Islamic Religion Essay
Islamic Religion Essay
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If possible, interview a practicing Muslim individual or an imam, which can be used as an academic resource. If you would like to take pictures during your visit to this community or place of worship, be sure to obtain permission. Islamic Religion Essay
Write an essay of 1,000-1,250 words that analyzes the Five Pillars of Islam.
- Describe each of the five pillars and reflect on why they
are referred to as Pillars of Islam.
- Make a detailed analysis of how one of the pillars would
function in the daily life of a particular Muslim individual.
- Identify one ancient Christian community living or serving
in an Islamic majority context, such as Coptic, Marionite, Chaldean, Armenian,
etc. Compare and contrast how this ancient community practices similar rituals
as the Five Pillars of Islam.
Utilize the course textbook and a minimum of three academic resources, one of which can be your interview and should include topic materials and external resources.
I have also attached the lecture notes along with other credible links, and PDF’s that should be used as additional resources.
If it ask for a log in for textbook info this is the info – Username: Kmckenzie4 PW: Ashtonjm@13
Prepare this assignment on the GCU template that has been attached.
*Please follow the instructions listed for this assignment as this professor is a HARD grader* My last two assignments that I have submitted through Study pool I have had over 30 points taken off which is equivalent to a FAILING grade.
Slide 1 of 4
INT-244 Lecture 3
Islam considers its doctrine of God to be an absolute or radical monotheism. There are no distinctions whatsoever within God’s nature. Christian scholar Timothy Tennent (2002) explains that Islam’s rejection of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity is often based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what the Christian doctrine actually teaches. In other words, the Muslim is not rejecting the doctrine itself but a caricature of the doctrine. Among serious students of Islam and Christianity this is the simplest kind of disagreement to resolve. Nevertheless, one should never underestimate the power these kinds of misunderstandings have in shaping popular attitudes toward Islam or Christianity. (p. 154)
A study of the history of Islam will show that these misunderstandings were (and are) many. However, it is also the case that Christian misunderstanding of the Muslim experience is widespread as well. For example, while Islam is a diverse religion with many viewpoints and ways of living out one’s faith, most Muslims reject terrorism and are sincerely committed to submitting to God’s will.
Islam: The Parts of the Umma
Islam is the second largest and second fastest growing religion in the world with a total population of 1.4 billion in the first decade of the 21st century. Though there are a large number of Islamic groups or sects, contemporary Islam may be divided into four major groups. Shia Islam, approximately 12% of Muslims, asserts a line succession from Muhammad that emphasizes his son-in-law, Ali. Muhammad’s authority continues today through his direct successors, the imams, and their individual understanding of the way or the law (shariah). Sunni Islam, approximately67% of Muslims, asserts a lesser role for Ali in the line of succession from the Prophet than Shia Islam. Sunni Islam asserts that the individual interpretation of the law by scholars may vary and that the appropriate understanding of the law should be based on a consensus of Muslim scholars. Where the Qur’an does not offer explicit advice on a matter, the Muslim is to appeal to the behavior of the Prophet (Muhammad) as a guide. Sufi Islam is a mystical movement within Sunni Islam that recognizes personal spirit guides. Wahhabism is opposed to all change in Islam and seeks to restore Islam to the form that was practiced under the first four caliphs who followed Muhammad.
Islam: The Human Situation
Humans have a special spiritual status because Allah (the God) breathed his spirit or divine spark into humanity. The human purpose is to submit to Allah’s will, a purpose derived by reason, which can be suppressed by the willful rejection of Allah. Allah gave humanity dominion (power) over the earth and its creatures, and man’s purpose is to impose Allah’s moral order on the entire world.
Though humanity is capable of and free to discover Allah’s will, humanity can turn from Allah and his will. All humans are born with an inner disposition or conscience that predisposes humans to pursue virtue, knowledge, and beauty. Allah supplements this predisposition by the guidance contained in the Qur’an and through his prophets (messengers). Allah wants and enables humanity to submit willingly to his path. Allah is omniscient; he knows who will and will not submit. Thus, the tension between free will and predestination common to the Abrahamic religions is present in Islam.
In spite of Allah’s gracious mercy in providing the revelation of his will through sacred writings, humans stray from the clearly marked path. The cause of the problem is distraction by evil spirits (jinn). Good angels (e.g., Gabriel) and evil angels (e.g., Satan) do exist. However, humans are not, by nature, evil or corrupt, these spirits tempt humanity to worship the creation rather than the creator, even though each human’s conscience, provided by Allah, directs him or her along the Allah’s path. Jesus and Muhammad, as well as the other recognized prophets, model the behavior necessary to overcome these distractions.
Islam: Where Can We Go From Here?
A day of judgment will come, a day when every human will account for his or her actions. Perfection is not demanded, but the deeds of each person are recorded in a book, and those deeds will be weighed on a scale. If the evil outweighs the good, the individual is judged unworthy for heaven and vice versa. The scales are calibrated to the individual’s abilities and situation. Those who rejected the truth of Islam after being presented with its claims will be shown no mercy. There is a heaven and a hell with heaven generally depicted as a paradise. Judgment is made not only on the actions of the individual, but also on the actions of a society as well. The worthiness of societies to enter into the future house of Islam that will be formed on this Day of Judgment depends on how closely the society has followed shariah. The will of Allah is to create a global Muslim community or people (umma) either by spreading the truth of Islam by the teaching of the Qur’an or, some assert, through conversion by force.
Islam: Reality and the Holy
Islam teaches that the Allah’s design of the created order can be sufficiently discerned by human rational analysis to come to faith in Allah. This faith gives rise to a desire to submit to Allah’s will, and this transformation is achieved in an individual’s life by submission to Allah through observing the five pillars.These obligations or acts of service are mandatory for Muslims. The first pillar is bearing witness (shahadah) and is the daily recitation in Arabic of the creed: “There is no God, but Allah; and Muhammad is His prophet.” The second pillar is prayer recited five times a day (dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and evening). Muslims purify themselves before prayer by washing their hands, face, mouth, nose, teeth, and feet. The third pillar is almsgiving, effectively, a tax levied on all one’s assets at the end of the year. It is used for the community’s poor, the maintenance of the mosque, and other religious institutions. The fourth pillar is fasting during the daylight hours for all of the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. This fasting encompasses most earthly pleasures, including eating, smoking, drinking, and sexual intercourse. The fifth pillar is the hajj, the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, recreating Muhammad’s pilgrimage there in 632 BCE.
Allah alone created the worldfrom nothing and sustains it. The world is materially good, exists for the benefit of humanity, and can be understood by humanity. The intricate design of nature demonstrates Allah’s existence. As with the other Abrahamic religions, Islam asserts a linear view of time; it has a beginning and an end.
Allah’s finite creation cannot completely know or understand him, but humanity can know him as clearly as finite creatures can by clearing away worldly distractions. Allah makes himself known through the design of the world, the sacred writings, especially the Qur’an, and the lives of the prophets, especially Muhammad. The Qur’an contains the direct, unadulterated words of Allah; therefore, to hear them and recite them brings one to a greater understanding of Allah. With the exception of Muhammad, all of the prophets chosen by Allah to speak for him either distorted the truth or had the truth they expressed distorted by their followers (e.g., the development of the doctrine of the Trinity by Christians). Allah is the only God, and there is no division of God. Therefore, although Islam has a high regard for Jesus/Isa as a prophet of God, Islam rejects the Christian concepts of the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus. Islam is strictly monotheistic asserting that “There is no God but He, the Everlasting, the Self-subsisting, Eternal” (Surrah 2.255). Allah shows mercy and compassion primarily in his sending of messengers to proclaim the truths of Islam to the rest of humanity.
Islam is the second largest and second fastest growing religion in the world with a total population of approximately 1.4 billion. Humans reject Allah’s guidance due to distraction by lesser powers and worship them and the created order. The goal for humanity is paradise for the individual, and the goal for societies is the establishment of the house of Islam on earth. Individuals achieve this transformation in life by submission to Allah through observing the five pillars and for a society by the submission to shariah. Islam is strictly monotheistic.
Tennent, T. (2002). Christianity at the religious roundtable: Evangelicalism in conversation with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
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These are the only other resources that can be used
Textbook: Chapters 3 & 5