Exploring the religious and cultural dynamics and understanding of the Islamic Religion in a global
Cultural Diversity in Professions
Professor Kazsuk Elizabeth
February 19, 2012
Topic: Exploring the religious and cultural dynamics and understanding of the Islamic Religion in a global geopolitical environment.
Islam is a religion with well over 1.5 billion followers and believers worldwide. It is intensely practiced in East and North Africa, and largely in the Middle East, in central Asia and in Indonesia. Islam means submission under the will of “Allah” or God. It is also deeply means living in peace, safety and security. It is more than a religion. It is also seen as cultural, political ideas, and artistic orientation. Islam’s core values are explicit: there is only one God and the religion is defined by the Holy Koran (Esposito, 2002). According to the Islamic teachings, religion blended with social life, promoted as a political system encompasses Islamism. Islam as a religion believes there are many prophets of Allah one of whom is Mohammed, their follower. Righteousness, love and caring for all believers especially the poor and the weak in society are some of the core practices. In brief, Islam is defined out of five pillars that every Muslim believe in and practice accordingly. These are: Shahda, meaning there is only one God and Muhammad is his messenger; the Salat, meaning believers must pray five times a day facing the direction of the east in Mecca; Zakat, meaning charity, which is a prescription practiced differently in Islam; Sawm-fasting during the month of Ramadan; and hajj-pilgrimage to Mecca, which is strongly recommended that every successful Muslim must visit the Holy land in mecca in good health and economic success (Caner & Caner, 2002).
There is no doubt that Islamic religion originated from the Middle East in the Arabian Peninsula and North African region with Egypt being the largest Muslim population in Africa (Esposito, 1999; Ahmed, 2001), since the beginning of the practice of Islam and advancement of human civilization. As a result of man’s pursuit of inventions, discoveries, trade and migration, the practice and impact of Islamic and its cultures have become the second largest religious, socio-cultural and political systems in the world. There are over one billion Muslims in the world today, and significantly, over 20 million of them live in the west (United States and Western Europe). According to Ahmed (2001) there are about at least fifty Muslim nations globally after the six additions from the former Soviet republics. Indonesia alone has about 205 million (88%) of the country’s total population and 13% of the total world’s Muslim pollution, and Pakistan and India competing for the second highest 178 and 177 million Muslims respectively in the world. The trend keeps increasing in countries such as Bangladesh with 149 million Muslims and in African, Egypt and Nigeria been the dominant with 80 and 76 million Muslims respectively (Pew-Forum on Religion and Public Life, 2010). According to John L. Esposito, almost from the beginning of Islam in the early 600s, Muslims split into two main groups: the Sunnite Muslims and the Shiite Muslims. The largest group is the Sunnites, who believe that leadership passes to caliphs (leaders of the Islamic community) selected from the Prophet Muhammad's tribe. The Shiites, however, believe the true leaders of Islam must descend from the family of Ali who was Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law. There are yet other sub sects and extremist groups like the infamous Al Qaida. Despite some differences in practices between the sects, all Muslims uphold the Five Pillars of Faith (basic requirements of the Islamic religion) In United States , Most people did not know much about the either the Islamic religion nor the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document