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Transcript of Islam
Introduction to Islam
Islam is one of the biggest religions in the world. It consists of over one billion followers that are spread world wide, although originating and associated with the Middle East. The believers of this religion are called Muslims. These followers worship their one God, "Allah" which is the the same God that people of the Christian faith believe in.
The beginning of this faith is explained thoroughly by Religious Facts, Islam 101, 'According to Muslim belief, the angel-
Similarities to Christianity
Within Islam there are many similarities between this faith and Christianity. Some of these involve-
Islam and Christianity both worship the same God.
Islamic belief also uses fasting as a practice this same technique is used in Christianity.
God sent prophets such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Joseph, John the Baptist and Jesus.
Both believe that there is a "Paradise" (Heaven) and a Hell.
Both religions also believe in the Angels that were sent to deliver messages to the prophets.
These are some of the many similarities between the two religions. This similarity is not widely known as there is a tabooed social outlook towards Islamic extremists. This view on islamic religion tends for people to overlook these aspects.
History of the Role of Islam in Australia
The history of Islamic people in Australia dates back to before colonisation of Australia in 1788. The first Muslims to come to Australia were traders. These traders first came from the Indonesian archipelago and then later as Afghan camel drivers. Only in the 19th century was this presence more permanent. The main immigration of Muslims is explained by Muslim Population, "Large-scale Muslim migration began in 1975 with the migration of Lebanese Muslims, which rapidly increased during the Lebanese Civil War." This influx of Lebanese Muslims is still the highest population of Muslims in Australia.
Beliefs of Islamic Religion
The beliefs of Muslims are quite simplistic:
They believe in the one God and that he is eternal
Muslims also believe that Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses were prophets as well as Jesus, who they believe is not the Messiah, contrary to Christian beliefs. Then Muhammad was the last prophet from God, a reconfirmation of the eternal message.
They also believe that there will be a day of judgement, where all people will be resurrected to be judged by God.
People of Islamic Faith also believe in their version of heaven, Al-Qadar.
Muslims believe that they are to surrender themselves to Allah, thus the literal translation of Muslim in Arabic is "one who submits"
Practices of Islamic Religion
Islamic Faith consists of "The Five Pillars of Islam" these pillars outline the five primary obligations that each muslim must fulfill in their life time:
Shahadah- Proclamation of faith, this ritual comprises of reciting, "There is no God but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God" This expresses total faith and commitment to Islam.
Salah- Prayer, the second pillar asks for a Muslim to pray five times a day and to pray preferably at a Mosque.
Zakat- Charity, this pillar calls for 2.5% of a persons net worth to be given as charity to the neediest of the their community.
Sawm- Fasting, during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, Muslims will fast during daylight hours, this is meant to exercise self control and heighten one's sensitivity to the poor.
Hajj- Pilgrimage, for any Muslim that is financially and physically able will travel to the Islamic holy city Mekkah (Meccah).
By Nathan Stevens
Year 11 RE
Discovering Islam, Islam vs Christianity, Published: 2008, Last Updated: 31/01/15, Accessed: 17/3/15 - <http://www.discoveringislam.org/islam_vs_christianity.htm>
Diversiton, Islamic Rituals and Holy Days, Published: 2011, Acessed: 9/3/15 - <http://www.diversiton.com/religion/main/islam/holydays-festivals-rituals.asp>
Islam Guide, Basic Islamic Beliefs, Published: 1996, Author: I. A. Ibrahim, Accessed: 6/3/15- <http://www.islam-guide.com/ch3-2.htm>
Muslim Population, Islam in Australia, Published: 2008, Accessed: 18/3/15- <http://www.muslimpopulation.com/Oceania/Australia/Islam%20in%20Australia.php>
Religious Facts, Islam 101, Published: 17/3/04, Last Updated: 3/1/14, Accessed: 6/3/15- <http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/overview.htm>
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Washington D.C, The Five Pillars of Islam, Published: 2015, Acessed: <http://www.saudiembassy.net/about/country-information/Islam/five_pillars_of_Islam.aspx>
Gabriel, (i.e. the same one mentioned in the Bible) appeared to Muhammad, a camel driver, in a mountain cave and delivered a message from the one true God, who is called Allah. Muhammad dedicated the remainder of his life to spreading a message of monotheism in a polytheistic world. His life's work is recorded in the Qur'an, the sacred text of Islam."
This deep importance then closely relates the law to religion, creating Sharia law.
The symbol on the above is known as the Star and Crescent, it is associated with the Islamic Faith.
Rituals of Islamic Faith
Within a Muslim community there is a range of various rituals that are completed, these include:
Shadada. "The marking of a young Muslim’s formal entry into Islam. There is no set age for this rite, though it is most commonly celebrated during the teenage years," Diverstion, Islamic Rituals and Holy Days.
Janazah- This is a prayer recited to the dead at a funeral.
Ramadan- The Holy Month which takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. In this period Muslims will fast and repent.
Halal- Halal is the proper slaughter of animals that makes the meat allowable for a Muslim to eat.
Maulid al-Nabi- This holy day is the celebration of Muhammad.
These few rituals are some of many that make up the diverse religion that is Islam.
Differences between Islam and Christianity
While there are definite similarities within the two religions there are some differences. These include:
Discovering Islam explains that,"Trinity is totally rejected. Jesus is neither God, nor Son of God (in the literal sense). Jesus was a human prophet and not divine."
Islam also believes that Angels are created as servants for God and are not divine and therefore should not be worshiped.
Muslims believe that God did not die on the cross but he made it appear that way, while Christians believe he died and was resurrected.
Another significant difference is that Muslims believe that humans are born with "Original Sin". This is explained in the Koran.
These are the most important differences between the two beliefs. While these are some significant differences, the two religions tend to be more similar than dissimilar.
Modern Day Australian Islamic Influence
Within Australia there is a range of religions, of these Islam plays a part. According to the 2011 census there were 476,291 Muslims living in Australia. This made Islam the fourth largest religion in the country. This Islamic presence has had some affect on the way Australia is governed. Recently the Islamic community asked for Sharia law to be implemented. This idea was totally rejected by the Australian public. Within this time in the Australian society there is a negative light cast over the Islamic belief. Terrorist movements such as ISIS have brought this upon the Islam. They claim to be doing this in the name of God. However, these extremists are not recognised by the Muslim community, Australian citizens still associate them with Islam.
Why is it Important to have a Multi-religious society?
Within any society a multi-religious community teaches valuable lessons. If a community has multiple religions it teaches tolerance between these religions. It makes for one religion to be accepting and respectful of one another, making them able to live peacefully in the same society. This understanding of the different religions helps form a cohesive community.
These aspects of Islam show the diverse religion that it is. The beliefs, practices and rituals give us a insight to a community that follows this faith. The similarities and differences between Islam and Christianity gives you a way to judge and compare how different the religion actually is. Then finally the role that Islam plays in Australia shows what influence this faith has on out everyday life. All of these factors combined gives us a summary of Islam.