Islam and Violence Based on Islam's Three Dimensions Term Paper

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Islam and Violence

The modern world, in which the threat of terrorism is constant, has introduced many new beliefs, correct and false, into the collective conscience of the citizens of the world. Among these is the assertion that Islam is violent, and as such, poses a threat to world peace. This fundamental statement is incorrect; rather, it is correct to say that Radical Islam is violent and vastly different from traditional Islam. This paper will make this critical distinction and prove that Islam is not violent, and only becomes so when it is polluted with extremist mindsets and false interpretations of ancient Islamic texts and tenets.

The 3 Dimensions of Islam

To begin to appreciate the fact that Islam itself is not violent, as opposed to Radical or Militant Islam, the 3 dimensions of Islam need to be discussed and fully realized. These dimensions are known as Islam, Imam and Ihsan.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Islam and Violence Based on Islam's Three Dimensions Assignment

The term Islam itself is used by so many people with so much regularity, but in reality, very few people realize what the term itself means, not only in its literal translation but also for what it represents as a dimension of the Islamic faith. Literally translated, Islam means "submission," coming from the same root as the Arabic word "salaam," which means "peace." As such, the religion of Islam teaches that in order to achieve true peace of mind and surety of heart, one must submit to God and live according to His law. The most important truth that God revealed to mankind is that there is nothing divine or worthy of being worshipped except for Almighty God, thus all human beings should submit to Him. The word "Muslim" means one who submits to the will of God, regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. Being a Muslim entails willful submission and active obedience to God, and living in accordance with His message. Some people mistakenly believe that Islam is just a religion for Arabs, but nothing could be further from the truth. Not only are there converts to Islam in every corner of the world, especially in England and America, but by taking a look at the Muslim World from Bosnia to Nigeria, and from Indonesia to Morocco, one can clearly see that Muslims come from many various races, ethnic groups and nationalities. It is also interesting to note that in actuality, more than 80% of all Muslims are not Arabs - there are more Muslims in Indonesia than in the whole Arab World! So though even though it is true that most Arabs are Muslims, the large majority of Muslims are not Arabs. However, anyone who submits completely to God and worships Him alone is a Muslim (Kamali, 2003).

Imam, translated from its ancient meanings, is "faith." This faith is not only a belief in God, but also obedience to His will, including the tightly held belief that murder is wrong. Many people today falsely believe that the faith that is at the heart of Islam is a driving force behind terrorism, genocide and the like, but the reality is quite the opposite. For those who embrace the true Islam, Imam is everything, and Imam is also that which adheres to the ancient traditions of the religion itself. The foundation of this faith is belief in the God of Abraham, Noah, Moses and Jesus. Islam teaches that a pure belief in God is intuitive in human beings and thus fulfills the natural inclination of the soul. As such, Islam's concept of God is straightforward, unambiguous and easy to understand. Islam teaches that the hearts, minds and souls of human beings are fitting receptacles for clear divine revelation, and that God's revelations to man are not clouded by self-contradictory mysteries or irrational ideas. As such, Islam teaches that even though God cannot be fully comprehended and grasped by our finite human minds, He also does not expect us to accept absurd or demonstrably false beliefs about Him. According to the teachings of Islam, Almighty God is absolutely one and should never be compromised by associating partners with Him - neither in worship nor in belief. Due to this, Muslims are required to maintain a direct relationship with God, and therefore all intermediaries are absolutely forbidden. From the Islamic standpoint, believing in the Oneness of God means to realize that all prayer and worship should be exclusively for God, and that He alone deserves such titles as "Lord" and "Savior." Some religions, even though they believe on "One God," do not make all of their worship and prayers for Him alone. Suffice it to say that according to Islam, it is not enough that people believe that "God is One," but they must actualize this belief by proper conduct. In short, in the Islamic concept of God, which is completely based on Divine Revelation, there is no ambiguity in divinity - God is God and man is man. Since God is the only Creator and continual Sustainer of the Universe, He is transcendent above His creation - the Creator and the creature never mix. Islam teaches that God has a unique nature and that He is free from gender, human weaknesses and beyond anything which human beings can imagine (Murata, 2004).

Ishan is the third dimension of Islam; Ishan is translated as beauty or virtue. Human beings are not believed to be inherently sinful, but are seen as equally capable of both good and evil. Islam also teaches that faith and action go hand-in-hand. God has given people free-will, and the measure of one's faith is one's deeds and actions. However, human beings have also been created weak and regularly fall into sin. This is the nature of the human being as created by God in His Wisdom, and it is not inherently "corrupt" or in need of repair. This is because the avenue of repentance of always open to all human beings, and Almighty God loves the repentant sinner more than one who does not sin at all. The true balance of an Islamic life is established by having a healthy fear of God as well as a sincere belief in His infinite Mercy. A life without fear of God leads to sin and disobedience, while believing that we have sinned so much that God will not possibly forgive us only leads to despair. In light of this, Islam teaches that: only the misguided despair of the Mercy of their Lord. Additionally, the Holy Koran, which was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, contains a great deal of teachings about the life hereafter and the Day of Judgment. Due to this, Muslims believe that all human beings will ultimately be judged by God for their beliefs and actions in their earthly lives. In judging human beings, Almighty God will be both Merciful and Just, and people will only be judged for what they were capable of. Suffice it to say that Islam teaches that life is a test, and that all human beings will be accountable before God. A sincere belief in the life hereafter is key to leading a well-balanced life and moral. Otherwise, life is viewed as an end in itself, which causes human beings to become more selfish, materialistic and immoral. Islam teaches that true happiness can only being obtained by living a life full of God-consciousness and being satisfied with what God has given us. Additionally, true "freedom" is freedom from being controlled by our base human desires and being ruled by man-made ideologies. This stands in stark contrast to the view of many people in the modern world, who consider "freedom" to be the ability to satisfy all of their desires without inhibition. The clear and comprehensive guidance of Islam gives human-beings a well-defined purpose and direction in life. In addition to being members of the human-brotherhood of Islam, its well-balanced and practical teachings are a source of spiritual comfort, guidance and morality. A direct and clear relationship with Almighty God, as well as the sense of purpose and belonging that ones feels as a Muslim, frees a person from the many worries of everyday life. In short, the Islamic way of life is pure and wholesome. It builds self-discipline and self-control thought regular prayer and fasting, and frees human-beings from superstition and all sorts of racial, ethnic and national prejudices. By accepting to live a God-conscious life, and realizing that the only thing that distinguishes people in the sight of God is their consciousness of Him, a person's true human dignity is realized (Atkins, 2002).

Islam Goes Radical

Having seen how the 3 dimensions of Islam truly embrace faith, clean living and virtue, one wonders how Islam has been falsely seen as violent. This turn to violence actually came when Islam began to become radical at the hands of fanatics (Smith, 1999). One must understand that those who belong to extreme groups like Al Qaeda are not the true face of legitimate and pure Islam. Rather, they represent false interpretations of the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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