ISLAM

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Founder

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Core Beliefs
The Five Pillars Of Islam:
We are going to create an A3 poster on the 5 Pillars of Islam. On your poster you need to visually depict each pillar and write an overview about what it is. Be sure to include the Arabic title of each with the English interpretation of the meaning for example Zakat: Alms giving or giving money to the poor.
  • Shahadah- Declaration of Faith
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"There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his final messenger"

This is the basic statement of the Islamic faith and when stated faithfully, honestly and wholeheartedly by a muslim person for the first time marks their formal entry into the religion. There is no set age for this rite but it is generally celebrated by adolescent muslims. The Shahadah is the first pillar of Islam because it is the most crucial. This phrase is what separates Muslims from others as they are acknowledging Allah as the one and only true God and Muhammad as his final prophet. For a Muslim person this statement also shows that they will obey all the commitments of Islam in their life.
  • Salat- Prayer 5 times a day
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This was covered under regular worship- Prayer. Make sure you write an overview on your poster about Salat covering how it is performed, when it is performed and why.
  • Zakat- Alms giving
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To find out about Zakat go to the following website: http://www.ramadan.com.au/
From here click on knowledge bank and choose "Zakat- Charity". Zakat involves giving a percentage of a muslim's earnings to the poor each year. Find out how much a muslim is required to donate and why this is an important part of their religion. When you return back to the home page of ramadan.com you will see a Zakat calculator on the page. Click on this and then select the first excel file. Read through it to get a good idea of how a Muslim person would calculate how much 2.5% is on all their riches.
  • Swam- Fasting (Ramadan)
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Visit the following website to learn about Ramadan: http://www.ramadan.com.au/
Once in this site click on "About Ramadan" then download two Pdf files called "Ramadan in a nutshell- For non muslims" and "Worldly Abstinence and spiritual sustenance". Save these files to your R&S folder and then read through and summarise the information on your poster.
Make sure you provide information that shows your understanding of what Ramadan is, why it is celebrated, when it is celebrated and how it is celebrated. Also provide any other interesting information you learn.


  • Hajj- Pilgrimage
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The fifth pillar of Islam is called the Hajj, meaning pilgrimage. Each year Muslims from all over the world gather in the city of Mecca to pray before and worship at the Ka'ba, a holy shrine that Abraham and Ishmael built together in honour of the one true god, Allah. All able-bodied Muslims are expected to make the pilgrimage to the ka'ba at least once in their life.




Major Texts
Qur'an/ Koran
Muslims believe the Qur'an to be the exact words revealed by God through the angel Gabriel to Muhammad. The Qur'an is believed to contain everything a muslim needs to know in order to live in "Islam" (meaning in submission to God).

There are 114 chapters and over 6,000 verses, which many Muslims have committed to memory. The text is unchanged and in its original form, Arabic, as revealed 1400 years ago.

Sunnah
Hadith

Roles
Imam- Sunnites believe that the Imam is the successor of Muhammed and this person has an administrative and political role not religious role in the Sunnite tradition.
Imam- Shi'ites believe that the Imam is the possessor of insights into the Qur'an and this person is divinely appointed. They also determine doctrine and look at revelation in the Qur'an.
Muezzin- Leads the call to prayer at a Mosque
Caliph- Civil and religious leader of a Muslim state. Representative of Allah on earth.
Sheikh- Scholars of the Qur'an.

Your Task
Write these out in your comparison table.

Rituals:
-Regular worship

Today you are going to learn about how Muslim's Pray. Prayer is one of the five Pillars of Islam.
1) Go to the following website: http://www.islam.com/ Click on "Salat Times". Put in Echuca's post code 3564 in the location section, then check daylight savings time and click calculate. This will give you the different times of the day when Muslims pray. Place this into your pages document for Islam.
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2) Now you are going to learn how to perform Salat. You will see the same image as the one below on the website. Click on it and view the film. Again in your pages document take down the Arabic names of the different postures which are used during prayer. Give a brief overview of how the person stands for each posture (or find pictures for this). You should also take down what a Muslim chants, in English not Arabic, at each stage of Salat.


Prayer is an extremely important part of the Islam. Muslims are expected to pray 5 times a day every day. In Arab or predominantly Muslim countries a man known as a Muezzin calls Muslim men and women to pray from the Minaret. When Muslims hear this call they perform Salat either in their homes facing Mecca or at a Mosque. Even some Universities in Melbourne, such as La Trobe Bundoora, have prayer rooms set aside for Muslim men and women so that they can observe their faith.

Watch the following two You tube clips to help with your understanding of Salat (Prayer). The clip below is the call to prayer being chanted by a Muezzin. It has been translated into English.

-Salat
The second clip below is a very detailed and informative animation about how to perform Salat. The instructions are in English whilst the chants that Muslims are expected to say while praying are in Arabic. This is a nice amalgamation of the two languages so that you get an excellent understanding of how Muslims pray.

-Initiation- Aqiqa
Read the information provided below about the Aqiqa
The first rite performed shortly after the birth of the baby is to wash and then wrap them in a cloth. whisper the adhan in the baby's right ear and the iqama in the baby's left ear.

7 days after a baby has been born he or she is initiated into the Islamic religion. The parents invite around family, friends and other muslims for this special occasion. During this ceremony the baby will be given a name, have his/her hair shaved off and the family will sacrifice either a sheep or goat. It is expected that the baby will receive a name that is "one of the most beautiful names of God or the name of one of the fourteen Ma'sums or another holy figure"(Accessed on 19/3/11 at http://www.duas.org/aqiqa.htm). Alternatively a name could be found within the Qu'ran. The baby's hair is then shaved and is weighted according to the dollar value worth in weight of silver. This is so the parents can then donate the amount (of money) to the poor. At the same time or directly after the baby's hair is shaved the sacrificial animal is slaughtered. A special prayer is also prayed. The meat of the animal is either donated to the poor or given to the guests to eat. The parents and other imediate family members are strictly forbidden to eat the meat of the animal that has been sacrified for the child. This would probably be seen as bad luck, to say the least!


After the birth of a baby, it is recommended that the adhān Should be recited in its right ear and the iqāma in its left ear. This act should be performed after the child is washed and wrapped in a cloth, or later, within a few days time. The other recommendation is that the suras al-Hāqqa (sura 69), al-Falaq (sura 113), and an-Nās (sura 114) should be written on a piece of paper and attached around the neck of the baby as an amulet against evil and harm.

Lastly the parents of a male child are expected to have their baby circumcised on the 7th day after his birth. If the rite is not performed on the 7th day then it must be done before the child reaches puberty. In many countries circumcision takes place between the ages of 3 and 7 years of age. Circumcision is a very important traditional practice. No where in the Qur'an is it stated that a male child must be circumcised, but as aforementioned it is an expectation that has been emphasised in the traditions and it has been stated by the ulema that circumcision is mandatory for all Muslim males. A prayer is recited by the family for this ritual.

Your Task
Go to the following website: http://www.duas.org/aqiqa.htm and read over the prayers that are said whilst the Aqiqa is performed. Write these prayers out in your exercise book along with a brief overview of what takes place before and after each prayer has been said.

-Marriage
It is considered very important for Muslims to be married and people are greately discouraged from living solitary lives. For a Muslim marriage is the 'ideal' state, and Islamic principles on relationships between the sexes reflect this. The Islamic religion is very strict in its rules regarding relationships between men and women as neither are permitted physical contact outside a lawful marriage. The intended effect of this is to protect, strengthen and increase the value and importance of marriage.

There are specific conditions that should be met when a Muslim man and woman choose to marry. Here are just a few:
  • Both the Man and Woman must consent (agree) to the marriage.
  • The woman is to be given a dowry/gift by her husband.
  • When the two are joined in matrimony witnesses must be present.
The marriage must be publicised.

The Qur'an describes spouses as being garments for one another and speaks of the love and affection that Allah has created between husband and wife.

There is a handout that goes into more depth on Marriage and Funeral rites. Make sure you have a copy.

-Funeral
When a muslim person passes it is expected that he or she will be buried as soon as possible. The deceased is prepared for burial in a very specific and distinct way. The body is ritually washed and then wraped in white sheets. It is against the Islamic religion for a Muslim to be buried in a coffin. Instead the wraped body is placed in a grave lying on its side facing the direction of the holy Kaba in Mecca. Prayers are then said over the grave to conclude the service. In Islam death is seen as a natural part of life and should be accepted as Allah's will.

Symbols
The Star and crescent moon.
The 4 colours of Islam: White, Red, Black, Green.

Your Task
Draw the two symbols in your book or on your comparison table and write a brief description on what the symbol represents and why it is of significance to the Islamic religion.
Place of Worship
  • In the home.
  • At a Mosque (especially on friday evenings)
  • At the Ka'ba in Mecca (At least once in a lifetime, but which takes place every year)
Your Task
Write these out in your comparison table.