Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar: Crash Course World History #13

Hi there, I’m John Green, this is Crash
Course: World History and today we’re going to talk about Islam, which like Christianity
and Judaism grew up on the east coast of the Mediterranean but unlike Christianity and
Judaism is not terribly well understood in the West. For instance, you probably know
what this is and what this is, you probably don’t know what that is. Google it. Mr. Green Mr. Green why do you think people
know so little about Islamic history? Did you just ask an interesting non-annoying
question, me from the past? I think we don’t know about early Islamic history because we
don’t learn about it, me from the past, because we don’t learn about it, because
we’re taught that our history is the story of Christianity in Europe, when in fact our
history is the story of people on the planet, so let’s try to learn something today. [theme music] So in less than 200 years Islam went from
not existing to being the religious and political organizing principal of one of the largest
empires in the world. And that story begins in the 7th century CE
when the angel Gabriel appeared to Muhammad, a 40-ish guy who made his living as a caravan
trader and told him to begin reciting the word of God. Initially, this freaked Muhammad out, as,
you know, it would—but then his wife and a couple of other people encouraged him and
slowly he came to accept the mantle as prophet. A few things to know about the world Islam
entered: First, Muhammad’s society was intensely tribal. He was a member of the Quraysh tribe,
living in Mecca and tribal ties were extremely important. Also, at the time, the Arabian peninsula was
like this crazy religious melting pot. Like most tribal Arabs worshipped gods very similar to the
Mesopotamian gods you’ll remember from episode 3. And by the time of Muhammad, cult statutes
of many of those gods had been collected in his hometown of Mecca in this temple-like
structure called the Kaaba. But Arabia was also a home for monotheisms
like Christianity and Judaism, even a bit of Zoroastrianism. So the message that there
was only god wouldn’t have been like as surprising to Muhammad as it was, for instance,
to Abraham. Also, and this will become very important,
the northern part of Arabia was sandwiched between the Byzantine Empire and the Persian
Sassanian Empire—and you’ll remember, those guys were always fighting. They were
like snowboarders and skiers, or like the Westboro Baptist Church and everyone else. At its core, Islam is what we call a radical
reforming religion—just like Jesus and Moses sought to restore Abrahamic monotheism after
what they perceived as straying, so too did Muhammad. Muslims believe that God sent Muhammad as
the final prophet to bring people back to the one true religion, which involves the worship of,
and submission to, a single and all-powerful God. The Quran also acknowledges Abraham and Moses
and Jesus among others as prophets, but it’s very different from the Hebrew and Christian
bibles: For one thing it’s much less narrative,
but also its the written record of the revelations Muhammad
received—which means its not written from the point of view of people, it is seen as
the actual word of God. The Quran is a really broad-ranging text,
but it returns again and again to a couple themes. One is strict monotheism and the other
is the importance of taking care of those less fortunate than you. The Quran, says of
the good person spends his substance—however much he himself
may cherish it—upon his near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer,
and the beggars, and for the freeing of human beings from bondage. These revelations also radically increased
the rights of women and orphans, which was one of the reasons why Mohammad’s tribal
leaders weren’t that psyched about them. To talk more about Islamic faith and practice,
let’s go to the Thought Bubble. The five pillars of Islam are the basic acts
considered obligatory, at least by Sunni Muslims. First is the shahada or the profession of
the faith: There is no god but god and Muhammad is God’s
prophet, which is sometimes translated as “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad
is Allah’s prophet”, which tries to make Muslims sound other and ignores the fact that
the Arabic word for god—whether you are Christian or Jewish or Muslim—is Allah. Second, salat, or ritual prayer five times
a day—at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and late evening—which are obligatory unless
you haven’t hit puberty, are too sick, or are menstruating. Keep it PG, Thought Bubble. Third, sawm, the month-long fast during the
month of Ramadan, in which Muslims do not eat or drink or smoke cigarettes during daylight
hours. Since Ramadan is a lunar-calendar month, it
moves around the seasons, and obviously it’s most fun during the winter, when days are
shorter, and least fun during the summer, when days are both long and hot. Fourth is zakat, or almsgiving, in which non-poor
Muslims are required to give a percentage of their income to the poor, and lastly hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that
Muslims must try to fulfill at least once in their lives, provided they are healthy
and have enough money. And there’s also more to understanding Islam
than just knowing the Quran. Like Judaism with its Talmud, and Christianity with its
lives of saints and writings of Church fathers, Islam has supplementary sacred texts, chief
among which is the hadith, a collection of sayings and stories about the Prophet. Thanks Thought Bubble. Oh, it’s time for
the open letter? Magic. An Open Letter to the 72 Virgins. Oh, but
first let’s check what’s in the Secret Compartment. Huh, it’s Andre the Giant.
Did you know that Andre the Giant died a virgin- is a fact that I made up? Dear 72 Virgins, Hey there, it’s me, John Green. Did you
know that not all hadiths were created equal? Some sayings of the Prophet are really well
sourced. like for instance, a good friend or a relative heard the Prophet say something
and then it ended up as a hadith. But some hadiths are terribly sourced like,
not to be irreverent, but some of it is like middle school gossip; like Rachel told Rebekah
that her sister’s brother’s friend kissed Justin Bieber on the face. And the vast majority of Muslims don’t treat
terribly sourced hadiths as scripture. And the idea that you go to heaven and get
72 virgins is not in the Quran; it’s in a terribly sourced hadith so it is my great
regret to inform you, 72 Virgins, that in the eyes of almost all Muslims you do not
exist. Best wishes,
John Green One more thing about Islam: Like Christianity
and Judaism, it has a body of law. You might have heard of it – it’s called sharia. Although we tend to think of sharia as this
single set of laws that all Muslims follow, that’s ridiculous; there are numerous competing
interpretations of sharia, just as there are within any legal tradition. So people who embraced this worldview were
called Muslims, because they submitted to the will of God, and they became part of the
umma, or community of believers. This would be a good moment for an Uma Thurman
joke, but sadly she is no longer famous. I’m sorry if you’re watching this, Uma Thurman. Being part of the umma trumped all other ties,
including tribal ties, which got Muhammad into some trouble and brings us, at last,
back to history. So as Muhammad’s following in Mecca grew,
the umma aroused the suspicion of the most powerful tribe, the Quraysh. And it didn’t matter that Muhammad himself
was born into the Quraysh tribe because he wouldn’t shut up about how there was only
one God, which was really bad news to the Quraysh tribe because they managed the pilgrimage
trade in Mecca, and if all those gods were false, it would be a disaster economically. —although come to think of it, in the end the
Meccan pilgrimage business turned out just fine. So the Quraysh forced Muhammad and his followers
out of Mecca in 622 CE, and they headed to Yithrab, also known as Medina. This journey, also know as the hijra, is so
important that it marks year 0 in the Islamic calendar. In Medina, Muhammad severed the religion’s
ties to Judaism, turning the focus of prayer away from Jerusalem to Mecca. Also in Medina, the Islamic community started
to look a lot more like a small empire than like a church. Like, Jesus never had a country
to run. But Muhammad did almost from the beginning.
And in addition to being an important prophet, he was a good general and in 630, the Islamic
community took back Mecca. They destroyed the idols in the kabaa, and
soon Islam was as powerful a political force in the region as it was a religious one. And it’s because the political and religious
coexisted from the beginning, that there’s no separate tradition of civic and religious
law like there is in Christianity and Judaism. very different from Judaism and even from
Christianity—which you’ll remember debated very different from Judaism and even from
Christianity—which you’ll remember debated for generations whether to be inclusive. —and more importantly than separating Islam
from other monotheisms, that really separated Islam from the tribalism in Arabia. So then when Muhammad died in 632 CE, there
wasn’t a religious vacuum left behind: Muhammad was the final prophet, the revelation of the Quran would
continue to guide the umma throughout their lives. But the community did need a political leader,
a caliph. And the first caliph was Abu Bakr, Muhammad’s father-in-law, who was not without
his opponents: Many people wanted Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law,
to lead the community. And although he did become the fourth caliph, that initial disagreement — to
radically oversimplify because we only have ten minutes — began the divide between the
two of the major sects of Islam: Suuni and Shi’a. And even today, Sunnis Muslims believe Abu
Bakr was rightly elected the first caliph and Shi’a Muslims believe it should’ve
been Ali. To Sunnis, the first four caliphs—Abu Bakr,
Umar, Uthman, and Ali— are known as the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and many of the conservative
movements in the Islamic world today are all about trying to restore the Islamic world
to those glory days, which—like most glory days—were not unambiguously glorious. Abu Bakr stabilized the community after Muhammad’s
death, and began the process of recording the Quran in writing, And started the military campaigns against
the Byzantine and Sassanian Empires that within 116 years would allow the Islamic Empire to
go from this to this. His successor Umar was both an uncommonly
good general and a brilliant administrator but like so many other great men, he proved
terrible at avoiding assassination. Which led to the caliphate of Uthman, who
standardized the Quran and continued both his predecessor’s tradition of conquest
and his predecessor’s tradition of getting assassinated. Then Ali finally got his turn at caliph, but
his ascension was very controversial, and it ultimately led to a civil war. Which eventually led to the emergence of Uthman’s
tribe, the Umayyads, as the dynasty ruling over an ever-expanding Islamic Empire for
more than a hundred years. It’s common to hear that in these early
years Islam quote spread by the sword, and that’s partly true, unless you are — wait
for it — the Mongols. Actually, as usual, the truth is more complicated:Many
people, including the Mongols but also including lots of people in Central and East Asia, embraced
Islam without any military campaigns. And in fact, the Quran says that religion
must not be an act of compulsion, but this much is true: The early Islamic empire was
really good at winning wars. And situated as they were between two very
wealthy empires—the Byzantines and the Sassanians—there was plenty to fight for. First to fall was the Sassanians, the last
non-Muslim successor to the Persian Empire. They were relatively easy pickings because
they’d been fighting the Byzantines for like 300 years and were super tired. Also
they’d been recently struck by plague. Plague, man, I’m telling you; It’s like
the red tortoise shell of history. But in those early days they did pry away
some valuable territory like Egypt and the holy land and eventually they got into Spain. Where various Muslim dynasties would entrench
themselves until being expelled in 1492. But as a good as they were at making war,
it’s still tempting to chalk up the Arabs’ success to, you know, the will of God. And certainly a lot of the people they conquered
felt that way. Wars in this part of the world didn’t just pit people against each other,
they also pitted their gods against each other. So while the Islamic Empire didn’t require
its subjects to convert to Islam, their stunning successes certainly convinced a lot of people
that this monotheism thing was legit. Once again, John Green proving super hip to
the slang of today’s young’ns. Also, you paid lower taxes if you converted,
and just as taxes on cigarettes lead to people not wanting to smoke, taxes on worshiping your idols
lead to people not wanting to worship them anymore. So in a period of time that was, historically
speaking, both remarkably recent and remarkably short, a small group of people from an area
of the world with no natural resources managed to create one of the great empires of the
world and also one of its great religions. And that very fact may be why people of
Western European descent remain largely ignorant about this period. Not only were the Muslims great conquerors,
they spawned an explosion of trade and learning that lasted hundreds of years. They saved many of the classical texts that
form the basis of the “Western Canon” while Europe was ignoring them and they paved
the way for the Renaissance. While it’s important to remember that much
of the world between Spain and the Indus River wasn’t Arabized, most of it was so thoroughly
Islamized that these days we can’t think of the world we now call the Middle East without
thinking of it as Islamic. Perhaps the greatest testimony to Islam’s
power to organize peoples lives and their communities is that, in Egypt, 5 times a day millions of
people turn away from the Pyramids and toward Mecca. Egypt, birthplace to one of the longest continuous
cultures the world has ever known, is now the largest Arab country in the world. Next week we’ll talk about the Dark Ages.
Spoiler alert: they were darkest in the evening. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next
time. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan
Muller, our script supervisor is Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history
teacher Raoul Meyer and myself and our graphics team is Thought Bubble. Last week’s Phrase of the Week was “They
Might Be Giants”. If you want to guess this week’s Phrase of the Week or suggest future
ones you can do so in Comments where you can also ask questions about today’s video that
our team of historians will endeavor to answer. Thank you so much for watching and as they
say in my hometown, don’t forget to be awesome.

Comments 98

  • Praise Allah for Islam blessing 🙏

  • Very fair and neutral explaining about the overview basics of the religion and clearing up popular common misconceptions about Islam in Western Countries. This should be required for a basic understanding of the religion of Islam.

  • John 3:16 For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes
    in him will not perish but have eternal life.

  • Thank you for making such a understanding video. There is a lot of warm caring thoughts in this writing. It's unfortunate the augmented views that cone from ignorance.

  • The earliest Qurans are all different & incomplete, with alterations, erasures, insertions etc. The texts were shaped over time to enslave non-Arabs.

  • Focus On Islam Not On The Muslims

  • Nice how you just touch on Sharia. Talk about that a bit more….

  • Abu Bakr Peace be upon him, was not the father of prophet peace and blessing of god be upon him. Please get your information right.
    Peace be upon you.

  • free Tommy Robinson

  • Islam will be destroyed in the next few years.


  • So we're just going to ignore the fact that Muhammad married a 6 year old or the fact that he was a conquering warlord? Not to mention all the violent verses in the Qur'an

  • I wish more people actually learned and understood the religion the way you have and way you have broke this down without any bias

  • Islam is an offshoot of ancient Babylon Pagan worship

  • Really informative

  • Its simple… Islam is barbaric and stupid…

  • ☪️🇦🇪

  • Paediphile

  • wow.. so it is true they impose discriminatory tax to non islam, thanks for revealing the truth.

  • Respect for you John green, You have to know, my friend, that the Shiites are not Muslims, but they are infidels, worship graves, sanctify human beings, they do not believe in the hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad and deny his companions (Sahaba)

  • Calls christianity lies by saints.
    Quick change after that.
    What a Dbag

  • >Without Flamewar
    >Comments enabled

  • 6:57 "Yathrib" Not "Yithrab"

  • Thanks for being honest and trutful this is very good view of islam not media biased fakenews

  • 0:19 I felt very smug when John said I probably don't know what that symbol is, cause I've learned the Arabic script and understood what was written there.

  • Islam is cult.

  • 0:17 islam

  • Don't forget that Muhammad was a pedophile who married a 9 year old.

  • I am a Muslim from Iraq and I hate listening to an atheist

  • If you’re a Muslim like me don’t be surprised to see hate comments in the comment section.

  • Hello brother Green … i have watched a lot of videos on your channel and i really liked those , however , when i saw the title of this video , i thought this video would be biased (as europeons usually misinterpret islam as an extremist ideology and associate it with terrorism) but you described it in very careful way and focused on "real facts" . The way you explained , i now have more respect for you in my heart as it is the need of time for western world to understand what islam is about …. thanku team CrashCourse keep it up guys ….

  • I am muslim

  • Nice video( Subscribe to get knowledge about Islam and current plans of dajjal – Persian delight and Dawah Deen)

  • Im so Grateful that Allah guided me to this Beautiful Religion Alhumdolillah i am a Spanish Convert

  • Question to muslims:

    Muhammad was a violent illiterate war lord who murdered, kept sex slaves, tortured people and received clear self serving revelations.

    Why do you believe that he is a prophet of the loving merciful God?

    Honest question.

  • Wassup, I’m a Hindu but I love my Muslim brothers and sisters….

  • This was splendidly prepared and presented, thank you

  • This video is "partially" true.

    For example here 11:04 : he's starting this as if people reverted to Islam solely because they didn't want to pay their taxes when in reality the taxes they were paying is lower than the about they have to pay I'd they were Muslims ( the Zakat ). And even so , the taxes the non Muslims paid were rightfully so because they were fully protected by the country they are in ( the Islamic Caliphate )

  • The cognitive dissonance is strong in the top comments !

  • as'Salaamu alaikum..we need more people like this man..thank you for making this video!!

  • I am Roman Catholic and I want to explore other religions.

  • Muhammad, is bassed on a stolen history of Alexander the Great.

  • How can you say Europeans are Ignorant about Islam? I am pretty sure a lot of European countries are being invaded by a lot of Muslims. You could say European country’s are being rapped by Muslims (pun indeed intended) so I’d also say Europeans know more than they want to about the Islamic faith

  • لَأّ أّلَهِ أّلَأّ أّلَلَهِ مَحٌمَدِ رَّسوِأّلَ أّلَلَهِ

  • @Islam_Mohammad2
    Chanel about Islam

  • @Islam_Mohammad2

  • Islam, christian, Judaism is very similar. hazrat Isa alaihi oasallam(Christ) is our prophet. He came to the earth before Muhammad sallallahu alaihi oasallam.
    Bible is a book for Isa(as). and Quran is for Muhammad by Allah

  • Ya gotta admit tho, Christian Rock is lit 🤣

  • I want to hear about Hinduism and Buddhism, two of the oldest religions in the world. Yes, sometimes, religions in the past have proven to take a bad turn, but none worse than Islam. Islam as destroyed the most families by far, and many don’t want to stop. these are God’s families, created by God, and given their religions by God. For some reason, Muslim think someone want to hear about Islam. Nobody in their right mind wants to hear about Islam. Why don’t you tell me more about God. That’s what I want to hear about. That is what we should all want to hear about, not about Islam. STOP IT with the Islam talk. Who cares about Islam. Talk about God.

  • When are the Muslims going home?

  • Well put together vid about Islam, John Green & Team. Well done! 🙂👍🏻💙

  • 4:01 you can't smoke though in islam so like.. boii what chu talkin 'bout?

  • Who is from Egypt here?

  • Can you please speak little bit slower so the people dont have english first language can also understand many thanks.

  • Islam:
    A Middle Eastern religion that has it's Deity creating infidels with the same hand as they; declare infidels beneath their expectations – which they destroy with great prejudice because they are smarter than their Deity and would not make such a mistake.

  • Muslim apologist.

  • Stop calling him Mohammad it’s prophet Mohammad have some respect

  • We’re the exceptions 😂😂😂

  • There 're no 5 pillars in the Quran. So please study before talk.

  • I am muslim and islam is very understood because we read the quran but you dont

  • and Mohamad was the last mesenger

  • they were abul to take back meca because god was on there side

  • when I saw this video as a muslim I was scared that you would be negative about islam.

  • I'm asking, my mom said there are more than hundred of nabis and i'm asking if its true or she's testing me

  • dude ask yourself some more questions dude some summer homeworks require to write thought provoking questions from your video.

  • Muhammad is gay

    I'm just joking but you never know, he could of been, or bi even.

  • Watching this on an LG OLED, your jumper has 1 single shade of black, cant even see the sleeve line. Oh but OLEDs are awesome, such incredible black detail

  • Christ taught his Disciples how to pray in secret because of the Fallen angels who try to incept prayers and Christ told them in the closet with the doors closed and ask of Our Heavenly Father in secret

  • Our Heavenly Father called them false gods of fallen angels

  • After the war in Heavenly Places and the devil wings got clipped Our Heavenly Father ask him where he was going and he said to and fro and laid his seeds and Our Heavenly Father bruised the heels of the devil seeds and he crossed breeded to change his gene pool

  • Very poorly done, obviously pro-Islam biaised. The virgins (not necessarily 72) are talked about in the Quran multiple times, also "There is no compulsion in religion" is an abbrogated verse of the Quran, meaning it's no longer followed as a word of God as contradicting verses were revealed afterwards, and that is why muslims waged wars and, unlike what you said, made people convert to Islam by giving them a choice between converting or dying (or paying another tax if they were christians/jews).

  • Didnt one of these caliphs say he would wash the world in the blood of those who refused islam?

  • If religious teachers adopt this approach to religion, it would make for fascinating and useful learning. Rather than using scare mongering and doom to teach about religion.

  • Christ taught his Disciples how to pray in secret because of the Fallen angels who try to incept prayers and Christ told them in the closet with the doors closed and ask of Our Heavenly Father in secret

  • Our Heavenly Father called them false gods of fallen angels

  • Why people don't want to accept islam as the only true religion:
    1. because of terrorists
    2. because they think it's a traditional middle eastern religion
    3. they don't want to give charity to the poor, pray or fast even tho it's also good for health
    4. they wanna believe that they can live a perfect life on this world and go to heaven without any "work" for it
    5. simply atheist

  • I don't trust Islam , it go's against humanity

  • Mohamed was the most notorious criminal the world has ever known. His followers are as cruel as their leader.


  • The five pillar is from Islam so the are 2 auther: eman(6) and ehsan(2) and the five pillar here is Islam.

  • About the sawm part, also no scoodily pooping.

  • Every mooooslim who refuses to denounce islam should be executed. Sounds unreasonable? Think about it….

  • Bs the Arabs raped woman and children in front of fathers and husbands. They forced Islam to whom they conquered. If they didn’t follow Islam, they’d be punished with death.

  • The archangel Gabriel and subliminal Santa wanted to be worship as gods and stole 7 stars from my head and I still have 3 stars upon my head.

  • The new movie should be called subliminal Santa Revelation Chapters 1 14 Old Testament and based on a true story

  • The movie should include his bloodyline and his 7 headed pet dragon breathe of fire that will eventually walk this Earth unleashed

  • Could you do a shia Muslim video

  • this guys know all fact . he is hardworking and unbiosed historian

  • 🕋🕋🕋🕋🕋🕋 kevin the cube fortniet

  • Islam is evil .only Satan can deal with Islam as our God don't care about us .o Satan's please come to earth and destroy islam

  • You forgot the part where they kill all infidels

  • Jesus didn't have a country, but He has a kingdom. Unliked and unsubscribed

  • What is this a-hole trying to say? We all know a-rabs and muzzies are the WORST, VILE, DISGUSTING creatures on the planet.

  • In sha Allah ,Masha Allah we Muslims will bring Sharia law all over the world ,if you try to stop it we will kill you.that is my religious freedom.

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