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MARIST REST 309 - Islam Forums

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Five Pillars of Islam The Five Pillars of Islam are the five basic rules in Islam that all Muslims should follow. 1) Shahada- (the Testimony) It simply states that There is no God but God (Allah)and Muhammed is his prophet. 2) Zakat (giving of alms) It is said that Muslims believe that they are meant to share their wealth with those less fortunate in their community of believers. 3) Salat (daily prayers) Muslims are expected to pray five times a day. They can pray anywhere; however, they are meant to pray in the direction of Mecca. Their prayers help Muslims communicate and worship Allah. 4) Saum (fasting during the month of Ramadan) During the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, Muslims are expected to fast from dawn to dusk. It is meant to seek nearness to Allah. 5) Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca) All Muslims who are able are required to make the pilgrimage to Mecca and the surrounding holy sites at least once in their lives. Pilgrimage focuses on visiting the Kaaba which is the building in the middle of the mosque at Mecca. Carrying out the Five Pillars demonstrates that the Muslim is putting their faith first, and not just trying to fit it in around their secular lives. I wanted to compare the Five Pillars of Islam to the Christian beliefs that are written and what I was taught growing up. Islam is similar to Chrisitanity in that they both believe there is only one God and he is the creator of the universe. For Christians and Muslims, the afterlife in heaven or hell is a strong part of their faith as well as they both believe in a Last Judgement. Muslims also believe it is important to share what they have with the poor and needy and on the other hand, Jesus taught us that those who help the needy are also serving him. We do this to honor God. While Muslims believe they should pray to Allah five times a day, in the direction of Mecca, and recite from the Quran, Christian beliefs are not as “strict” because Jesus taught his followers to think of God as their heavenly Father. As Christians, we do not need to pray in a specific direction, or a certain amount of times or even recite specific passages. In relation to pilgrimage, Muslims believe in taking a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once while chrisitans are not required to take a pilgrimage to please God. Modesty in Men & Women When you read the two passages together you get a feeling that they believe men are superior to women and have authority over them. It is saying that they cant show off their beauty except what is permitted by the law and they cant show it to anyone other than who is in their household.Men and women (who aren’t married to each other) must abstain from visual indulgence and looking at each other in a lustful manner. People must not look at one another for sexual pleasure. Women must not reveal their hidden adornments to men. Women are obligated to wear their veil or headscarf in such a manner that their ears, earrings, their neck and the surrounding area, and their breasts are completely covered. As well as, in order to honor public modesty and counteract moral corruption, women are advised to tread softly so the sounds of their steps do not cause corruption in men. Many people must think this is a very strict set of rules to follow for women vs men. When it comes to the Qu'ran, it is a part of their religion they must follow. Dedication in Islam I am kind of on the fence with this. There are always the “do’s” and “don'ts” to every Religion. I know there are a few more set rules that make the Islamic Religion seem so strict. I think a better word for it would be that Islam disciplines its followers. But to sum it up they: believe in one God, pray. 5 times a day, fast in Ramadan, give charity, and do Hajj if they can afford and are able. Yes Muslims should also dress modestly, but the definition of modestly will change from time to time and from place to place. All other rules are either basic human ethics (don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t cheat) or are to be interpreted on the circumstances you find yourself in. Just think of it as if a set of rules don't exist then every person will have or follow his own whims & priority which may not be convenient for anyone. Is Islam a religion of war or peace? I found a section in the book that said “there has been much public debate over whether Islam is a peaceful or a warlike religion” and I was particularly interested by this. From the origins of Islam in the seventh century until the beginning of the 20th, Islam was predominantly viewed as a religion of violence compared with Christianity, the religion of “peace.” I believe that all religions have troubling histories of bloodshed. In saying that Islam is not a religion of peace, we as a people are not saying that all Muslims are violent people, or even that the majority are such. We are referring to the teaching and history of the religion, not to the behaviour of the majority of people. Islam, like Christianity, has a capacity for violence and a capacity for peace, and neither can really be categorized into peaceful or violent. Each of these religions contains the theological conditions for peace as well as violence in their doctrine of God. In both traditions, God is identified with goodness, mercy and compassion. But God is also a being who at times demands obedience to his commands, even when thesesuspend ethical obligations to the good and entail acts that are soemwhat evil. For example, the “father” of both traditions is Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice his own son in obedience to God’s commands. A conclusion to be drawn from the theology of both Christianity and Islam, and from the way they have acted throughout history, is that both peace and violence can be true and authentic expressions of these religions. And in the modern world, violence is as much of a problem within religions as between them. So overall, no religion is inherently violent and no religion is inherently peaceful. Religion, any religion, is a matter of interpretation, and it is often in that interpretation that we see either beauty or ugliness (for a lack of a better word) or, more often, if we are mature enough to think nuanced thoughts, there is something in between. All religions have the capacity to inspire not only the best of human behavior but sometimes also the


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