The paper will address the impact of Islamic religion. The paper will address the history and current trends in the religion. The paper will also examine what task they intend to accomplish, how they will accomplish it, and the world-view they support.
The Islamic religion is one of the largest religions in the world. They regard their founder (Prophet Muhammad) as the last prophet from God. According to their doctrine, the previous messages had been changed or corrupted and Muhammad was sent to correct the mistakes. In Nasr and Seyyed (2003), Muhammad is referred to as, witness (shahid), noor (light personified), Warner (nathir), servant of Allah (abd), bashir (announcer), and reminder (mudhakkir).
Research has shown the religion is the growing at a very high rate. The converted members are thought the “Five Pillars of Islam” (prayer, testimony, almsgiving, fasting, and pilgrimage). The first task is for one to take the testimony (shahada) that there is one God (La illah ha illah llah) and Muhammad was a prophet of God (Muhammad-ur-rasool-allah) according to Sonn and Tamara (2004). This is summarized by the Quran, sura 96;
Read in the name of the Lord and Cherisher, Who
Created man, out of a mere clot of blood:
Proclaim! And God is Most merciful,-
He Who (Allah) taught man that which he knew not.
One way of giving God gratitude as a Muslim is by fasting (sawm). This is the most important ritual during the Ramadan month. The purpose of this practice is to repent once sins so as to get near God. This is supported by Nasr and Seyyed (2003), “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint”
Pilgrimage (Hajj) is the most important practice in a Muslims life. They are required to attend the celebration in Mecca at least once in their lifetime. These two practices are aimed at improving their faith and bring the believers closer (Sonn and Tamara, 2004).
Salah (prayer) is the fourth pillar of the Islam religion. Muslims are supposed to pray five times a day. In referring to Nigosian (2003), “you cannot bath in a river for five times and still be dirty”. Nigosian continues arguing by quoting the Quran (sura 6), “.. Allah does not want to put you in any difficulties, he wants to cleanse and purify you.” Furthermore, the Muslims are required to practice Zakat (alms giving). The act encourages their believers to help the needy (Al-Fuqara or Al- Masakin). However, the act also encourages Muslims to pay taxes and tithe. Nigosian (2003) argues that this is also a covenant between Allah and man.
Other scholars also argue that Jihad is the sixth pillar of Islam. Jihad is considered as holy fight to defend Islamic religion. Nigosian (2003) argue that the four types of Jihad are jihad of the heart (fighting the devil), jihad by tongue (speaking the truth), jihad by the hand (doing right), and jihad by sword (holy war). The first three jihads are supposed to be practiced by all Muslims. However, terrorist groups have been misusing the jihad by sword to commit bad acts.
Whenever Muslims brothers are in conflict or want to practice any commitment the Sharia must be used. The Quran and Sunnah are the two major sources of Sharia laws (Sonn and Tamara, 2003). Sharia laws are used in marriage, divorce, trade, and delivering justice. Nasr and Seyyed (2003) also argue that the Sharia prohibits the payment of interest on any capital borrowed.
Although it seems contradictory, Islam is the second popular religion in India. Ali (2002) indicates that Islam began in India began in the early7th century. The religion was spread by Arab merchants who came to trade. The Muslims in India are the 3rd largest population of Muslims believers in the world. However, it has not been a smooth ride as majority of India’s still regards them as imposters. The Muslims have eroded some of their cultural practices and differ in beliefs as argued by Ali (2002).
Ali A. (2002). Islam in India: The impact of civilization. Mumbai: Sphira publications
Nasr, S. (2003). Islam: Religion, History and Civilization. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.
Nigosian, S.A. (2004). Islam: Its History, Teaching and Practices. Indiana: Indiana University Press.
Sonn, T. (2004). A Brief History of Islam. New Jersey: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.