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Lecture

Islamic Practices The Five Pillars, Caliphate, Sunnites, Shi'ites

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Department
Religious Studies
Course
RS 110
Professor
Peter Frick
Semester
Fall

Description
  RS  110  –  101:  Lecture  16   Islam  Practices   Tuesday,  November  16,  2010     The  Five  Pillars   1. Profession  of  Faith  (shahadah)   2. Ritual  Prayer  (salat)   3. The  Ramadan  Fast  (sawm)   4. The  Giving  of  Alms  (zakat)   5. The  Pilgrimage  to  Mecca  (hajj)       -­‐ Pillars  are  obligations -­‐and  not  voluntary  acts-­‐of  divine  worship,  called  ibadat   -­‐ Few  details  in  the  Quran,  knowledge  of  practice  is  received  from  the  prophet’s   sunnah   (Muhammad’s  life-­‐example)  recorded  in  the  hadith   -­‐ Practice  of  the  pillars  is  more  a  matter  of  fact  orthopraxy -­‐(correct  doing),  than  orthodoxy -­‐ (theology  teaching)   -­‐ The  pillars  are  an  expression  of  personal  faith  and  piety   -­‐ Except  for  the  first  pillar,  the  other  four  are  a  communal  and  not  an  individual  rite       Profession  of  Faith  (shahadah)     -­‐ There  is  no  god  except  God,  and  that  Mohammad  is  the  messenger/pr ophet   -­‐ Two  elements:  the  oneness  of  God  and  the  prophetic  call  of  Muhammad     -­‐ Outwardly  profession     Ritual  Prayer  (salat)   -­‐ Salat  must  by  performed  five  times  a  day;  at  dawn,  noon,  mid -­‐afternoon,  sunset,  and  after   dark   -­‐ The  prayer  must  always  be  preceded  by  ritu al  washing  of  the  face,  rinsing  of  the  mouth,  and   nostrils,  washing  the  hands  and  forearms  and  passing  one’s  hands  over  the  head  and  feet.  If   water  is  unavailable,  clean  said  may  be  used  instead   -­‐ The  call  to  prayer  is  trough  the   muezzin  who  calls  from  the  minaret   -­‐ Call  to  prayer  is  the  shahadah     -­‐ When  saying  prayer  they  do  it  facing  Mecca   –  compared  to  the  Lord’s  Prayer       The  Ramadan  Fast  (sawm)   -­‐ The  Quran  recognizes  fasting  as  an  important  form  of  worship     -­‐ Rooted  in  the  life  of  Muhammad:  he  fasted  in  Mecca  and  in  Medina  where  he  was  influenced   by  the  Jewish  fast  during  Yom  Kippur     -­‐ The  fast  lasts  all  of  the  month  of  Ramadan   -­‐ Begins  at  daybreak  and  ends  at  sundown   -­‐ Muslims  must  abtain  from:  food,  drink,  smoking,  evil  thoughts,  sexual  relations   -­‐ At  the  call  to  prayer  the  fast  is  broken   -­‐ The  sick,  travelers,  pregnant  woman  are  exempt  from  the  fast   -­‐ Is  an  act  of  worship  and  thankfulness  to  share  in  God’s  bounty     -­‐ Done  in  order  to  focus  attention  of  Allah   -­‐ Eid  –  The  fast  breaking  holiday  that  follows  Ramadan  as  a  thankful  re membrance  of  having   been  able  to  keep  the  fasting.  Morning  prayers.       The  Giving  of  Alms  (zakat)     -­‐ The  root  meaning  of  zakat  is  “to  purify  or  increase”   -­‐ Give  part  of  what  you  have  or  income   –  (charity  in  Western  world)  2.5%  of  one’s  income   -­‐  Giving  of  alms  purifies  a  person  from  greed  and  the  attachment  to  wealth   -­‐ Zakat  (religious  obligation)  not  identical  to  charity     RS  110  –  101:  Lecture  16   The  Pilgrimage  to  Mecca  (hajj)   -­‐ For  many  Muslims,  the  pilgrimage  is  the  fulfillments  for  a  life -­‐long  dream   -­‐ Money  is  saved  for  many  years  (financial  burden)   -­‐ First  act  of  pilgrimage  is  to  exchange  one’s  regular  clothes -­‐before  the  entrance  into  Mecca -­‐   for  two  pieces  of  white  linen  (men)  or  one  dress  of  regular  clothes  (women)   -­‐ Abraham  made  the  first  pilgrimage  to  Mecca  and  cleanse  the   kabah   -­‐ End  of  Muhammad  made  his  entrance  into  Mecca  as  well   -­‐ Lesser  pilgrimage:  pilgrims  circle  seven  times  around  the   kabah-­‐counterclockwise-­‐  and  then   run  between  two  hills  of  al-­‐Safa  and  al-­‐Marwa   o Between  those  two  places  is  a  well  of  Samson  and  drink  the  water   o Historically:  Abraham  left  Hagar  and  Ishmael  and  they  were  getting  de -­‐hydrated  and   God  told  her  that  he  placed  a  well  there  for  her   -­‐ Pilgrims  go  to  a  plain  called  Arafat,  about  20  km  east  of  Mecca     th -­‐ There  is  the  “Mount  of  Mercy”  which  is  the  goal  of  the  pilgrims  on  the  9  day  
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