To do this, one must first have an understanding of the culture and religious tenets rounding Islam, compare and contrast these beliefs with Christianity and Judaism, and discuss how the perceptions or misconceptions of Islam may affect the way Muslims and non-Muslims communicate or interact with one another. Islam is a comprehensive and global religion comprising every aspect of life. Its foundation is built on the Five Pillars of Islam. It has a distinct culture that is based on the Curran, the holy book of Islam. Central to the scholars’ consensus was the recognition that the Quern and Sauna are the main sources of divine guidance” (Heifer, 2014). These holy scripts are now collectively as the Shari, the divinely appointed path or way. Today it is considered Islamic law and provides Muslims with guidance in matters of devotion, piety and family relations. The Five Pillars also called the Five Tenets of Islam are Shaded, Salt, Sum, Katz, and Hajj. The first Tenet, Shaded, is the belief that the only purpose of life is to serve and obey God through the practice Of Muhammad.
Muslims believe that following the teachings of Islam is the only way to attain true happiness, now and in the afterlife, and that all requirements that Muhammad has asked of them to do, r refrain from them doing, is to better themselves. One of the ways Muslims honor Allah is through the second Tenet Salt, or prayer. The Muslim culture requires prayer to be performed five times a days, dawn, mid-day, late- afternoon, sunset and nightfall. There is no hierarchical or priests in the Muslim religion, all Shade’s are led by any person who has studied the Curran, usually a Cleric.
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There are five prescribed prayers that are comprised from the Curran and they are traditionally recited in Arabic. Once a year in the month of Ramada-n, all Muslims must fast from dawn until sundown this s the third Tenet known as Swam. In the Muslim culture this is a way to cleanse the soul of all desires such as; food, drink, and sexual intercourse. Swam is seen as a time of self-purification and self-restraint by cutting off all worldly comforts, focusing on one’s purpose in life and allowing one to become closer to Allah through their sacrifices.
An important principle of Islam is that everything belongs to Allah and that includes all wealth and fortune every Muslim has. This fourth Pillar is called Kaka and means purification and growth. Each Muslim must set aside a portion of their earnings and give it to charity and this also involves an annual payment to one’s capitol. Muslims are strongly encouraged to make charitable donations a habit and most donate on a weekly basses. Pilgrimage to the holy city of Make, located in Saudi Arabia is a large part of the Islamic culture and is known as Hajj.
This fifth Tenet is an annual pilgrimage where Muslims spend their days in devotion and worship, asking Allah for forgiveness. During Hajj, they perform specific rituals to honor Allah. All Muslims are asked but not expected to be able to go on this timely pilgrimage to the holy city. The Islamic religion has many similarities and differences when comparing it to Christianity and Judaism. Two of the world’s largest religions are Islam and Christianity, with 33% of the world population being Christians, and 21 % being Muslim.
Christianity and Islam are both derived from Judaism and follow similar monotheism, prophecy, resurrections, and a belief of a heaven and hell. Christianity and Islam both have holy books, the Bible and Quean. The Bible is said to be inspired by the words of God and the Curran is believed to be Allah’s literal words. Both have prophets, Mohammed and Jesus. Mohammed is believed to have been given the words of Allah which he transcribed as the Quern. Jesus, believed to be the son of God, preached the word of God which was written after his crucifixion by his disciples and other scholars of the time producing the Bible.
In both Christianity and Islam, women have an inferior status to all men. Both religious groups focus a majority of their practices on charity and prayer, but in the Islamic religion their practice also centers on law, justice rules for daily life and destruction of non-believers. In Islam, government exists to uphold the laws found in the Curran, unlike the Christian religion where there is separation between government and religion. In the United States, the Muslim religion is practiced in a more secular way. This is because the government in the U. S. S democratic and therefore allows more flexibility in the practice of religion where as in other countries with a more theocratic government, religion is more restricted. Because of this, Muslims in the U. S are free to dress as they like, may decide whether to maintain the strict rules regarding foods they eat or to eat a more American diet and may not follow the schedule of prayers as tricky as those in more theocratic countries. Muslims in the U. S. Represent about 1 % of the population but the number is growing both thorough immigration and conversion. It is a small percentage when compared to Great Britain at 4. 5% and Germany at 5%.
Muslims in America are more likely to have higher education and income than those in European countries. According to the Pew Research Center Survey (201 1), Muslims in America originate from about 77 different countries whereas, most European countries have one or two dominant groups (Islamic, 2014). The countries ending the most Muslim immigrants to Europe are, in order of size of immigrant groups, Turkey, Algeria, Morocco and Pakistan; the most important receiving countries, again ranked according to size are France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands” (Innkeeper, 2007). Most America Muslims migrated to the U. S. O obtain a better education, to escape persecution in their own countries, or to find work. Many, since the war in Iraq, have immigrated as refugees to escape threats against their lives because of their support of the U. S. Military and government. Many people live that the migration of Muslims to Britain is due to immigration from India and Bangladesh during the British Empire rule over the last 1 50 years. That is not the case. There is a history of Muslim influence in Britain for over 1000 years. King Off commissioned a gold coin using the Islamic gold standard. On the one side it reads “There is no deity but God, without partners. On the other, side it reads “Off Rexes” (King Off). When rotated 180 degrees, it reads “Muhammad is the Messenger Of God. ” At the turn Of the 9th and 1 10th centuries, we find another anomaly: the Balloting Cross Found on he south coast of Ireland, is a brooch in the shape of a symmetrical cross at the center of which sits a glass bead that reads “In the name of Allah” (Sodden, 2005). In recent times, Britain has approximately 2. 7 million Muslims half of which are British-born (Office for National Statistics, 2013). Over one million Muslims live in London with large communities in Birmingham, Bradford, Leister, Scotland and Wales.
The Muslim population is predominantly from Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Middle East. Muslims in European countries such as Britain have more conservative Islamic indecencies, meaning that they apply the theocratic teaching of the Islam and tend to be more radicalized. They tend to follow the tenets of Islam more closely, with more regular attendance at Mosques for prayer, women covering their heads and, in some cases, wearing the Burk, a traditional Islamic dress. Traditional Muslims in Britain tend to experience more religious and racial discrimination and economic isolation than those living in the United States.
Since the attack on the World Trade Center on September 1 1, 2001 , the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States has become extremely strained due to extremist acts. According to Mina Waded, “less than one percent of over 1. 5 billion Muslims even agree with such acts; a smaller percentage actually commits them” (2011). American Muslims have attempted to speak out against terrorism but were down played because they were not from the Middle East. Foreign Muslims also attempted to apologize stating that Islam is a peaceful religion and that Muhammad evoked a practice focused on nonviolence.
These apologizes, however have had little impact on improving the relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims. In the areas of security, Muslims are singled out on a regular basis. When traveling, especially on airplanes, it is common for women head scarves or traditional dress or people with Arabic names to be singled out, questioned and searched. There have been many attempts by Islamic clerics to educated Americans about their faith and culture. Many Christian ministers and priests have joined with the clerics to acknowledge the similarities between their religious beliefs.
These efforts have helped break down barriers and attempt to create a multicultural understanding of he commonalities of the two religions, but only in limited forums. The fear of Islamic extremism is still strong in America due to the threats of terrorist attacks from the extremist groups of AH Qaeda and now ISIS. American Muslims hope that, through education there will be a better understanding and acceptance of their culture and beliefs and that there can be an end to the terrorism and extreme actions from these and other radical Islamic factions.
The Christian and Muslim religions have been in conflict since their inception. Wars between the two religions go back hundreds of years to even before the Christian Crusades. The very tenets of these religions, although having a common root in Judaism, tend to be at odds with each other. Because of the easy access to technology, the world is becoming a much smaller place, giving the radicalized factions in these religions a louder voice. In a less technological world, the moderates have always been the voice of the religion whereas now, the radicals are becoming more visible and vocal.
It is important that, through education, people develop a better understanding of the commonalities between these religions and learn tolerance, acceptance and inclusion in our pluralistic society. As countries around the world become more multicultural, it is essential that tolerance and understanding be learned. As students of today learn the power of multiculturalism, they will become the teachers of the future with a vision for multiculturalism and peaceful co-existence. References ANSI, Izard. “The Muslim presence in Britain-Making a Positive Contribution. ” The East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre.