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Rel 134 - Understanding Islam

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Understanding Islam

April Cage

REL/134

December 12, 2015

Michael Rogers

Understanding Islam

        Islam is a monotheistic religion developed in the Middle East in the 7th century C.E.  Islam mean “surrender” or submission to the will of Allah ("history of Islam - ReligionFacts," n.d.). Islam was founded on the teachings of Prophet Mohammad who is considered as the Prophet who was told about the way of life by God himself. The teachings by Allah to the prophet are in the book Qur’an which is the most sacred book of Islam. According to Islam, there is only God and there is no other equal to him. Islam has two divisions namely the Sunni’s and the Shia’s. Prophet Mohammad was known to be a resident of Polytheistic Arabia which worshipped many deities but sooner Islam replaced them all. Mecca, is known to be the holy place for Islam followers.

Qur’an is considered as the most sacred book for Islam followers around the world. Qur’an contains the teachings of the Allah through Prophet Mohammad. It is considered as a book which provides human beings with the spiritual and intellectual nourishment a person craves in his/her life.  The Muslim people consider the word of Qur’an as irrefutable. The prophet himself had no role in the creation of Qur’an and thus is straight from the god. It is considered to be the only book which didn’t changed throughout the time.

The five pillars are Creed. Prayer, Giving Alms or Zakat, Fasting and Pilgrimage to Mecca ("Islam Guide: What Are the Five Pillars of Islam?," n.d.). The first pillar is known as creed or testimony of faith. Islam followers are required to submit to only one god. They cannot pray or bow down to god from other religions. The second pillar is prayer. Every Muslim is required to pray five times a day at regular intervals. The third pillar states that every Islamic follower needs to give zakat or support poor people financially. They need to take a portion of their income and give it to the needy. The fourth pillar requires the followers to fast for a complete month known as the Ramadan to show solidarity with the people who don’t get food. The fifth pillar states that once in a lifetime a Muslim must make the pilgrimage to Mecca; the holy site for Muslims.

Ramadan is considered to be the most auspicious month for Muslims. It is the month of fasting for Islamic followers to show solidarity with those people who don’t get food. It is also considered as a month for introspection. In this month, Muslims do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset ("Ramadan - Holidays - HISTORY.com," n.d.). This is considered to be the most important month for a Muslim and at the end of this period they have a three day festival known as Id-al Fitr. Muslims are forbidden to have any impure thoughts or show bad behavior this month. They are required to break their fast with family members and show solidarity with each other. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. Some believe that Ramadan is a way to cleanse the soul and have empathy for those who are hungry and less fortunate. Muslims visit Mosques frequently in this period.

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