Essay about Discovering the religion of Islam

Submitted By laurenaccardix3
Words: 1053
Pages: 5

Discovering the religion of Islam
What is religion? According to the Webster dictionary, religion is a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. An example of a religion would be Islam. It has approximately 1.3 billion followers in the world and is most popular in the Middle East and south Asia. A follower of Islam is known as a Muslim meaning a submitter. Islam itself means a submission to God and his will. Islamic practices, beliefs, and culture have some similarities and many differences to other Abrahamic religions we are familiar with such as Christianity, Catholicism, and Protestantism. Muslims believe that their life should be devoted to God’s way of behaviors. Only those who do so will be granted the eternal reward of going to heaven. The World RELG textbook discloses the Muslim moral thought which is arranged in three categories. One of them is Fard which are good actions that are mandatory. Another is Harem, which prohibits evil actions, and finally Halal which are neutral matters which are allowed and up to the believer to decide to follow. The holy book for Muslims is called the Qur’an. This book includes scriptures that guides Muslims how to live their lives. The Qur’an also gives insight to hadith which are traditional reports recording a saying or action of Muhammad. Muhammad was the prophet and also considered the fatherhood of God. Those who practice Islam follow Muhammad’s life and teachings because God revealed his divine will through prophets. As I mentioned earlier, Islam is a monotheistic religion. Muslims refer to God as Allah, which is Arabic for God. Any act of glorifying anyone or anything besides Allah is a great sin classified as idolatry. The World RELG textbook states “Muslims forbid idolatry so strongly that they forbid anything that encourages it or makes it possible.” (Van Voorst. 2013, 306) To avoid idolatry, Islam forbids any images or pictures of God. Even the prophet Muhammad has no image that reveals his face. Muslims hold the belief that God has all power and control over each and every aspect of life and whatever takes place was his plan. They use the term “enshallah” which means if God wills it. God is the basis of the Islamic religion and is an eternal spiritual being. The issue that Muslims see with other religions such as Christianity is that they often commit idolatry. For example, Muslims stress the fact there God is a spiritual being and he is the creator of all beings. While Christians do believe the same, Muslims criticize the Christian belief in the trinity. They believe that Jesus, the son of God, should not be glorified because he was a human prophet therefore He should not be held up to same standards as God. There are several traditions and practices that are associated with the religion of Islam. An example would be the The Five Pillars of Islam. These five pillars are the responsibilities Islam followers should practice. The first pillar is confession of faith which is an essential factor in Islam. The confession, known as Shahada meaning “there is no god, but God, and Muhammad is the apostle of God.” The second Pillar is the ritual prayer known as salat which is to be done five times a day, at sunrise, noon, in mid- afternoon, at sunset, and one hour after sunset. Buildings for prayers where Muslims attend are Mosques. The next pillar is fasting. Fasting is done during the day light hours of the holy month of Ramadan. Acts such as eating, drinking, sexual intercourse are forbidden during that specific time also known as sawm. Fasting takes place in order for each Muslim to commemorate Muhammad receiving the Qur’an. Almsgiving or zakat is another pillar that is required by all Muslims. They practice this by giving to the poor, widowers, and orphans. The last Pillar is a pilgrimage called hajj. Every Muslim has to go to Mecca at least once in his or her lifetime which