Islamic Culture

Task 1: Knowledge of Islam

There are different religions around the world. However, this paper will discuss Islam solely. On a general note, Islam is a religion that is articulated and explained in a book known as the Qur’an. The followers of this religion believe that this book contains the words of God. This religion uses the example of Muhammad who is believed to have been a prophet of God. Those people who adhere to Islam are known as Muslims.

The followers of this religion believe that there is only one God. Islam postulates that human beings exist with the sole purpose of worshipping him. According to the devotees, a lot of historical personalities were also the practitioners of Islam, including Noah, Moses, Abraham, Adam, and Jesus. They are referred to as the prophets of God. As the religion is very ancient, there are a number of its interpretations, though it is believed that, most of the versions that have been delivered to humans were altered and are incorrect (Guillain, 2013). Arabic Qur’an is considered the final and unaltered revelation of God. The practices of Muslims are based on the five pillars of their religion. They guide them through most aspects of their lives, from environment and family to welfare and banking.

In generally, Islam has two major denominations; the Shia, who make up 10-25% of Muslims and the Sunni representing about 75-90%. 13% of Muslims are found in Indonesia.  South Asia accommodates about 25% while the Middle East - about 20% of Muslims. Finally, Sub-Saharan Africa comprises nearly 15% of all the Muslims. However, there are other minorities in China, Russia, Europe, and America. As a matter of fact, there are traces of converts in every part of the world. It is important to point out that Islam has been named the second largest religion in the world. It is also one of the fastest growing around the world (Guillain, 2013).

Task 2: Islamic Perspective on Money and Commerce, Justice and Politics, and Marriage

In everyday life, Islam shows different attitudes towards the above-mentioned aspects. When it comes to money, it is correct to note that the free market principles originate from Islamic countries. Most of the commodities with intrinsic value are taken as currency there.  These products include rice, silver, gold, salt, and wheat. As long as paper money is backed by some of these commodities, Islam allows its usage. According to the Qur’an, the price of a commodity is determined by forces of supply and demand. However, this happens if flat currency is not used.

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On the issue of commerce, Islamic businesses are run with the help of Sharia laws. These laws are strict in certain cases. For example, they exclude all activities that are based on interest, including  finance companies, merchant banks, and commercial banks. According to the Qur’an, God approves deeds of charity. The laws also do not allow gambling. The production of forbidden products is prohibited in Islamic businesses as well. Finally, Islam does not allow any operations that are associated with uncertainty (Luz, 2014). As an example, Muslims do not support the act of obtaining profit from uncertain occurrences such as insurance.

In the Islamic world, justice refers to the process of bringing things to their bearings. Muslims believe that they have their own laws meaning that they do not like to be subdued to the laws of the other nations or religions. The Sharia laws are the document they intend to use as their guidance in the delivery of justice. In relation to this, the political aspects associated with the same religion come from the Qur’an, Muslim history, the habits of Muhammad, and, most importantly, other elements of movements associated with politics outside Islam. This shows that they still leave a margin to adjust with the changing world in terms of politics. However, they try to maintain the basic values that are believed to originate from their religion.

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Marriage is another issue of great importance in Islam. It is considered as a legal contract made between two people. Marriage is supposed to include bilateral consent from both bride and groom. This means that partners get into the marriage by their own free will. The laws and obligations of the two parties are outlined in the contract. In an Islamic marriage, bride and groom should adhere to these obligations that are outlined in the contract. During the marriage, two or more witnesses must be present. Speaking about divorce, it is acceptable and could be filed for by either of the two parties. However, the rules of divorce can vary from place to place, depending on school of jurisprudence, as well as the codified law. These discussed issues have other aspects, however, this is the basic knowledge on them (Luz, 2014).

Assignment 2

Task 1: Muslim Inventors, Their Biographies

In the Medieval period (5th to 15th century), a lot of innovations were made in the Muslim world. The people who were responsible for these inventions included poets, philosophers, traders, geographers, scholars, and artists. The fields to which they contributed include industry, arts, literature, Islamic law, navigation, and technology. These inventors included the following individuals.

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Abu Hanifa

This man was always called the great Imam. He was born on September 5, 699, in Kufa, Iraq. Hanifa is said to be of Persian origin. His inventions were also important to the Muslim world. Hanifa was a founder of Islamic law, as well as a famous scientist of his day.

Ibn Sirin

Sirin is a Muslim interpretor of dreams who lived during the 8th century. He was born in Basra in AD 653. Sirin is recorded to have been one of the greatest storytellers of that time, despite of his deafness. One of his most famous works is  Dreams and Interpretations.

Ibn al-Haytham

Haytham was a polymath, scientist, philosopher and astronomer. He was born in 965. Haytham made great contributions to the notion of optics, experimental physics. He was even recorded to be able to regulates the streams and floods of Nile.

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