Essay about Islam: The Rich Culture of the Middle East

936 Words4 Pages
With 1.5 billion followers worldwide, the religion of Islam is the second most popular religion over the entire globe, and follows a strict set of rules derived from the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, a messenger of God, or Allah. Founded in 622 C.E. (also known as A.D.) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion that drew inspiration from earlier religions like Christianity and Judaism. It is divided into three different sections- the Sunni, Shi’a and Sufi sects. The Qur’an is the holy book of Islam, and is considered the unaltered word of Allah. All followers of Islam adhere to many high standards of living and daily practices meant to better their lives like The Twelve Imams, among others. Islam brings…show more content…
The three different sects of Islam are the Sunni, the Shi’a and the Sufi. There are other denominations, but these are the main ones. They all have similar beliefs, but vary in theological and legal areas. 85 percent of all Muslims are Sunni, with 14 percent being Shi’a and the last percent being culminated from all other sects. The Sunni is the largest and oldest group of Muslims, and is considered the very traditional and orthodox division. The word ‘sunnah’ means “the trodden path” and is also the derivative for the word Sunni. The sunnah are the behavioral examples set down by the Prophet and the basis for the Sunni beliefs. The Sunni have four different, madh'hab, or schools of thought- the Hanafi, the Maliki, the Shafi'i and the Hanbali, that deal with religious law. The Sunni believe in three major ideas of theology as well- divine revelation over human reason, a metaphysical God, and omnipotence. Sufism, the third most-well known sect of Islam, focuses on the mystical beings of Islam. The purpose has been defined as “a way to turn the heart away from all else but God.” This branch stresses personal development and a close relationship with God, teaching the presence of God in everything, even the self. Many who practice Sufism are missionaries as their views can be easier to relate to for those that aren’t accustomed to Islam and its beliefs. The daily life of a Muslim is full of
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