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Understanding Islam Paper

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Islam is a world religion and Muslims are the people who practice it. All Muslims have the same essential beliefs and are shared with values and God approach centered to the world. Many different cultures and people practice Islam. The prime source of Muslims’ faith and practice is the Qur’an, and the wordings that were transcribed fourteen years ago have not been changed. The basis of Muslim’s life is the five pillars. These five pillars are: belief that there is only one God and that Muhammad is his last messenger and prophet which is called “the confession”, perform prayers five times each day facing Mecca called “Salat”, fasting is required in the month of Ramadhan from sun-up to sundown, a percentage of earnings is given to the poor for charity which is called Almsgiving, and each Muslim is required to pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca which is the holy city at least once in a lifetime if the means are affordable. Depending on a person’s country of origin or birth, the Islamic dress may vary.

The way they should dress, however, should be dignified and modest and for both men and women and the body should not be emphasized. A sign of respect to the mention of Muhammad is ‘Peace be upon him’ (Molloy, 2013, Chapter 10). The birthplace of Islam is the Arabian Peninsula which is one of the driest and hottest regions in the world which mostly consist of deserts. This region was populated by the nomadic race which were considered descendants of Noah’s third son Shem. Shem’s people were called Semites who eventually migrated into the Fertile Crescent and moved to existing civilizations. The Arabian Peninsula became the place of refuge for people seeking escape from the struggle between the Christian Byzantine kingdom of the Roman Empire which resided in the Northwest and controlled the Mediterranean Sea, lands of Palestine, and North Africa against the Zoroastrian Persian kingdom in the Northeast.

Once a year in the city of Mecca the tribes and cities of Arabia would join together during an event known as the Hajj. In Mecca, the large shaped cube building known as the Kaba housed 360 idols from all the tribes of Arabia. This five day event religious event started at the Kaba and would then move to other shrines outside of Mecca. The Hajj tradition from the Arabs of the peninsula remembered this going back to hundreds of years. During this time Mohammed Ibn was born when he was 25 he married a wealthy 40 year old woman who owned trading caravans. While traveling with his wife he interacted with Arabs known as the Hanefites. The Hanefites were a different set of Arabs who rejected idol worship and searched for the true religion. They eventually abandoned their idols and eventually retreated to the caves of Mecca for prayer and meditation. At age 40 Mohammed has his first vision in the year of 610 A.D and rejected the worship of idols in Mecca by proclaiming Allah as the one true God.

This brought on the creation of Islam (“Truthnet”, n.d.). The Qur’an is to Islam the “Word of God”. It consist of 4/5 of the length of the New Testament. Muslims believe the angel Gabriel was sent by Allah to Mohammed to reveal his word and this identical book is in Heaven. The Qur’an is sectioned into 114 chapters of Surahs which are revelations said to be given to Mohammed during his “Prophethood” of 23 years from 610 AD to 632 AD The Five Pillars of Faith was described in the beginning of my paper but the importance of these Pillars is to a Muslim believer requirement that everyone must observe (“Truthnet”, n.d.). The ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar is named Ramadan. It is important due to their culture where Muslims all across the world observe Ramadan by fasting from dawn to sunset. They perform nightly prayers and also daily obligatory prayers.

They conclude the end of fasting each day by having dinner with family and friends (Brutell, 2013). The similarities of the Shiite, Sunni, and Sufi Islam are that they all believe in Allah and Mohammed. The difference between the two of them which are Shiite and Sunni is over the conceptions of the caliphate. Shiite Islam believe in caliph as a spiritual leader and feel that only his decedents from Muhammad’s immediate family should have the political power over Islam whereas Sunni Islam believe in authoritative caliphs who were taught to rule in God’s name and doesn’t have to come from blood relation to Muhammad. The Sufi Islam is entirely different from both due to their use of Mysticism (Molloy,
2013, Chapter 10).

Brutell, R. (2013). Detroit interfaith council. Retrieved from http://www.detroitinterfaithcouncil.com/question-of-the-week/2013/7/2/what-is-ramadan- and-why-is-it-important-in-the-muslim-faith

Molloy, M. (2013). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (6th ed.). Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database. Truthnet. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.truthnet.org/islam/whatisislam.html

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