A Look Into Islam Including Interviews With Local Muslims

4855 words - 19 pages

Final AssignmentWorld Religions ReportReligions of the WorldAxia College of University of PhoenixIslam is the youngest of the three Judaic religions. Its members traditionally hail from the deserts surrounding the ancient city of Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. For over 1500 years, these followers of the prophet Muhammad have practiced their faith in reverence for the one god and in the tradition set by their founder. Although fractured into several sects over the centuries, the basic tenements, the Five Pillars of Islam have remained the backbone of this religion.Because I wanted to learn more about a faith that I have very little familiarity with, I went to a neighboring town to visit Masjid Al-Islam, an Islamic Mosque in Gastonia, NC. When I arrived, I was welcomed by a Muslim named Abdul Mangel. As I shook his hand, I said to him “Assalamu Alakum Wa Rahmatulah Wa Barakatuh.” Which means peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you from Allah. Abdul happily greeted me and explained to me that such a greeting was generally only given from one Muslim to another and that non-Muslims were not expected to give or return greetings. If I wished to do so, a simple “Assalamu Alakum,” meaning peace be upon you, would suffice.After thanking him and giving him a more appropriate greeting, I explained to him that I was there to witness their prayer service and interview some of the Muslims in attendance. Abdul offered to show me around and was willing to answer any questions I had. As I toured the mosque prior to their prayer service, Abdul explained to me the different traditions and beliefs of the Muslim faith.“First of all, to be Muslim, you have to adhere to the five pillars of Islam. First, and most important, is iman, which is the belief is Allah, and that he is the one God along with the finality of the prophet Muhammad. This is important because as God said to Moses I am the one God and thou shalt have no god before me (Mangel, 2009).”“The second pillar is salah, the establishment daily prayer. We do this because it is only through prayer that we can communicate with Allah. We show our obedience and praise to him this way. You will notice that our prayer room is oriented so that when we pray, we face east by southeast. This is because we must face Mecca when we pray. This is a direct path to Mecca in the shortest line. If we were in Japan, we would face west (Mangel, 2009).”“Next, you must adhere to sadaqah, which is Charity. We practice zakah because everything that we have, that we see, belongs to Allah. When we give charitably, we give roughly 2½% of our savings. For Muslims, charity begins with the family and spreads outward. If your brother is having trouble making ends meet, you give to him to help him, then your neighbor, then your community and so forth (Mangel, 2009).”“Next we practice sawm. Sawm is the same as fasting. This is how we observe the month of Ramada’n. We spend the entire...

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