Visit To A P Lace Of Worship Essay

Visit To A P Lace Of Worship Essay.

A place of worship and sincere prayers bring us closer to the Almighty. I have a strong respect for all the religions, religious places and the mode of prayers they follow. I believe it is more important to have a strong faith, and this faith will lead us on the correct path. I decided to visit a place of worship of other religion and on my visit to Dubai recently, I went to St. Mary’s Catholic Church. It is a beautiful church located in Dubai and is dedicated to “Our Lady of Assumption” (St.

Mary’s Catholic Church, n.d.). When I entered the Church premises, I was slightly apprehensive and did not know whether I was doing a right thing or not. Still I was attracted towards the peaceful interior, and felt that I have indeed come inside a holy place. I sat on a pew and looked towards the eyes of the Mother’s statue, and felt as if she is talking to me and explaining that it is we human beings who have created the differences, but on the whole, we are all the same, the followers of only one Supreme Power.

I felt a calmness running through my soul and made myself comfortable because I no longer had any panic anxiousness. I started reading my guide book, which gave the details of the Church. It was inaugurated on April 7, 1967 by His Highness, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

The land for the church was also donated by His Highness; later a new church was constructed in the same place and it was inaugurated on Nov 3, 1989. It can accommodate around 1700 worshippers at a single service (MobileReference, 2010). While I was reading the guide, I heard footsteps and looked up and saw a man coming towards me. He was dressed in the habit of a father and looked very serene. He came near me and just gave a simple smile and sat next down next to me. He was around 50 years, and had a dark complexion. He appeared to be of Indian origin. We sat silently for some time, and did not ask any questions. Slowly I gathered my courage and just wished him hello. He too replied hello and continued to smile, which gave me a little confidence. I introduced myself and started with a small talk of weather and the markets in Dubai and then started asking about the Church, Christianity, Mother Mary, Jesus, and other things.

He explained me everything in detail. He answered to all my queries in a very pleasant manner. After listening to his explanation, I started comparing and contrasting my own religious practices with the Christian religious practices. Christianity and Islam have some major similarities. Both the religions can be traced to Abraham, both believe in prophecies, both have faith in the messengers of God and their revelations, both have holy scriptures and follow them sincerely, their scriptures also have many similarities, both accept the theory of resurrection of the dead and both have faith in the centrality of community services. I could analyze these similarities, and when I started to think deeply I felt that there are some similarities even in their differences. Both have faith in only one God, the difference lies in the way God has been conceptualized in both the religions. According to Islam, God is single entity and he does not have any relatives and Mohammed, peace be upon him, is his prophet.

Christians believe in the Trinity and this is considered by Muslims as “shirk”, that is, attributing an associate to God. It is very difficult for Muslims to believe that Jesus is the son of God because for them God does not have any relations, He is far above human relations. Both religions believe in revelation. Christians feel that purpose of revelation is redemption, while the Muslims believe that the purpose of revelation is guidance. Muslims and Christians have strong faith that God has spoken and revealed Himself to human beings. Muslims believe that God speaks through the Quran, while Christians believe that He speaks through Jesus (ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY, n.d.). Revelation is mediated according to Christians, while according to Muslims Quran is the unmediated word of God. Sin and Salvation have been explained differently in my religion and Christianity, but I think the story of Adam and Eve is the same in both the religions. Religious community concept is same in Islam and Christianity.

They never stay isolated and like to be linked with their brothers and sisters in the faith. In Muslims, there is no “hierarchy” like the Church, and Islam stresses on homogeneity, while Christianity has the “hierarchy” system. While I was comparing and contrasting all these religious practices, Father Francis sat silently moving his fingers on his rosary. He did not even try to pull me out of my thoughtful reverie. I was awed by his patience and slowly I asked him about the Christian fasting season. He asked me about the month of Ramadan, and when I told him it is a fasting period of 30 days, he said that even Christians fast for 40 days during the Lent season, but this practice is not followed by all the Christian Churches.

The Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians and Roman Catholics usually observe Lent season (Christianity, n.d.). It is not as strict as the Ramadan fasts, but there are other dietary restrictions. During the fasting period, the dietary laws forbid the use of meat, but not of eggs, or dairy products or seasonings made of animal fat. The fast is not compulsory and people from 14 to 60 years of age can observe the fast according to their will. He also told me about the different feasts celebrated in the Church and the different dishes prepared on these occasions.

He said because Dubai is like one of the cosmopolitan places, people from all over the world are among the Church members and therefore the feasts also have a variety of exotic dishes from all over the world. People are ready to offer free service and lot of charity work is undertaken by the Church members. Food, clothes and money are sent to across the world throughout the year, and on festivals money is collected and donated to different Charity hospitals and Christian organizations in the underdeveloped countries. I was quite impressed by the work being done by the Church, and asked him if I could donate a small amount. He just smiled and touched my shoulder, and said that if I want to donate money I have to go to the Church office. He said it was time for his prayers. I thanked him for his patience and all the information he had given. It was getting late for me too and I got up to leave the premises of the Church.

On my way home, I kept on thinking about the Church and the reasons behind visiting it. Was it coincidence that I went to this particular Church? Was it coincidence that I met Father Francis? Will I be able to visit the Church again? Did I visit the Church just for the sake of this assignment? My mind was busy questioning me all these things, and my heart did not have any answers. When I was reaching Al-Khobar, I heard the Azaan, the call for prayer, and realized that I had to go to my mosque. I directly drove towards the mosque and entered the premises and to my utter surprise, I felt the same calmness and relaxation that I had felt when I had entered the Church. This ultimately made me realize that Allah is everywhere, He resides in the hearts of human beings, we can pray Him in the way we want, and the Supreme master will listen to us because He is above all the human differences.

The creator will decide what form of prayer is right or wrong, we can just bow our heads in front of His Excellency whether it is in a Church or in a mosque. Humanity is the most important religion, but when human beings fall under the category of a particular religion they forget about their basic religion-humanity. Religions are basically meant to remind us about our humane values and responsibilities as true human beings, every religion and every religious place is respectable and when people around the world accept this fact, the world would become a better place. My visit to the Church was not a coincidence; it was part of a greater plan so that I could understand some important facts of humanity and religion.

When I walked in the Church, I was just thinking of completing my assignment and had a lot of apprehensions, but when I came out of the Church I had learned many things and my mind and heart were calm under the effect of the peaceful ambience of the holy place. This assignment helped me to understand some of the basic values of my religion and Christianity and I am indeed thankful to the organizers, my professor and the University for giving me an opportunity to learn something new about my own religion, Christianity and humanity.

References
ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY. (n.d.). Retrieved January 18, 2014, from Answering Islam: http://www.answering-islam.org/Intro/comparison.html Christianity. (n.d.). Retrieved January 18, 2014, from Christianity Stack Exchange: http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/18320/do-united-methodist-church-members-really-eat-ham-during-easter MobileReference. (2010). Travel Dubai. MobileReference.

St. Mary’s Catholic Church. (n.d.). Retrieved January 18, 2014, from Saint Mary’s Dubai: http://www.saintmarysdubai.com/

Visit To A P Lace Of Worship Essay

Early history of Islam Essay

Early history of Islam Essay.

Islam is a religion base upon the surrender to God who is one. The very name of the religion, al-islam in Arabic, means at once submission and peace, for it is in submitting to God’s Will that human beings achieve peace in their lives in this world and in the hereafter. The message of Islam concerns God, who in Arabic is called Allah, and it addresses itself to humanity’s most deep nature. It concerns men and women as they were created by God–not as fallen beings.

Islam for that reason considers itself to be not an innovation but a reassertion of the universal truth of all revelation which is God’s Oneness.

Moreover, beginning as the faith of a small community of believers in Arabia in the seventh century, Islam quickly becomes one of the main world religions. The core of this faith is the faith that Muhammad (c. 570-632), a respected businessman in Mecca, a commercial and religious center in western Arabia, received revelations from God that have been conserved in the Koran.

The heart of this revealed message is the confirmation that “there is no god but Allah (The God), and Muhammad is the messenger of God. ” The term Islam comes from the Arabic word-root s-l-m, which has a common reference to peace and submission.

Particularly, Islam means submission to the will of God, and a Muslim is one who makes that submission. This submission or act of Islam means living a life of devotion and practice as defined in the Koran and participating in the life of the community of believers. The core of this Islamic life is typically said to be the Five Pillars of Islam: openly bearing witness to the basic affirmation of faith; saying prescribed prayers five times a day; fasting during the month of Ramadan; giving a tithe or alms for support of the poor; and making a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once throughout the believer’s lifetime, if this is possible.

In addition, Muslims believe that Islam is the essential monotheistic faith proclaimed by prophets throughout history. The Koran is not seen as presenting a new revelation but rather as providing a complete, precise, and therefore final record of the message that had previously been given to Abraham, Jesus, and other earlier prophets. As the basis for a historical community and tradition of faith, nevertheless, Islam begins in Mecca with the life and work of Muhammad in the early seventh century.

Islam possesses a religious law called al-Shari’ah in Arabic which govern the life of Muslims and which Muslims regard as to be the incarnation of the Will of God. The Shari’ah is contained in principle in the Koran as elaborated and complemented by the Sunnah. On the basis of these principles the schools of law which are followed by all Muslims to this day were developed early in Islamic history. This Law, while being rooted in the sources of the Islamic revelation, is a living body of law which caters to the desires of Islamic society.

Islamic laws are fundamentally preventive and are not based on unkind punishment except as a last measure. The faith of the Muslim causes him to have respect for the rights of others and Islamic Law is such that it prevents misbehavior from taking place in most instances. That is why what people consider to be unforgiving punishments are so seldom in need of being applied. Furthermore, the spread of Islam was not restricted to its amazing early expansion outside of Arabia. During later centuries the Turks embraced Islam serenely as did a large number of the people of the Indian subcontinent and the Malay-speaking world.

In Africa as well, Islam has spread during the past two centuries even under the strong power of European colonial rulers. Nowadays Islam continues to grow not only in Africa but as well in Europe and America where Muslims now comprise a prominent minority. References: Exploring the Ancient world Cultures, Retrieved on November 29, 2006 at http://eawc. evansville. edu/ispage. htm Historiography of early Islam, Retrieved on November 29, 2006 at http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Historiography_of_early_Islam

Early history of Islam Essay

The Role of Students In Nation Building Essay

The Role of Students In Nation Building Essay.

A nation does not live by its big buildings, dams or factories. A nation can live it of its people. There is a proverb that child is the fathers of man. Who is this child? He is generally a school or collage student. So his constructive role is so important that he look like a serious father managing his household. Naturally a student of today is a responsible citizen of tomorrow. So it is easily intelligible that a student community taken together builds a nation.

Take the case of the students of the Muslim Anglo Indian Oriental (MAO) collage of Aligarh. It is students built the nation of Pakistan. It was the only Muslim collage worth the name in the India subcontinent that produced those students who built Pakistan.

The role of students in nation building has been exemplified by the Aligarh students. Till we got independence in 1947, the Muslims had no organized shape. Politically there were many other parties besides the Muslim league.

Some of them even opposed the creation of Pakistan. Only the Muslim students of India were unanimous in creating Pakistan. They actually did all that the could in making a new Muslim country of their own appear on the map of the world. So we can say that if they had not played their role , the inception of Pakistan would definitely have delayed much longer than 1947. Thanks of their joint efforts.

We may recall that no political leaders could put an end to the dictatorial rules of Ayub khan and Z A Bhutto. It was the students who came forward to play their role in nation building and their unflinching struggle succeeded in causing the renaissance of democracy of Pakistan. It is unfortunate that the later staunch dictators like Zia ul Haq have been banning the formation of students unions. What was it is results?

We have entered the new millennium through the the start of the 21st century and democracy is not yet at our doors. This brings us to the conclusion (result) that as long as students unions are banned the entry of democracy in Pakistan will also remain banned in Pakistan. This is because no students wants to play any type of destructive role while, we have experienced multifarious ( various) shape of the subversive (destructive) political leaders, particularly in provoking (aggravating) sectarian clashes and thus bringing damage to the smooth running of our economy

The Role of Students In Nation Building Essay

How and Why did Islam spread so quickly Essay

How and Why did Islam spread so quickly Essay.

In 610 C.E., a local merchant named Muhammad completely changed all of Middle East through the religion of Islam. He fled to Mecca, in a cave where he was given the words of Allah and by this, introducing the religion. Overtime, the religion continued to attract new followers, which leads to question- how and why did Islam spread so quickly? Three of the reasons to how this happened were due to trade, the message passed on from God and the conquest of land.

All of Islam Empire, including the Byzantine Empire and Persian Empire had set up trade routes throughout the Arabian Peninsula. Everyone came to Mecca to trade since it was wealthy and very important at this time. Through trading, this brought inventions and ideas. People from different cultures came to trade and got ideas of the Islam religion, then spreading it to their people because they liked the idea that it was one God and how the way of life was under this religion.

Muslim merchants would travel to the trading destinations, which would allow exposure to the religion within other countries as well. Other trade routes led to the Silk Road to China and India, East Africa and Spain. These countries would then, most likely, have converted to Islam. Overall, trading played a huge role in the spreading of Islam.

In addition to how Islam spread quickly was through the message of God. In the Qur’an, it shows the expectancies for what Muslims would have to follow by. One of the verse states, “But the believers who do good works, both men and women, shall enter Paradise. They shall not suffer the least injustice.” (4:124 Doc B) This means if you do the right things, then you would be granted. Another verse states, “Permission to take up arms is hereby given to those who are attacked, because they have been wronged. God has no power to grant them victory.” (22:39 Doc B) Meaning, you cannot fight unless attacked first.

Along with the expectancies, you have to follow the practices of the Five Pillars of Islam. Including, confession of faith, prayers 5 times per day (facing Mecca), charity to the needy, fasting during the month-long Ramadan and pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during one’s lifetime, also known as the Hajj. In The Ordinances of Government, caliphs have to follow the duties. One of the duties was, “to maintain the religion according to established principles and the consensus of the first generation of Muslims.” (Doc E) These messages of God have helped to unify Muslim beliefs and practices and spreading many inventions and ideas throughout the world due to Islam.

The last reason to how Islam spread quickly was through conquest. From 622-750 C.E., after Muhammad’s death, all of the Arabian Peninsula, China, India, Middle East, and Africa were under Muslim control. This was ruled by the next four caliphs, and were known as the “rightly-guided” and their rule as a caliphate. Relating back to verse 22.39 where it states that Muslims are not allowed to fight until attacked, this shows that they followed the Qur’an while conquering these lands. The reason why Arabs were able to conquer much of Persia and parts of Byzantine was because Muslim armies were too strong and The Persian and Byzantine armies were weak after years of fighting. Overtime, many cultures that were introduced to the Muslim Empire converted to Islam because of Islam’s message of equality and hope of salvation that they would receive by becoming Muslims.

Many cultures have gotten ideas of the religion of Islam through different reasons. Three of which were due to trade, the message of God, and the conquering of lands. Through trade, his followers passed on the ideas to other different cultures. The messages of God were how much of an impact it made on the people to convert to Islam. And lastly, conquest- this shows that they conquered the lands even by following the guidance of religion. Although Muhammad’s death left his people hanging, the message that he left behind from God has made such a huge impact to the world, mostly Muslims.

How and Why did Islam spread so quickly Essay

Five Pillars of Islam and the confirmation Essay

Five Pillars of Islam and the confirmation Essay.

The 5 Pillars of Islam and the 10 CommandmentsIslam and Christianity are both major religions in the world today, with followers from all walks of life and from every corner of the Earth. Each of these religions has its own teachings and beliefs but there are similarities amongst some, if not, a majority of the essential teachings. Islam and Christianity both have teachings and beliefs in a majority of the same prophets and messengers but the major split arises in the context that Christians believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ while Muslims believe that Jesus did not die.

Nevertheless, the purpose of this paper is to illustrate, what may be to some, the foundation of both religions-more specifically, the 5 Pillars of Islam and the 10 Commandments of Christianity.

The 5 Pillars of Islam:The word Islam in a religious sense means submission to the will of God and obedience to His law. Therefore, Islam is more of a way of life instead of merely being a part of life.

The 5 pillars of Islam refer to 5 duties that Muslims have to perform wholeheartedly and diligently.

The book ‘The Pillars of Islam’ contains a good representation of how the 5 Pillars came into being, from the narration of Umar (May Peace be Upon Him), while he was sitting with the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W):”One day while we were sitting with Allah’s messenger, a man suddenly appeared before us, wearing a very white dress and having very black hair, without any signs of journey upon him, and none of us knew him. He approached until he sat before the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) with his knees touching the Prophet’s knees and he placed his hands on his thighs and said, “O Muhammad inform me about Islam.”

Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W) said, “Islam is to bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to offer the Salat, pay Zakat, fast during the month of Ramadan and to make Hajj if you are able and have the means to make the journey.” The man said, “You spoke the truth.” We were surprised at his asking and confirming at the same time”The stranger then asked the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) a few more questions which the Prophet (S.A.W) answered and then the stranger left.

“The Prophet (S.A.W) remained seated for quite a while, then he asked me, “O ‘Umar, do you know who the questioner was?” I said, “Allah and his Messenger know best.” He said, “That was Jibrael, he came to teach you your religion.”From this, we can see that the five ritual duties that the Prophet Muhammad set forth were as follows:1.Pronouncing the confession of faith (shahada or kalima);2.Performing the five daily prayers (salat);3.Fasting during the month of Ramadan (saum)4.Paying the alms tax (zakat)5.Performing, at least once in life, the major pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj).

I.The Shahadah, or profession of faith:The Shahada is the Arabic statement “La ilah illa Allah wa Muhammad rasul Allah,” meaning “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet.”The Britannica Encyclopedia defines Shahadah as follows:”The first pillar is the profession of faith: “There is no deity but God, and Muḥammad is the messenger of God,” upon which depends membership in the community. The profession of faith must be recited at least once in one’s lifetime, aloud, correctly, and purposively, with an understanding of its meaning and with an assent from the heart. From this fundamental belief are derived beliefs in (1) angels (particularly Gabriel, the Angel of Revelation), (2) the revealed Books (the Qurʾān and the sacred books of Judaism and Christianity), (3) a series of prophets (among whom figures of the Judeo-Christian tradition are particularly eminent, although it is believed that God has sent messengers to every nation), and (4) the Last Day (Day of Judgment).”This profession of faith must be done with sincerity and without any reservation. It is the foundation for all other beliefs and practices in Islam.

II.Prayer or Salat:The second Pillar of Islam is prayer,”And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: for those things that are good remove those that are evil: That is a reminder for the mindful. And be steadfast in patience; For verily Allah (SWT) will not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish.”Every Muslim is required to pray 5 times a day. These prayers may be offered individually if one is unable to go to the mosque. The first prayer is performed before sunrise and is called Fajr, the second just after noon, the third in the late afternoon, the fourth immediately after sunset, and the fifth before retiring to bed.

“The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to lead the congregation of Muslims in Mecca and Medina in prayer, thus demonstrating to them the way in which prayer should be performed. The prayer consists of reciting the first Surah of the Qur’an, Al-Fatihah, referred to as “the seven often repeated verses,” followed by the recitation of a chosen verse or verses of the Qur’an and various praises to God. For each segment of the prayer, a Muslim adopts a distinguishing bodily position, beginning with standing and placing hands across the heart, and then bowing and kneeling. Muslims repeat these positions a prescribed number of times depending on which prayer is being performed.

The five daily prayers are the Morning Prayer, Fajr, the noon prayer, Dhur, the afternoon prayer, Asr, the evening prayer, Maghrib, and the night prayer, Ishaa. To pray five times a day is an obligation that every Muslim must adhere to except those exempted by Islamic law. “III.Fasting or Saum:Every year in the month of Ramadan Muslims are required to abstain from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk. In addition, Muslims are expected to refrain from anger, envy, greed, lust, gossip, violence, bad language and other inappropriate thoughts and actions. Fasting is meant to encourage Muslims to seek nearness to Allah, be patient, and learn the hardships faced by the less fortunate.

According to www.encarta.msn.com,”According to various traditional interpretations, the fast introduces physical and spiritual discipline, serves to remind the rich of the misfortunes of the poor, and fosters, through this rigorous act of worship, a sense of solidarity and mutual care among Muslims of all social backgrounds. Thus Muslims usually engage in further acts of worship beyond the ordinary during Ramadan, such as voluntary night prayer, reading sections from the Qur’an, and paying voluntary charity to the poor. Muslims may even choose to wake before daybreak to eat a meal that will sustain them until sunset.

After the fasting ends, the holiday of breaking the fast, ‘id al-fitr, begins, lasting for three days.”IV.Zakat or Alms:Every Muslim is obligated to pay a portion of his or her wealth for the benefit of the poor and needy. Zakat means “purification” and “growth”. This is an indication that our own wealth and possessions are purified by setting aside a portion for the poor and those in need. The amount varies for different categories. For grains and fruits it is 10 percent if land is watered by rain and 5 percent if land is watered artificially. On cash and precious metals it is 2.5 percent. A Muslim may also donate more as an act of Sadaqah (voluntary charity), in order to achieve additional reward from Allah.

V.Hajj or Pilgrimage:Hajj is a pilgrimage to the Holy City of Makkah. Hajj occurs every year during the Islamic month of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Every Muslim who is physically and financially able is obligated to perform Hajj at least once in his or her lifetime. The hajj is the “greater” of the two pilgrimages to Mecca required of all Muslims, the lesser pilgrimage is called Umra.

www.religionfacts.com provides a good summary of what happens during the time of Hajj:”Upon arrival at the boundary of Mecca (about six miles from the Ka’ba), pilgrims enter the state of ihram (purity) in which they will remain throughout the hajj. Males entering this pure state don the ihram garments – two white, seamless sheets wrapped around the body – and sandals. This aspect of the rite not only signifies the state of holiness the pilgrims have entered, but it serves to contribute to a sense of equality and unity by removing visual indicators of class, wealth and culture. Requirements for women are less stringent, but they usually dress in white with only faces and hands uncovered. While in the state of ihram, pilgrims must not cut their nails or hair, engage in sexual relations, argue, fight or hunt.

When he or she enters the city of Mecca, the pilgrim first walks around the Ka’ba seven times (the tawaf, or circumambulation) while reciting the talbiya, then kisses or touches the Black Stone in the Ka’ba, prays twice towards the Station of Abraham and the Ka’ba and runs seven times between the small mountains of Safa and Marwa.

The second stage of the hajj takes place between the 8th and 12th days of Dhu al-Hijja, beginning with a sermon (khutba) at the mosque on the 7th day. On the eighth day and night, the pilgrim stays at Mina or Arafat. On the ninth day, the ritual of wuquf (“standing”) takes place at the small hill of Jabal al-Rahma in Arafat. The pilgrim then returns to Muzdalifa, a small town within the Meccan boundaries, to stay the night.

The tenth day is Eid al-Adha (The Feast of Sacrifice), a major holiday observed by all Muslims. For those participating in the hajj, the day is spent in Mina, where the pilgrim sacrifices an animal to commemorate Abraham’s sacrifice and throws seven small stones at each of three pillars on three consecutive days (the pillars represent sins and devils). The pilgrim then returns to Mecca, where he or she once again performs the tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka’ba).

The head is then shaved or the hair is trimmed, which marks the end of the state of ihram.” The 10 Commandments of Christianity:Similar to the 5 Pillars of Islam, Christianity has its own duties and standards which Christians have to live their lives by. These 10 Commandments are a list of religious and moral imperatives that were authored by the Lord God and given to Moses at Mount Sinai. The 10 Commandments are found in the Bible in Exodus 20 as follows:””I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before me.

“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations, of those who love me and keep my commandments.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God, On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

“You shall not murder”You shall not commit adultery.

“You shall not steal.

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.””After receiving the commandments and returning to Mount Sinai, Moses saw that the Israelites had “defiled themselves”, and that his brother, Aaron, had made a Golden Calf and an altar in front of it for the Israelites to pray to. Moses, in terrible anger, broke the tablets. God later offered Moses to carve two other tablets, to replace the ones he smashed. From this it seem that God himself appears as the writer. This second sets of commandments were brought down from Mount Sinai by Moses and were placed in the Ark of the Covenant.

You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor10Islam’s confirmation of the Ten Commandments:Many might believe that Islam and Christianity are totally different in their teachings. This might be true when it comes to certain practices such as drinking alcohol or eating pork for example, yet some of the core teachings of both religions are similar. The same prophets appear in both the Quran as well as in the Bible, maybe under Arabic influenced name but still the same person. To further illustrate the similarities in this context, the following section relates the messages conveyed by the 10 Commandments to teachings found in the Holy Quran.

Exodus 24:12 states:”The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.”Deuteronomy 4:13 states:”He declared to you His covenant, the Ten Commandments, which He commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.”As stated before, both Islam and Christianity have similar teachings about certain prophets, Moses is one of them and is recognized in Islam and is written about a lot in the Quran. Two chapters in particular from the Quran could be said to affirm the belief in the commandments which God gave to Moses.

These chapters are 2:53 and 7:145. In respective manner, they state the following:”And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright.””And We ordained laws for him [Moses] in the tablets in all matters, both commanding and explaining all things, (and said): “Take and hold these with firmness, and enjoin thy people to hold fast by the best in the precepts…”From this we can agree that there is sufficient evidence of both religions believing that God had given the commandments to Moses.

The First Commandment, found in Exodus 20:3, states the following.

“You shall have no other gods before me”‘It is well known that Christianity and Islam are both Monotheistic religions, with Christians believing in the Lord God and Muslims believing in Allah. There are numerous instances in the Quran where this is states, one of these is found in chapter 17:23 of the Quran:”Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him”Another affirmation of this commandment could be sought after in the translation of the Shahadah or first pillar of Islam which states:”Ash-hadu alaa-ilaaha illa-llaahu wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa Rasulu”Which when translated means: “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (S.A.W) is His Devotee and His Messenger.”This confirms the common belief between Muslims and Christians on the oneness of God.

The Second Commandment, found in Exodus 20:4, states:”You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.”Chapter 31:13 of the Quran gives just one of the many instances in the Quran where Idol worshipping is mentioned. It goes:”Recall that Luqmaan said to his son, as he enlightened him, “O my son, do not set up any idols beside GOD; idolatry is a gross injustice.”Also, Chapter 22:12 of the Quran states:”They call on such deities, besides Allah, as can neither hurt nor profit them: that is straying far indeed (from the Way)! “Because of the monotheistic nature of both these religions, it can be easily noted that both these religions reject the idea of worshipping any other gods but God himself.

The Third Commandment, found in Exodus 20:7 of the Bible states:”You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, [i.e. in an irreverent or disrespectful manner] for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.”The Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) revealed”Allah has ninety-nine names, i.e. one-hundred minus one, and whoever knows them will go to Paradise.”In the Quran, Allah is referred to in many instances, not just by Allah but by other names. Over time, these names have been collected in the Quran and amount to 99. These are deemed the 99 names of Allah. Even though there are 99 names of Allah, the misuse of these names is not allowed in Islam, just as the misuse of the name of the Lord is scorned upon in Christianity.

From chapter 7:180 in the Quran,”And Allah’s are the best names, therefore call on Him thereby, and leave alone those who violate the sanctity of His names; they shall be requited for what they did.”From this we can see that the violation or misuse of God’s names in both Christianity and Islam, are both subject to punishment in the afterlife.

The Fourth Commandment, found in Exodus 20:8-11, states the following:”Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”Islam rejects the idea of God resting as seen from the following:”And verily we created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six periods, and naught of weariness touched us”If the thought of rest is disregarded and the Sabbath day is viewed as just holy day on which should worship God, then a similarity arises with the teachings of Islam.

Based on this assumption, the following excerpt outlines the day of worship for Muslims:”The Holy Prophet Muhammad said : “The day of Friday has been exalted and conferred many rights. Therefore do not be negligent of your duty. Do not be tardy in your worship this day. Try to attain nearness to Allah by performing pure deeds and refraining from the prohibited things, because this day Allah increases the reward for good deeds and obliterates the sins. Allah raises the position of the believer in the world and the Hereafter.”So if we disregard the argument over whether God rested or not after the creation of the Earth, then the result that we left with is a day that is set aside to worship God. For Christians this is on Sunday and for Muslims, Friday.

There is mention of the Sabbath in the Quran in Chapter 16:124:”The Sabbath was only made (strict) for those who disagreed (as to its observance); But Allah will judge between them on the Day of Judgment, as to their differences. “This, in my opinion, could be interpreted to mean that those who take lightly to the Sabbath are the ones for whom the Sabbath was set forth.

The Fifth Commandment, found in Exodus 20:12, states:”Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gave you.”Similar to this, the Quran also teaches Muslims to respect and honor their parents.

“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour.”As a result of these excerpts, we can conclude that both religions hold parents in high esteem, and should be respected and honored. We are not to be rude to them and should uphold their honor for as long as they may live.

The Sixth Commandment, found in Exodus 20:13, states:”You shall not murder”In today’s world, Islam is viewed as a terrorist religion which approves the acts of murder. This is not true, the Qur’an commands Muslims to stick up for themselves in a defensive battle – i.e. if an enemy army attacks, then Muslims are to fight against that army until they stop their aggression. All of the verses that speak about fighting/war in the Qur’an are in this context. The following verse from the Quran illustrates the views on murder:”You shall not kill any person – for GOD has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. If one is killed unjustly, then we give his heir authority to enforce justice. Thus, he shall not exceed the limits in avenging the murder; he will be helped.”From this is we can see that both Islam and Christianity condemn the acts of murder, however, Islam teaches Muslims to stand up for themselves and fight for what they believe in and if killed unjustly, then justice can be enforced upon the murderer.

The Seventh Commandment, found in Exodus 20:14, states:”You shall not commit adultery”In the Quran, chapter 17:32, the following is stated:”Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).”Adultery is scorned upon in both Christianity and Islam. In some Islamic cities, adultery is a serious offence and punishable by death- usually in the form of stoning.

From Chapter 24:2 in the Quran:”The woman and the man, guilty of fornication. Flog each of them with a hundred stripes, and let a party of believers witness their punishment.”From this we see that in Islam, both men and woman are subject to punishment if guilty of adultery.

The Eight Commandment, found in Exodus 20:15, states:”You shall not steal”The Quran states, in chapter 2:188:”And do not eat up unjustly the property of each other among yourselves nor convey their cases to the authorities for devouring unlawfully some portion of the property of the people knowingly.”Stealing is an offence also not taken lightly in Islam. If found guilty of theft, the Quran states that the thief’s hand should be cut off as compensation as well as a deterrence so that the thief will know that the consequences of stealing are much greater than the rewards of theft.

“As for the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they earned [i.e. committed] as a deterrent [punishment] from Allah. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.”The Ninth Commandment, found in Exodus 20:16, states:”You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.”The term ‘false witness’ is a synonym for not telling the truth, or lying. The Quran states the following about lying:”And cover not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is).”As with most religions, both Christianity and Islam both condemn the act of lying or not telling the truth.

And finally, the Tenth and last Commandment, found in Exodus 20:17, states:”You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”From the Quran, Chapter 4:32:”Do not covet the bounties that God has bestowed more abundantly on some of you than on others.”As we can see, both Islam and Christianity condemn the acts of coveting. However, Bible limits coveting to neighbor’s property only. Quran goes further and extends the prohibition to all society.

Bibliography:

1.’The Pillars of Islam and Iman: and What Every Muslim Must Know About His Religion’,2.By Muhammad Bin Jamil Zeno, Published by Darussalam; pages 18-19.

3.Islām. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved December 03, 2008,
from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/295507/Islam4.Holy Qur’an, 11:1145.http://www.islamonline.net/iol-english/info/discover2.asp6.http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761579171_2/Islam.html7.http://www.religionfacts.com/islam/practices/hajj-pilgrimage.htm8.Holy Bible, Exodus 20.

9.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments10.The Holy Bible, Exodus 24:1211.The Holy Bible, Deuteronomy 4:1312.The Holy Qur’an, 2:5313.The Holy Qur’an, 7:14514.The Holy Bible, Exodus 20:315.The Holy Qur’an, 17:2316.The Holy Bible, Exodus 20:417.The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 31:1318.The Holy Bible, Exodus 20:719.The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 7:18020.The Holy Bible, Exodus 20:8-1121.The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 50:3822.The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 16:12423.The Holy Bible, Exodus 20:1224.The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 17:2325.The Holy Bible, Exodus 20:1326.The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 17:3327.The Holy Bible, Exodus 20:1428.The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 17:3229.The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 24:230.The Holy Bible, Exodus 20:1531.The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2:18832.The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 5:3833.The Holy Bible, Exodus 20:1634.The Holy Qur’an, Chapter 2:4235.The Holy Bible, Exodus 20:1736.The Holy Quran, Chapter 4:32

Five Pillars of Islam and the confirmation Essay

Christian Reflection Paper Essay

Christian Reflection Paper Essay.

Christian Tradition course exposed me to the Christian Tradition based on Biblical and church history. The course taught me the differences and similarities of Christian Tradition from other major world religions. I learned about the significance of God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity based on the teachings of the Bible. The course also briefly covered 2,000 years of church history but with emphasis on the impact of the Council of Nicea, Council of Chalcedon, and John and Charles Wesley on Christianity.

The professor emphasized the importance of the reformation that sparked a revolution in the church.

The course began by distinguishing Christianity from other major world religions both in similarities and differences. Major religions included Judaism, Buddhism, and Taoism just to name a few. All religions are similar in that they believe in a higher power. They have doctrines and teachings about salvation and a code of conduct for living. Christianity is unique in that the people believe in theism.

Theism is the belief that God created the world and actively rules over and cares for the world. Christians also believe in deism which is the belief that God is absent in the world that he created but allows his creation to develop with direct interference and no revelation or miracles. Another belief that makes Christianity special is the belief in pantheism. Pantheism is the belief that God and nature is one and the same. All these distinctions make Christianity the most unique religion compared to other major religions.

The course emphasized the significance of God. God created the earth, heavens and living creatures of the world. God also created the first people on earth, Adam and Eve who bought sin into the world. God is father to his children or people that believe in him. He is caring, eternal and infinite. He asks us to trust him and ask him for forgiveness when we sin. His forgiving ways are revealed in Genesis 3 when he looks for Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden apple. He still seeks to have a relationship with them even though they sinned. God “banished him from the Garden of Eden” (Genesis 3:23) in order to discipline them out of love and for Adam and Eve’s own sake so they can’t eat from the tree of life. We know God through his blessings and good intentions. He wants the best for his children and does everything out of love.

Jesus is God’s son that was sent to earth to be crucified on the cross for the people’s sins. The reason for his birth is because of all the corruption and evil of the people. Jesus is significant in that he is the answer to salvation and entrance to heaven. Jesus is the Messiah and also claims his own coming as the Messiah in the New Testament. The people’s faith in Jesus promises rescue and the key to heaven. Without the death and resurrection of Jesus, the prophecy of the Messiah could not be fulfilled and mans’ destiny would remain a mystery. Jesus refers to himself as “the light of the world” (John 8:12) because darkness does not lie within him. Jesus is God in human form because Jesus possesses human characteristics in the Bible. Jesus faced temptation, vulnerability and hunger when Satan tried to seduce Jesus to sin in Matthew 4. His significance is observed on Christmas which marks the birth of Jesus of Nazareth in the city of Bethlehem.

The third existence of God is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth, love, life and power. He is co-existent, co-eternal, and co-equal with God and Jesus. The Holy Spirit is sent by God through Jesus to reprove the world of sin and prepare the church for Christ’s return. Jesus said before he ascends into Heaven that he will send the Comforter and Counselor. The Holy Spirit enters our hearts when we think about a truth. He is the spirit of God and his role is to guide us to on the path to God.

God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit together are called the Trinity. The Trinity describes the three-in-one unity of three person joined by the closest ties of love and common purpose to appear as one. The role of the father is sovereign king and eternal lover of our souls. The role of the son or Jesus is the savior and teacher. The role of the Holy Spirit is the empowerer and evangelist. All these roles combined equal a mystical element that describes the Trinity or another name is Godhead. To understand the Trinity, God is the sun that shines while Jesus is the rays of the sun and the Holy Spirit is the warmth that is felt from the sun. All personalities are equal and combined together called the Trinity.

The role and purpose of the Church is to create a community of people who believe in the same faith of God. The Church is a foundation of the faith in God. The Church allowed people to unite on common grounds and follow the words of God. The place of worship made people feel accountable because they were in it together. The Church raised the importance of prayer and spirituality because that is how one communicates to God. The Church emphasizes fellowship, dedication to the faith, selflessness. The Church gives power to the Christian people because they are a group and not individuals anymore.

One of the most important events in church history includes the Council of Nicea. The First Council of Nicea happened in 325 and involved the first gathering of Christian bishops and the Roman Empire not as enemies but as allies. The bishops wanted to solve the dispute over Arianism. Arianism is the belief that Christ was more than human but something less than God. Arianism taught the people that Jesus was created being subordinate to God while the bishops believed Jesus was fully divine and fully human at the same time. The Emperor Constantine summoned the Council of Nicea in order to agree on a universally accepted definition of Jesus Christ. As it turned out, the gathering did not settle the disagreement between the Arianist and the bishops for another century they battled for supremacy.

It wasn’t until the Council at Chalcedon in today’s Turkey that the church fathers concluded that Jesus was completely and fully God. They decided that this “this total man and this total God was one completely normal person” (1990, Shelley, p. 11). Jesus unites two personality and characters of human and divine into one person. The Council of Chalcedon established an agreement of who Jesus is. “Jesus was a normal being, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, he could fulfill every demand of God’s moral law, and he could suffer and die a real death” (1990, Shelley, p. 11). On the other hand, since he is also God, Jesus’s death on the cross was capable of fulfilling Godly righteousness. The Council of Chalcedon was possible as a result of the first Council of Nicea. The Council of Nivea paved the way for the orthodox or conventional understanding of Jesus Christ.

The Reformation began after Johann Guttenberg invented printing from movable type. His new process sparked a revolution in society and in the church because books were produced in large numbers and at lower prices. Literacy and education spread as more Bibles were printed, as more people became readers and as readers demanded more books. As a result, not only did scholars and monks have access to a Bible, the common people did as well. In the Church, Gutenberg’s invention made the Reformation possible because the Reformation was in some ways a battle of books and pointing out errors in someone else.

The Reformation began in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. Martin Luther was a former monk who demanded for radical changes in the corrupted church. He was against the church who granted forgiveness called indulgences in return for monetary sacrifices from the people. Luther believed baptism is the only indulgence necessary for salvation and trusting in God alone will save oneself. He basically said indulgences do not remove guilt, Pope could not God, and the Pope could only ask for his own forgiveness. Luther eventually attacked the church with his Ninety-Five Theses that described all the wrong doings of the church. Luther represented Christian freedom and the courage to “honor no power other than the power of the Word of God” (1990, Gritsch, p. 37). Luther was the catalyst that bought on a chain reaction of events that tore Western Europe away from the Roman Catholic Church.

The Reformation shattered the long-established unity of Western Europe and spread into smaller and reformed religious groups. The Reformation marked the recruitment of Protestantism such as Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, and Anabaptist to name a few. If not for the Reformation, people today would all be Roman Catholic who is ruled by the Pope and there would not be denominations in the Church. There would not be a Bible present in schools or homes and scripture would not be taught. The Reformation basically spitted the Church and its impact was drastic in the Christian Tradition.

John and Charles Wesley were two ordained ministers whose conversion to the faith has made a great impact of Christianity. John and Charles Wesley were brothers who lived by good works and not by faith in Jesus until they converted. John experienced a personal conversion within himself after his trip from Georgia when he felt his heart warmed. Charles experienced Pentocost on May 21, 1738 and documented his experience in his journal that the Spirit of God “chased away the darkness of my disbelief” (1990, Green, p. 44). Charles wrote six to seven-thousand hymns and preached over 40,000 sermons to lay people such as coal miners and commissioners.

The Wesley brother’s lives continued to affect the church such as the Methodist denominations that was still comprised of Wesley’s teachings. Their teachings emphasized upon preaching, benefit of small prayer groups that called attention to accountability and community, and the concern for the poor and oppressed people. John and Charles highlighted the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer and the church. They stressed the importance of literature and education in the common man and even formed many colleges and seminaries. One great example is the Eastern Nazarene College which is a Wesleyan educational school.

Overall, the course effectively taught me the key elements in Biblical events and Church history. In addition to learning about the Christian faith and what God has to offer to me, I was introduced to the most important major events in church history that made an impact on Christianity today from Luther’s Ninety-Five Thesis that sparked the Revolution to John and Charles Wesley’s conversion. The course emphasized the impact of these events and how it has shaped Christianity to become what it is today. I did not have prior knowledge about Christianity but I learned more than I expected to gain from the course.

Reference

Green, R.J. (1990). John & Charles Wesley Experience Conversions. Christian History, 28, 11.

Gritsch, E.W. (1990). Luther Posts the 95 Theses. Christian History, 28, 35-37Shelley, B.L. (1990). The First Council of Nicea. Christian History, 28, 11.

Christian Reflection Paper Essay

Danger of a Single Story Essay

Danger of a Single Story Essay.

In her inspirational speech on the TED television series, Chimamanda Adichie argues that single stories of specific races or regions often create misconceptions of their true natures. Adichie, born and raised in colonial Nigeria, uses previous life experiences to support her claims regarding false stereotypes, most evidently during her childhood and her first visit to the USA.

Living under a colonial environment, Adichie was constantly being exposed to foreign ways of life; she had a decent education, read children books about men drinking ginger beer, and was taught to be thankful for the opportunities she was gifted.

However, not until later in her life did Adichie realize that these influences were incomplete and untrue representations of Western life. This helps to demonstrate “how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children,” and how we can not truly know the truth until it has been concretely revealed to us.

Furthermore, when Adieche moved into her college dorm with a white roommate, she was automatically pitied.

Her roommate’s “single story of [Africa was] catastrophe,” and not until they interacted further did it occur to her that she was no different from anyone else. These are just two examples of common stereotypes; innumerable others exist around the world, one of which is that of Muslims, the prominent occupation of the Arab region.

Unfortunately, there are groups who claim to be ‘Muslims’ that commit despicable acts globally, such as the plane attacks of 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombings earlier this year, and the perpetuate persecution of refugees in Central Asia (Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, etc. ), that set a bad image upon Islam. Nevertheless, the media disregards the majority of the positive stories of the Arab region, therefore exclusively establishing Muslims as terrorists inspired by spite and ill-will. The single story of Muslims, as is the stereotype of Africans and Westerners, creates a false and incomplete depiction of their authentic essences.

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Danger of a Single Story Essay