POLS 399 - Class Notes.docx - Chris Burns POLS 399...

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Chris Burns POLS 399 Political Islam Class Notes 1/19/16 - What is Islam? What does Islam mean? o Faith o Culture o Connectivity o There are multiple definitions of Islam o Some people say “Islam” means “peace”; others say it means “submission” o Islam can mean many things to many different people o Five Pillars of Islam [Sunni]: Shahada – attesting to the one and only God and Muhammad as his Messenger Prayer – praying five times a day Fasting – fasting during the month of Ramadan Zakat – communal wealth distribution Hajj – pilgrimage to Mecca (if able) at least once o The Five Pillars are the basic fundamental aspects of Islam o These rules leak into every facet of your life o Shahada dictates what you believe, prayer dictates how and when you worship, fasting dictates what and when you eat, zakat dictates what you do with your money, and the hajj dictates where you go. o Islam is a religion, a way of life, a political system, a social structure, an economic system, a community, etc. o What About Jihad ? Not accepted as a pillar of Islam by most Sunni Muslims However, Shi’a Islam includes jihad as a pillar
While it is not a pillar, it is still considered a religious obligation Therein lies significant controversy over the exact meaning of “jihad” Some say it should largely be understood as meaning “to wage war” Others insist that it means “to struggle” and emphasize the internal struggle with oneself o Islamic Law (Sharia) Set of rules set for society that encompass all parts of Islamic life Based on teachings from Qur’an, the Hadith, Qiyas, and Ijma The basis of Sharia law is that all religious law should flow from the Qur’an Qiyas – using of analogies to draw parallels between generations and places. Using logic to extrapolate between what is said by Muhammad to a particular context Ijma – scholarly consensus on a subject o Before the Islamic world gave its contributions in science, math, and technology,

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