Islam Teaches That Faith Must Come First Essay

Pages: 3 (985 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion

Islam teaches that faith must come first and that it cannot be tailored to fit around secular lives. At the heart of the commitment it demands is the concept of the Pillars of Faith, a concept shared by all branches of the religion. The number of pillars varies among the different Islamic traditions but all of them represent duties incumbent upon every member of the Muslim faith. The pillars are guidelines for leading a good and responsible life according to Allah's teachings. The pillars shape the daily lives of the more than one billion Muslims worldwide. In the wake of September 11, and more recently the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Muslims attracted considerable negative attention. It can be difficult for Americans to remember that the number of radical Muslims is actually quite small. It is difficult because the actions of a relative few have had such devastating consequences. It is thus important for non-Muslims to understand the pillars of faith that bind together those who practice Islam. Nearly a billion people practice Islam in a peaceable way.

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For most Muslims, there are five pillars of faith: Shahadah (testimony of faith), Salat (prayer), Zakat (charity), Sawm (fasting) and Hajj (pilgrimage). The five pillars are rituals, the practice of which shows God faith and love (Khan, 2008). Jihad, one of the most controversial and inflammatory terms used in the world's religions, is not one of the pillars of faith. It is, nevertheless, the term that non-Muslims are most familiar with, and it often strikes terror in their hearts. The term Jihad has become associated with violence because, as previously pointed out, a small percentage of Muslims have used their faith as a rationale for brutality.

Essay on Islam Teaches That Faith Must Come First Assignment

Jihad refers to both personal and public struggles. In terms of a personal struggle, it refers to one's spiritual struggle against pride and self-sufficiency. According to the teachings of Allah, one must be humble and serve God. One should never be so arrogant as to think he can live a good and responsible life without faith and the structure it provides. Jihad also refers to the struggle against enemies of Islam. Like many other religions, tactics include preaching, teaching and working for social justice (Author, Year). It may also include war, though apologists for Islam have tried to minimize this aspect of the religion. Classical Islamic legal doctrine sees armed Jihad as a defensive struggle against persecution, oppression, and incursions into Muslim lands (Rid, 2010). The important word in this definition is "defensive," meaning that Muslims must protect themselves against aggressors. This classical legal doctrine does not advocate for aggression. As pointed out by Author, "One of the challenges for practitioners of any religion is wrestling with elements in their tradition that have been used to justify war and then bending those elements back toward the good." Practitioners of Islam are not the only ones that have had to do this.

For example, Jews look to the teaching… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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