Those Damned Fundamentalists Essay, Research Paper
Those damned Fundamentalists, Really
By Michael Van
A long time ago, one man, Muhammad, a.k.a. (Abu Qasim Muhammad ibn Abd Allan ibn abd al Muttalub-Hashim), or Al Amin (the trustworthy one) began what would be a very powerful, populated, and much respected religion called Islam. The Prophet was born in Mecca, in 570 CE. He worked as a trader to make a living until he was 40, when the angel Gabriel came to him with revelations that established his prophet-hood. Prophet-hood is when Allah chooses someone form a nation to spread his instructions for life. For the next 20 years of his life, he spread Islam over Arabia and set an example for how to live one s life. He was the last prophet of Allah and put forth many great deeds that would light the fire for Islam. During those 20 years he did many incredible things.When he first started preaching the words of Allah, not everyone was moved by it. Some nobles and leaders of other religions felt threatened by Muhammad and his followers, giving him many challenges. The Islamic people were embraced when the Makkahs joined their religion, but many of those Muslims were persecuted, tortured and boycotted, so Muhammmed asked Negus, king of ethiopia, if the islam could reside there, attracting many form other places who desired islam. This process was called the migration. Soon after, the Makkah started to fall apart, and small wars broke out.
He marched in to Makkah, after the treaty of Hudaibiyah was established, because the Makkah tribe wasn t being peaceful. They gave no resistance and calmly surrendered to Muhammed. Before he died, in 632 A.D, he gave a speech, which advised his followers once again how to live, in order to serve Allah, called the last sermon.
The last sermon was also the completion of the Hadith. The Hadith, meaning record, or account, is the second most relied on text. The Hadith is basically a bibliography of the prophet Muhammad s life, and speeches he has given or other quotations. It is greatly and widely used for guidance of morality, commerce, and social conflict. The Hadith is not the most important book however. The most scared book of Islam is the Qu ran. The Qu ran is made up of 114 chapters. The Qu ran tells people how to live, what to do and what not to do with the strict rules and guidelines. Every chapter consists of anywhere from 6 to 120 verses, and every verse is one sentence. There are chapters of Muhammed, Abraham, Jonah, Joseph, Noah, and Mary, All similar to the Bible from which it was derived. There are many chapters of animals such as the elephant, ants, and the spider. They wrote about the sun, the moon, stars, and night. They also wrote about atheism and other non-believers, fate, hypocrites, divorce, and resurrection. Here is a translation from the surah, The Reality:
1. The Sure Reality! 2. What is the Sure Reality? 3. And what will make thee realise what the Sure Reality is? 4. The Thamud and the ‘Ad People (branded) as false the Stunning Calamity! 5. But the Thamud,- they were destroyed by a terrible Storm of thunder and lightning! 6. And the ‘Ad, they were destroyed by a furious Wind, exceedingly violent; 7. He made it rage against them seven nights and eight days in succession: so that thou couldst see the (whole) people lying prostrate in its (path), as they had been roots of hollow palm-trees tumbled down! 8. Then seest thou any of them left surviving? 9. And Pharaoh, and those before him, and the Cities Overthrown, committed habitual Sin. 10. And disobeyed (each) the apostle of their Lord; so He punished them with an abundant Penalty. 11. We, when the water (of Noah’s Flood) overflowed beyond its limits, carried you (mankind), in the floating (Ark), 12. That We might make it a Message unto you, and that ears (that should hear the tale and) retain its memory should bear its (lessons) in remembrance. 13. Then, when one blast is sounded on the Trumpet, 14. And the earth is moved, and its mountains, and they are crushed to powder at one stroke,- 15. On that Day shall the (Great) Event come to pass. 16. And the sky will be rent asunder, for it will that Day be flimsy, 17. And the angels will be on its sides, and eight will, that Day, bear the Throne of thy Lord above them. 18. That Day shall ye be brought to Judgment: not an act of yours that ye hide will be hidden. 19. Then he that will be given his Record in his right hand will say: “Ah here! Read ye my Record! 20. “I did really understand that my Account would (One Day) reach me!”21. And he will be in a life of Bliss, 22. In a Garden on high, 23. The Fruits whereof (will hang in bunches) low and near. 24. “Eat ye and drink ye, with full satisfaction; because of the (good) that ye sent before you, in the days that are gone!” 25. And he that will be given his Record in his left hand, will say: “Ah! Would that my Record had not been given to me! 26. “And that I had never realised how my account (stood)! 27. “Ah! Would that (Death) had made an end of me! 28. “Of no profit to me has been my wealth!29. “My power has perished from me!”… 30. (The stern command will say): “Seize ye him, and bind ye him, 31. “And burn ye him in the Blazing Fire. 32. “Further, make him march in a chain, whereof the length is seventy cubits! 33. “This was he that would not believe in Allah Most High. 34. “And would not encourage the feeding of the indigent! 35. “So no friend hath he here this Day. 36. “Nor hath he any food except the corruption from the washing of wounds, 37. “Which none do eat but those in sin.” 38. So I do call to witness what ye see, 39. And what ye see not, 40. That this is verily the word of an honoured apostle; 41. It is not the word of a poet: little it is ye believe! 42. Nor is it the word of a soothsayer: little admonition it is ye receive. 43. (This is) a Message sent down from the Lord of the Worlds. 44. And if the apostle were to invent any sayings in Our name, 45. We should certainly seize him by his right hand, 46. And We should certainly then cut off the artery of his heart: 47. Nor could any of you withhold him (from Our wrath). 48. But verily this is a Message for the Allah.fearing. 49. And We certainly know that there are amongst you those that reject (it). 50. But truly (Revelation) is a cause of sorrow for the Unbelievers. 51. But verily it is Truth of assured certainty. 52. So glorify the name of thy Lord Most High.
One part of the Qu ran really got my attention:
Volume 9, Book 92, Number 450, Narrated ‘Amr bin Al-’As:
That he heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “If a judge gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is correct (i.e. agrees with Allah and His Apostle’s verdict) he will receive a double reward, and if he gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is wrong, (i.e. against that of Allah and His Apostle) even then he will get a reward .”
This quote is especially important to me because it is the single most excerpt that makes me admire this religion. Primarily, this passage to me means that as long as one does the best of his/her knowledge they are rewarded. To me this would give much inspiration to try my hardest because I have nothing to lose as long as I put a lot of effort into it. I really like this because one could also put in no effort, do something right, and get double a reward. For example: I do a math problem and show neither any equations nor drawings, but if I get the answer right I am rewarded. I doubt NASA cares how calculations were conceived when an emergency landing is necessary and the astronauts make it to the Atlantic in one piece. The fact that Islam really encourages trying your hardest really appeals to me as a strong inspirational part of their scripture.
I find many other things interesting about Islam. First, I am amazed by the entire commitment by Islamic people. Besides the total faith aspect, which I know personally, is very hard, they have to pray 5 times a day, when the sun rises and sets, and all their meals. They have 4 different ways that they must pray in, Sal«h , and all towards Mecca. It just amazes me that someone would do that every day without ever questioning oneself. They too must wash there feet, hands and face, before and after praying. In every person s life they must also make a journey to Mecca, over the first ten days of dhu, in the Muslim year. They can go by anything from plane to boat to camel backs. They must visit the kabah, where Muhammed once prayed to Allah, and run around the mat«f seven times, a roadway surrounding the Kabah. The then must visit the sacred mosque, Masijid al-Har«m, and kiss the Black Stone, which is also surrounded by the mat«f. The must ascend Mt. Safa and Mt. Araf«t, which are really just two small hills now. On the last day they must pray before Allah and have a daylong ceremony that ends with the sacrifice of an animal, usually a sheep or goat, which is eaten by the owner and the rest is processed or canned by the Saudi government to be given to the poor. On the topic of eating, fasting, which was started by Islam, is also another big commitment. During fasting they may not have any food or drink; nor can they smoke, or have sex with the opposite sex… This all takes place between the time when a white thread can be distinguished from black one, until sunset. It interests me what Islamic people must do to pursue this religion, and how much faith they put into doing it. One other holiday that is important in Islam is Ramadan.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is a celebrated month for over one billion Muslims in the world. This fasting time is intended to develop inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. This is a time to polish their faith and morals. There are many different meanings of Ramadan to many different people.
One of the pillars in Mecca represents Ramadan, being that fasting is such and important part of Islam. There are many exceptional benefits to fasting. Of all these benefits, the tolerance and self controlling power is the most advantageous. In order to sustain such a lack of food, one builds up a great spiritual side and becomes much closer to God . Ramadan also is beneficial by intensive worshiping , reading of the Koran, giving charity, and doing good deeds.
Another way that fasting is beneficial is to be in someone else s shoes for a while and make yourself more open-minded and loving. Many people go without food more much longer times than that of Ramadan. This makes one more appreciative and understanding of God and what he has done for them.
While voluntary fasting is recommended for Muslims, during Ramadan fasting becomes obligatory. When people are sick or have medical problems, they can postpone the fasting until the are able. Ramadan is the most practiced worship of Muslims. The last ten days of Ramadan are the most intense days of praying and coming closer to God. The night, on which the first verses of the Koran were revealed to the Prophet, known as the Night of Power (Lailat ul-Qadr), is generally taken to be the 27th. The Koran states that this night is better than a thousand months. Many Muslims spend their whole night praying to God because eof this scripture. Most Muslims will also try to read the whole Koran or be read to in Mosques
Here are some of the ways Muslims congratulate on another for the completion of Ramadan
“Kullu am wa antum bi-khair” (May you be well throughout the year) – Arabic
“Atyab at-tihani bi-munasabat hulul shahru Ramadan al-Mubarak” (The most precious congratulations on the occasion of the coming of Ramadan) – Arabic
“Elveda, ey Ramazan” (Farewell, O Ramadan) – Turkish
“Kullu am wa antum bi-khair” (May you be well throughout the year) – Arabic
“‘Eid mubarak (A Blessed ‘Eid)” – universal
There are many conflicts between beliefs on men and women. “Verily for all men and women who have surrendered themselves unto God, and all believing men and believing women, and all truly devout men and truly devout women, and all men and women who are true to their word, and all men and women who are patient in adversity, and all men and women who humble themselves before God, and all men and women who give in charity, and all self-denying men and self-denying women, and all men and women who are mindful of their chastity, and all men and women who remember God unceasingly: for all of them has God readied forgiveness of sins and a mighty reward.” (33:35)
Islamic women are equal to men in some ways and unequal in others. From the above stating from the Koran, we know that women will be saved and judged by god in the same way of men. “No human being shall be of the least avail to another human being” (82:19) This passage from the Koran affirms that women will be held just as accountable as men in the eyes of god, law, and peers. On the final judgment day, no man will be held liable for another women s wrongs, and no women will be held liable for any man s wrongs. “I shall not lose sight of the labor of any of you who labors in My way, be it man or woman; each of you is equal to the other (3:195)”
Women s nature to have a place and contribute to society is given the same political rights, whether it be voting or holding office, as men. In some communities, because of fear of sexual relations, males and females are commonly separated. Social contact between men and women who are not related is completely forbidden, thus resulting in segregated schools, businesses, government offices, and the virtual exclusion of women from positions of power or control. Until the Koran was fully addressed, women had been property through marriage and divorce, were not allowed in mosques, and had very little rights which have now been fulfilled, yet, the still must be segregated and dress VERY conservatively.
There are about one billion Muslims today, outstripping every other religion. The largest sect of Islam is the Sunni. They make up 90% of the Islamic countries. Sunni are traditionalists who prefer a more secular life and religion. They refer to the Qu ran and the Hadith for guidance. Abu Hanafa started the Hanafi sect. The Hanafi sect is known for being more liberal and lenient. It is located in India, Central Asia, Turkey, and parts of Egypt. The Maliki sect was started by Malik ibn Anas. The Maliki school is most prevalent in North and Central Africa.The Shafi I school, started by Muhamad ibn Idris al-Shafi I, is currently followed in Malaysia, The Shiite sect was founded by Ja far al-Sadiq, in 750. This Sect had always been repressed because Sunnis were the majority. There is still a lot of conflict between the Sunni sect and the Shiite sect.
To conclude this essay, I would like to summarize Islam into one phrase: