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Islam - Essay Example

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Sufism is also known as Islamic mysticism in the Muslim world. Sufism is a dimension of Islam. Sufis believe that Islamic knowledge should be learnt from teachers and not from books. There is a firm belief that knowledge has been passed from the prophet through teachers from generation to generation…
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Download file to see previous pages Sufis are not an ethnic or religious group. Sufism is a mystical movement in the Islamic world. The group was formed to counterweigh the increasing worldliness in the Muslim empire. The group was important in fighting rigid legalism in the orthodox religious leadership. Sufism searches for the direct mystical knowledge of divine love and knowledge. The group seeks to progress beyond mere intellectual knowledge into mystical experiences. Sufism has an important role in the formation of Muslim societies through educating masses and channeling their emotions. They are also important in that they have converted new regions into Islam. There are five pillar of Islam. The first pillar of Islam is the profession of faith. Muslims recite the creed as a way of bearing witness in the union of the faith. The creed is the profound statement that expresses a Muslim’s acceptance and absolute commitment to the Islamic faith. Prayer is the second pillar of Islam. The faith insists that the individual must have direct relationship with God. Salah can be performed alone. However, it is considered meritorious to perform Salah with a group. It is also permissible to pray at home and work. It is preferable to perform the Salah in a mosque. Zakat The third arm is almsgiving. The social responsibility is viewed as a divine duty in the Islamic service. Zakat prescribes the payment of the fixed proportions of the possessions of Muslims for the welfare of the less fortunate and the entire community (Ibrahim, 1997). The equivalent of 2.5 percent of a Muslim’s net worth should fall under this pillar in terms of commitment to the faith. This excludes family expenses and obligations. Sawm Fasting in the month of Ramadan is the fourth pillar of Islam. The fast is ordained in the Holy Quran. During the fast, Muslims seek a deeper perception of divine issues and personal worship. The fast is an act of self-control and heightened sensitivity to the needy. After the fast, Eid ul-Fitr festival is held to celebrate the end of the fast. Hajj This is the pilgrimage to Makkah. This is the most significant manifestation of Islamic faith. Hajj is a once in a lifetime duty which is considered to be the peak of the religious faith (Ibrahim, 1997). In performing Hajj, pilgrims follow the orders of the ritual from Prophet Muhammad as performed in the last pilgrimage. 3. Contrast contemporary Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Shia and Sunni are two branches in the Islamic faith. The differences between the groups is said to have stemmed from political struggles which emerged after the death of Prophet Muhammad. Shin is said to have originated from Egypt and Morocco while Sunnis are said to have emerged from Saudi Arabia. While the Shiites are about 120 million in number, Sunnis are estimated to have a population of about 1.2 billion. Shiites have Imams, Ayatollah ul uzma, Allama and Mujtahid as part of their clergy (BBC, 2009). The Sunnis have Mullahs and Caliphs only. Shiites believe that their teachings originated from the teachings of Prophet Muhammad and they hold that his son-in-law, Ali, became his successor. Unlike the Shiites, the Sunnis believe that that prophet Muhammad was succeeded by his close friend Abu Bakr. Shiites believe ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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