Introduction to Islamic Religion Essay

Introduction to Islamic Religion Essay

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Like any religion, Islam has a wide variety of beliefs, and with those beliefs come acts to show one’s beliefs. These acts are known as the Five Pillars of Islam, and while these pillars are varied, they are all incredibly important in Islam. One of the more interesting pillars is the act of sawm, or fasting during the month of Ramadan. This special event is a special break from food, drink, and negative activities. As fasting occurs for one full month of the year, there are many effects of the fast on the individual and society—both positive and negative. In this paper, I will explain the concept of sawm; as well argue that the fasting has an overall positive effect on the individual and on society.
Occurring during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Ramadan is an important time, as the “Koran was first revealed to Muhammad in Ramadan,” and because this was a momentous event, Ramadan is therefore “designated as the month of fasting” (Khan 54). Just as it sounds, fasting means abstaining from food and drink during the daytime hours—there are no restrictions overnight. It also means an avoidance of negative activities, including (but not limited to) raising one’s voice, lying, getting angry, fighting or quarrelling, have sexual intercourse, or smoking--“in other words, your relationship to the community and world around you has to switch from contesting and confrontation to acceptance and repentance” (Ali 41). As fasting is changing one’s view on the world, people believe fasting is actually “a form of worship… Like prayer, it is a way for Muslims to turn to God,” and show gratitude to God, by performing self purification, learning self-restraint, gaining piety, and helping the needy (Khan 54). In essence, “this pilla...

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