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Islamic Religion

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Islam is among the largest religions in the world. The followers of this religion are known as Muslims. They believe that Islam was revealed 1400 years ago in Mecca, Arabia. They also believe that God sent Abraham, Moses, and Jesus to mankind in order to teach them how to live in accordance with the law. The last prophet who was sent was Prophet Muhammad. He is believed to be the Islamic founder. Islam is summed up by three major principles which figure out its fundamental nature and substance. The principles are also regarded as successful stages in the Islamic spiritual life. The first principle is Islam, which means submission to God; Ihsan, meaning good values through continuous regard to the knowledge of God, and Iman, meaning faith in God. Muslims focus on five pillars of their religion. The pillars include declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving funds to aid organizations, fasting and a visit to Mecca is a dream of every Muslim. Muslims are all entitled to follow the three principles and the Islamic pillars (Shaban 132-448).

Muslims believe in one God, Allah. Allah is their supreme and unique God, who had created them and rules everything. All Muslims are required to obey Allah’s will. Their God is eternal, everywhere, and almighty. Allah has no shape or form, cannot be seen, heard, and is neither man nor female. Allah is also said to be just, compassionate and rewards the mankind according to their deeds. Believers can reach Allah through prayer and reciting the holy book, Quran. Muslims also believe that Allah cannot be compared to any other God. Muslims believe in life after death. The description of afterlife is stated in the Quran. They believe in paradise and hell. Their level of comfort after death depends on an individual’s faith in God. Islam teaches that the purpose of mans’ life is to worship Allah and behave according to his will. If someone does against Allah’s will, he or she goes to hell after death. Their paradise is known as Jannat in Islam, while hell is known as Jahannam. To regain the afterlife, Muslims are required to attain appropriate, firm and strong faith in God (Shaban 132-448).

Muslims have rituals which they reflect on in certain moments of their life. First, they have very straightforward means of welcoming a baby. When a newborn arrives, the words “God is big, there is no God apart from Allah, Muhammad is the herald of Allah, and Come to prayer”, are mentioned. The words are whispered to the right side ear of the baby by the father or mother. The baby is given something sweet by the parents. It is said to be a ritual that was performed by Prophet Muhammad and is thought to trigger the digestive system of the baby. The baby’s head should be shaved after the seventh day, this practice renders the child to be a servant of Allah. Alternatively, a greater number of Muslim baby boys are circumcised seven days after their birth. A sheep is also slaughtered on the seventh day of the child’s birth, and the mutton distributed among relatives and neighbors and the rest is given to the less fortunate people (Shaban 132-448).

Wedding celebration is a very important aspect in Islamic religion. The procedure of weddings varies depending on the culture of those involved. Islamic wedding is regarded as the actual wedding and not wedding in registry offices. In Islam, marriage is considered to be a contract, and not made in heaven. When either of the contracts is broken, the two parties are entitled to seek a divorce. For example, if one of the party cheats with another person outside the marriage, the two married parties are advised to divorce. The astonishing part of Islamic marriage is that a man is allowed to marry up to four wives through an organized wedding as long as the men can show kindness, love and scrupulous fairness to all of the women. The marriage ceremony is carried out in a public platform. The marrying parties are drawn up and given gifts and money by the public (Sefein 158-164).

There are only two Muslim Holy days founded from the Islamic religion. They include Eid Ul Fitr and Ramadan. Eid is a word in Islamic that means festival. The festival of Ul Fitr begins on the first sight of the new moon. It was first celebrated by Prophet Muhammad in 624 CE after victory in Jang-e Badar battle. During the festival, Muslims fast and thank Allah for the help and strength accorded. Special services are carried out-doors and in mosques. The procedure is carried to term by a celebratory meal, taken during daytime. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims fast during daytime hours (Sefein 158-164). Muslims believe that the Quran was created in the same month and the gates of heaven are opened, while those of hell are closed at that month. They also believe that their good actions will be rewarded during the festival of Ramadan. Fasting is conducted in a whole month and is mandatory to every Islamic believer. Night prayers are recommended and are carried out during the whole night.

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In order to please Allah, Muslims have their own procedures of worship. They carry out their prayers in a mosque. They leave their shoes outside the entrance of the mosque. There is also a section where they wash their hands as an obligatory ritual before praying. Muslims pray to God five times a day. The services are conducted in Arabic and since they have been taught in classes, an incoming person proceeds on the point reached by the rest of the assembly. To commence prayers, they say “Allahu Akbar”, meaning that God is great, while raising hands to the ears or the shoulders. As it was mentioned before, the Muslims’ holy book is called Quran. It is treated with great respect as it contains important notions from God. It serves as a guide to doing the will of Allah. According to Muslims, one should lead a moral life adhering to every word of God which is stated in the Quran. Another way to obedient server is through prayer and avoiding bad behavior, as it would distract one from the good, and finally will lead a person to hell (Altareb 29-38).

Islamic religion has been developing since the time of its formation by Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad and his followers spread the teachings of Islam throughout Arabian Peninsula. After Muhammad’s death, the religion spread even in some parts of North Africa. Nowadays, Islam spread in many parts of the world through trade and commerce. Several heads of Islamic religion hold important positions in the development of global activities. Among them is Abdullah bin Abdul, the King of Saudi Arabia; Sheikh Salman al Ouda, Saudi examiner and teacher, among others. There are more than a billion of followers in the entire world. The large numbers of Muslims occupy significant positions in the world of trade and commerce. Through involvement in business related activities, Muslims have contributed in boosting the economy of the countries they live in. Muslims follow the guidelines set by Prophet Muhammad. Due to this, there are no changes in beliefs and practices (Altareb 29-38).

Islam is one of the most organized religions. This is obvious from the way they worship Allah. It is noted that they wash hands as a sign of purification before praying. On the contrary to the Christian way of worship, Muslims have a better method of worship.
However, there is a thing which is rather controversial. Muslims do not have a firm foundation of their Islamic history. They claim that the Prophet Muhammad succeeded Abraham, Moses and Jesus. If it had been that case, Muhammad would be mentioned among the already existing Prophets of God. It is a weak attachment of their prophet to the Christian founders in order to provide some essence of reality in their history. This clearly demonstrates that Islam is a religion which was created out of the space. Moreover, the celebration of the Ramadan festival also means the appearance of the new moon in the sky and it signifies the commencement of the festival. It may be transformed as a belief in the moon but worshiping God. Muslims fast and pray for long night hours, which is a sign worshipping the new moon.

On the other hand, Muslims always help poor citizens and less privileged people. This is a good act of their faith. During their festivities, Muslims do not keep the needy away from their ceremonies. They invite them to dine with them.
Islam has some beliefs that are similar to Christianity. Muslims believe in life after death, and the same do the Christians. The rituals of marriage and divorce are far different from those of Christianity. According to Muslims, a man is allowed to marry not less than four wives, contrary to Christianity where man has to marry only one wife. Divorce in Islamic religion can be approved at any moment of their life, while it is only acceptable in matters of infidelity or death in the Christian religion.

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