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APY265 Paper 1 - Sarah Jordan APY265 Commonalities of Islam...

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Sarah Jordan APY265 March 11, 2011 Commonalities of Islam and Christianity Islam is a set of beliefs holding together the Muslim culture and is considered both a religious and political system. It is an ethical system in politics, where modern Muslims must unite political thoughts with the morals of their religion. Compared to Christianity, both religions share a common ground of beliefs and practices. The two religions can trace their roots to Abraham and agree on the existence of One God. They both view prayer as an essential part of their religion, with the belief that being a follower of the faith will grant them eternal life. Despite the many similarities, Islam seeks cultural difference from the West, where Muslims make religion a way of life and view Islam as a self surrender to the will of God. A significant part of the Islamic religion and one of the five pillars of Islam is prayer, where the intention is to demonstrate obedience to Allah. Allah wants believers to earn paradise through obedience and submission, where prayer can also purify the worshippers from their sins. Followers adhere to directions given in the Qur’an and perform salah, or worship, five times a day. Similarly, the purpose of prayer in Islam is identical to those of Christian prayer, addressing praise, thanksgiving, confession, and petition. A main part of Islamic prayer rituals are ruku and sujud, where these postures performed before Allah are acts of respect, adoration, and service. The people express their submission to their God on a spiritual level through the physical means of prayer. Sujud is complete prostration and is done multiple times during the prayer ritual. While in sujud, a Muslim is to praise to Allah and glorify him. Muslims use ruku to classify the number of prostrations in a ritual, where each
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ruku requires two prostrations. Together these postures are part of the raka’ah, a set of actions performed in a prayer. The type of prayer is dependent on the number of raka’ah performed, where ruku and sujud play a significant role. Ruku, the bowing down with hands on knees, is a sign of courtesy and is performed before the two sujud. If you do not perform the gesture of courtesy properly you cannot be ready for sujud; if performed properly and you bow down in humility to Allah, the more power you will have to remain uncorrupted from sins. Ruku has very precise and proper etiquette, and if done correctly shows that one can be obedient and devoted.
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