Islamic states are so strict that they do not promote or want to see women in leadership e.g Nigerian State, Lesotho state
What are the reasons for women to shun politics in Islam
- Patriarchalnature in the society.
- Lack of support
- Local customs of the society
Distinguish between the factors that may hinder or promote women’s progress in Islam.
- Islamic laws e.g the Shariah
- Men always playing the dominant factor.
- Lack of Gender Equality.g careers, professions
- Lack of education
- Religious beliefs especially on the roles given to a woman.
- Attitude from women themselves as some believe that only men are supposed to be at the forefront of doing things.
- Local customs
- Women are allowed to have their to have their own businesses and to keep their own money.
- Possess rights to employment and can choose a career professions of choice.
- Right to property ownership
- Right to education which generally empowers them.
- Also contribute Zakat.
- Condemned to work in families
Identify Islamic NGOs and their role
New Hope Charity Trust
-Offers free accredited diploma in Arabic language.
-It gives food to the less privileged Muslims
-Offers inter-religions dialogue to foster core-existence.
Majilis Uluma Zimbabwe
-Has 3 high schools in Zimbabwe
-Gives aid to the needy.
-Has at least four primary schools
The League of Universities Graduates
-Offers counseling, consultants
Upper hand Foundation
-Charity to the needy.
Banbean Cultural and Development Organization
-Offers construction and developments.
Zimbabwe Halawu Council
-Focus on Islamic dietry.
-Do charity works for the Muslims and non-Muslims.
Zimbabwe Muslim Association(ZIMMA)
-Offers rural education and rural humanitarian aid.
Islamic Education Trust
Zimbabwe Muslim Youth Organization (ZIMMYO)
-Offers youth empowerment
The Call TV
-Youth dialogue and empowerment
-Health Care facility
Islamic Women Organization
-Offers women empowerment
-humanitarian services offered
Analyse the contribution of Islam to social development in Zimbabwe
- Providing youth empowerment
- Drilling boreholes.
- Provide solar system
Examine types of the Humanitarian Services offered in Islam.
- Waqf done at a large scale
- Sadaq providing scholarship
- Kafar providing with clothes or food
Explain the Islamic Concept of Good Governance.
- a) Ashurah
-A chapter found in the Quran/Koran which contains the teachings on how leaders must behave.
b)A leader who fears and respect Allah and Prophet Muhammad.
c)The Caliph /Caphtor
-A King is selected by a Caliph /Caphtor.
- d) A visionary leader.
e)An Honesty leader.
- f) Accountability
- g) Transparency
- h) Justice and fairness
i)Not a tyrannical ruler
-Allah loveth not aggressors
j)A consultant leader.
- k) Effective and Efficient
- l) Reliable
Assess the challenges of Islamic perception on Governance
Candidates are required to list the weakness or problems associated with the Islamic Concept of Governance
- a) Democracy
-In some Islamic states, the leadership is usually a Monarchy.
-The way the Monarchy is selected is not democratic.
b)Sometimes the Monarchy has absolute powers which can prevent the participation of people or the freedom of choice or will.
d)The Mandinka State had a King who had absolute power.
e)Some leaders can be tyrannical rulers interested in wars e.g the Jihadists.
- f) Accountability and Transparency can also lack in the event that a leader is corrupt or misuse funds.
-Al-Amana represents good governance or faithful leadership.
Explore the meaning of Jihad
Jihad means to strive ,to struggle for the good cause of Allah. -Any struggle in life which is aimed at producing something good is a Jihad. Jihad is not only limited to war for there are various kinds of Jihad.
There are many types of Jihad for example:
a) Internal Jihad
-This is when one strives to know and do the will of Allah .
-To put into action all Allah’s teachings .
- b)Jihad strive to teach people about Islam.
- c)It involves enduring the persecution that one might face in the journey of preaching Islam.
- d)It also involves one being able to shun evil to avoid temptation and sinning.
- e)There is a Jihad of fighting against the fleshly desires.
- f)The Jihad of fighting evil spirits.
ii) Verbal Jihad
*In the verbal this is when one seeks justice through words and non-Violent actions.
*Muhammad encouraged Muslim to demand justice in the name of Allah.
*When he was asked ,”What kind of Jihad was better?” and he replied ,”A word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler”. This means that verbal jihad is supposed to be used in order to seek justice.
iii) Physical Jihad
- Also known as the military Jihad.
- This involves collective armed defense.
- It is a war and not a Holy War.
- Military Jihad is only permissible only if is in self defense.
- Jihad is seen when it is strengthening Islam.
- h)Protecting the freedom of the Muslims to practice their faith .
- i)When protecting the Muslim against oppression
- j)When punishing an enemy who breaks an oath.
- k)When putting right and wrong.
- l)Not permissible when it is to force people to convert to Islam.
- m)To conquer nations and colonise them.
- n)When one takes a territory for economic gains.
- o)It is not a way of settling disputes.
- p)Not allowed when one wants to demonstrate his power.
- q)It must not be launched by a religious leader.
- r)It is however misunderstood to be considered to be a Holy War and also a tool which promotes terrorism and has made Islamto be considered as a violent religion.
To what extent does Islam promote violence.
Physical military Jihad is permitted in the Quran as Muslim are allowed to enter into war in order to promote their rights and justice.
Effects of War
- Loss of lives
- Leads to Violence
- Loss of property
- Leads to terrorism
They are Jihadists who engage in suicide bomb attacks e.g Boko Haram, Mandinka State, Osama Bin Laden etc.
b)The idea of men being allowed to beat up women especially their wives.
- c) The punishments found in Islam are violent in nature.
- a) A religion that promotes peace.
b)Their greetings when they meet Al-Salam-Alei-Kum as they will be saying Allah himself is a God of peace.
Evaluate the importance of Jihad (Holy war)
- A tool to fight tyrannicalleadership
- Promotes justice
- An act of humanitarian service for they fight for the marginalized, disadvantaged, oppressed
- Jihad promotes respect for others beliefs.
- Promotes affirmative faith in Allah
- Dependents the Koran and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad.
- Guards against the manipulation of resources and environment for personal and selfish use by outsiders.
- Promotes a monotheistic worship
- Promotes equality.
Explain Conflict Transformation.
-This is an idea of trying to solve issues, disputes, conflicts using non-violent means.
-Islam has moved from a stage of employing violent means to solve their disputes.
-There are several methods or modes of conflict transformation has been adopted by Muslims for example:
*Settling in courts
Evaluate the meaning of Marriage in the Koran.
- Marriage is a union between two people.
- Marriage is a union that is ordained by Allah.
- It is the will of Allah for people to get married.
- Marriage in Islam should be between man and woman not homosexual marriages.
- Men are allowed to marry non-Muslim but women are not allowed to be married by a non-Muslim men.
- Men can marry up to 4 wives whereas a woman only 1man.
- Marriage in Islamshould be arranged by the families however one is not forced into the marriage.
- During the arranged marriage has been conducted ,they are not allowed to be seen in private together.
- Dating and courtship is not allowed.
- One can decide if he or she wants to accept the alliance or not.
- The engagement which involves the man paying the bride price called Mahar as a token of appreciation and not being bought.
- The women presents a gift to the men.
- Sexual intercourse is not allowed even after the engagement but only after their union together.
- The wedding ceremony called Walima which takes place the night after the couple has spent together.
- it is not allowed to be an expensive ceremony but a simple ceremony.
- Witnessesare required to be present during the ceremony.
- A man when he divorce his wife in Islam, he is not allowed to marry her again before the divorced wife gets married to another man and is divorced again
- Man have several responsibilities in marriage as they are required to maintain the wife by providing with financial and physical support.
Assess the importance of Marriage.
- Will of Allah
- Provide with moral and comfort.
- For sexual gratification.
- Reduces sexual morality sins
- A panancea to STls and AIDs.
- To create wealth
- For peace treaties.
Marriage is a center of oppression. Evaluate this view.
- Women are beaten for insubordination.
- Accompanied by a make companion wherever they want to go.
- Seek consent of divorce.
- Custody of children always goes to the husband.
- Maintain her maiden name .
Discuss the various theories surrounding the origins of prophecy in Israel
There are two broad theories surrounding the origins of prophecy in Ancient in Israel. Thus this is a contested debate among scholars. Some say prophecy originated as a borrowed phenomenon from the ANE whereby the other say prophecy in Israel was unique. Greatly the first borrowed theory was supported by stories and evidence of different legends taken from the ANE. Basing on the unique theory; it was subdivided into theories like evolutionary and traditional theories explaining the origins of prophecy supported by Biblical evidence. However it is important to note that these theories have got their weaknesses and strengths. Much of this will be outlined below.
Firstly, the origins of prophecy in Israel were greatly based on external sources. This is because there are features of prophecy that are similar to that of Israelite prophecy observed in the ANE. According to J.Pritchard; prophecy in Israel was borrowed. This is evidenced by the legend of Wen- Amon. A certain youth experienced ecstasy on arrival of Wen Amon to look for timber to built a Temple for his God. It is believed the Youth summoned the Prince of Mesopotamia to accept the request of Wen Amon in ecstasy state. Thus scholars concluded prophecy was borrowed in the ANE as seen in the youth who experienced ecstasy, forth tell as well as had prophetic authority similar to Israelite prophecy. However this theory is seen as biased. Basing on ecstasy which is seen as a feature of false prophecy not true prophecy.Thus discrediting the theory.
Moreover, Prophecy in Israel is as a borrowed phenomenon. This is supported by the features that were observed in the prophets of the ANE. These prophetic type persons are believed to have been called seers and man of God as given by Mari Texts which is also similar in Israelite prophecy. For instance, Samuel and Gad were called a seer whereas Elijah was referred to as the man of God. Thus basing on this prophecy was borrowed. However it is a religious blunder to ignore that although there are these features. From the ANE evidence, there is not enough data, bareground on the prophetic type persons which is different from Israel. Thus discredits this theory.
Furthermore, The evidence seen taken from the surrounding areas proved prophecy as a borrowed phenomenon. Taking into account the legend of Zimri- Lim. The King of Mesopotamia was given a message from a god by a seer in the form of an oracle in which the seer had experienced ecstasy. This oracle reviewed that the King was given the throne by the deity. Basing from this evidence of prophetic activity, these were also similar features of prophecy in Israel, that is ecstasy, the title seer, the oracles form and in content. Adding more, In Israel, prophets always confirmed that kings were given a throne by Yahweh similar and as done in the ANE. Therefore, this shows prophecy in Israel was borrowed from the ANE. However, this evidenced faces criticism. This is because from this legend, there is not enough information to explain the origins of prophecy, even so in Israel prophets advocated for monotheism which was different to the ANE. Thus discrediting the borrowed theory.
To supplement, the origins of prophecy had also been based on the unique theory. Supported by Biblical evidence and scholars. In this case prophecy was born in Israel and had no foreign origins. The evolutionary sub theory support this debate. It is believed the office of a prophet evolved from that of a seer as in 1 Samuel 9 vs 9. This thus had provided conclusions that prophecy was born in Israel with Samuel. Adding on, the emergence of a monarchy led to the rise of prophecy in the time of of Samuel. Therefore in this case, prophecy was unique in Israel. However it is not fair to ignore the fact that some prophets in Israel were also called prophets at the same time as seers. This gives scholars a base for debating on the different use of those titles between Samuel and Gad. Adding more, it has been whether Samuel originated with prophecy as his rise was also supported by the downfall of Eli priesthood. Thus discredits the theory.
Striking forward to the destination, the Uniqueness of prophecy in Israel is also based on the traditional theory. This is when basing this on the case of covenants.God communicated his covenants to the people of Israel through prophets. Prophets were messengers of Yahweh. Taking into consideration Moses, on Mount Sinai.
The characteristics of speaking to the people as well as passing the message of Yahweh and his commands is tangible evidence from the Bible that prophecy in Israel was unique. However this theory is strongly criticized. This is so because there are so many traditions in the Bible on covenants and most of them are not linked to prophecy. This thus creates a question why? Adding more, Mount Sinai is also called Kadesh and is said to be a cultic centre of Moses uncle in law. This also gives a debate on the origins of prophecy on this Mount as it is associated to many traditions. Thus discredit the unique theory.
In a nutshell, it is clear from the above discussion that the origins of prophecy in Israel is a contested terrain basing on that prophecy was greatly borrowed as well as the unique theory taking into account the above analysis. However, it is important to note, that theories have got their strength and weaknesses as the justice given to the above essay.
* Mark 76%*
Comment, a well balanced essay , fair introduction and a focused essay.
“Without Samuel, prophecy would never have begun; without Elijah, prophecy would have died.’ How far do you agree?
Samuel lived in a time of radical change, and was at the centre of it, so candidates might make some of the following judgments:
- the Samuel narrative begins with a note that the word of Yahweh was “rare in those days” (1 Samuel 3:1), so it was Samuel who revived it, so in that sense Samuel marked a new beginning for prophecy
- the circumstances of Samuel’s birth & call suggest that he had a particularly special prophetic mission, hence the ‘newness’ of his prophetic word.
- Samuel seems to have been involved in the development of the role of seer into that of the nabi: 1 Sam.9, in which case his developed prophetic status was perhaps given to him in order to help him cope with the affairs of Israel. Again, this marks a beginning in terms of a new type of prophecy.
- M. Cross sees the origins of prophecy in Israel in connection with the development of the monarchy. Since Samuel oversaw the anointing of the first two monarchs, then on this view Samuel would be the first prophet.
- Candidates are likely to argue that despite these points, the Bible suggests that prophecy began with other figures, primarily Moses, but also Abraham, for example.
- Elijah had archetypal importance, e.g. at Sinai in connection with election, covenant, salvation, law, revelation of God, etc.
- As with Samuel, Elijah revived contact with God and vision
- his dealings with Ahab and Jezebel, and the threat to Yahwism from worship of Baal & Asherim / the power of Yahweh manifested in the drought / the contest on Carmel and the destruction of the Baal prophets, establishing that Yahweh, and not Baal, is Lord of the heavens
- the transfer of his prophetic role to Elisha, continuing the prophetic control over kingship, thus seeking to guarantee the preservation of Yahweh worship and of Yahweh-prophets.
Some might argue that Samuel was as responsible as Elijah for preserving prophecy. The rise of the monarchy can be seen as a political necessity in response to the Philistine threat. Israel might have ceased to be a nation had the Philistines conquered their territories, in which case Yahweh worship would have ceased also, so Samuel’s actions ensured the survival of both Yahwism and Yahweh-prophets. A case is sometimes made for Elijah as the first ‘real’ prophet in connection with the threat from Jezebel and Baal-prophets. Credit all attempts at reasoning in connection with the question.