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The Religion Of Islam Essay

2078 words - 8 pages

The Religion of IslamIntroductionIslam was founded by the prophet Muhammad around 622 A.D. when the migration of Muslims from Mecca to Medina occurred. This event marked the change from persecution to appreciation of the prophets message and was the beginning of the development of one of the largest religions in the world (Fisher, 2003). The religion is monotheistic as its followers believe in a single God. The original language of the religion is Arabic and the word Islam in Arabic means peace or submission (Fisher, 2003). A follower of Islam is called a Muslim, which in Arabic means to a person whom submits himself or herself to the will of God (MMF, 2007). Islam in still growing very quickly and is expected to become the most popular religion in the world. That said, the religion is still vastly misunderstood. In the following paragraphs I will define the Five Pillars of Islam and compare the Islamic religion to Christianity in an attempt to develop a better understanding of this vastly misunderstood religion.Five Pillars of IslamUnder the Divine Law, otherwise known as Shari'ah, the Five Pillars of Islam are identified (Fisher, 2003). These are the corner stones and core beliefs of the Islamic faith as told by the Prophet Muhammad and are accepted and followed by all Muslims. The Five Pillars of Islam can be described as Islam's most basic beliefs and practices. Even though these five Pillars are under the religion of Islam, variations exist culturally and historically within the Islamic community of believers. The following is an identification of each of the five pillars and how it relates to the lives of the people who obey them.The first of these pillars is the Shahadah, which expresses that only one god (Allah) exists and that they must recognize Muhammad as his messenger (Fisher, 2003). Allah is the God of Islam. The word Allah was used by Muhammad when he was referring to God, but this God is the same God as the Hebrews and the Christians. Muslims believe that God is unique, omniscient, everlasting, omnipresent, living and eternal. Everything occurs and exists because of God. In the Islamic religion God is the creator of the earth, the elements, the angels, of men and even the mysterious creatures known as the jinn, which is described as a duplicate of man who has evil inside it. The acceptance of the body of duties and obligations is required in order to believe in one God and accept his word as revealed to Muhammad. Since one must individually regulate the relationship with God and his fellow men, these duties are societal, devotional, spiritual and legal (Saleh, n.d.). These duties are the five pillars of Islam, the first of which is the Shahadah.The second of the five pillars is the Salat, or the prayer. Prayer, according to the Koran, is a mandatory duty that must be done at appointed hours. These hours are not specified in the Koran, but they are practiced about five times daily. The number of prayers a day was found to be a sort...

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