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Week 4 Dq 1 & 2

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Week 4 – DQ 1
DQ1. What are the Five Pillars of Islam? Why are they significant for the life of Muslims?
The Five Pillars of Islam are creed (Shahadah), prayer (Salat), charity to the poor (Zakat), fasting during Ramadan (Sawm) and pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). These five pillars of Islam are significant for the life of Muslims because its part of their faith and it’s also the basis of the Muslim life. The first pillar is the creed that they stand by and believe which is “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger” (Molloy, 2010, p. 431). This is a testimony of faith and it is the most important pillar. The second pillar is prayer, Muslims perform 5 prayer a day (before dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nighttime) and they can pray almost anywhere because it only takes a couple of minutes. The third pillar is charity to the poor, in order have a more balance society Muslims are required to donate a certain percentage of their total income to the poor and in their everyday life they are expected to help out the poor by acts of generosity and charity. The fourth pillar is fasting during Ramadan which means that every year in the month of Ramadan all Muslims abstain from food, drink and sexual relations from dawn until sundown as a form of purification. The last pillar is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and it is an obligation once in a lifetime and the only individual that are not expected to do this pilgrimage are the ones that can’t afford to do so or because health wise they are not able to. This is performed in the twelve month of the Islamic calendar and they have to wear special clothes in order for all to stand before God equally (Molloy, 2010).

References
Molloy, M. (2010). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (5th ed.) New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Retrieved from University of Phoenix eBook Collection database

Week 4 – DQ 2
DQ2. Islam is divided into two major groups: Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. What are some of the key similarities and differences between these groups?
The division between these two major groups started because they could not agree on the proper successor of Muhammad. Then it got even worse when Muhammad grandson Hussein was killed by Sunni forces because the Shiites felt that the Sunni was denying the rights that Hussein had as the successor of Muhammad. Some of the key similarities that the Sunni and Shiite Muslims group share are the Qur’an, the five pillars of Islam and many articles of faith. The key differences between these two groups are for starters that the Shiite Muslims venerate Muhammad grandson Hussein and his father Ali and the Sunnis believe in only venerating God (Allah). They also differ in how some of the passages of the Qur’an are interpreted and what sayings of Muhammad are to be considered authoritative. Their rituals are also different due to the fact that the Shiites pray 3 times a day compared to the Sunni Muslims that pray 5 times a day. There period of fasting and prayer also differ since they begin and end at different times and they differ by also not worshiping in the same mosque. Their laws regarding marriage and inheritance are also an issue between these two major groups (Molloy, 2010).
References
Molloy, M. (2010). Experiencing the world’s religions: Tradition, challenge, and change (5th ed.) New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Retrieved from University of Phoenix eBook Collection database

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