Professor’s Name: Dr. Peter Youmans
Class: RS 130 “Intro to Comparative Religion”
Date: October, 19 2012 I grew up in a household that believed in Christianity and we went to church every Sunday. That church was my foundation, my love and honestly, it was all I knew. At that time, in my community anything other than Christianity just wasn’t accepted and I often wondered why. Although I thoroughly love Christianity, I still wanted to explore our other worldly religions. In doing this paper, I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to do just that. In my research, I realized that there is such a vast majority and trying to choose just one was going to be difficult but I prevailed. The one religion that I think is snarled upon, especially in this area and after 9/11 incident, Shia Islam. I wanted to gain a different perspective and a positive one at that. Overwhelmed with all the information I was collecting, I had to narrow it down. The following is what I felt was the highlights and the most important aspects of the Shia Islam religion. I want to start off with a short summary of what I have learned. Islam is the proper name of a religion; it is not pronounced, Izlam, with a “z”sound. The first syllable is pronounced like the end of the word, “bliss.” The Arabic word “Islam” means submission in peace, and in practice it is understood to mean submission in peace to the will of God Almighty. It is also understood to mean total peace that comes from surrender to the will of God Almighty (Allah). The people who profess the faith of Islam are called “Muslims,” not “Islamics.” The word “Muslim” is not synonymous with the word “Arab.” Islam originated in Arabia and many of the Arabic speaking people (Arabs) are Muslims, however most of the Muslims in the world are not Arabs. Islam is not a racial or ethnic term. There are Asian, European, African, American and Middle Eastern Muslims, just like there are American,
References: Al-Mufid. “Al-Irshad Shaykh” Al-Serat, Vol. 3 (1977) No.3. Muir, William. K.C.S.I, The Caliphate, “It’s Rise, Decline and Fall”. University of Glascow, Edinburgh, 1924. Mottahedeh, R. Mildred. “The Mantle of The Prophet”. Boston, MA. Oneworld Publications, 1985,2000. Glasse, Cyril. “The New Encyclopedia of Islam”. Third Edition. AltaMira Press. 2001. “Mapping the Global Muslim Population”. Analysis. October 7, 2009.