Islam is defined as submission and peace to God. Worldwide there are more than 1 billion Muslims less than one fifth is Arab. Islam is the major religion of much of Asia, and Indonesia as well with the world’s most abundant Muslim population. Today Islam is a very sensitive and controversial topic; there are a lot of misconceptions and conceptions about its belief, values and goals. In this research paper l will examine the teachings of Islam and how they are interpreted and or practiced in different countries and cultures, including the United States, Great Britain, the Middle East, India and Pakistan, and other country of Asia. How Islam is understood in each country’s culture and how is it contrasted with Christianity and Judaism? How do these understandings impact the ways that Muslims and non-Muslims interact and communicate with one another.
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Religion is one of the moving forces behind many of the event and attitude that have shaped our world. During the centuries, countries and cities have been developed and destroyed; and battle have been fought, all to protect or make known one religion or another. Islam is the second largest religion in the world; without doubt Muslims differ in their personal engagement and practice between doctrinal and cultural attitude, and have different apprehension about the correct practice of Islam.
It had remained fairly invisible to most Americans prior to the Arab oil embargo of 1973 and the Iranian Revolution of 1978-1979 with its taking and holding of US hostages (Simmons, Gwendolyn, Zoharah 2008).
Of course, American interest in Islam has been further heightened by the horrific events of September 11, 2001, prior to which not much information about Muslims and Islam was available in US newspapers, on radio or television or on the bookshelves in the bookstores or public libraries (Simmons, Gwendolyn, Zoharah 2008). After 911, Medias, radios and books gave negative views of Islam to Americans which made life harder for Muslims over all.
Majorities of Muslims living in the US are foreigners, Muslims in America who have been raised traditionally in Muslim cultures speak of the tension they experience trying to remain close to cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious roots while attempting to expand a sense of belonging in their adopted home. American societal patterns are at odds with needs of Muslim life and practice: Schedules works do not easily permit for the five times Friday congregational or day salat prayers. Eating institutional facilities such as prisons, schools, military do not have set up for Muslim dietary practices. The cultural acceptance of sexual permissiveness and the allowance of alcohol in America and immodesty in clothing and comportment are seen as negative influences on the community faith, particularly on his younger people. The shariah law, however, continues to be held as the perfect pattern of life to be striven for, somehow, in the middle of contemporary American culture.
On the other side of the world in Europe Muslims in Britain are extraordinarily well accommodated with one another. There are more various Muslims from more dissimilar parts of the globe and communities living together harmoniously in Great Britain than any other city in the world. An essential element of that unification among Muslims is the dexterity to project an apparent Muslim religious uniqueness on top and over any traditional identity or culture. The complication for the expansive society is that unlike, food, fashion, music, sport, drugs, humor, or the arts, religion is not shareable and inseparable. Is not to affirm Muslims do not have many things to talk over with, Humanists, Jews and Christians, on the opposite Muslims now have an essential place in religious discussion of issues in Great Britain. Invariably people define assimilation as the range to which culture has been shared and ingurgitated, from well known entertainment to tastes in narcotics. The belief of Islam has become shareable in the confined sense that most people in Great Britain or England now know something about it therefore, conversion to Islam is not unusual, however people cannot take it as it please them because is not like a cultural or entertainment source. Therefore the only integration of Muslims into larger community is the magnitude to which obvious Muslim practice is welcome by the latter.
Another interesting country where Islam is practiced is India and Pakistan. Muslims are about twelve percent of Pakistan and India population. However their influence on the Pakistanis and Indian society is much stronger. One of the main reasons is that, there are many Muslims rulers in different parts of Pakistan and India. Majorities of the Muslim rulers of Pakistan and India are invaders from the west. In general the Muslims of Pakistan and India like the Muslim world is splited into two major sects, Shia and Sunni. And just like in the Muslim world there is tension between these two sects. Each of the sects has many different schools in each place. There are also Muslims from both placed who affirm to be the descendants from the daughter of Prophet Muhammad and the men in these communities add the title Syed before their names, some other claim to be the descendants of the first Muslims and add the title Sheik.
Asia is home of sixty five percent of the world’s Muslims population, and Indonesia, in Southeast, is the world’s largest Muslim country. Although the national slogan of Indonesia, (Unity in diversity), was intended to be a certainly national one, is no less applicable to the Southeast Asian Muslims community, as well as to Muslims all over the world. If questioned about the main elements of their faith and practice, most Muslims will point out the five basic duties of Islam. It consist of, the daily prayers or salat, the profession of faith or shahada, the hajj, the giving of alms or zakat and fasting in Ramadan or sawm. Despite for all that, there is an entire range of calendar rites and celebrations of passage combined with Islam, also to mention the clear acts of piety that some believers perform before carrying out basic actions, like call upon God’s name prior to washing one’s face and limbs also before prayer or eating. Again, these acts are split across Islamic pace and time.
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On the other side, many distinctions among adherent of dissimilar theological and cultural traditions remain essential. though the global society of the faithful come together in Mecca for the don then the hajj the identical costume of two unsewn also known as ihram, they frequently travel as a group in narrow managed groups of fellow countrymen and linguistic communities with tags displaying their national flags. At the same time, there are many distinguishing local practices that are felt to be completely Islamic in the Southeastern of Asia, although these, on occasion, have been disapproved by Muslims of differing cultural backgrounds by virtue of their lack in displacement from, their individual histories. Local practices contain the visitation of the burial place of the saints of Java or the use of drums in place of the call to prayer.
Other examples of distinct Southeast Asian practices may be associated to the harness of the sarung a common practice with non Muslims and Muslims all over the Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, the somewhat late circumcision of young males frequently celebrated as a major event in village, the use of shadow puppets which is believed by some local communities to have been invented by one of the saint Muslin to make clear Islam in the local dialect. Even if such habits are viewed sideways or regionally apparent elsewhere, if not argued honestly, such practices are nevertheless seen as ways of correlating to a belief that is global and equal.
Christians, Jews and Muslim worship the same God. These three are monotheistic religions, with many common, texts, beliefs and doctrines. Muslims respect the same prophets as Christians and Jewish, including, Abraham, Noah, Jesus, Moses and Jesus. In reality, Muslims consider Islam to have been present from the time of Abraham, with Judaism and Christianity being central forms of the last religion confessed to Muhammad.
Jews and Christian are specifically guarded in the Quran as Peoples of the Book, because Islam considers both the Torah and New Testament and to be revelations from God, though inaccurate in the process of human communication. An example of a difference in apprehension, Islam does not admit that Jesus is the son of God; this acknowledgement would disprove the Islamic belief in the uniqueness of God’s deity.
Like Judaism, Islam has powerful constitutional tradition that describes the rules by which believers of the religious community should live. Part of these rules includes dietary restriction against eating pork which is very similar.
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