Role of Islam Term Paper

Pages: 14 (4109 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Mythology - Religion


Even if different in appearance, the resemblance between the decorations used in a mosque in Afghanistan for example and a mosque in Spain are obvious. Why is that? One of the obvious reasons could be that, as is the case with law, art is in itself an expression of religion and the principles by which religion governs, among them unity and unicity (of God), can find their place in artistic manifestation as well. Islam art can indeed reveal the inherent religiousness of art.

The unity of Islamic art directly relates to the unity God in Islam. Otherwise, we cannot possibly explain the common cement that links artistic expressions in places that are geographically so far away from each other. But we must consider the fact that in Islam culture there is no separation between the sacred and the profane, artistic constructions are but a form of religious manifestations. When we have a single religion that believes in the principle of unity and an art that is the expression of religious fervor, then we can definitely conclude that art reflects the principle of unity. It is indeed a mere syllogism: religion expresses the principle of unity, art expresses religion, then art expresses the principle of unity. I can therefore state beyond doubt that Islamic art fully expresses the principle of unity and that Islamic art unites.

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Let's consider for a moment the art of calligraphy that is a specific form of cultural manifestation within Islam. Religion LO manifests itself here as well: it is believed that writing, hence calligraphy, can be traced all the way back to God, who is believed to have written the celestial version of the Koran. It is a distinct form of artistic manifestation, but all the same, it also embodies the religious form of manifestation and is a unifying force itself.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Role of Islam as a Assignment

The last issue that I need to address in proving that Islam had, as religion LO, a unifying role throughout the people sharing this belief, is that of the language. We must remember that, with the exception of countries in the Extreme Orient, such as Malaysia or Indonesia, most of the other countries, especially those in Northern Africa and the Middle East, where Islam actually started and to which we refer here, speak a common language: Arabic. The importance of this fact as a unifying factor is not to be underestimated. Let us consider only the fact that God's word could be spread by using a common language understood by ALL, even by the lower classes. If we compare this to Latin, a similar mean of spreading the word of God, the differences are immense: Latin was only understood in the Middle Ages by a low number of highly educated people. Most of the commoners could not read, write or even understand Latin.

The case of Arabic is completely different: the simple man of the street spoke Arabic at home, when conducting his business, in the social environment that he lived in and this was meant that Islam and Mohamed's word could be spread to everybody by the simplest of means.

I have addressed two matters that have to do with Islamic civilization, that is law and language and one that has to do with Islamic culture, that is Islamic art. The main link between the three is the high level of unity that Islam provides. Even if spread across a multitude of states and crossing different state boundaries, Islam faith, principles and concepts can be transmitted to its believers by using common art concepts, decorations and principles, a common language and common law, inspired by the Koran teachings. All these are meant to prove that Islam provided through its religion LO component a mean of unifying people from different, geographically dispersed areas by ensuring a common ground, a base of moral principles from which everything else could be constructed.

2. The growing role of humanism has replaced the role of religion O. In the development of world civilization ever since the European Renaissance. As I have pointed out towards the European Renaissance, it is understood that I will refer mainly to Christianity as the central point of my argumentation. The European Renaissance, dating its beginnings perhaps somewhere in the 12th or 13th century (I would be inclined to consider Dante as the first to humanist) separates the Early Middle Ages, including its Dark Ages, where the role of religion O. was primordial in every manifestation of the human society, from the period ever since, when humanism and laicity began to replace it. Because of this consideration, we can state and later argument that the Renaissance marked a milestone in the evolution of religion O.

Laicity is, in my opinion, a direct consequence of humanism. It seems that the debate should start with humanism, as it could be the clue to the whole comparison. Humanism in itself represents the purest, free expression of the human spirit. Hence, its name of course. Why do I call it the purest form? Because, in my opinion, religion O. As it manifested itself in the Middle Ages is a form of oppression, of censorship against the human spirit. I believe that the human spirit never found a true form of expression for itself until it was able to free itself from the taras of religion.

As the human being found that it could express itself freely, that it could believe in himself before believing in a superior being, laicity could take its place. Of course, laicity was also a speculation of the State, which somehow replaced the Church in setting rules and regulations, some just, many unjust, as a mean to point to order, but somehow we seem to find more understanding in the setting of rules by an institution of the state than by the arbitrary institutions of the Church. Somehow, this is probably because we find the State more worldly, closer to us than we do religion. And this began with Renaissance.

Until that time, all was happening under the overshadowing Church. Every aspect of life was overviewed (let us not say controlled) by the Church. If we have a look to the thousand of years of history that followed the Fall of Rome in 476, we find that the Church's role in society was overwhelming. Christianity had by that time already organized itself as a big "ism": it had existed for 500 years. For 200 years, it had been the official religion of the Romans (as proclaimed by Constantine the Great in 313), and since 395, it had been the only religion of the Empire. As Rome fell in 476, a void of power was created. Indeed, the Empire was divided into a myriad of little states, feudal states and administrative divisions that replaced the Roman strong administration.

The Christian church was there to replace that void of power. The Pope was to keen enough to proclaim the suzerain right of the Sacred Church over the feudal rulers. This has a great importance, as it explains the involvement of the Church in everyday life and will later be used in comparing it to its role after the European Renaissance. Until then, the Church and religion O. had ruled the spiritual world of the people. Now, as feudalism began to grow, it proclaimed its involvement in the material world as well. Continuing until 1305, when the Pope was exiled to Avignon and lost much of his prestige, the role of Papacy in the Middle Ages is unthinkable.

In a certain way, this can be explained and discussed: the Middle Ages, especially the Dark Ages that saw the rise of Papal influence, represented a period when nobody could vouch for security. Life expectancy probably never surpassed 35 and the afterlife could present itself as eternal pain and torture unless you followed the exact rules of the Church. There was no one to turn to except your feudal overlord and the Church. The feudal overlord provided protection and material security. The Church provided for your spiritual salvation.

I have to underline this point, as it explains why the role of religion O. became so preponderant during the Middle Ages. The word around which it all revolves is security. Christian religion provided a very intelligent way of providing for the human soul and that was by introducing damnation and, later on, the principle of free choice (liberum arbitrum). By knowing that you have been damned through the original seen and lost God's grace, you were forced to live your whole life waiting for the Judgement Day and hope that the afterlife would not turned out to be everything that real life had. The free choice principle was even more shrewd: teodicity had to explain why God permitted so much evil and pain in the world and why he let you make mistake. So, Christian dogmatics provided a clear-cut explanation for this: when you committed a sin, you… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Role of Islam.  (2003, December 2).  Retrieved July 31, 2021, from

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"Role of Islam."  2 December 2003.  Web.  31 July 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Role of Islam."  December 2, 2003.  Accessed July 31, 2021.