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RELS 201 (3)
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Islam- beliefs & Practices.doc

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Department
Religious Studies
Course
RELS 201
Professor
Craig Ginn
Semester
Winter

Description
Influences • Elements of Judaism, Christianity and pre-Islamic Arab beliefs & practices are incorporated into Islam. 1 reservation- Muslims contend that all previous revelation has been corrupted by those whom it had been given. • Christianity contributes the least to Islam. Islam shares more with Judaism. Christianity Judaism Pre-Islamic Arab Tension between Islam and - Islam borrows from Hebrew Bible Christianity. Islam doesn't (Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Contributions: Reverence for believe: Ishmael, Jacob & the tribes of Israel, Mecca & the Kaba as a holy site, the importance of the Black Stone, - in the Trinity and Jesus as the David, Solomon, and the prophets. the practice of pilgrimage to Mecca, “Son of God” Moses is especially featured in the and some traditions about - The Qur’an does mention Jesus Qur'an). Abraham. as the Messiah, Mary, John and - Both claim Abraham as the forefather of the Apostles. their nation & the literal founder of their - Do believe in resurrection of thefaith. - Arab attitudes of manliness, dead, final judgement, heaven & Differences: honor, & hospitality were retained & hell - Muslims claim it was Ishmael that wasreshaped. - Does believe that God will return God's intend covenant (not Isaac like - Arab poets (hanifs “pious”) @ what preached reform & reflected the end of the world. we believe). monotheistic tendencies. Such - Reject the story of crucifixion, - Muslims believe that Abraham, on a death and resurrection of Jesus visit to his exiled son Ishmael, built thets were similar to Muhammad - Features of Christian Kaba (house of God). and some of their ideas are similar monasticism are reflected in the to the ones in the Qur'an. mystical Sufi movement. God – There is only 1 God. Unity or oneness of God is calletawhid . God is one; there is no other. To associate any other divine power or to attribute divine qualities to anyone other than God is condemnedshirk . Muslims worship the same God that Jews and Christians do. Muslims refer to Jews & Christians as “people of the Book”. • Muslims use a # of epithets for God. God is most frequently referred to the Merciful, the Compassionate .”surah=chapter of the Qur'an . Muslims have 99 epithets or “Excellent Names” by which they can express some characteristic of God.Common saying = “Allahu akbar” • Esoteric side of Islam (some small Shiite groups) there are various beliefs. There is a view where nothing can be associated with God. In the middle, expressions of Islam can include the belief that Muhammad will act as in intercessor at the last judgement. The World (Visible & Invisible) • Visible : The Qur'an doesn't start with a story of origins, but it assumes the basic details of the biblical story. God is the creator of the world). The world is God-given and good. • Invisible world : an unseen world, in which angels (jinn/spirits), and other of God's creation operate. Angels are important (Angel Gabriel conveying the Qur'an to Muhammad). Muslims believe that there are 2 angels assigned to everyone (one recording good and one recording bad deeds). ◦ There are also jinn who deceive & cause harm. ◦ Chief of jinn is Iblis (Satan) – His refusal to bow before Adam @ God's command resulted in his expulsion from God's presence. The Human Condition Humans are ignorant of God's will. God sends messengers who speak God's word and Muslims respect that (like the Torah or Gospel of the Christians). Problem: God's clear message was corrupted by the human agents to whom the message had been entrusted. They believe that Muhammad was the final prophet Predestination – sovereignty of God over his creation is strongly emphasized. Debated over the balance of God's control and direction over all life with human responsibility & choice. Muslim sense is that all of life, both good & bad, happens according to the will of God. Muslim saying: “insha Allah” (If Allah wills) Death & Afterlife Death isn't the end. Words of the Muslim confession of belief are whispered in the ears of the dying. B/c athe dead will be resurrected and judged. Paradise & hell. Islam offers the most detailed description of the afterlife. Like in hell people will drink molten lead instead of water. Holy war/ Jihad (struggle) The great jihad is the inner personal struggle. To live Lesser jihad “holy war”. Features a out their faith as well as possible and overcoming greedy call to arms against an enemy thoughts (or bad thoughts in general) Law Shariah. Fundamental part of the Muslim consciousness. Muslim law is broad. Specifies behaviour under 3 other categories: the discouraged, recommended & the permitted or neutral. The Sources of Islamic Law 1 great debates within Islam is the sources upon which the Shariah can be established. All Muslims agree that the Qur'an is a valid source for law. But it isn't exactly a law book, so it's not the only source. Muhammad left more than his recitation of God's message he also left the examples of his life or sunnah (the way of the prophet). Stories (hadith) of what Muhammad did/said provide a record of the sunnah of the prophet. This is the 2 source of Islamic law. Problem: quantities of hadiths. So there's a problem with inauthentic ones. Analogy (qiyas) consensus (ijma). The use of analogy involved finding a passage in the Qur'an or hadith of sufficient parallel to address a new situation. (The prohibition of alcohol and drugs is established by analogy) Leadership – Islam claims that there have been 124,000 prophets (from Adam to Muhammad). 26 were mentioned in the Qur'an, of these almost all are characters from the Hebrew Bible. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus & Muhammad are judge to have been messengers par excellence. Muhammad is the final prophet, the “seal” of the prophets. He was the first leader of the Muslim community. Many people's actions follow Muhammad's as recorded in a hadith. Images Muhammad's 1 action when Mecca fell to him was to purify the Kaba (destroying all the religious images which represented 360 gods). This (-) view of religious images is called iconoclasm (image breaking) Images of people + animals were prohibited. Later, representational art was allowed. Muhammad is often surrounded by a flame. Revelation – Final revelation: Qur'an. It is God's word which Muhammad just recited. Qur'an hasn't been changed. T
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