Religion and Folklore
Religion is extremely important in Saudi Arabia. We have to have a basic understanding of it if we wish to conduct business there. Brief Information on Islam
In order to understand Saudi Arabia, one must understand Islam. Saudi Arabia is the cradle of Islam, the second most populous religion on earth. It is the birth place of the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam. People who follow his teachings are called Muslims. Their holy book is called the Quran and their place of worship is called a Mosque. Saudi Arabia also contains the two holiest sites in Islam, Mecca and Medina. Mecca contains the most important mosque and all praying Muslims must face towards it no matter where they are. Medina is where the Tomb of Muhammad is located. There are no planes allowed to fly over these two major cities. Also no railroads travel there. Non-Muslims are forbidden from entering these two holy cities. Photography of any type inside the Mosques is also prohibited. One of the pillars of Islam is for all able-bodied Muslims to travel to Mecca at least once in their life. This pilgrimage is called the Hajj. The other 4 pillars are The Testimony of Faith (Shahadah) declaring the supremacy of Allah as the one and only god, Daily Prayer (Salat) at least 5 times a day, almsgiving (Zakat) where the rich give around 2.5% of their wealth to the poor, and Fasting (Sawm). Each of these is essential and enforced rigorously by the religious police. http://www.cqpress.com/context/articles/epr_saudi.html
Islam in Saudi Arabia
In modern day Saudi Arabia, Islam permeates all facets of life. It is the official religion of the country and all other religions are banned. The laws of the country are based on Sharia, or Islamic Law. Due to the harsh sentences imposed by Sharia, crime is kept to a minimal. It is seen more as a way of living ones life instead of a spiritual component. Most of Saudi Arabia is comprised of the Sunni sects of Islam. About 15% of the...
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