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The Religion Of Islam Essay

1180 words - 5 pages

The religion of IslamIslam has a large following around the world including communities in the United States, although this is true Islam is foreign to most Americans who are familiar with Christianity or Judaism. Because most Americans know little or about Islam, they have many misconceptions about Muslim beliefs and their rituals. The negative image many people in the United States and Europe haveof Islam and the Muslim world has a long history.Islam is a one God religion, based on the belief in one God. As it is with Christianity.The term Islam practically means, "surrender".Within Islam the believer (called a Muslim) use the Arabic word for God, Allah,Allah is viewed as the sole God----creator, sustained, and restorer of the world. The will ofAllah, to which man must submit, is made known through what the Muslim people call the sacred scriptures, the Qur'an (Koran). They believe that Allah revealed the Qur'an to his messenger, Muhammad. According to Islamic beliefs, Muhammad is the last of a series of prophets(Including Adam, Noah, Jesus, and many others that have claimed to be profits). Muhammad had instruct a sense of brotherhood and a bond of faith among his followers. The Prophet Muhammad fledTo Medina in AD 622, it was during this time that his preaching was accepted andthe community-state of Islam emerged. During this early period, Islam acquiredits characteristics as a religion uniting within itself. Islam also seeks to regulate not only theIndividual's relationship to God (through his conscience) but human relationshipin a social setting as well. Thus, there is not only an Islamic religiousinstitution but also an Islamic law, state, and other institutions governingsociety.During the earliest decades after the death of Mohammed, certainbasic features of the religion-social organisations of Islam were singled out.The features are to serve as anchoring points of the community's life andfashioning as the "Pillars of Islam." There are five pillars. To these five,the Khawarij sect added a sixth pillar, the jihad, which, however, was notaccepted by the general community. Jihad means "holy war" or "holy struggle".The first pillar is the profession of faith which states, "There is no god butGod; Muhammad is the prophet of God." The profession must be recited at leastonce in one's lifetime, aloud, correctly, and purposively, with an understandingof its meaning. The second pillar consistsof five daily congregational prayers, which may, however be offered individuallyif one is unable to go to the mosque. The first prayer is performed in themorning before sunrise. The second prayer is performed just after noon, thethird in the later afternoon, the fourth immediately after sunset, and the fifthbefore retiring to bed. However, only three prayers are mentioned in theQur'an: morning, evening, and middle prayer in the afternoon. In strictdoctrine, the five daily prayers cannot be waived even for the sick, who maypray in bed and, if necessary lying...

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