Joanna Hart Islam Essay

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World Religions

Joanna Hart

Islam

“...there is more misunderstanding on the part of the West on Islam, than there is on any other

religion.” (Smith, 12) Islam is one of the world's largest religions, but it is surprising to see how little

people actually know about it. Islam's main message is about peace, which comes when one fully

surrenders to Allah. In fact, that is what the word Islam means. The practices of Islam are all geared

toward attaining this peace. When one really looks into the practices of Islam, the practices can seem quite elaborate even

on just a daily basis. Muslims pray five times a day, every day. Once just before the sun rises (fajr),

noon (dhuhr), afternoon ('asr), sunset (maghrib), and evening ('isha). Muslims pray a prayer called

raka'ah during these five times of prayer. This prayer states that Allah is the one, true God. Through the

mercy of Allah, we have been given life and through His compassion we have been given a way back

to Him in Heaven through the religion and practices of Islam. It also gives a reminder to “...watch out

for the steps that you're making in this day.” (Smith, 3)

Aside from the daily prayers, the annual practice of Ramadan is observed. Ramadan is a month

(of the Islamic lunar calendar) in which people fast from sunrise to sunset. It is fasting not just from

food, but bad behaviors and bad thoughts as well. If able, one should make a pilgrimage to Mecca as

part of the practices at least once in a lifetime. This is not necessarily part of Ramadan but falls toward

the end of Ramadan period. Zakah is another practice in which every year 20% of person's overall

wealth is given to the poor to practice charity and compassion among other things.

This is just a brief overview of the main practices of Islam. From an outsider looking in, Islam

appears to be a hard religion to follow because of the practices. It is hard to think that I could drop

whatever I am doing when prayer time comes 5 times…