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- Moving forward, looking back. Farewell Lahey
A look inside culture and religion of Muslims
The terrorist acts of Sept. 11, 2001, and the recent war in Iraq has had a great affect on the world. Many people in the United States and throughout the world have negative ideas and feelings about Muslims and the Islamic culture.
People view them and their religion as something evil and dangerous. But, there are many things people are not aware of when it comes to this area.
In an article written by the Islamic Affairs Department, it said Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness. They only time when they become involved in warfare is when it has to do with their faith.
In the Muslim religion, they believe in one unique God, whom was created by angels. This God has complete authority over human destiny and after life matters. He is a stern god, who will hold all people responsible for their actions.
The people of the Muslim culture need to share these views as well as follow the prophet Muhammad. Muhammad was born in the year 570 AD.
His uncle, who was part of the Quraysh tribe, raised him. He was a calm man who often was heard saying he hated society because it was filled with injustices.
At the age 40, the Angel Gabriel came down to Muhammad. This conversation was the start of the Quran, a written version of the exact words that were spoken that day.
After this meeting, Muhammad traveled around and taught these words.
The Quran is the prime source of the Muslim faith and practice. It deals with all the concerns, which face human beings: wisdom, doctrine, law and the relationship.
This book also provides guidelines for a just society, proper conduct and their economic system.
To be a good solid Muslim, one must have faith within one’s life, pray often, be concerned with the needy, go through a self-purification and go through a pilgrimage.
In the faith area, Muslims must worship only God and Muhammad.
Muslims must make a ritual to say the Salat five times every day. This is their connection between god and themselves.
This prayer must be said with a group of people and the person who knows the Quran perfectly will say the prayer.
These prayers are said at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall. Therefore, a person’s day revolves around the saying of these prayers.
The family calculates Zaket, also known as how much a person gives to the needy. The normal family usually pays about two and a half percent of their capital. Most people give their donation in private. Most Muslims consider this act as charity and it is done because Muhammad and God say it should be done.
Self-purification can be solidified through the act of fasting. Every year, in the scared month of Ramadan, all Muslims must go though and act where they abstain from food, drink and sex from the first light to sundown.
Those who are pregnant, on a journey, sick or old are excused from this act, but must make it up later in the year.
If people are physically unable to perform the act, they must feed a needy person for every day missed.
The people of the Muslim religion and culture believe this action will help a person gain sympathy for those who are hungry.
The last guideline is the pilgrimage to Makkah. Those who are physically able must go on this trip every year. Two million people annually go on this walk. It is a way to meet other people as well as a way to stand equal to that of God for one moment each year.
The Muslim religion and culture also contains many different views in the area of Jesus, family, women, the old, food and war.
Muslims do not believe Jesus is the son of God. They view him as a prophet and eagerly await his second coming. His mother, Mary, is known as the purest woman in all of creation.
Family is the foundation of Islamic society. If a stable family is present and valued, then all members of the family will grow spiritually and fully. Larger families are always welcomed and preferred.
Most people think Muslim women are treated as property, but this is not the case. In the Muslim culture, women are thought of as individuals with their own rights and privileges. Women have money and property of their own and they can use this money at their own will.
Both men and women need to be dressed a certain way. It is written that modest and dignified clothes are expected. Most of the time, the clothes people wear are just an expression of the area they live in.
The Muslim people also treat the elderly with more respect. They do not believe in old age homes or sending away people that are sicker and older. These people think the American traditions of old age homes are malicious.
In opposition of popular belief, Muslims are not war-like beings. They are workers of peace. The Islamic culture only permits fighting in self-defense, defense against religion and defense of their homes. They do not believe in harming civilians and they do not believe in harming crops.