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Sufism is more than just "the inner or esoteric dimension of Islam," (Nasr 5). Sufism is one of the few spiritual paths that recognizes, embraces, and encourages a universal religious sentiment that transcends differences of gender, culture, and politics. Because of its universalism and incessant truth seeking, Sufism presents itself as a nearly perfect path to tread towards peace. Sufism plays, or at least can play, a major role in remedying many of the world's political, social, economic, and spiritual ills. As a practice bridge between the mundane and the Divine, Sufism also serves as a theoretical bridge that can link together seemingly disparate forces that struggle and wage war on a daily basis. Those struggles may be on the external or political levels such as conservative vs. liberal or Christian vs. Muslim. Or, the struggles that Sufism can moderate include those that bubble to the surface within the individual…… [Read More]
For a Catholic salvation without God or Christ is unthinkable. Admittedly, this is a comparison of two outwardly very different religious structures and cultures but it serves to illustrate the fact that important differences do occur and this can also be applied to other more homogenous religious groupings.
While one may add dozens of similar examples of fundamental differences between religions, at the risk of over-simplification one could also assert that all regions and faiths have one central core and similarity. This can be very broadly and somewhat obliquely referred to as the search for reality and truth. This fundamental aspect can be described in many different ways; for example, as the search and encounter with the numinous, the transcendent and the mystical. On the other hand, religion as a threat to world peace can be ascribed as one or another religious grouping claiming sole right and knowledge of the…… [Read More]
The third part is the development of teaching skills, and the fourth and final part is the attainment of the highest level of God-knowledge, in which the seeker-now a master-can actually aid others in making the transition from this life to the next at the time of death.
hile Hafiz spoke little about the fourth part, he spoke in great detail about the first three parts. In regards to annihilation, he wrote:
The funeral pyre
here I have laid my living body.
All the false notions of myself
That once caused fear, pain
Have turned to ash
As I neared God.
hat has risen
From the tangled web of thought and sinew
Now shines with jubilation
Through the eyes of angels
And screams from the gust of Infinite existence
Love is the funeral pyre
here the heart must lay
It's body. (Ladinsky, 69)
Therefore by relinquishing one's…… [Read More]
For instance, saints serve as intermediaries between the individual practitioner and God and can carry prayers to God. The saint is not endowed with any divine features, for such a view would most certainly conflict with the central tenet of Islam that only God is transcendent and that human beings cannot be endowed with divine qualities. Yet on a social level, the saint serves as a reminder of the power of the human being -- even the responsibility -- to develop a working relationship with God. Given that not all Muslims are Sufis, the saints fulfill a special role in daily life. The devotee does not worship the saint, even though it may seem so, notes Heck. hen the devoted visit a saint's shrine it is not to worship the saint but to receive intercession on saint's behalf. The saint's body cannot be rendered asunder as Christian saints can be,…… [Read More]
The litanies of the order are believed to have been taught to al-Tijani directly by the Prophet Mohammed. In these visions, al-Tijani was instructed to break ties with other orders, and followers of the Tijaniyyah path were restricted to affiliation with only the Tijaniyyah" (531-532). The Tijani order provides a good example of how different Sufis practiced different rites and held different beliefs, although there were some commonalities among the orders. For instance, Morgan notes that, "The Tijani order was founded in Fez in Morocco and spread chiefly into the Sudan. The Sufi orders resembled each other in their extreme love of the Prophet, their strictness in observing their religious duties, their application of the shari'a in as far as possible, their respect for their leaders, and their guidance of followers of the order until they could be promoted to the highest ranks" (1958, 248). Despite their similarities, the Sufi…… [Read More]
" By making nearness the result of poverty, these words of God to the Sufi Abu Yazid Basami, often quoted by Ibn 'Arabi, imply that "the slaves" are, in fact, "the brought nigh." The same identity, which is in the nature of things, is also implicit in one of the first commands addressed to the Prophet: "Prostrate thyself and draw nigh" (XCVI, 19), and in his commentary, "The slave is nearest his Lord when he prostrateth himself," prostration being the posture of faqr. Moreover, nearness to God has a double significance analogous to that of slavehood. Metaphysically speaking, nearness, like slavehood, is an inescapable fact that concerns everybody." (Nasr: 226-227, 1987)
This excerpt actually gives very close study of slavehood and how it connects Shariah and Sufism. Prophet and his companions wanted nearness to God and so did Sufis. They wanted to be so close to God that they couldn't…… [Read More]
This spiritualism is indicated in the following quotation:
it is to this inner dimension that one must turn in order to see, utter, and know the One. In Islam this dimension of inwardness is the domain par excellence of Islamic spirituality, and in fact the Spirit... is identified with this dimension, which is at once beyond and within the macrocosm and the microcosm.
Nasr, 1991, p. xiii)
He further explains the important difference between Sufi mysticism and the Shar?'ah or the law of ordinary Islam:
All of Islam is, of course, concerned with God and His Will as embodied in the Shar?'ah, the Divine Law of Islam, obedience to which is sufficient in order to live a life of balance and happiness in this world and to be saved at the moment of death. A study devoted to Islamic spirituality, however, could not be synonymous with one devoted solely to…… [Read More]
Origination and Growth of Sufism
The word Sufism came in use in the second century of Hijrah. Historians have intensely contested the etymology and source of the word Sufi. Numerous people say that this word is used from Suffah.
Some Sahabah used to spend their time in Prophet's mosque devout to learning in regard to their religion and to prayers. Consequently, they claim that later people who succeed the People of the Suffah were given this name. There are others who say that the source of this word is in "Saff" which means the prayer line. There were some very religious people who used to come to prayers constantly and were regularly in the first line and so they were given this name. Some people say that the word is taken from "Safa" which means pureness and those who tried to keep themselves ethereally clean were given this name. It…… [Read More]
In Sufism anyone who is in a position to give out what they have has an obligation to do so. Through this giving they get an opportunity to purify their wealth and at the same time attain salvation. In Sufism there is strict adherence to the Quran and hence they follow what is stipulated within the Quran as what is to be subjected to the Zakat tax or the exact share of an individual's income that has to be paid at zakat. Therefore, it is expected that 2.5% of the wealth that one has should be used to benefit the poor within the society in Sufism. The fourth pillar is fasting; this is a practice that is followed in Sufism as it is stipulated in the Quran. In Sufism there is following of the three types of fasting which are ritual fasting, repentance fasting and ascetic fasting. In Sufism ritual…… [Read More]
Religion and Mysticism
Two of the world's major religions, Islam and Christianity seem to be very different belief systems. hen comprising a mental picture of a practitioner of one and then the other, they seem to have very different characteristics. However, when examined more closely, it becomes evident that the two religions are based on some of the same principles of kindness towards others, inherent goodness, and most specifically some sort of supernatural or spectacular being that is stronger than anything on earth. Sufism is the branch of Islam which is most comparable with Christian Mysticism, both of which look to some sort of spiritual power that has more strength than mere mortals.
Sufism stems from the Islamic religion. Muhammad is considered the prophet of both sects and this is why the two are so often linked, however Sufism teaches that the spirituality can be combined with any religion. "No…… [Read More]
The formal name for Justinian I is Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus Augustus. Iustinianus is the name from which Justinian is derived and after Julius Caesar added Augustus to his surname as a mark of his emperorship, all subsequent Roman leaders had Augustus at the end of their names. He was an empire of the Byzantine Emperor from 527 -- 565 AD. He was the last Roman Emperor to speak Latin as his first language and he is most known for the Justinian code of law, known in Latin as Corpus Juris Civilis, translated as the body of civil law. The Corpus Juris Civilis is known as the ultimate codification of Roman law. This body of law has been passed down through numerous generations including into areas of Western Europe and is the basis of law today.
This controversy occurred in the 8th & 9th centuries. The topic…… [Read More]
Thus, these castes being born twice in Hinduism, the principles behind Karma and Reincarnation applies to them. Karma refers to the corresponding reaction to an action or deed that an individual had done to another living thing/s. This means that if the deed was bad or considered evil, the corresponding reaction or karma will also be bad or evil. A similar analogy is applied to goodness/good deeds. Reincarnation is the return of some metaphysical part of the self into a new body -- a process of rebirth for the individual, characteristic of the concept of two births exclusively only to members of the three higher castes.
Jainism is an old religion prevalent in India and other nations in the Asian region. Originally a part of the Buddhist religion, Jainism believes not in the concept of a God, but the authority of the saints or prophets. Its religious principles are simple…… [Read More]
For example, in the 1920's the Dervish movement was banned form Turkey for many years "...out of fear that their religious roots would lead them to revolt against the new secular government." (Gulati)
In conclusion, understanding the dance of the Dervishes is very difficult in terms of ordinary language. It is in the first instance a mystical experience and like all mystical experiences is beyond words. However, the experience and rituals of the Dervishes forms an essential part of the Islamic faith and adds to the depth and richness of that religion.
History of Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi and the Whirling Dervishes. 13 December 2006. http://www.whirlingdervish.org/history.htm
Friedlander I. The Whirling Dervishes. 13 December 2006. http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/dervish.htm
Gulati S. The insider's guide to Whirling Dervishes. December 13, 2006. http://edition.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/12/12/whirl.dervishes/index.html
Sufism and Dervishes. 13 December 2006. http://www.whirlingdervishes.org/whirlingdervishes.htm
SUFISM & WHIRLING DERVISHES. 13 December 2006. http://www.erowid.org/spirit/traditions/islam/sufism/sufism.shtml
The Sufis and Dervishes of Islam. 14 December…… [Read More]
" (Syed, 2006)
The Two Views Debated
Whether one is following the Islamic or the Christian religious dogma, training, or theology the 'key' to the proof is just as suggested by Richard entall in his refutation of mystical experiences is that which is an 'inner' perspective of the individual. The Sufi follow a process referred to as 'Shagal' which is the closing 'off' of the five physical sense of self in order to look and listen 'inward' for a higher voice. In Christianity it is much the same as followers of the faith seek to find the 'inner door' of which Jesus spoke as being the place that the believer would find Him, or He who is "The Way," "The Truth." (Holy ible, n.d.) in the book of John Chapter 10 and verse 9 Jesus states: "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be…… [Read More]
They study the book of Jafaar al-Saadaq. They also believe Ali is the purpose of life and the divine knowledge of the prophet Mohammed, which actually rises him above the Prophet in their eyes. The religion is also very secretive, and they do not publish their texts or share them with other sects.
The Alawites recognize the Five Pillars of Islam, but do not believe that anyone can practice them because no soul is pure enough to practice them. They also do not believe in a back door entrance to heaven.
The evolution of political Islam actually began during the age of Imperialism, when there was widespread corruption and oppression in the Muslim world. The politicization of Islam was a result of Muslim fundamentalists and Islamic revolutionary movements rising up in protest over this treatment, along with protests against corrupt Muslim regimes in the region. These revolutionaries hoped to create…… [Read More]
Dhimmis (minorities of other religions) participated as equal citizens in this renaissance and Muslim scholars made more scientific discoveries during this time than in the whole of previously recorded history (Goldschmidt & Davidson, 2007). The break between the hiis (those who considered Ali to be legitimate ruler of the nation) and the unnis (those who revered Muhammad and all four rashidun) occurred during this period. Mystic Islam (best known as ufism), or esoteric groups were born during this period as well as Muslim philosophy.
Today, approximately 80-90% of Moslems are unnis whilst 10-20% are hiites. The key difference between unnis and hiites is that unnis believe that the first four caliphs were rightful successors to Mohamed and that caliphs should be chosen by the whole community. The alafi sect (otherwise notoriously known as Wahabbissm) is an extreme Islamic movement derived from unnism. hiites, on the other hand, believe in the…… [Read More]
When studying Islam, it is important to understand the essential elements of the faith, how they are practiced, and the distinctions among the three branches: Shiite Islam, Sunni Islam, and Sufism.
Tawhid -- strict monotheism of God. There is only one, unsurpassable, omniscient God that cannot be visualized or reified in any which manner (although Sunnis do believe that God has some form of body). There are no intermediaries between God and creations. Mohamed might have come the closest to that. Mohammed, God's Prophet, is the closest to perfection that any human can be. Angels are a central part to Islam thought to intercede in all matters of a human's existence. The Quran was divinely revealed to Mohammed, via the archangel Gabriel, and is God's final revelation. Mohammed as one (presumably the most perfect) of God's messengers, all of whom -- human (Shiites believe they are…… [Read More]
By concentrating on God's Name (or many titles), one conquers the ego and unites with God" (Islam in Sikhism, n.d.).
The compilation of the Sikh scriptures began in 1604 by the Fifth Guru. The last of the ten Gurus, Guru Gobind Singh, announced that he would be the last personal Guru and that after that Sikhs were to regard the Adi Granth as their teacher. This sacred book is thought to be the living embodiment of all ten Gurus and is therefore the focus of worship in all Sikh temples. The Adi Granth, though never claiming to be a revealed scripture, is made up of three main parts. A long poem by Nanak, that sums up the elements of Sikhism. A collection of Ragas, or songs that were written by the first five Gurus and a mixed collection of commentaries that elaborated on the Ragas together with hymns of many…… [Read More]
In Hasidism, even the non-educated and unlettered could become conscious of God on a higher level. This knowledge in applied to the interpretation of the Bible in the context of the Kaballah and leads to daat, the ultimate knowledge of God and the elevation of the soul. The Hasidic approach differed from traditional mysticism and Jewish asceticism in that it emphasized joy and optimism. This came about through the intercession of the rebbe who mediates between his followers and the divine as an intercessor.
In the case of Al-Farabi, although he represented philosophical logic, he was under major influence by Sufi mysticism which transcended purely physical knowledge. Sufism is simply an umbrella term for the ascetic and the mystical movements within Islam. Further, Sufism is supposed to have incorporated separate elements of Christian gnosticism, monasticism and Indian mysticism. Two central Sufi concepts are the complete and total reliance upon God.…… [Read More]
Sufis and especially Ibn Arabi, Rumi and Attar believed in the unity of all religions a in many ways, The Conference of the Birds is indicative of typical Sufi thought in that it unswervingly adheres to many of the principles and beliefs that are fundamental to this particular perspective. Essentially, the poem chronicles the coming together and discourse of the "birds of the quest" that must succeed through seven valleys, which are largely representative of the varying states of Sufism that may be undertaken to achieve union with God. These valleys are known as Search, Love, mystic Apprehension, Detachment/Independence, Unity, Bewilderment, and Fulfillment in Annihilation. In the Search stage, the birds (which symbolize differing people and facets of mankind) are seen as being dissatisfied with the mundane, material world and seek a more fundamental understanding of the Divine and the presence which it brings. The Love stage or valley is…… [Read More]
Ibn Sina (or Abu Ali al-Husain ibn Abadllah and also known as Avicenna) of Hamadan, Persia (now Iran) believed himself to be a master of all the sciences, i.e., logic, the natural sciences and mathematics, and that all the gates of knowledge were opened to him (p 1 par 4). He is said to have mastered the Qu'ran at 10 and all the sciences at 18. His one all-consuming life obsession was learning and mastering knowledge: "I ... warned my father that I should not engage in any other occupation but learning." (p 1 par 2). The most important things in his life were, consequently, learning and reading on which it depended.
A precocious learner at an early age, it naturally disturbed him badly when he could not comprehend the Greek philosopher Aristotle's "Metaphysics." When he finally did after reading Abu Nasr al-Farabi's "On the Objects of Metaphysics" (which he…… [Read More]
Terrorism has a long and violent history and incidents of terrorism have been recorded from at least 2,000 years ago. Acts of terrorism have included political assassinations, violent political revolutions, hijackings, skyjackings, and bombings intended to attract attention, shock, intimidate and instill fear. Before the 911 terror attacks the threat of terrorism, though always a potential danger, was of an episodic nature, and seemed to be under control. The devastating attacks on the orld Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, however, have brought terrorism to the center stage of world politics and exposed the vulnerability of soft civilian targets to a small but determined group of terrorists. The issue of terrorism and home security now dominates the foreign policy of most countries including the United States. The focus on terrorism has also forced people to think deeply about its root causes, which may have historical, cultural, political,…… [Read More]
Arabic is among the youngest of the Semitic languages, emerging around the fourth century C.E. And rising to prominence only after the death of Muhammad. The spread of Islam enabled the growth of the Arabic language, giving rise to its first literary manifestations. The earliest forms of Arabic language poetry were oral, "memorized and handed down from one generation to another," only written towards the end of the seventh century including the pre-Islamic poems of the nomadic peoples ("Arabic Literature: Introduction," n.d.). Some pre-Islamic poets like Imru' al-Qays have reached "legendary" status (Farrin, 2011, p.2). The pre-Islamic stage of Arabic language poetry is roughly classified as lasting between 500 and 622 CE and the rise of Islam. Although pre-Islamic poetry is the poetry of the nomadic, tribal Semitic peoples, it is neither narrative nor epic in nature (Badawi, 1975). Instead, themes like death, honor, and heroism are explored…… [Read More]
Staircase ramps which are comprised of steep and narrow steps that lead up one face of the pyramid were more in use at that time with evidence found at the Sinki, Meidum, Giza, Abu Ghurob, and Lisht pyramids respectively (Heizer).
A third ramp variation was the spiral ramp, found in use during the nineteenth dynasty and was, as its name suggests, comprised of a ramp covering all faces of the pyramids leading towards the top. Reversing ramps zigzag up one face of a pyramid at a time and would not be used in the construction of step pyramids, while lastly interior ramps that have been found within the pyramids of Sahura, Nyuserra, Neferifijata, Abusir, and Pepi II (Heizer, Shaw).
Ancient Greek architecture exists mainly in surviving temples that survive in large numbers even today and is tied into Roman and Hellenistic periods which borrowed heavily from the Greeks.…… [Read More]
Al-Ghazali, through his investigations, showed that both certainty of sense-perceptions (e.g. though the shadow of a stick that seems to imply that the stick is moving when it is not) and certainty of alleged intellectual truths (i.e. The possibility of judging an alleged fact in opposing and diverse manners) could be questioned.
Turning to dreams, al-Ghazaali illustrates that wakefulness is simply a higher consciousness of the dream state. Might there not be, therefore, (he questions), a state beyond that of habitual living that denotes a higher consciousness to that of life itself, hence, nullifying whatever beliefs we might cherish in this mundane world of ours? A hadith supports his supposition: "The people are dreaming, (but) when they die, they become awake." The ufis call this a special mystic state of ecstasy when we have withdrawn into ourselves and are distinct from our senses.
imilarities and Differences between Al-Ghazali and Descartes…… [Read More]
178). For example, Sakkal reports that, "The measuring system of Ibn Muqlah is based on a circle with a diameter that equals the height of the letter Alef. It controls the correct proportions of the letters by comparing them to the circle, and by diagonal dots written with the calligraphy pen" (1993:9). In his analysis of Ibn Muqla's role in the standardization of the geometrical basis of Arabic writing, Ernst, citing an early treatise, illustrates the religious significance of the circle as being an integral part of these revisions to calligraphic script: "God (glory be to the Most High) created the world in a circular form. The master Abu Ali Muhammad ibn Ali ibn al- Husayn ibn Muqla the scribe (may God have mercy on him) realized that writing could be made circular. He transmitted that method of [round] Kufic in this fashion that is now current, so that it…… [Read More]
Whether the notion of the futility of war played any role in his joining the Trappists is debatable but may have had an impact on his sensitive mind. (Graham); (King, 121); (oyal, 36)
The study of Thomas Merton's conversion to Catholicism is undoubtedly one of the most captivating ones in modern Christian history and has fascinated many people not only in the Christian world but even amongst other communities worldwide. The fact that Merton has been appreciated by many religious leaders including the Dalai Lama speaks volumes about his spiritual insight.
Cooper, David D. Thomas Merton's Art of Denial: The Evolution of a adical
Humanist. University of Georgia Press. 2008.
Cunningham, Lawrence. Thomas Merton and the monastic vision.
B. Eerdmans Publishing. 1999.
Detweiler, obert; Jasper, David. eligion and literature: A reader.
Westminster John Knox Press. 2000.
Graham, Terry. 'The Strange Subject' - Thomas Merton's Views on Sufism, The
Nimatullahi,…… [Read More]
The main holy book of Islam is the Quran, which is the word of God as communicated directly to Mohammed. It is the core book of the religion, and concerns both spiritual issues, and more practical, moral ones. Islamic law comes from interpretation of the Quran, and of Mohammed's life, rather than from the book itself.
From Mohammed, Islam spread rapidly throughout the world. The religion's main split occurred as a result of an early difference of opinion concerning leadership of the religion, resulting in two main sects, the Sunnis and the Shia. Other sects have emerged, such as Sufism, Ibadism, and the Ismailis. These groups have all formed as the result of various minor schisms.
The Amish religion began in Switzerland, and are considered an Anabaptist Christian denomination. The offset left Europe and resettled in North America during the 18th century. Today, there are 231,000 Amish, and their population…… [Read More]
Communion with nature can come in the form of visual art and craft; in the form of storytelling; or in the form of dance. Each of these modes of creative expression invokes the unknown, powerful forces that underlie creation. Even though science can measure, explain, and manipulate nature it cannot answer the ultimate questions of why and how nature -- or human beings -- exist in the first place. Religious rituals offer human beings a way to seek answers to life's biggest questions through direct experience.
Different cultures have approached nature differently but traditional cultures share in common a reverence for the natural world that is all but absent in modern, industrialized societies. The religions that have sprouted up in modern nations parallel the worldview that human beings should triumph over nature rather than work with nature. In Baraka, devastating footage of death and destruction show what human beings are…… [Read More]
Confucianism, Catholicism and Islam between 1450 and 1750.
Three major religions, located at diverse axes of the world, Catholicism, Confucianism, and Islam, were faced with similar problems and challenges in the years between 1450 and 1750. Catholicism encountered a militant Protestant Reformation in the shape of Martin Luther King that espoused religion whilst criticizing the Pope. Confucianism, in the shape of the renowned philosopher and politician Wang Vangming, grappled with a future that threatened to challenge its traditional learning and way of life whilst Wahhabism introduced fundamentalist religion into an Islam that had gradually become more secular and detached from the Koran-simulated way of life. The following essay elaborates on their individual problems and challenges.
Luther's Protestantism effectively ended the many years of sole religious monopoly that the Catholic Church had on Europe. At the same time, Catholicism was also threatened by the new Humanism that tentatively insisted, first…… [Read More]
S. foreign policy. Under this new approach, Carter would directly meet with only government officials that had favorable human rights records. The problem was that the United States' relationship with the Shah was the key for maintaining control in the region. This meant that he had to make official trips to the country, even though he did not support this policy.
As a result, Carter was indirectly endorsing activities of the Shah and the underlying amounts of brutality he was using to maintain power. Evidence of this can be seen by looking at the below table, which is illustrating the total amounts of abuse and torture that were conducted by the SAVAK
The Total Amounts of rutality of the SAVAK
Death Related to SAVAK activities
These different elements are important, because they are showing how U.S. foreign policy changed when it came to…… [Read More]
Hamzah Fansuri's Poems
In this poem, Hamzah reiterates the fundamentals of the Islamic belief, reminding Muslims of the importance of following the main precepts of the Qur'an and the Sunnah (the Prophetic tradition). The poem is also inspired by Sufi teachings of medieval Islamic scholars. For Hamzah, Sufi teachings do not contradict the orthodox fundamentals of Islam. On the contrary, Sufism helps a person to clean his or her heart and come closer to God. Hamzah starts the poem by warning the Adamites (children of Adam) against abandoning the first and foremost principle of Islam, that is faith in God. "Do not forsake the Ruler of the universe [Shahi Alam]," Hamzah writes. Then Hamzah makes another warning, which is related to the first: "Do not get drowned in the ocean of sin." The two warnings are mutually complementary since, according to Islamic tradition, the gravest sin is disbelief…… [Read More]
In this field attachment is seen, as it is in uddhism, as a continual pattern of never-ending desire for further attainment and objects. "Social psychological research on subjective well-being supports the assertion that people's desires consistently outpace their ability to satisfy their desires."
McIntosh 39) further issue that relates to Western psychology and the uddhist view of attachment is the nature of existence as impermanent.
The nature of existence is that nothing is permanent. Therefore, even when people attain the object of their attachment, it is only a temporary situation, and people's attempts to maintain the object of their attachment are ultimately doomed to fail. As people struggle to maintain possession of things to which they are attached, those things inevitably continue to slip through their fingers, so people with attachments suffer.
There have been many psychological studies on the effects of attachment structures as a form of…… [Read More]
According to the CIA orld Factbook, 99.8% of Turkey's population is Muslim, the overwhelming majority of those being Sunni. The minorities include ancient communities of Christians and Jews, some from ethnic minorities. Beneath this veneer of homogeneity, however, Turkey does face some religious conflict. Much of this conflict arises from divisions within Islam, but there is also a significant conflict between the country's secular Muslims and its religious ones.
Turkish Sunni Muslims typically belong to the Hanafi school, while Kurdish Sunnis follow the Shafil school. As many as one-third of Kurds in Turkey actually belong to the Alevi school of Shia Islam, despite statistics that indicate this group is Sunni. There are many Sufi brotherhoods that are active in Turkey as well. The Turkish city of Konya -- one of the most conservative cities in the country -- is the home of Sufism, as this is where Mevlana Rumi…… [Read More]
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
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
Other Asian Nations
Islam as eacting Against a Growing Western Presence
The Middle East
Islamic Law as National Law
C. Gender Issues
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…… [Read More]
mysticism in the Christian faith and the Islamic faith. The writer describes what mysticism is in religion and then presents examples of its use and existence in the faiths of Islam and Christianity.
The mystical dimensions of religion are all encompassing in that they refer to the intuitive understanding or belief in a higher power usually referred to as God. The mystical belief in a God in two prominent faiths, Christianity and Islam point to the underlying belief that having faith is enough to believe in and understand there is in fact a God who is all powerful and all creating.
Each faith has its own set of traditions and rules but both of them have the mystical quality of a belief in a God, and that belief is based on subjective and intuitive acceptance of the existence of a God. In the Christian faith followers are taught that if…… [Read More]
In his book, "Western Ways of eing Religious," (Kessler, 1999) the author Gary E. Kessler identifies the theological, philosophical and societal ramifications of the evolution of religion in the West. Christianity, Judaism and Islam can be traced to a single origin but their divergence has been very marked. Kessler sets his thesis very early in the book. He avers that there are two approaches to religion. One is to be immersed in it -- as a practitioner; the other is to study it as an objective observer, looking in from the outside. This work is unique. The author challenges the traditional notions with his own opinions then follows it with the views of an expert on that notion (in the form of a speech or an essay). He avers that a student of religion has to approach the topic with honesty and openness. This often involves imagining the…… [Read More]
Crystals, witchcraft, ESP, tarot cards, tai chi, yoga, and the I Ching, which are seemingly disparate tools, practices, and beliefs, come under one spiritual rubric: the New Age movement. The New Age amalgamates ancient philosophies and religious practices ranging from shamanism to Sufism and including everything in between. The New Age is almost an anything-goes spiritual path, as it has no one set of beliefs, no central text, no concrete origin, and a malleable theology. In fact, technically atheists can participate in New Age religion, for the New Age also embraces straight science and often espouses an impersonal universe devoid of an overarching anthropomorphic deity. However, the New Age can be isolated and analyzed as a distinct, albeit modern religious movement that began loosely around the turn of the twentieth century when Theosophy delivered fresh ideas from Eastern religions to the Western world and as the Western world…… [Read More]
" (Pettersson, 2006) Oral and written verbal art languages are both used for the purpose of information communication as well as information presentation with the reader and listener receiving an invitation to consider the information.
The Narrative & the Symbolic
The work of Abiola Irele (2001) entitled: "The African Imagination: Literature in Africa & the lack Diaspora" states that Hampate a "...incorporates the essential feature of the oral narrative at significant points in his work in order to reflect their appropriateness to situations and for special effects. Their conjunction with the narrative procedures sanctioned by the Western model thus enlarges their scope and give them an unusual resonance. At the same time, although he writes with conscious reference to this Western model, he does not feel so constrained by the framework of its conventions that he is unable to go beyond its limitations. His departures from the established codes of…… [Read More]
However, the complexity of minority issues goes beyond boundary lines. The history of Israel is different from that of other nations in the region. Israel is the homeland of the ancients Jews and the only place that they can truly call home.
The nationalism of Israel in 1948 created a long-awaited Jewish Nation-state (Homami, p. 1). They wanted a place where they were the majority rather than a minority in a Muslim world. Like any other minority in the Middle East, they wanted their own place and community. The establishment of Israel gave the Jewish sector political power, but dynamics of the Middle East means that others will feel oppressed when another gains power. The formation of Israel meant that the Jewish minority had gained power, a concept that is inconceivable among the Sunni majority that rules the rest of the region.
In conclusion, those that oppose democratization do so…… [Read More]
There are many examples of God's love, but much violence as well. The Bible is full of stories of warring peoples, fighting to the death for their beliefs. Persecution of the Jews, seen on a massive scale as late as the 20th century's Holocaust, was fueled by the New Testament, as Jews were blamed for the crucifixion death of Jesus Christ. Even after World War II, Jews in the U.S. faced persecution through restricted access to certain colleges, clubs and organizations. The Ku Klux Klan, known for targeting African-Americans, has also targeted Jews.
The 20th century saw considerable violence in Northern Ireland, as Protestants and Catholics murdered each other in the name of their respective branches of Christianity. Like radical Muslims, a relatively small number of people believed that violence was the answer, and the only way to demonstrate their commitment to their God.
The Westboro Baptist Church has garnered…… [Read More]