Religion is considered to be belief and acts of worship, which concentrates on worshiping a deity and gives a detailed and comprehensive outline for the way of living. It teaches the difference between good and evil, right and wrong and morality and immorality. This paper has selected Islam as the religion to be discussed.
Analysis of Christianity
Analysis of Christianity
Analysis of Islam
Religion plays an essential role in providing spiritual, moral and ethical guidelines to individuals in order to apply it into their daily lives (Fisher, 2005). Religion is considered to be belief and acts of worship, which concentrates on worshiping a deity and gives a detailed and comprehensive outline for the way of living. It teaches the difference between good and evil, right and wrong and morality and immorality. There are several religions in the world, which includes Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism. Each religion has its own meaning of God and a specific way of life. The goal of this paper is to visit a place of worship and interview a religious scholar or preacher of that religion. This paper has selected Islam as the religion to be discussed.
Islam is considered to be one of the major religions of the world, which have more than one billion followers. Muslims are the followers of the Islam. Islam originated in modern day Saudi Arabia, during the seventh century, when the Arabs followed paganism and worshipped several deities (Minnesota State University Website, 2013). Being the major religion of the world, Islam is still a young religion. Muslims believe in worshipping only One True God, Allah, and they also believe that Prophet Muhammad is His last messenger. Quran is the Holy Book of Muslims and is considered to be from Allah and it was dictated to the Prophet through the Angel Gabriel.
The Quran has the necessary instructions for Muslims to follow their way of life. Furthermore, the Sunnah of the Prophet, compilations of Hadiths, which are the sayings of the Prophet, are also important, as they discuss the issues, which have not been mentioned in the Quran. Both Quran and Sunnah are important as Quran holds the commands and the Sunnah gives explanation of these commands (Minnesota State University Website, 2013).
Place of Worship Visited
I visited Masjid AL-Mamoor, which is located in Jamaica in New York. It is considered to be one of the main Islamic mosques in United States. It is place of worship and has school to provide Islamic education to Muslim children. Furthermore, it has a place for holding religious meetings and gatherings.
I had interviewed Imam of Masjid Al-Mamoor, whose name was Imam Tariq Hussain. I reached the mosque in afternoon time and was greeted by the Imam courteously. He was very courteous and polite and greeted me warmly and took me to his office for conducting the interview. Firstly, I asked about his religious background. Imam Tariq asserted that he was 50-year-old and that he was an atheist. He did not believe in any religion and was just living his life. When he was 20 years old, he started to research on religion as he felt something was missing. He studied several religions including Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism. He was introduced to Islam through his friend, Abdul Majeed, who also another Muslim revert. Imam Tariq asserted that that he asked his friend, that why he had become Muslim.
His friend told him that it gave emptied the gap he felt when he was an atheist and was searching for God. Then, he read the Quran and knew it was from God. Imam Tariq further asserted that he that bought an English translation Quran and started studying on it and later, became a Muslim, as he felt it was from God.
My next question concentrated on asking him that what kind of a Muslim he was. He replied that he was Muslim and that he had submitted his will to God and he believed that there is only One True God and that Prophet Muhammad saw is His messenger. He further asserted that Muslim is a person, who submits his will to God and that, he prays five times a day, gives zakat ( giving alms to poor), fasting during the month of Ramadan and performing Hajj, once in a life time if he can afford. Furthermore, a Muslim is a person who believes in peace and does not ridicule any religion and treats every individual with kindness and politeness. I then asked him whether he was an orthodox Muslim or reformed Muslim. Imam Tariq asserted that Islam only talks about being a Muslim and believing in Allah and Prophet and following the Quran and Sunnah. There is no such thing as orthodox or fundamentalist Muslim. A Muslim is a person, who follows the Islamic rituals and ensures that he or she follows Islam in best possible manner.
I then asked his perspective on different religions. He asserted that Judaism, Christianity and all religions were from God but were altered by religious scholars in order to cater their needs. There are similarities between Judaism, Christianity and Islam and that Muslims respect both Moses and Jesus Christ. Furthermore, he asserted that Jews and Christians are the people of the book. The similarities in the three religion further clarifies that Islam is a true religion of God and that it has not been altered and that Prophet Muhammad is the messenger if God
My next question concentrated on asking him that why did Muslims believed in following the ways of their Prophet. He replied that the Prophet Muhammad is their role model and that he was kind hearted man, who believed in equality and justice. He was honest and truthful person and the entire Mecca community knew that he was an honest person. I then asked him that why Muslims were involved in terrorist activities and committed atrocious acts against other communities in the name of Islam? He replied that Islam is the religion of peace and that Islam clearly asserts that it is forbidden (haram) to shed the blood of any innocent human being. He asserted that some of the scholars interpreted the meanings of the Quran in the different manner and to justify killings of innocent non- Muslims. Such people are ignorant and have given a negative reputation to Islam. He further asserted that Islam promotes peace and instructs Muslims to treat non-Muslims kindly and politely. It also tells them to respect their religion and not to make fun of their religious beliefs.
We then had lunch and the interview went on further. I then asked him that why do Muslims pray five times a day? He replied that Muslims perform obligatory prayers in order to remember the creator and during this time, Muslims leave their worldly affairs to get in touch with their Lord. Prayer is the communication between the God and His Creation. Muslims therefore, communicate five times a day with their God in order to create a strong connection with Him. They prostate in front of Him, as a way of showing that they have accepted Him as their One True God. I then asked him about the status of women in Islam. He replied that in Islam the rights of the men and women in Islam are balanced and that somewhere women are given a higher status and in other instances, men are given higher status. Women as wives, mothers and daughter are to be treated with respect and kindness in Islam.
My next question concentrated on asking him that how Non-Muslims are treated by Muslims? Are they forcefully converted to Islam? He laughed and replied that this is the most common misconception among Non-Muslims, that Islam uses force to convert Non-Muslims. He replied that Non-Muslims are treated with respect and that they are provided with Islamic education if they inquire about it. It is not the duty of the Muslim to forcefully convert others to Islam and therefore, each and every individual has to follow his or her own path. My final question concentrated on asking him that why Muslims did not eat pork and drink alcohol. He replied that Muslims do not eat pork as instructed in the Quran. In order to provide further clarification, he asserted that pork has a foul smell and an impure animal. Based on science, it has high level of fat, which is detrimental for human health. Furthermore, research also suggests that pork meat has high level of uric acid and therefore, can cause diseases in human beings. On consuming alcohol, the Imam asserted that alcohol consumed causes intoxication and therefore, the person consuming it loses his or her consciousness. He asserted that alcohol is the reason for domestic violence and that majority of the men beat their wives when they are drunk.
Comparing Islam, Judaism and Christianity
Islam, Judaism and Christianity are considered to be Abrahamic religions, which have similarities and differences.…