The Major Religions Of The World Essay — страница 6

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Hadith. The Qur’an are the words of god and the Hadith are the words of Muhammad. The Muslims have five duties known as the Five Pillars of Islam. The first is to recite the shahadah at least once during their lifetime. Most Muslims say it everyday. The second is to perform the salat, which is prayer, five times a day. It’s done during the morning, noon, mid-afternoon, after sunset and just before sleeping. The third is to donate through the zakat, which is a 2.5 percent charity tax. The fourth is to fast during the month of Ramadan. The fifth and final is if physically and financially able, to make one pilgrimage to Mecca. The Muslim’s are strictly monotheistic, there is one true God that is merciful. They believe that Satan drives people to sin and they also believe that

Jesus was only a prophet, nothing more. They also believe that Jesus was not executed on the cross and the Christian concept of Jesus is blasphemous. There are three main types of Muslims. The Sunni Muslims are 90 percent of the Muslim believers and main stream traditionalists. The Shi’ite Muslims split from the Sunnis over a quarrel over Muhammad. They have their own translation of the Qur’an which they enforce. The final group is Sufism they took ideas from Christianity and Buddhism but they are more of a different style rather than a different school. The Muslim religion represents about 22 percent of the world’s population and are the second largest religion. The largest concentrations of Muslims are in Africa and Asia. Today s Muslims are branded as terrorists or

fundamentalists. But their religion is a gentle religion. On the Arabian Peninsula, home of the Arabs, was isolated and they were able to develop their civilization without outside influences. It is about 1 million miles square that is located between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. There are two distinctive regions. The first has well-watered valleys between mountains and the second is arid plains and desert. Grass grows quickly during the showers of the rainy season. In ancient times the Arabs were nomads that herded sheep, goats, and camels and lived in tents made of felt from camel or goat hair. They ate fresh or dried dates and drank milk from their herds. On special occasions they ate mutton. Their tribes were made of related families. They valued family ties because they

ensured protection and survival. They had a chief (sheikh). The sheikh ruled as long as the tribe allowed him. They had a council of elders. There was warfare over waterholes and pastures. They believed in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth as means for punishment. To improve warrior skills they had camels and horses. They had story telling in front of the campfire. They had poetry about battles, desert, camels, horses, and love. In 500 AD they started a town called Makkah, which was fifty miles inland of the Red Sea. Trade was mostly of animal products for weapons dates grains, spices, jewels ivory, silk, and perfumes. They had caravans travel there from as for china. Arabs had and worshipped many deities business ties were replacing family ties, and old tribal laws were

not adequate. Byzantine and the Persian armies were threatening to conquer them. The tribes had the some language but they had no central government, or sense of unity, The Arabs searched for new beliefs. TAOISM The founder of Taoism is Lao-Tse, which lived between 604-531 BCE. Taoism began as a combination of philosophy and psychology but was later turned into a state religion in 440 CE. Lao-Tse was later established as a deity. In 1911, support for Taoism had disappeared and with the communist victory in 1949 there was very little room for religious freedom. Taoism has many sects and groups that have been influenced by Buddhism and Confucianism. Taoism is still practiced in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong although the current government has made attempts to suppress it. The Taoist

beliefs are that there is no god and that Tao is a force that flows. There are no personified beliefs in Taoism and they do not pray to a god. They seek out life’s problems through meditation and observation. Much like Hinduism, time is cyclical. There are five organs of the earth water, fire, wood, metal and earth. Lao-Tse developed “Yin” and “Yang” which are two competing energies found in all things which must be “balanced.” There is not a specific number of Taoists in the world. It’s hard to find the exact number of Taoists because at one time a person in China could be a Buddhist, a Taoist and a Confucian. The main concentration of Taoists is in China and Taiwan. In order to go into Taoism at all, we must begin by being in the frame of mind in which it can