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Religion and Faith in Afghan Culture


Kiana Shavalier

on 11 December 2012

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Transcript of Religion and Faith in Afghan Culture

Religion and Faith in Afghan Culture Sunni vs. Shiite Religions With Similar Beliefs these three major religions trace their history back to the covenant God made with Abraham in the Hebrew Bible ("Islam.").
all are monotheistic (believe there is one God)
all believe there is (the possibility of) an afterlife, whether eternal heaven or hell
God shares his will through prophets (Hale)
have specific days of worship (Islam-Friday, Judaism-Saturday, Christianity-Sunday)
have houses of worship and religious clergy ("Islam.") Basic Tenets of Islam Islam has five main tenets, known as the Five Pillars of Islam:

Salat: prayer carried out five times daily
Shahadah: "bearing witness", a statement affirming the greatness and oneness of Allah
Sawm: performing the ritual fast that takes place during Ramadan
Zakat: almsgiving; a religious tax put aside for the underprivileged in the Islamic community by those who can afford it
Hajj: the pilgrimmage to Mecca, which occurs every year during the twelfth Islamic month (Gordon) How Islam Has Shaped Afghan Culture If these religions are so similar, why do they seem to have difficulty getting along? Islam sees the followers of the other two Abrahamic religions as "people of the book" ("Islam."), but despite this, all three of these religions disagree on certain aspects of their faiths.

ignorance, relying on stereotypes, not fact
believing fellow religions to be false/possess false beliefs ("Judaism, Christianity,...") Islam is integral to Afghanistani culture, and it affects the everyday lives of the people: influences the way people dress limits what can be eaten Afghanistan had a fragile cultural identity based on respect of Islam (along with political independence and historical continuity [Monsutti]), until it was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1979. After the invasion, the national identity crumbled, and Afghanistan's attempt at unity was fragmented. Islam is the religion of the majority of Afghanistani people
Islam has two main sects: Sunni and Shiite (or Shia)
there has been much dispute between the sects ever since the death of the prophet Muhammed in 632
after his death, a group of Muslims chose Abu Bakr, who had a close relationship with Muhammed, as their leader. This group became know as the Sunnis
however, one group rejected Bakr, believing his cousin Ali to be the first caliph (successor of Muhammed) and the first imam, which is a religious leader ("What's the Difference...") When the Taliban came to power, Islam was sometimes used as an excuse or reasoning supporting what they enforced. The Taliban did not have a proper constitution, and so relied on the Qur'an (Monsutti). the law is based on the Qur'an Islam has similar beliefs to two other major religions. Islam is an Abrahamic religion, along with Judaism and Christianity: In Afghanistan, about 84% of the Muslim population is Sunni, while 15% is Shiite. Works Cited Gordon, Matthew S. Islam: World Religions. New York: Facts On File, 1991. 78. Print.
Hale, Brent. "Similarities and Differences Between the Three Abrahamic Faiths." Helium. N.p., 7 Feb. 2011. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.
"Islam." ReligionFacts. 7 December 2012. Web. 8 December 2012.
"Judaism, Christianity, and Islam." Los Angeles Chinese Learning Centre. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2012.
Monsutti, Alessandro. "Culture of Afghanistan." Countries and Their Cultures. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2012.
"What is Islam?." The Modern Religion. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2012.
"What's the Difference: Shia vs. Sunni." Neatorama. N.p., 13 Mar. 2007. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.
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