Islam is a monotheistic religion and spiritual belief based upon revelations established forth by the once then Prophet of 7th century Arabia, Muhammad. These revelations which were later chronicled in the Qur’an (Koran), Islam’s sacred writings. The Arabic word ‘Islam’ conveys “entry,” mirroring the spiritual beliefs and their central precept of ones acceptance toward the will of God. Islam antedates to the edge of Adam where its message was then tied to man by God’s Prophets and Messengers composed of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad himself. (Abu Al-‘Ala Maududi, 1984). Islam’s message has actually been recovered and executed in the last phase of the spiritual evolution by God’s last Prophet and Messenger Muhammad. The word Allah in the Arabic language implies God, or much more accurately “The One and Only Eternal God”, Creator of the Universe, Lord of all lords, King of all masters, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. The world Allah has also been sighted with the meaning of God and is used likewise by Arabic speaking Jews and Christians throughout history (Scenario, 2013). Difference between Islam and Muslim
Almost one quarter of the world’s populace follows the faith that was disclosed to the Prophet Mohammed and consequently translated in to the Quran. Consequently, even astonishingly basic inquiries, such as the difference between Islam and Muslim, develop as these same Westerners are beginning to discover their progressively globalized world in retrospect. Definition of Islam and Muslim
When suitable vowel dialects are added the word Islam as it appears. From this comes Islam’s typical meaning of the phrasing “surrender to God himself.”
Muslim additionally has its roots in the Islam verb. It is a participle of the verb and describes an individual who takes part in the act of entry, approval, or surrender. A Muslim is a person who submits to the will of God, or a true follower of Islam (“Difference between Islam and Muslim,” 2012). Marriage
Marriage is generally seen both as a civil contract in Islam in addition to a consistently public and wondrous habit. Passages from the Quran are checked out, and there is typically a feast following the simple event. Both men and women can initiate a separation, and there is likewise a system for annulling the marriage. Separation and annulment do not occur at the exact same frequency as they do in western societies (Zuberi, 2013). Death
Death is the most vital occasion in a person’s road to God, and the dying person is bordered and assisted by family members and friends. Petitions and other flows from the Quran are reviewed for the perishing person with repents of sins and, when feasible, perform rituals of passage (Dodge, 2003). When death appears near, household participants recite surah 36 from the Quran, which describes God’s raising of the dead on the Day of Judgment. The body of the deceased individual must be buried as quickly as feasible, ideally by sundown on the day of the death, though Muslims handle this ritual based on unwritten laws in which they live. The household of the deceased person accounts for readying the body for funeral and for claiming the funeral petitions, which are not commonly pointed out in the mosque. The body is hidden in a simple white shroud, and if the individual was in pilgrimage to Mecca, then he or she will be buried in the appropriate pilgrimage attire (Dodge, 2009). Male relatives climb up in to the tomb to prepare the physical body on its appropriate side in a hollow niche in the wall surface of the grave. They transform the deceased’s face towards Mecca, assisting the cheek with a stone (Davies-Stofka, 2012). The last individual in the tomb with the physical body once again whispers the shahadah in the deceased’s ear. Each family member participating in the event tosses dirt in to the tomb, and a participant of the event recites a blessing that recaps the essential beliefs of Muslims. Several Shi’i Muslims also recite the names of the twelve imams. Graves are marked with straightforward stone colored pens, to stress the equality of everyone in death. The departed repose in an intermediary state called the barzakh up until God resurrects those who pass on the Day of Judgment (Davies-Stofka, 2012). Overriding Values and Beliefs
It is difficult to limit all of Islam into a few core values. Nevertheless, the most important beliefs and religious practices were identified by Prophet Muhammad himself. Thus, there is general agreement on them among all Muslims (Badawi, 2012). Core Religious Practices of Islam
In Islam, praise belongs to life and is not restricted to plain rituals. The formal acts of worship are understood as the 5 “columns” of Islam. The five pillars of Islam are the statement of faith, petition, charity, fasting, and the associated pilgrimage (“Introduction to Islam,” 2002). Declaration of Faith
The “Declaration of Faith” is the statement, “Los angeles ilaha illa Allah wa Muhammad Rasul-ullah”, suggesting “There is no deity deserving of being worship other than God (Allah), and Muhammad is the Messenger (Prophet) of God”). The Declaration of Faith is greater than just a statement; it has to be revealed with one’s activities. To convert to the belief of Islam, an individual has to state this declaration. Daily Prayer
Prayer is an approach by which a Muslim connects to God and gathers spiritual toughness and tranquility of mind. Muslims recognize that all wealth is a blessing from God, and certain duties are required in return. Fast of Ramadan
When each year, Muslims are commanded to quickly for an entire month from dawn to sundown. The duration of intense spiritual dedication is understood as the quick of Ramadan in which no drink, food and sex is allowed throughout the fasting process. The Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca
Every Muslim strives to make once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to the sacred sites in Mecca, in present-day Saudi Arabia. It is the most intense spiritual experience for a Muslim. Typically, 2-3 million perform hajj every single year (Mofti, 2013). Gender Role of Females
Although that Muslim women have made enormous social progression in the last 150 years, the connection of Islam to gender equality continues to be one that is exceptionally contentious. Islam, like other pre-modern faiths, took for given that differences between men and women were basic, and therefore it was perfectly ideal to manage males and females differently. (Fadel, 2013). U.S. Muslim women, like all U.S. females within this particular sect, battle to achieve in patriarchal institutions such as academia, law offices, study institutions, and so on. In addition, U.S. Muslim ladies face two various other dilemmas. The second issue, faced by two-thirds of the Muslim females in the United States, is the requirement to preserve one’s heritage as an immigrant community. Therefore Muslim American women in some neighborhoods still practice neighborhood customs just as a result of their seclusion (Mankiller, 1998). Rites, Rituals and Worship Settings
Ramadan is a special month of the year for over one billion Muslims throughout the world. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. Muslims think of it as a kind of tune-up for their spiritual lives. There are as many meanings of Ramadan as there are Muslims (Davis, 2013). Eid-ul-Fitr
‘Eid-ul-Fitr, the Festival of Fast-Breaking party at the end of Ramadan is called ‘Eid-ul-Fitr’ (the Festival of Fast-Breaking). The providing of a special charity for this event is obligatory (Dodge, 2003). Muslims wedding dress in holiday clothes, go to a special neighborhood prayer in the early morning, and visit friends and loved ones. Hajh
During the next week, Muslims from all over the world will assemble on Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the Hajj or Islamic pilgrimage. Each year, about 2 million fans of the Islamic faith participate in the trip, which constitutes the world’s biggest worldwide event. The Hajh is a profound spiritual experience for Muslims, taking them back to the beginning of their God- centered faith in the prophet Abraham (Esposito, 2002). It is likewise a time of experiencing the brotherhood and equality of mankind.
The Festival of Sacrifice, ‘Eid ul-Adha, instantly follows the Day of Arafat (see above). Due to the fact that of this, many bad Muslims are able to delight in the unusual luxury of consuming meat throughout the four days of the celebration. Food and Meal Traditions
The Quran has restrictions versus the intake of pork and wine. The prohibition on wine is generally interpreted to mean a general prohibition on liquor. Smoking cigarettes is similarly prohibited. Charging exorbitant interest rate on payday loans, or usury, is additionally restricted in Islam (Davies-Stofka, 2012). Muslim Population in the United States
Currently, the variety of Muslims in the United States is determined to be from five to eight thousand and is the fastest growing belief in this country. Estimations suggest that by the year 2000, the lot of Muslims in the United States will be higher than that of the Methodists, and that by the year 2010 the number will certainly have increased to at least ten to sixteen thousand respectively. The determined conversion rate amongst Americans is 135,000 each year. The Defense Department states that there are now around 9,000 Muslims on energetic duty in the U.S. armed forces (it is stated that greater than 3,000 Americans accepted Islam during the Gulf war alone). A substantial network of Muslim ministries also deals with some 300,000 converts behind bars, with a determined rate of 35,000 converts each year (Mizell, 2006). The primary team among Muslims in the United States are African-Americans.
The immigrant areas, which come from a terrific assortment of countries stretching from Eastern Europe to Cambodia and essentially every nation in between, make up the next biggest team. The student neighborhood is the third biggest group. Lastly, Caucasian and other ethnic Americans make up the tiniest group, however this too is growing at a fast price (Numan, 1992). Conclusion
While we accept historical development in our own faiths with respect to pluralism, human rights, the status of women, and democratization, there is often a presumption that change is impossible in Islam, which I refuse to agree with. The horrifying acts of Islamic terrorism in the late 20th and early 21st centuries are but the most recent manifestation of a global war of conquest that Islam has been waging since the days of the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th Century AD and that continues apace today. This is the simple, glaring truth that is staring the world today in the face and which has stared it in the face numerous times in the past, but which it seems few today are willing to contemplate. In retrospect to my own religious beliefs, the simplicity of Islam and its appeal both to reason and to the heart, in my opinion, accounts for its tremendous appeal. With teachings about God, human responsibility and the life hereafter which are very similar to those of Christianity, it insists on the necessity of living a pure, God-centered life following the natural dictates of a balanced mind and conscience, following the guidance transmitted through the last prophet of God, Muhammad. It also honors the previous great prophets of the Bible, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and many others (“History of Islam in US,” 2013). Because most Americans and Europeans misunderstand the political nature of Islam, they talk about Islamic terrorism as if it bears no relationship to Islam proper.
But the notion that authentic religion in general is naturally peaceful is a Western prejudice rather than a demonstrated truth. In order to understand the true origins of Islam, one must know of the cultural differences found within the religion just like any other. In other words, there is an ideology of both good and bad. We must be willing to discard many comforting assumptions and try to see the world from an Islamic point of view (Esposito, 2002). I’ve learned now that acquiring a basic grasp of the Islamic worldview does not require learning Arabic or taking a pilgrimage to Mecca. But it does require investment of some time and thought to become familiar with the origins and history of Islam (Davis, 2006). The writing of this paper flooded me with emotion and cold hard knowledge that few westerners have made such an investment, preferring instead to assume blindly that Muslims practicing their faith are not so very different from the true believers of other religions. As a member of a diverse audience, I will admit in a once profound predisposition belief that there was something truly wrong with Islam and Muslim faith. And it was this underlying belief which I know now can result in the unconscious application of a double edged standard, approaching Islam differently than we would Judaism or Christianity when discussing how religion relates to extremism, militancy, violence, and terrorism.
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