The 141). This ritual is part of the “Goodness”

Islamic religion and faith itself is one of the most followed in the world,
with about 1.6 million followers. There are many aspects and characteristics of
the religion that make up its foundation, including the founder, scriptures,
language, and ritual. One of the aspects of Islam that attracts its followers,
and humanity in general, is its answer to their search for the ultimate meaning
of life on earth. According to the Koran, the purpose of creation for all men
and women has simply been to know and worship God. This is the center idea of
the religion and basically the backbone of its rituals and scripture.
Furthermore, Islam is a monotheistic religion that was founded in the Middle
East in the 7th century C.E. based on the experiences of the Prophet
Muhammad. One of the most important manifestations depicted in the Koran is
when the Archangel Gabriel appears to Muhammad, becoming the first of many
revelations and myths that ultimately became the foundation of the scriptures
and were passed down from generation to generation.

            The Koran (“recitation”) is the
sacred text for Muslims that includes instructions on how to live their lives
and what they must do to achieve eternal life. They believe “the revelations
were transmitted to Mohammed through the instrumentality of the angel Gabriel,
and that it is, word for word, the dictation of God” (Kritzeck 97). The Koran
holds the Five Pillars to which all Muslims must adhere to: declaration of
faith, ritual prayer, the zakat, fasting, and the hajj (a pilgrimage to Mecca).
Moreover, the language of the Islamic faith is Arabic, and it is the one used
by all Muslims all over the world to recite the Koran. Many Muslims will even
study Arabic to be able to read the Koran and other Islamic texts. “The Koran
itself emphasizes that Arabic was specifically chosen as the language of God’s
final revelation, and the Arabs have understandably taken great pride in the
fact” (Kritzeck 99). The stories and experiences that form the base and
backbone of Islam are their irrefutable “Truth” and what ultimately guides
their faith and devotion to the religion.

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            In addition, there are many rituals
and practices that encompass Islam as described in the Five Pillars. The first
being the declaration of faith in which Muslims must recognize that there is
only one God and that Muhammad is the prophet of God. The most well-known
practice among Muslims is that of ritual prayer, or salat, in which they must
pray five times a day: at dawn, midday, afternoon, sunset, and evening. Also,
the zakat is the careful calculation of 2.5 percent of one’s wealth given to
the poor as a way to “purify” the rest of one’s wealth (Richter 141). This
ritual is part of the “Goodness” of the religion as it is an act of solidarity
and kindness towards others that ultimately connects the believer to Allah. Fasting
is an important ritual of the Islamic faith during the month of Ramadan (the
ninth month of the Islamic year) as it honors the revelation of the Koran to
its followers. Finally, the pilgrimage to Mecca (hajj) is a ritual that is
expected of every Muslim at least once in their lifetime, a visit to their holy

            When speaking of morality within the
religion, Muslims are also expected to be humble and accountable of their
actions to God. Humility must be expressed not only to God but to other
individuals as well. In addition, the religion requires followers to be in
control of their earthly passions and desires as they are vain and only lead to
human (and not spiritual) satisfaction. It is important for Muslims to not get
attached to earthly pleasures but to place their focus on God and allow Him to
guide them. Furthermore, as a society, Islam expresses the belief that all
humans are equal and make up one single community. The only difference Muslims
recognize among each other is their relationship with God, rather than race or
color, and those who have a strong relationship with God are the most honorable.
Any person can join the Muslim religion whether they speak Arabic or not,
whether they are black or white, or whether they reside in America or Africa.
The Islamic society does not discriminate against any of these characteristics as
long as the new follower accepts and commits to the concepts expressed in the
Five Pillars. In Islam’s social order every believer is welcome to the faith as
well as equal within the community without taking into consideration their
wealth, ancestry or social status.

            Furthermore, the Islam’s religious
experience mostly depends on three various sources, with the first and main one
being the revelations (manifestations) present in the Koran. The next is “the
use of human intellectual capacities to see the signs of God in nature, in the
world, from the microbiological level to the astro-physical” (Yaran 2). This
means Muslims have to be able to identify the signs of God in the world using
their own knowledge and intelligence. Lastly is “the use of human inner
experiential or spiritual capacities to see the signs of God within the self
and to be directly aware of God’s presence, providence and love” (Yaran 2). This
largely depends on the believer’s personal experience and relationship with God.
Moreover, Islamic art has a unique identity and identifying characteristics that
differs it from the rest. The four main elements include figural symbols, botanical
designs, calligraphy, and geometric designs. These characteristics can be seen
in the art and architecture present in mosques and its furnishing.

            Aside from being monotheistic,
Muslims believe in an afterlife to which they are predestined, meaning that
people will go to heaven or hell once they die. This belief in salvation could
be considered Islam’s “Beauty” as it is the ultimate achievement and award at
the end of a Muslim’s life. The purpose of a believer’s life is to please God
so that they may have eternal life rather than being classified as sinners. The
Islamic religion says that once a person reaches puberty they begin being
accounted for their actions in the eyes of God and from that moment on their
actions will be evaluated on the Day of Judgement. Also, the Islamic beatitudes
depict the result of what specific spiritual traits will yield. This provides
spiritual support for followers in times of helplessness and allows them to
depend on God rather than on human power and will.