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Muslims and Islam - Research Paper Example

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Muslims and Islam The religion of Islam, prevalently observed in the Middle East, but also throughout regions of Asia and Africa is the religion of the followers of Allah, or the Muslims…
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Download file to see previous pages It was once the religion of a sophisticated and powerful world empire, but is today the religion of some of the least dynamic parts of the world, often found in countries that have deliberately avoided integration into an increasingly globalized world.' Muslims finds their basic teachings explained through the Holy Scripture, The Qur’an, revealed to the final prophet of God, Muhammad, over a period of forty years. However Muslims believe that Islam was revealed to many generations and prophets before this as well, and consider it being the true religion of many prophets that are mentioned in other religions as well, such as Moses, Abraham and Jesus. The basic fundamentals of Islam lie on five basic tenants, or the Five Pillars of Islam as they are referred to. These are Shahada, or testament, Salat, or Prayer, Sawm, or Fasting, Zakat, or Alms and Hajj, or holy pilgrimage. The first pillar of Islam is Shahada. Shahada is to bear witness or testify to the fact that Allah is the One and the only entity worthy of worship as God, and furthermore, that Muhammad is his last prophet. This is the first and fundamental pillar, and is considered the most important one, as all other beliefs arise from this basic belief, that is the oneness of Allah. The Muslims also testify to Muhammad as being the last prophet of Allah so as to rule out the possibility of any future claims to prophet-hood and thereby eliminating any further amendments to the religion. Prayer is the second Pillar of Islam and is fairly straightforward: prayer at five designated times a day, in a designated manner, to Allah. Its purpose is to instill in the believer a sense of scheduled division of time and to keep with the believer a constant reminder of Allah and their beliefs throughout the day. Sawm, or fasting, is observed in the holy month of Ramadan (The ninth month of the Islamic Calender) and involves fasting until sunset for the month, so as to instill patience and perseverance into the Muslim observing the fast, as well as have them understand how those less fortunate than them live every day of the year, without food or water. It is to instill in the believer a sense of patience and steadfastness, through sacrifice for Allah. The fourth pillar of Islam is Zakat, the practice of giving a designated amount of alms to the poor, which is based on a fixed percentage on the possessions of the believer. It is so the rich can help the less privileged, as well as instilling in them a sense of generosity and teaching the positive use of money rather than encouraging it to be hoarded or kept without being given away to others. Finally, the last pillar of Islam is Hajj, or pilgrimage to the sacred land of Mecca, which every able Muslim must complete at least once in their lifetime, so as to show their devotion to their Lord and offer a pilgrimage to the place that is considered the root of their religion. Nonetheless, even though these are the five most basic and important points of belief, the fundamental 'pillars' on which the religion of Islam stands, one can say that this is what basically gives a base to the religion. In actuality, there are many other beliefs and doctrines that are also considered with fundamental importance. For example, Muslims place significant importance on the lessons taught by Muhammad, almost as much importance as they place on the words of the Qur'an, which they believe to have come from Allah directly through an angel, revealed to Muhammad. The lessons taught ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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