ISLAMIC TRADITIONS

By tradition we mean the passing on of culture, principles, beliefs, practices etc from generation to generation. These elements usually have some past significance or evidences attached to them. Islam also has some beliefs and practices that are being followed since its origin, no matter which location a Muslim belongs to.

Meaning

Islam means to surrender or give oneself to Allah. Muslim is a person who has surrendered himself to god and believes in the will of the god only. They have faith in Quran and follow the commands of Allah without any hesitations or doubts.

Origin

Islam was originated in the seventh century in Mecca when prophet Muhammad started having revelations of the ultimate truth from the angel Gabriel who passed on God’s words to him. These revelations were written down in Quran. According to Muslims, there is only one god for all living beings, even if they do not belong to Islam. There is one and the only god, Allah, though he is called with different names in different religions.

Similarities in Muslims of different locations

There are few beliefs that must be followed by each and every Muslim in the world, and some beliefs that the people change according to their customs. A few practices may differ between Muslims living in different locations, but the things that are common among them are Allah, Quran and Sunnah. All the Muslims believe in oneness of God. They worship only Allah, no matter what their caste, color, custom, location or size is. They also believe in Quran. Anything that is forbidden in Quran(haram) is considered a sin and anything that is mentioned compulsory in Quran(halal) is mandatory to be followed by all the Muslims. The aspects that are not mentioned as halal or haram in Quran can be accepted as per individual’s logic. Sunnah is another important element in Muslims. Sunnah includes the ways of prophet Muhammad. As he was considered the last and the final prophet, he was followed by a large number of people.

Basic beliefs

In Islam, every part or aspect of a person’s life is governed by the Sharia law. From private to public life, Sharia law dictates the wrong and right deeds. It also states how a person will be punished for a particular crime. They believe that the current life The basic beliefs of Muslims that are the main pillars of the religion include:

Syahadah

Declaration of Faith: Meaning that a person surrenders himself to god and testifies and declares that he believe only in one god, Allah and Muhammad was the messenger of Allah. According to them Allah is the only creator, ruler, sustainer of the world. He is considered merciful and compassionate. He is also the judge of the people. He judges people on the basis of their actions.

Salat

Performing prayers: It is compulsory for Muslims to pray five times a day(dawn, noon, afternoon, dusk and evening). These prayers can be performed at any place that is clean like offices, home, etc., though it should be done by facing towards the direction of Kaaba in Mecca. It is mandatory for Muslims to wash before prayers.

Zakat

Charity: It means that all the Muslims who are financially able, should donate some amount of their earnings to poor and needy who cannot fulfill their needs. It is the responsibility of every Muslim to contribute somehow in the wellness for others.

Sawm

Fasting during Ramadan: The night month of Islamic calendar, Ramadan, is the month when all the Muslims (after puberty) financially and physically able, fast from dawn to dusk. They do not eat, drink, or indulge in any sinful activities.
Hajj
Pilgrimage: Every adult Muslim who is financially strong and physically fit must go to the holy city, Mecca at least once in his/her lifetime.

Branches

After the death of prophet Muhammad, there were disputes on who will be the successor and lead Muslims. Two branches were formed within Muslims, Sunni and Shias. One of them argued that the successor of Muhammad should be his friend and father-in-law, Abu Bakr, whereas the other group believed that the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, Ali should lead the Muslims. Sunnis constitute to 85% of the total Muslim population.

Equality

Every person is considered equal in Islam, regardless of their religion. They treat even the non Muslims just like Muslims because they believe that Allah created everyone. They do not promote or support any terrorism in the name of religion. They do believe in jihad which means to fight your inner self just to improve yourself by doing things according to Quran. This also means that Muslims are allowed to fight for self defense if there is any attack on them.

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