The Religion of Islam Essay

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Religion is as natural to man as social intercourse. The aim common to the religions of the world is that they undertake to bestow upon mankind the highest blessings, and the special way in which they seek to accomplish this is by establishing friendly relations with a Power which is stronger than the ordinary course of nature. Every religion which has counted for anything has had ready answers to three questions: What does it promise to do for the good of man? What is the nature of the higher Power on whose succor it relies? And, what is required of man as the condition of receiving the expected benefits? A further working test of its value is what it makes of morality.

For Christianity, the appropriate question is "What do
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While it does contain legal prescriptions, the bulk of the Quran consists of broad and general moral directives- what Muslims ought to do. It replaced, modified, or supplemented earlier tribal laws. Practices such as female infanticide, exploitation of the poor, usury, murder, false contracts, fornication, adultery, and theft were condemned. In other cases, Arab customs were gradually replaced by Islamic standards. Quranic prescriptions governing alcohol and gambling illustrate this process. At first, the use of alcohol and gambling had not been expressly prohibited. However, over a period of years, a series of revelations progressively discouraged their use. The first prescription against the old custom is given in the form of advice: "They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: in them is great sin and some use for man; but the sin is greater than the usefulness." Then, Muslims were prohibited from praying under the influence of alcohol: "Approach not prayer with a mind befogged until you can understand all that you say." Finally, liquor and gambling were prohibited: "Satan's plan is to incite enmity and hatred between you with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of God and from prayer: Will you not then abstain?"

Much of the Quran's reforms consist of regulations or moral guidance that

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