1. The name Islam is derived from the Arabic word salam which means peace (Robinson, 2007). However, the name Islam is mostly translated to mean submission or surrender. The name Islam represents the Islamic ideals that every human being should submit or surrender him or her self to God.
2. There are six fundamental belief of Islam (Robinson, 2007). The first one is existence of a single and indivisible God who is referred to as Allah. Islam considers Allah to be omnipotent, just, and merciful and is the creator of heaven and earth. The second fundamental belief of Islam is the divine scriptures which they refer to as the Quran. The Quran is believed to be Gods words dictated by angel Gabriel to Prophet Mohammad. Messengers of God also form part of the fundamental beliefs of Islam.
These messengers are such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad. Islam also believes in the coming of the judgment day when people will be judged based on their deeds on earth. Angels also form part of the fundamental beliefs of Islam and another belief is on the supremacy of God.
3. The most important practices that define Islam are theFive Pillars of Islam (Religious Fact, 2010). These refer to five religious duties that every Muslim must perform. The first one is daily confession of faith which is referred to as shahada in Islam. A person must confess that there is no god but God and Mohammad is the prophet of God. The second pillar is the daily ritual prayer known as salat by the Muslims.
This prayer is performed five times a day; at dawn, at midday, afternoon, at sunset and in the evening. Prayers must be directed to the kaba shrine in Mecca. The third pillar is paying the alms tax (zakat). Every adult Muslim is required to pay the alms tax which goes into helping the needy. The rate of zakat is usually 2.5% of a persons entire possession. The forth pillar is fasting during the month of Ramadan, a ritual referred to as sawm.
This marks the commemoration of the reveal of the Quran to humanity during the month of Ramadan. Adult Muslims are required to abstain from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse during daytime. The fifth pillar is pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj). Each Muslim is expected to undertake the pilgrimage at least once in his or her life time. This takes place during the month of Dhu al-Hijja.
4. The first goal of Islam is preservation of the Islamic religion (Knol, 2009). It is the responsibility of every Muslim to ensure that the Islamic religion has been preserved. Muslims have the duty to ensure the Islamic message has been spread throughout the world. The second goal is preservation of life. The Islamic religion respects the sanctity of life and protects the life of every individual.
Actions that threaten human life such as murder and abortion are strongly condemned by Islam. Another goal is preservation of wealth. It the duty of Islam to ensure that everybodys property is protected and that wealth is shared justly. Life and property are sacred according to the Islamic religion. Preservation of Mind is another goal of Islam. It is the goal of Islam to keep the minds of all its faithfuls clean and pure. The fifth goal is preservation of lineage. This refers to prohibition of transgression against lineage. The final goal is preservation of honor. This goal refers to the duty of Muslims to abstain from irresponsible sexual behaviors.
5. Islam has high regard for authority (Knol, 2009). The biggest indication of this, is the respect that Muslim accord to the authority of God. Muslim believe that God is mighty and the source of all authority. Muslims also hold a lot of respect for humans who have been assigned position of authority. Such people include prophets such prophet Mohammad. Islamic religion also advocates respect for political authority.
Muslims respect authority bestowed on the Islamic laws. This is evident in Islamic societies where there exist strong social structures with clear authority figures. Muslims are very committed to following the Islamic laws since they believe that they carry authority from God.
1. The Quran plays a very central role in the lives of Muslims (The Islam for All, 2009). Political aspects in Islam are derived from the Quran. Muslim political organizations follow the sharia laws which are derived from the Quran. The sharia laws contain the Ideal for a Muslim life and dictate how a Muslim should conduct him or her self, how to relate with others and the relationship between human and God. Sharia laws cover all aspects of life.
2. Philosophy is closely associated with theology in Islam. The sharia laws, which govern all aspect of Muslim lives, were developed by traditional Islamic philosophers (The Islam for All, 2009). Islamic philosophers have also been used to interpret various content of the Quran. In Islam people are allowed to have different philosophy.
3. Islamic art are best displayed in their drawing and decoration while their architecture is best displayed by their mosques. The infinite patterns are one of the earliest and most important forms of Islamic art (Irish Art Encyclopedia, 2010). These patterns represent the theme of worthlessness of mans earthly existence. The Mosques architecture symbolizes the unity of all Islamic believers. The Quran greatly influenced the Islamic art and architecture in that it prohibits worshipping and valuing of idols and symbols therefore arts that appear to break this law were prohibited.
Irish art Encyclopedia (2010), Islamic Art, retrieved on February 6, 2011, from http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/islamic-art.htm
Knol (2009), Principle Goals of Islam, retrieved on February 6, 2011, from http://knol.google.com/k/dawa/the-principal-goals-of-islam/1mgtj5kikvyop/11#
Religious Facts (2010), The Five Pillars of Islam, retrieved on February 6, 2011, from http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/practices/five_pillars.htm
Robinson (2007), Introduction to Islam, retrieved on February 6, 2011, from http://www.religioustolerance.org/isl_intr.htm
The Islam for All (2009), Islamic Theology and Philosophy, retrieved on February 6, 2011, from http://theislam4all.com/islamic_theology_and_philosophy.html
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