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LO1) Demonstrate and explain the history, culture and practices in Islam.

Islam is a monotheistic religious tradition that developed in the Middle East in the 7th century C.E. Islam, which literally means "surrender" or "submission," was founded on the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as an expression of surrender to the will of Allah, the creator and sustainer of the world. The Quran, the sacred text of Islam, contains the teachings of the Prophet that were revealed to him from Allah. Essential to Islam is the belief that Allah is the one and true God with no partner or equal. Islam has several branches and much variety within those branches. The two divisions within the tradition are the Sunni and Shi'a, each of which claims different means of maintaining religious authority. One of the unifying characteristics of Islam is the Five Pillars, the fundamental practices of Islam. These five practices include a ritual profession of faith, ritual prayer, the zakat (charity), fasting, and the hajj (a pilgrimage to Mecca). Many Muslims are characterized by their commitment to praying to Allah five times a day. One of the defining characteristics of Islam is the primacy of sacred places including Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. Muslims gather at mosques to worship Allah, pray, and study scripture. There is not a sharp distinction between the religious and secular aspects of life in Islam; all aspects of a Muslim's life are to be oriented to serving Allah. Islam expanded almost immediately beyond its birthplace in the Arabian Peninsula, and now has significant influence in Africa, throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

LO2) Critically outline how the history and practices of Islam shape the lives of Muslims today.
In many countries within the Muslim world conformity to the Muslim way of life is not just cultural but is, in fact, required by law with restrictions being placed on the sale of certain items such as alcohol, punishments being used which may, in the Western world seem archaic, and cultural differences in the roles and freedoms of women. The ritualistic aspect of Islam which places an obligation on its followers to practice the five pillars of Islam can overshadow everyday life and requires a consistent, on-going, commitment. The practice of prayer (Salat) highlights not just the requirement to pray but the way in which those about to pray have to prepare for it through a process of cleansing which not only adds further to the ritualistic aspect of observance, but which also means that individual prayer is controlled by a universal practice which can virtually dictate when, where and even the words to be used. The requirement to fast (Sawn) during daylight for Ramadan, the observance of other religious events such as Eid, and the need to go on a pilgrimage (Haji) once during their lives, if possible, could also be seen as part of the controlling aspects of the Qur'an The Qur'an highlights the social dimension of Muslim culture and tells its followers to develop its social order on earth: "You are the best community evolved for mankind, enjoying what is right and forbidding what is wrong" (3:110). This particular verse is seen as directly influencing the way in which Muslim society has developed over time and provides the underpinning justification for many regulations and laws that have been adopted within the Islamic world.

LO3) Compare Islamic culture with other cultures.


Culture is defined as a peoples complete way of life. It consists of all the ideas, ob jects and ways of doing things created by the group. Culture includes beliefs, customs, language and traditions (World Book Encyclopedia).While there are numerous cultures and subcultures present in the world, of primary concern to us in this discussion are the two main opposing cultures in present-day society. One is the culture of Islam the complete way of life set forth in the Quran and Sunnah. On the other opposing end is the Western culture. Both cultures present a complete way of life. Howeve r, both ways of life differ drastically. The difference in the two cultures stems primarily from the source of the cultures. Islamic culture the way of life of a Muslim is defined by the Quran and Sunnah. It is the culture of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). It is that way of life upon which he established the Sahaaba (R.A.) after having turned them away from the culture of jahiliyyah (ignorance).On the other hand, Western culture is fashioned by a host of people; Capitalists, atheists, people who believe in same-gender marriages and others of a similar nature. Such people determine the decadent culture of the West. The mindset of the Islamic culture stems from the conviction that Allah Taala is our Creator and Sustainer. Hence in this short stay on earth, we are to serve Him alone in the manner taught by His beloved Rasul (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Thus the Islamic culture revolves around the firm belief that our mission in life is to establish complete Deen in ourselves and on the face of this earth. With this mindset, one will sacrifice ones wealth, energies and time as much as possible for the purpose of life. Indeed one will acquire the necessities of life as well, but Deen will be the guiding light and driving force. Deen will dictate and all else will follow. The purpose of life will demand and all else will submit. As a result if one does not acquire many comforts and luxuries, it will not matter. Rather, life will be regarded as a journey wherein the traveller is not too concerned about the luxuries and comforts en-route. The traveller is focused towards his destination. Yet, as a result of ones obedience to Allah Taala, one will be blessed with true peace, serenity and contentment.