Sunday, April 18, 2010

Huston Smith Islam Reading Pages242-257

What are the five pillars of Islam?

1. The first pillar of Islam is the Shahada, which is the creed that summarizes the basic beliefs of the Islamic faith. Muslims recite the Shahada during times of turmoil, to remind themselves of their faith in Allah and that He is the answer to all questions.

2. The second pillar is that Muslims must pray five times a day. Part of the reason that Muslims must pray is to give thanks to Allah and also to remember that they were created by Allah and must submit to Him.

3. The third pillar of Islam is that everyone must help those who are less fortunate. Muslims who are in the middle or upper class are required to give a portion of their income to the poor. This creates a brotherhood among Muslims because everyone is contributing to help out those who are less fortunate.

4. The fourth pillar of Islam is fasting during Ramadan. If a person is healthy enough, they must fast from sunrise to sundown during the entire month. This pillar is important because it makes people remember their dependence on Allah, and it makes people more willing to help the hungry because they understand what it is like to go hungry.

5. The fifth pillar of Islam is the pilgrimage to Mecca. At some point in each person’s life, they must go to Mecca to deepen their understanding of their faith and devotion to Allah. The pilgrimage also reminds Muslims of the worldwide community of Muslims who have submitted themselves to God.

Thesis: The five pillars provide a defined way for Muslims to live their lives in devotion and submission to Allah by providing five basic requirements that all Muslims must follow.

What are the social teachings of Islam?

1. Islam teaches that wealth should be distributed among everyone, but it does not necessarily need to be equally distributed. People are allowed to be entrepreneurs and competitive with their business, but they must always make sure that the wealth of a society is distributed among everyone.

2. The status of women in Islam is very misunderstood by people who aren’t Muslim. The Qur’an and Muhammad did a lot to improve the rights of women and provide a way for women to be educated and have a place in society. The Qur’an also legitimized marriage although it says that polygamy is okay, monogamy is the preferred state of marriage.

3. Another important social teaching of Islam is that everyone is equal no matter what race they are. This is shown through historical figures in Islam who promoted racial equality and the worldwide group of Muslims that come from different racial backgrounds.

4. Islam focuses on Justice, and sometimes justice requires force but Islam does not encourage aggression. Although sometimes Islam was spread through involuntary conversions, most Muslims would argue that the success of Islam and its popularity is not due to violence and that people convert willingly.

5. Although Islam has gone through periods where people have used the religion to promote violence, Muslims argue that this has happened in all religions, the concept of Jihad is widely misunderstood by westerners, and that these mistakes throughout history should be remembered more than the good things that have come out of Islam.

Thesis: Along with the five pillars which provide a system for the individual to live in devotion to Allah, the social teachings of Islam provide a system for societies to function in accordance with Allah’s will and improve the lives of it’s citizens.

No comments:

Post a Comment