discussion

Discussion assignment is open for posting Monday-Sunday (midnight), the cut off time is administrated automatically by Bb.
Please read Learning Module 12 Islam part 1 and Revel Living Religions chapter 10 Islam. Post your answers on the following questions and respond to at least one of your classmates’ posts :
1. Why do you think ” submission” is the major theme of Islam? Identify the Five Pillars of Islam.
2. Define Shari’a.3. What is jihad and how does it relate to modern Islam?
here some to help
Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam is one of the great monotheistic faiths that traces its roots to Abraham ( Ibrahim).
It is important to understand that Islam is very diverse, Muslims include many races, cultures, languages, and ethnic groups.
The majority of Muslims live in Asia and Africa, the largest Muslim communities are in Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, visible minority communities extend their presence in Europe and the North America.
Yet, despite the size, the global presence, ordinary people in the West know little about this faith and are familiar mostly with the actions of a minority of extremists.
Therefore, it is about time for us to understand what it is that Muslims believe and how their faith is carried out publicly.
This week we will:
learn about the origins and development of Islam
examine central Muslim beliefs and practices in the contexts of their significance and impact on Muslims life. The religion known as Islam originated in the seventh century in Arabia in the city of Mecca, a center of trade which gathered diverse people, including those from Jewish and Christian background. This religion began with a series of revelations to Muhammad, a young man, orphaned in his youth, who lived near Mecca, now a city in Saudi Arabia.According to the tradition, these revelations, continued over 22 years and eventually came to be known as the Koran ( the Quran). Islam is often called the religion of submission, as in the Koran ( the Quran) followers of Islam are known as Muslims, literally “those who submitted to god”. The root of the word “Islam” is the same Semitic root for the word “peace”. The key elements of Islam are contained in the so-called “Five Pillars” of the faith. These beliefs and actions serve to focus the attention of Muslims on one god, Allah, and continually to remind them of obligations to Islam and to fellow human beings.Like other religions, Islam has been known to support diverse and even contradictory values. In more recent times, Islam has been used and misused by a variety of political leaders and nation states to legitimize a range of political ideologies. As a result, the experience of being a Muslim today is often deeply influenced by the cultural and political context one is living in. he religious duties ( pillars of Islam) that all Muslims are expected to perform: To declare the creed and pray five times per day in a set manner
To contribute to the yearly zakat (religious taxation)
To abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn until dusk during the month of Ramadan
To complete the Hajj to Mecca
To complete proper funeral rituals
some sources indicate the sixth unofficial duty of Muslims, Jihad.
The first pillar of the faith is the creed ( profession of faith), Arabic word – Shahadah ( or Shahada): “There is no God but God and Muhammad is the prophet of God”. Shahadah summons believers to pray. These are the words called out by the muezzin (an official who calls Muslims to prayer) from the minarets of the town. There are two terms to distinguish religious taxation: zakat and sadaqa.Zakat ( “religious tax”) is a form of mandatory taxation in countries that are governed by Islamic law. To give zakat is to help the Islamic umma (community of faithful). This money should not be given to non-Muslims. Recipients of zakat include the poor, converts to Islam, military volunteers, travelers stranded without money, debtors.Sadaqa ( almsgiving)- is a volunteer action to help others, this monetary donation goes beyond the requirements of the five pillars. Muslim tradition describes, though, specific benefits from doing it, such as to shield a person from evil, to keep a person safe, to purify a person’s soul after committing inappropriate actions. Fasting during daylight hours of Ramadan: Muslims believe that on the night in the month of Ramadan God first spoke to Muhammad.This months is viewed as a time of spiritual and physical discipline. Muslims are expected to abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn until dusk during the lunar month of Ramadan.Pilgrimage to Mecca ( Arabic word – Hajj ):At least once in a Muslim’s lifetime, he or she is obliged to travel to Mecca, the ancestral home of Islam, to perform rituals and prayers with the hundreds of thousands of other Muslims on pilgrimage.
Like the earth around the sun, Muslims on the hajj circle the sacred Kaabah( Kaaba) shrine . Muslims believe that Ibrahim (Abraham to Jews and Christians) set the corner stone of the Kaabah, stood himself at that very place, ready to sacrifice his son to God.
The Kaaba is a cube-shaped structure that includes a black stone used by Abraham to build the first Kaaba. The Kaaba is also called The House of God, and is the most sacred place for all Muslims, the geographical focus of all Muslim prayers. ( Based on R. Robson. Thinks World Religions, Prentice Hall, 2011)

Jihad or ” struggle” is often called the sixth pillar of Islam, the religious duty that goes deep in Islamic history.There are three main forms of jihad: an inner effort to seek faith and
to remain truly faithful to Islam in the face of forces that might compromise the submission to the one God; the constant struggle to live in accordance to the Pillars of Islam, the spiritual struggle between truth ( Islam) and falsehood; the personal effort to resist temptation of any kind.
The next two meanings of jihad are most often associated with the term and often translated as a ” holy war”: the attempt to expand Islam throughout the world as the goal of jihad is to bring people to one God ( Allah) and one faith ( Islam). Unlike the Buddha or Jesus Christ, Muhammad was also a political leader and a warrior who successfully integrated religion with politics and law.
The same as in the past, Islam seeks new converts and jihad, in this sense, means expansion of the faith and Islamic law worldwide.
physical defense of Islam and Muslim community ( umma) from outside attack.

The concept of Shari’a – literally means a path of correct action- encompasses entire range of human activities, including ethical and moral norms, dietary rules, social interactions, civil and criminal law. While Shari’a itself is seen as the path ordained by God, human understanding and interpretation of Sharia came to be known as figh or jurisprudence. Listen to a contemporary Muslim scholar, Dr. Jasser Auda, discussing the ‘Goals (maqāsid) of the Sharia’, a concept that is nearly a millennium old, but which is considered to be particularly significant in the modern world.

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