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Islam Review. Andres, German, Talla, German. Fundamental Questions. What is the human condition?

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Islam review

Islam Review

Andres, German, Talla, German

Fundamental questions
Fundamental Questions

What is the human condition?

Humans must strive to submit themselves to the will of God for, without divine guidance, they are likely to stray from the path of prescribe and prohibited actions that God has set out in order to prevent moral error.

Where are we going?

For the faithful, to eternal janna (paradise), by obedience to God’s will. By disobedience to God’s will, to jahannam (hell), which is reserved for those whom God has decided to punish for a time for committing grave sins and not repenting.

How do we get there?

We attain salvation via submission to God’s will. This may be achieved by:

acknowledging tawhid (the oneness of God) and submitting to his will, as revealed by the Prophet.


  • The Five Pillars

  • Repetition of the creed (shahadah)

    • Most common religious act of Muslim is frequent repetition of the creed of Islam: La ilaha illa Allah; Muhammad rasual Allah. (There is no God but Allah; Muhammad is the messenger of Allah)

  • Daily prayer (salaht)

    • It is segregated by gender and occurs five times a day: Fajr (pre-dawn), Dhuhr (noon), 'Asr (afternoon), Maghrib (sunset), and 'Isha (evening)

  • Fasting (sawm)

    • Ramadan, which is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, is a month of fast which commemorates the time when Muhammad received his first revelation. Muslims are required to abstain from food, drinking, smoking, sex during daylight hours for one month

    • Nursing mothers, small children, travelers, and sick are exempt

  • Almsgiving (zakaht)

    • Muslims expected to give 2.5-10 % of income, and if poor begging is allowed

  • Pilgrimage (hajj)

    • Pilgrimage required as religious duty by Qur’an, even if it means not returning home

    • Dress in common clothing so no way to distinguish rich or poor

    • After pilgrimage, pilgrims may attach haji to their names as a title of honor indicating piety

Rituals continued
Rituals continued

  • The Mosque

  • Islam started nomadic, so no central shrine or temple and not centered around place of worship.

  • Muhammad decreed Friday as day for Muslims to come together and worship, sermons led by Imam which is not clerical and only seen as divine by the Shi’ite minority.

    • Either in Arabic or vernacular

  • The mosques also serve as schools and libraries

  • Al Azhar in Cairo, one world’s oldest universities, began as madrasha; counted today as most important theological school for Sunnis

  • Holy Days and Festivals

  • Feast of the Fast-Breaking (‘Id al-Fitr)

    • Directly follows fast of Ramadan and is a time of feast, family, gifts, and sending cards

    • It is on the first day of Shawwal, the month after Ramadan

  • Feast of Sacrifice (‘Id al-Adha)

    • Held on tenth of dhul-Hijah, the month of pilgrimage

    • Commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael for God

  • Islamic New Year

    • Month of Muharram, believed to be month of Hijrah

    • The tenth day commemorates Battle of Karbala for Shi’ite and is a time for fasting

Rituals continued1
Rituals continued²

  • Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (Mawlid an-Nabi)

    • Twelfth Day of the third month on the Islamic calendar

    • Recitations on his life and prayers for him

    • Ironic because Muhammad emphasized the importance of focusing on Allah and not celebrating him, to the extent that in the Qur’an his face is not even shown

  • Gender and Society

    • Except for segregation in churches and the fact that only men can be Imams, there isn’t much difference of the expectation of the following of each of the rituals by all Muslims

Sacred texts
Sacred Texts

  • Only one sacred text, the Qur’an, which literally means reading or recitation

    • Muslims believe it is completely the literal word of Allah written in heaven, which was recited to Muhammad chapter by chapter, and since Muhammad was illiterate he memorized the exact Arabic words and conveyed them to a slave boy: Zayd.

    • After Muhammad dies, Zayd’s writings are collected and he works with the third caliph Uthman to develop an authorized version of the Qur’an

    • The Qur’an is organized into 114 surahs, and each one contains approximately 6,000 verses, or ayas

    • It is a supreme act of religious devotion to memorize the entire Qur’an and those who do so are given the honorary title of hafiz.

  • Some Muslims read the Qur’an as a scripture that highly teaches of predestination

  • The Qur’an stressed freedom and responsibility

  • It was originally transcribed in Arabic, which has caused controversy since many individual Arabic words can be interpreted differently depending on each reader.

    • The Qur’an is one of the most translated books in history now, with also many partial translations

Doctrines beliefs

The unity of God

Tawhid, meaning "making God one," refers to the strict belief of monotheism and the refusal to compromise this position.He is the only creator and disposer of the Universe, has no partner and no comparable being, none but Allah is worthy of worship (Morgan 91). Tawhid is so essential and central to the faith that shirk, or the associating anything with God, is the one fundamental error for Muslims.

Doctrines beliefs continued
Doctrines/Beliefs continued...

Belief in Prophets

Muhammad was the last in a long line of prophets who were entrusted with bringing Scriptures to their peoples (Denny 108). The prophets are divided into two classes, rasuls and nabis. A rasul, or "messenger," was given a major new revelation and was called to communicate what God had sent to them (Denny 69). A nabi, or "prophet," is also one whom God has spoken to, but their mission lies within the framework of an existing religion (Glasse 318).

Doctrines beliefs continued1
Doctrines/Beliefs continued...

Beliefs in Scriptures

The Quran, meaning "recitation", is held to be the eternal, literal word of God. Therefore, to accept and believe in the messages of Allah is a mere consequence of belief in Angels and the prophets, the mediums by which God's word is revealed. All Scriptures are God's work, but the people before the dawn of Islam had corrupted the original messages to suit their own inclinations. The Quran is the purest extant scripture on Earth, as it is all the pure word of God's and has not been subject to tampering (Denny 108). It was revealed to Muhammad and preserved in the Arabic language and was placed in an order that was commanded by divine revelation (Esposito 9).

Religious experience
Religious Experience

  • Group/Individual

    • Umma- an Arabic word meaning “nation” or “community” that implies a nation that has common ancestry or geography

    • Jum’a - a congregational prayer that Muslims hold every Friday, just after noon

    • Sawm - daily fasting for all able, adult Muslims during the whole of the month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the lunar calendar. By cutting oneself off from worldly pleasures and comforts, even for a short time, the fasting person gains true sympathy for those who go hungry regularly, and achieves growth in his spiritual life, learning discipline, self-restraint, patience and flexibility.

    • Du’a - means "calling" - the act of remembering Allah and calling upon Him. Aside from the daily prayers, Muslims are encouraged to call upon Allah for forgiveness, guidance, and strength throughout the day. Muslims can make these personal supplications or prayers in their own words, in any language, but there are also recommended examples from the Qur'an and Sunnah.

Religious experience cont
Religious Experience cont.

  • Group/Individual cont.

    • Sufi dance - Dervishes whirl in order to achieve a trance-like state that offers a strong personal connection to Allah

    • Recitation of the Qur’an

      • Benefits of recitation include:

        • Supplications get answered if they pray after reading the Qur’an.

        • Helps in strengthening faith.

      • Rules of recitation include:

        • Speak in a rhythm with slow tones and clear pronunciation

        • Maintain humility while reciting

    • Hajj - This pilgrimage to Mecca brings together Muslims of all backgrounds, and is a moving spiritual experience. Muslimas try to participate at least once in their lifetime.

Religious experience cont1
Religious Experience cont.

  • Conversion/Reaffirmation

    • A person is considered to have converted to Islam after reciting the shahadah

    • Conversion does not depend on race or gender

    • Muhammad Ali

Religious experience cont2
Religious Experience cont.

  • Meditation/Worship/Prayer

    • Salat: Formal prayer that takes place 5 times per day

    • Rakat (performed during prayer)

      • First, stand quietly while reciting verses of the Quran.

      • Second, bow low with hands on knees, as if waiting for God's orders.

      • Third, prostrate on the ground in a posture of submission to God.

      • Fourth, sit with the feet folded under the body.

      • Finally, recite "Peace be upon you, and God's blessing" once while facing the right, and once while the face is turned to the left

Religious experience cont3
Religious Experience cont.

  • Effect of Gender

    • Varies by culture, but women are often subordinate to the men.

    • Many muslim women choose, or are forced, to adherr to hijab and wear modest clothing, veils, etc.

    • Polygamy is allowed in Islam, but limited to four wives.

    • Women may divorce cruel or unjust husbands, and can sometimes keep her dowry.

Ethics moral conduct
Ethics & Moral Conduct

The ethical system in Islam is presented in light of Shariah – the Islamic social/legal system. According to Islam, whatever leads to welfare of the individual or society is morally good and whatever is injurious is morally bad. The ethical system prescribed in Islam is eternally divine and forms the foundation of an Islamic society. Islamic ethics prescribe its followers to zealously guard their behavior, words, thoughts, and intentions and observe certain norms and moral codes in their family affairs; in dealings with relatives, neighbors, and friends; in their business transactions; in their social affairs; and in private and public life.

Ethics moral conduct continued
Ethics & Moral Conduct continued...

Muslims are very deep believers in good character. They believe that by following the quranic scriptures, it will lead into structured morals and will keep an individual out of trouble. Muhammad’s teachings are also heavily based upon moral values and character.