The Islam religion, just like other religions in the world is built on a rich history that defines what the religion is today. There are events in the past of the religion that lead the way to what it is in our current societies. People would say that the best way to understand the present is to look back to the past. I believe that the chapter on both the past and present of the Islam religion will provide the needed connection in order to deepen the understanding of the religion. The religion, for example, is also rich with festivities and celebrations that proclaim their gratefulness to their Almighty. It is mentioned in p 224 of Cory & Mitchel’s book, it is mentioned that there are a number of celebrations adopted by Muslims. One of the most important dates in the Muslim Religious Calendar is the Eid al-Fitr or the celebration that marks the end of the Ramadan.
I believe that the best way to understand why Muslims practice their annual fasting is to discover the historical significance of the practice. In my opinion, the general message or significance of the chapter is to allow people to grasp the basic explanation for the practices. The Islam practices as mentioned in Cory & Mitchel p 224 are rooted from obligations and genuine dedication. It makes people who engage themselves in the traditional practices such as the Ramadan feel closer to their religion and to God. It is also their way of penitence for their sins because God suffered on their behalf. The practice of fasting, for instance, is part of the six pillars of the religion. It is being considered as the third pillar. In my opinion, this practice show just how dedicated and committed the Muslims are to their belief. Personally, I know how difficult it is to skip meals, but on their part they do it for days and just feed on prayer. This practice is said to deepen their connection to God and their fate. After days of fasting, the Muslims gather as one community in order to celebrate their successful sacrifice. Sacrifice is a perfect word to describe this practice because it takes a lot of devotion and discipline to do it.
In general, what I learned from the reading is respect for diversity. Some people feel that they are superior over others because they do not understand the way other people act. It is not right to mention that one religion is superior or inferior over the other because they have differing practices. It is important to highlight that respect is needed to keep an open-mind about things. I saw how important it is to research about the history of concepts in religion in order to further understand why people even up to today continuously adhere to what are written. Religion serves as one of the greatest determinants in human life because it dictates a lot in our identity. Muslims, in their case, are defined by the practice of their religion. They live and act in accordance to what they believe. These belief and practices are the passed on in different generations through socialization. My life, for example, is a product of culture and my nature as a person. I am exposed to many situations in life, I also use my religion to determine the decision or path that I should take.
The Christian Theological Tradition, Third Edition