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Islam Essay (over 1000 words)
Islam is the Arabic term meaning “submission” or “surrender”, this is the will of their God Allah.
It is interesting because the Islamic religion believes it was founded by through his first son, Ishmael while Judaism is believed to have been founded by his second son Isaac. It is said that after the birth of Isaac, Ishmael left his father’s country and went to live in Arabia with a group who were not of any religion of the time apart from their own belief, that there was only one God, the Hanifs. This group was and nomadic and for this reason as a child Muhammad is to have learnt of monotheism (the belief in only one god) through association with them when he was young.
The Arab means nomad and this rightly describes the life style of the many Arab tribes that roamed the Arabian Peninsula. There was no government in the region and each tribe held their own small area.
Early Arab Religion worshipped many Gods and nature spirits. During the early centuries of the Common Era there were although a minority of Christians and Jews in Arabia.
“The Prophet” as he is know but he is actually named Muhammad had a difficult childhood as he was orphaned at a young age and then moved through two more homes before he was eventually adopted by his uncle. It is said that even at a young age Muhammad showed a deep and reflective character and often conversed with the Hanifs and also went in to the nearby hills for days on end to seek solitude, pray and contemplate what were possibly, the “big deep questions” in religion.
As he aged he began to hold all night rituals at Mount Hira, a barren rock a few kilometres south of Mecca. He had many revelations at this spot, revelations, which eventually were the base of the religion he formed. The Qur’an is the Holy Book of Islam, which is worded by the actual commands given to the archangel Gabriel by God. The other authoritive text in the Islamic religion is the Sunna (traditions), which is based upon the Hadith (statements). This text is basically an autobiography of Muhammad who was considered to be the perfect Muslim and therefore is used as a role model in this text for other Muslims. This text contains various sayings, teachings and deeds of the prophet. The sunna is considered to be a secondary authority to that of the Qur’an.
The basic beliefs of Muslims were summarised by Muhammad into five articles; The Muslims believe in Allah, in his angels, in his books, in his messengers and in the Final Day of Judgement. They also believe that God is the supreme judge and that there is life after death.
The basic concept of Islam is the belief in one God (monotheism) and all other deities are thought of as insignificant fabrications. Muslims believe that Allah is their God, and any other’s religion’s views of God are not rue and do not rival Allah. They believe Allah is the eternal and all-powerful creator. It is in this way that Muslims believe that Christians are in error when they believe Jesus is as powerful as God although he is his son, they believe that decedents of any prophet or God are only regular people they don’t have any special treatment unless they show their own special abilities. The Muslims believe that Allah is, as we believe our God is, all seeing, all knowing and all hearing. Ninety-nine titles of praise for Allah in the Muslim religion, these include; The Holy, The Merciful, The Generous, The Shelterer of Orphans, The friend of the Bereaved and The Deliverer from all Afflictions.
The Muslim faith exonerates the angels of their God more than the Catholic faith does not exonerate their angels in this way although the angels of both faiths seem to share names, for example, Gabriel.
The Qur’an has a large focus on the fact that Muslims should be free to choose their actions and that they will be eventually judged by God although according to this extract they are not said to have freedom of speech as we know it.
Muslims have strong ethics to follow, which are basically they’re religious law, The Five Pillars Of Islam. These are to believe there is no greater God than Allah, That they must pray regularly, Tat they must pay a special charity tax, They must fast for the month of Ramadan and that all Muslims in their lives should try to take a pilgrimage to Mecca or pool there money and have one person go one their behalf.
The Muslim faith places a huge importance on humanity, the meaning of life and the world image. They believe that Mecca, their Holy City was created first and is basically the middle of the material world and that each person is an individual and should act as one. The Muslim faith also places also places a large importance on that Muslims should see “The Prophet” Muhammad is the ideal Muslim.
The Islamic religion believes that there are many virtues that Muslims should follow and acknowledge. These include, humanity, courage, fidelity, hospitality and compassion. As many if not more evils are condemned as virtues are exonerated in this faith and although our faiths are so there are also many similarities. There are also many traditions of the Muslim faith that those who consider themselves to be “true Muslims” adhere to but many Muslims have altered these traditions slightly to fit in with modern life.
In the Muslim religion, women are seen to be equals in faith, although many Islamic countries are only now accepting that women should have equal rights to men, with voting and salaries. Muslim women also have almost, rules that they are to adhere to, these rules are those, which show preference for Muslim women to wear clothing that is appropriate and to not how an excess amount of their bodies.
The Islamic religion brings up many controversial issues among Westerners, such as that of circumcision of males, normally soon after birth. The Islamic religion also deals with death in different ways to which we are used to and what we find to be normal. Although at times it does not seem to be the case in current times, the Muslim religion has a high religious tolerance.
Although the Muslim religion is very different to what I know, I can see many similarities and have to believe that a lot of the bad imagery we see about Muslims today is Western media’s opinions or view and if it is true what the media says then I believe it is only a minority which is the problem and you would probably find the same minority, although maybe not as extreme in the Christian faith.