Study Guide on the Koran

Study Guide on the Koran - STUDY GUIDE Uses textbook...

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STUDY GUIDE Uses textbook: Western Civilization: The Continuing Experiment, 2006  Dolphin Edition   KORAN,  Selections from Sura 2 ( Al-Baqara  or “The Cow”)   As you read this selection, answer the questions on a separate  sheet of paper to prepare for the class discussion and quiz. Correlate  this assignment with pages 225-229 of your textbook.  Look there for  answers if you have trouble answering some of the questions.  Before  answering the questions, look through these pages in your textbook for  the definitions of these terms:  haram, Kaaba,  hijra, umma,  Five  Pillars of Islam, imam, sura, sunna, hadith.    Mohammed revealed the second Sura, the longest chapter in  Koran, while in Medina following The Hijra (622).  It is named “The  Cow” because, beginning at verse 63, the text references a passage  from the Hebrew Bible (Numbers 19.1-9) that discusses the Red  Heifer.  In the Hebrew context, the Red Heifer, a cow not yet three  years old, should be sacrificed and burned; the gathered ashes should  be mixed with water and kept in God’s Temple.  Jews should wash  with that water to purify themselves from corpse pollution.  The  defilement that resulted from touching a dead body had to be removed  before entering the Temple or taking part in religious services.   Mohammed makes an oblique reference in this long instruction on  social relations.  Pay attention to attitudes toward Jews and Christians,  relations among social classes, familial relations, and gender issues as  well as the role of the Five Pillars in regulating these aspects of Muslim  life.  
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Refer to p. 229 of your textbook for the list of the Five Pillars.   Find examples in your assigned reading that require a believer to  follow each Pillar.  How do the Five Pillars contribute to creating a  cohesive, unified  umma ?  How do the Pillars work to eliminate, or  ameliorate, class divisions?  What of historical significance happened  in the month of Ramadan?  Why does the Hajj, the Great Pilgrimage,  center on Mecca?  What building do Muslims visit as the focal point of  the Hajj? What happens to those Muslims who do not follow the Five  Pillars?  How does Koran make provision for exceptions to these  rules?  According to these selections, what should be the relations  among Jews, Christians, and Muslims?  How does Koran define the  differences between Muslims on the one hand and Jews and Christians  on the other?  How are Muslims taught to think about Abraham, Moses,  and Jesus?  What is the meaning of  jihad ?  Under what conditions does 
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