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Transcript of Islam
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
Islam and Muslims
Basic facts of Islam
Islam is the third in succession of the three great monotheistic faiths born in the Middle East.
Islam is the second largest religion in the world.
Approximately 650,000 Muslims live in Canada.
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world.
Origin of Islam
Muhammed (570-632) was orphaned at a young age but was brought up by his uncle and learned the business of trade.
By 25 he married Khadeeja, a woman many years his senior.
In 610, during a quiet retreat for prayer, he received a revelation from God, through Archangel Gabriel. For the next 22 years, Muhammed received additional revelations/recitations from God which became the Qur'an.
Gaining followers, as well as persecutors, Muhammed left Mecca for Medina (Yathrib). In Medina, the followers grew in number. Eight years later, Muhammed returned to Mecca marking Hijra.
A few months later Muhammed died but not before thousands of people converted to Islam and giving up idolatry.
After Muhammad's death...
Some believed that Muhammad had named his cousin and son-in-law Ali and his descendants to succeed him.
Others thought that Muhammad had died without naming a successor, and that the community elders were therefore responsible for naming a successor.
Leads to the development of the Shi'i of Ali, and the Sunni.
Divisions in Islam
Believe Muhammed did not appoint a successor
Abu Bakr was elected the caliph by the people
about 85% of the population
they believe one should follow the Sunna of the prophet, meaning they live according to Muhammed's example when something is not stated directly in the Qur'an
Beliefs: Articles of Faith
Belief in Angels:
serve Allah, no free will
record a person's actions
care for the soul at the time of death
made of light
Belief in Prophets:
Belief in Judgment Day:
Day of Resurrection is known by God but not people
everyone will be judged by good and bad deeds
some sins can condemn a person to hell- disbelief in God or dishonesty
God will forgive one of sins if he repents
heaven is seen as a place of joy and bliss
Belief in Predestination:
Allah knows what will happen but one has free will
Holy Month of Ramadan
Belief in one god, Allah
Five Pillars of Islam
Pray five times a day
provide 2.5% of income to the poor
Most holy time for Muslims
begins on the 9th month of the Islamic calendar
starts on the eve of the sighting of the new moon
lasts for 29-30 days until the next new moon is sighted
the rewards of fasting are many, but in this month they are believed to be multiplied
Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of prayers, recitation of the Quran, and gifts to the needy
Significance of Ramadan:
Muhammed began receiving revelations from Allah during the 9th month of the year
Chapter 2, Revelation 185 of the Quran states:
The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.
Fasting is obligatory for adults (except those who are ill, traveling, pregnant, diabetic or menstruating)
fast from dawn-sunset
refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, sexual relations
families and friends gather in the evenings to celebrate iftar- the breaking of the fast
Belief in holy books:
Torah and Gospels to some degree but believe the information was distorted over time
believe in the Qur’an, as revealed to Muhammed by God through Archangel Gabriel
Belief in one God:
defined as Eternal, Absolute, Infinite, Compassionate and Merciful, the sole Creator and Provider
Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca
Fasting during the Holy Month of Ramadan
Women in Islam
Muslims come together in a mosque for prayers at midday on Friday (Muslim Holy Day) but they may pray in the mosque during any one of the five daily prayers
MIHRAB= small arch or hole in wall indicates the direction of the Ka’bah in Mecca
MINARET= high tower or dome from which a muezzin calls the faithful to prayer
WUDU= cleansing process before prayer (water)
IMAM= chief officer in the mosque who leads prayers
"to slaughter an animal", one for a girl, two for a boy as thanks to God (if possible, unless poor)
seven days after birth a goat or sheep, with no defects is to be sacrificed
1/3 goes to the parents, 1/3 to relatives, 1/3 to poor or invite all people to a banquet
the child's head is shaved and the weight of the hair is given in silver to the poor
this practices is copied from the sunnah, or practices of Muhammed
the ceremony performed after the birth of a child, also the call to prayer
this prayer is whispered into the baby's right ear, usually by the father
"God is great, there is no God but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Come to prayer."
the baby is also sometimes given a small taste of something sweet, like a date, believing it starts the digestive system, a practiced started by Muhhamed and followed today (a sunnah)
both men and women can initiate divorce in Islam but the ways differ
men can state three times in succession, "I divorce thee..." to declare divorce however there is a three month waiting period in which reconciliation may occur and the women is to be sheltered and supported by her husband unless she has committed a lewd act
women can also initiate divorce but must petition a court if not accepted by her husband, she must wait one month or if pregnant, wait until the birth of the baby, in some cases she is required to repay her dowry, marriage expenses, and leave her children with their father
In Islam, a man is allowed to marry up to four women, however the Qu'ran requires that the women are all treated equally
Prior to Islam men would marry widows and orphaned girls which helped to provide for women and their security
Today polygamy is not allowed in some Muslim countries however where it does exist, the total number of men in polygamous relationships is estimated between 1-3%
Rites of Passage
when a Muslim dies, his body is washed (ghusl) and wrapped, preferably by a family member, in a clean white cloth, a prayer is said and he is buried, usually the same day
Performing this duty is considered the last service one can provide for a family member and helps the person to remember the impermanence of life on Earth
Muslims believe eternal life is to come for the deceased so they pray
burial customs vary from place to place but generally there is never cremation, people are buried in the shroud and covered in dirt
a three day mourning period is observed by the family in which they increase prayer devotion, receive quests and avoid decorative clothing/jewelry
women who are widowed must observe a four month ten day mourning period before they can remarry (an economic necessity in earlier days) to ensure the paternal identity of unborn children
revealed to Mohammed by Gabriel over 23 years
the Qur'an consists of 114 chapters called sura
the text can be divided into 30 readings per month or seven readings for a week
Muslims believe intentionally insulting the Qur'an is blasphemous
one should have clean hands and handle the Qur'an with respect
intentionally destroying the Qur'an is considered highly insulting
a legal union based on the mutual acceptance of the bride and groom
parents may introduce their son/daughter to potential candidates and will advise them
the marriage includes a contract between the bride and groom and addresses property and financial issues
after the contract is agreed upon, the marriage ceremony occurs, either in a mosque or in the home and is conducted by an imam or person authorized to officiate
marriage is encouraged for the creation of family however marriage is also the only acceptable condition for sexual relations
the groom must present the bride with a gift of monetary value, for her own use, in case of his death or divorce, it should be a sum upon which she could survive
Culture and Islam
Islam and terrorism
Misunderstandings of Islam
According to Qur’an, men and women are equal before God
Under Islamic law, women have the right to own property, receive an education and take part in community life
Islamic rules for simple, modest and dignified dress applies to women and men equally
In many Muslim countries there are cultural practices that are inconsistent and contrary to the authentic teachings of Islam
A: In the Quran, God states: "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty...And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and adornments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers...(a list of exceptions)" [Chapter 24, verses 30-31] Also, "O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons...that they should be known and not molested." [Chapter 33, verse 59]
In one tradition, the Prophet Muhammad is quoted as saying: "...If the woman reaches the age of puberty, no part of her body should be seen but this --- and he pointed to his face and hands."
From these and other references, the many Muslim scholars and jurists determined the minimum requirements for Muslim women's dress: 1) Clothing must cover the entire body, with the exception of the face and the hands. 2) The attire should not be form fitting, sheer or so eye-catching as to attract undue attention or reveal the shape of the body.
What are the requirements for Muslim women's dress?
Is the hijab a form of oppression or liberation?
Name the regions where Islam is most dominant...
Islam: literally means submission and refers to the religion
Muslim: literally means one who submits and refers to the person
believe Ali, Muhammed's son in law is the legitimate leader after Muhammed's death
believe the Imam should be a descendant of Muhammed
12% of the population
most Shi'i populations live in Iraq and Iran and large populations live in Kuwait, Afghanistan and Pakistan
Shi'i in red
Sunni in yellow
the term 'sufi' be may derive from the word for 'wool' and the woollen garments worn by early Sufis or it may also have connections with the word for 'purity' it is linked with the Greek word 'sophia' for wisdom
Sufis can be found in either Shi'i or Sunni groups
they believe in a total dedication or worship of Allah, rejecting the material world and abstaining from typical pleasure, wealth and prestige desired by most people worship of Allah is often solitary
Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open? ~Rumi
Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life. ~Rumi
Hear blessings dropping their blossoms around you. ~Rumi
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along. ~Rumi
God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches you by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly - not one. ~Rumi
Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form. ~Rumi
Rumi was a thirteen century poet, jurist, theologian and Sufi mystic. Born in Persia, his works became popular internationally. He remains one of the most read poets today, even outside the Muslim world. He is one of the most well known Sufi mystics ever.