Like many of you on January 1st I made a New Year’s Resolution – to learn about the 4 religions of the world so as to make me a more open-minded person – and like many of you I forgot all about it by January 2nd but today as I was lying on my bed I realized that the year wasn’t over yet and that there was still time for me to follow through with my New Year’s Resolution so over the next four days we will be learning about the 5 religions of the world starting with perhaps the most misunderstood religion of all – Islam.
Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion articulated by the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Allāh), and by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad‘s teachings and normative example (which is called the Sunnah in Arabic, and demonstrated in collections of Hadith). Islam literally means “submission (to God).” Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb of which Islām is the infinitive.
Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and that the purpose of life is to worship God. They regard their religion as the completed and universal version of a primordial, monotheistic faith revealed at many times and places before, including, notably, to the prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Islamic tradition holds that previous messages and revelations have been changed and distorted over time. Religious practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are five obligatory acts of worship Islamic law (Arabic: Šarīʿah) touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, encompassing everything from banking and warfare to welfare and the environment.
The majority of Muslims belong to one of two denominations, the Sunni and the Shi’a. About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, 31% in the Indian Subcontinent, 20% in the Middle East and 15% in Sub-saharan Africa. Sizable communities are also found in China and Russia, and parts of the Caribbean. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world. With about 1.57 billion Muslims comprising about 23% of the world’s population, Islam is the second-largest religion in the world and arguably the fastest-growing religion in the world.
(Excerpt from Wikipedia)
Although I am Christian and don’t subscribe to the Muslim way of life I can now safely say that I have a better understanding of it and it is my sincere hope that after reading this blog post that you do to because I believe that the eradication of intolerance can only be achieved through understanding.