Teachings and Practice of Islam the Teachings Research Paper

Download this Research Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Research Paper:

Teachings and Practice of Islam

The Teachings of Islam Around the World: Outline

Islam is an incredibly complex religion, where religious practices often differ depending on the cultural context of the region in which it is practices in.

Basic Teachings of Islam

History of Islam

The Quran

Five Pillars: Prayer and Practices


How it is Practiced in the United States and Great Britain

Influx in Muslims

Facing Adversity and Stereotypes

Muslims as a Minority


Spread of Islam into India

Sufi Islam

Other Asian Nations

Southeast Asia

Islam as Reacting Against a Growing Western Presence

The Middle East

Prominent Denominations

Islamic Law as National Law

C. Gender Issues


A. Fundamentalism



The Teachings of Islam Around the World


No two Muslims are alike, just as any two persons of any other religion. Here in the West, we tend to lump categories of Muslims together, without understanding the regional and cultural differences that make the practice of Islam so varied across the globe. Overall, Islam is an incredibly complex religion, where religious practices often differ depending on the cultural context of the region in which it is practices in.

History of Islam

Islam is one of the neighboring monotheistic religions that developed alongside Christianity and Judaism as one of the world's largest religions. In the 6th Century, AD, God, or Allah, revealed himself to the prophet Muhammad. The month of Ramadan is said to give praise for these revelations to Muhammad (Raatma, 2009). Islam aims to answer basic theological questions, and presents a series of prophets, Muhammad being the most important, who claim to reveal the word of God. Known as Allah, the Islamic God is very much similar to the deity's Judeo-Christian counterpart. In fact, other major figures that appear in the Bible are seen in the Quran as other prophets, including figures like Abraham, Adam, Noah, Moses, and even Jesus. Muhammad is the last and most important of these prophets were sent by God to spread His word. Like Christians, Muslims believe in a Heaven and in a Hell, with the soul traveling to one or the other after death based on the quality of that individual's life and the level of sins committed.

Basic Teachings of Islam

The Quran

Mohammad's teachings and other revelations from God were written down in the Quran, which is the spiritual cannon of Islamic religious doctrine, much like the Bible is to Christianity and Judaism. It is a combination of the hadith, which chronicle's Muhammad's life and teachings combined with the Medinan which is more of the abstract spiritual guidelines and moral teachings (Raatma, 2009). Overall, the Quran is like a moral guide, helping provide God's guidance to those devoted followers who want to live a moral and righteous life under Allah. From the pages of the Quran come the main principles of Islam as a whole, which are used from all Muslims from more progressive Muslims living in the West to fundamentalists living in hostile Pakistan. Within the Quran is the chronicling both of the suffering of Muhammad, as well as his major moral gains as he tries to live a pious life under Allah. These very obvious periods help "provide occasions for the display of both kinds of moral qualities, viz., those which can be demonstrated in time of suffering and those which cannot be put into practice except in triumph and prosperity," (Ahmad, 2003, p 167). As such, the Quran witnesses thirteen years of Muhammad teaching in Mecca, where he suffered the most. Even during the worst of times, Mohammad spread the word of God as it had been revealed to him, devotedly living a moral life under the new guidelines of Islam. Yet, throughout his suffering and success, Mohammad always kept his faith in Allah. Thus, "his complete trust in God, his patient acceptance of every form of trial and adversity, his calm and serenity, his noble and dignified manner, his unbroken activity and zeal in the performance of his duties laid upon him, his perseverance, his fearless courage" all impressed those around him and helped set up a structure for Mohammad to spread the word of Allah (Ahmed, 2003, p 167). Within the Quran are these moral teachings, but also a more specified set of guidelines for living the life of a devoted Muslim. These were later established as Islamic law, which are followed in various degrees by Muslim's around the world. It even includes laws regarding diets and daily behaviors, as well as larger, more abstract moral teachings.

Five Pillars: Prayer and Practices

One of the most widely understood and recognized set of laws within Islam are the Five Pillars, which help guide the lifestyle, prayer, and practices of Muslims around the world. The first pillar is known as Testimony, or Shahadah, which is the profession of the follower that Allah alone is the only God. It is a written creed that all Muslims must state, pledging their allegiance to one God, Allah (Raatma, 2009). Then there is the pillar of Prayer. These are specific prayers that are supposed to take place five times a day, known as Salah. Individuals in prayer meet in mosques, or pray from wherever they are, allowing for a flexible daily communication with God. Muslims take this time to connect with Allah on an extremely personal level, where they give thanks and praise to Allah. The third pillar is Zakat, or the giving back of charity back into the community. Zakat allows some of the more affluent members of the community to give fixed donations to help those in need in the community. It expresses the moral value of charity and good deeds, and is considered part of a Muslim's religious obligations in their connection with Allah through Islam. The Fourth Pillar is Sawm, or the fasting that takes place during some of the religion's highest holidays. During the entire month of Ramadahn, Muslims fast by refraining from food and drink during the days, and then eat again at night. These fasts are meant to help further connect the individual to God by their understanding of how blessed they are with His gifts of food and sustenance. Finally, there is the Hajj, or the sacred pilgrimage that every Muslim must take. Mecca is one of the holiest sites in all of Islam, and the pilgrimage is demanded of every Muslim at least once in his or her life time. Travelers come from far and wide to walk seven times around the Kaaba and visit some of the holiest sites where Muhammad preached throughout his lifetime.


Throughout the Muslim world, there are various denominations that differ in their practice and conceptions of Islamic rules and traditions. Several major denominations include Sunnis, Shiates, and Sufi. Sunni Islam is the denomination which is followed the most by the majority of Muslims around the world. They place a special importance on the hadiths, or the accounts of Muhammad and his life, as they try to live by the more traditional path of the holy prophet. The main difference of their belief structure within Islamic traditions is the notion of who can be seen as a major authority figure within the religion itself. According to Sunnis, the caliph, or successor of Muhammad, was directly from descendents of the prophet. After Muhammad's death in 632 CE, God chose no other prophets, which the Sunni's interpret as a clear sign Allah wants the members of the religion to choose their own leadership (Raatma, 2009). As such, any religious and pious man can be a caliph and help lead communities following the Islamic path. On the other hand, Shia Islam sees a much different concept in regards to the choosing of its leadership. Shia Islam is the second largest branch. The major difference here is that there is a much more structured hierarchy in regards to who is the leadership within Muslim communities. Shiates believe that Muhammad did pick someone to replace him before his death, his son-in-law named Ali ibn Abi Talib. Caliphs in Shia Islam have to be from that blood line to become major leaders. The final denomination is also the smallest, and is Sufism. It is a much more abstract and mystical interpretation of the Quran and its teachings. Thus, it is a more flexible interpretation that focuses on spirituality built through individual emotional charges and connections, which is often criticized by the two other denominations in Islam (Raatma, 2009). Together, all three denominations have their own unique customs and practices that helps differentiate how Islam is practiced around the world.

How it is Practiced in the West: United States and Great Britain

In the Western nations, like the United States and Great Britain, there is an interesting relationship between the religion of Islam and the society at large. On the one hand, there are more Muslims living in the West now than ever before. According to the research, "in the 20th century we have observed a different kind of Islamic…[continue]

Some Sources Used in Document:


Cite This Research Paper:

"Teachings And Practice Of Islam The Teachings" (2013, March 31) Retrieved October 26, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/teachings-and-practice-of-islam-the-87143

"Teachings And Practice Of Islam The Teachings" 31 March 2013. Web.26 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/teachings-and-practice-of-islam-the-87143>

"Teachings And Practice Of Islam The Teachings", 31 March 2013, Accessed.26 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/teachings-and-practice-of-islam-the-87143

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Islam and America

    Jewish values neither ban the rights of abortion, nor do they allow undiscerning abortion capabilities (Yadgar, 2006). Women who are the solitary carriers of their babies have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies; however in Judaism, abortion is only allowed if there is some deathly threat to mother. After testifying, men are obliged to have education as similar to the God who strived for improvement

  • Islam Religion in the Arab World Description

    Islam Religion in the Arab World Description of the Islamic Religion Three Muslim Divisions Black Muslims in the United States a. Influence of Louis Farrakhan b. Influence of Malcolm X Islam Islam is the name given to the religion preached by the Prophet Muhammad in the 600's AD. This Arabic word means surrender or submission. God is known as Allah, which means The God. A person who submits to Allah and follows the teachings of

  • Islamic Right and Left Any

    More recently, reports have begun coming from the Middle East that women will no longer be "expected" to participate in the pilgrimage to Mecca, thereby eliminating women from the holiest rite associated with Islam. Having once done that, it would then be easy to keep women physically, mentally, emotionally isolated within any Muslim society. Of equal concern is the way in which the Koran is interpreted to facilitate and carry

  • Islam and Violence the Modern

    Likewise, it is unfair to view the Koran as a book of evil. The Koran, the Islamic "Holy Scripture," is frequently criticized by those that do not understand its text as some sort of blueprint for terrorism and the basis upon which terrorist activities and genocide are justified. In reality, the Koran relies heavily on Christian traditions. It was Muhammad's contention that Christianity had departed from belief in God's message

  • Islam and the West the Author of

    Islam and the West The author of Islam and the West, Bernard Lewis, has an extensive background in the study of Islam. He has both a B.A. And Ph.D. In history from the University of London. His B.A. emphasizes the Near and Middle East, and his Ph.D. focused on the history of Islam. He did additional graduate work at the University of Paris. He taught for many years at the University

  • Islam and Christianity Overlap by

    The lower part, which was created first, consisted originally of a single earth which God then split into seven. The seven earths are arranged one above another like a stack of plates; we inhabit the top one, and the devil the bottom one, which is hell. Above the earths God placed an analogous stack of heavens; the lowest heaven is our own sky, the topmost is Paradise. The scale

  • Islam to Christianity These Two

    In addition, the Islam religion teaches that Jesus is both God's prophet and a servant and similarly, Muhammad holds similar positions as a prophet and a servant of God and Muhammad was the final prophet who came to save and preach to humanity. Contrary to this, Jesus as part of the Holy Trinity, and thus He is same as God according to Christianity (Robinson, 2010). On morals, the Islam religion,

Read Full Research Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved