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Islam and New Religious Movements
Terms in this set (58)
Characteristics of Bedouin religion at the time of Muhammad.
-Polytheistic nomadic herding people; often times tribes would worship a specific patron deity
What specific social evils of his culture did Muhammad speak against?
Key virtue was not manliness and loyalty to one's tribe, not social responsibility.
1. Monotheism hit the pocketbook of many Meccans who made money from polytheism
2. Challenged licentious behavior
3. Challenged an unjust social order as well as tribal loyalty
What does Muhammad replace Arab tribal loyalty with?
Submission to God's will (surrender to Allah)
What does Muhammad do with the Ka'ba after Muslims take charge of Mecca? Which former practices regarding the Ka'ba does Muhammad keep?
In 630 CE the Muslims defeated the Meccans in battle. Muhammed purified the Ka'ba and continues the practice of pilgrimage to it. He keeps many of the traditions (circling the Ka'ba 7 times, kissing the black stone, running between the 2 hills, throwing stones at the pillars), but not these rituals are all done in the name of Allah
Know the basic history of Muhammad's life.
Lost those closest to him and people took him and cared for him. He had visions over 23 years which began as a dream in solitude in a cave. As a caravan trader he met many people of different religions. He becomes the mayor of the city of Adina because they needed a leader not associated with major religions.
Define Qur'an. What do most Muslims consider it to be? How was it formed? How did it come to be in its present form? What is its main content? How is the Qur'an venerated in Muslim practice? Why is hearing the words a religious experience?
Qu'ran means to recite.
Most Muslims consider the Qu'ran a miracle, the only miracle. In addision, most Muslims consider the Quran to be eternal and uncreated-it always existed.
The Quran came from the revelations of Muhammed. Written down after his death.
The Quran came to its present form based on different editions. The third, Caliph, Uthman, ordered the authoritative edition of the Quran to be determined.
Much of the Quran is about specific issues and events that took place on the Arabian peninsula in the 7th c. It addresses issues and problems facing the fledging Mulsim community-how to live (laws of relations).
The Quran is said to be the language of God, so hearing the words in itself is a blessing.
What is the main reason Muslim's give for believing the Qur'an is from God? (the only miracle Muhammad would give the skeptics)
Muhammed was illiterate thus Quran is miracle. Muhammed claimed that God revealed Islam to humans at the beginning but humans strayed and only Muhammed and his followers kept the message unchanged.
Precisely name and explain (provide some details about each one) each of the five pillars.
1. Shahadah "No God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet/messenger."
2. Prayer - 5 times per day are "salat" prayers, all Muslims face the same direction; Community identity is formed by all Muslims doing the same activity at the same times every day
3. Fasting during Ramadan - during the daylight, no food or water or sex, purposes: dependence upon God and concern for disadvantaged
4. Zakot (2.5% of net worth). Used for Muslims
5. Pilgrimage (at least once in a lifetime) - enter a state of purity, teaches the unity/equality between races and socio-economic status.
What is the nature of God in the Qur'an?
Every part of the Quran begins with a compassionate and merciful god.
Oneness of God, all-power nature, his guidance for righteous life, created the universe/humankind, humans cannot truly know the ultimate essence of god
What are the main theological beliefs of Islam? (God, human nature, sin, salvation, judgment). What is the basic human failing and what practices do Muslims perform to correct it? How does the image of the "straight path" explain the human problem and its solution?
Tawhid (oneness of God) (absolute monotheism - nothing on the same level as God)
Shirk ("Allah, the eternal, he has not begotten nor was he begotten and he has no equal.")
no iconography (not even images of Muhammad)
God is the creator (6 days)
Omniscient and holds everyone to account for their lives in the great judgment that results in heaven and hell; Humans are immortal--they have God's "spirit" breathed into them
Problem: We fail to remember God. We deny that there will be a day of reckoning. when we have to stand alone before God who knows what we have done in secret ("We are not on the straight path" metaphor)
Solution: Recite and remember by means of prayer. Praying 5 times per day helps one remember who you are and what God expects of you.
migration of medina, start of muslim calendar
pilgrimage ritual involves circling this 7 times
oneness of god
allah, the eternal, he has not begotten nor was he begotten and he has no equal (anti Nicene creed)
Jihad (greater and lesser)
greater: submission of god is key
lesser: radical muslims cite verses in quran to support the use of violence against unbelievers, but you are supposed to be attacked first, not be the aggressor
means "the God". He was one of the gods worshipped by the Meccans; some worship him exclusivelu
Seal of the prophets
title given to Muhammed, the apostle of god
codified legal codes for every aspect of life developed during the middle ages
place where muslims pray; must remove shoes, Friday worship if possible
community of muslim believers
all people are muslim by nature (natural disposition to monotheism and righteousness/pure)
beginning of each surrah: "in the name of god the compassionate, the the merciful"
want to restore true muslim society via islamic governments (not secular) and by following Shariah as the law code
What is the "feast" of sacrifice about?
End of the Hajj- most important holiday of the year
celebrated by all Muslims, not just the ones taking the pilgrimage
-commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son at God's command
What is the Muslim ideal regarding race relations?
All races are supposed to be equal before Allah, but Arabs tend to think themselves superior
What are the major prohibitions regarding lifestyle (e.g. food, drink, gambling)?
Can't eat dead animals, swine or animals slaughtered in the name of anything other than God. Alcohol not always forbidden but it devalued. No gambling or charging interest
What are some views about marriage, adultery and divorce? What is the law regarding polygamy?
Marriage is very important since men and women only attain their fullness through parenthood. Husband is the head of the family and males have authority over women though women have rights. Males are the protectors of women. Women are to be treated properly even if the husband does not like them. Divorce is permitted but not encouraged. There is a waiting period before a woman can remarry to see if she is pregnant.
Polygamy is allowed up to four wives but is rare. Muslim women can only marry a Muslim man, but a Muslim man can marry anyone as long as children are Muslim. Adultery receives the death penalty if either confessed or four male witnesses (but sex with unmarried women by a husband is not adultery).
How did Muhammad improve women's rights in Arabia? What is the present debate over women and veiling? What is hijab?
Qur'an gave women some rights they had not had in tribal society. They could inherit property, refuse a marriage, and didn't allow female infanticide.
If women are to be veiled how much of the body is to be covered?
Some Muslims believe it oppresses women
Some Muslim women believe it allows women to express their Muslim faith and it liberates them from being evaluated by the clothes they wear.
Hijab = veil that covers head and chest
What is "dhimmi" status and what were two specific practices imposed on Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages?
"Dhimmi" status are practices place on Christians and Jews to encourage Islam.
Can't display a cross
Can't marry a Muslim woman
Extra tax (jizya)
What events led to the break between Sunni and Shiite Islam? What does "Shiite" mean? What is the key event at Karbala for understanding the mentality of Shi'ite Muslims? What is the "hidden imam" (Mahdi) and what is expected of him?
The break involved who was to lead after Muhammad's death. For Sunnis, the Caliph (head of the government) rules by consensus of the other leaders and laws are decided by consensus of scholars. Shi'ites said Ali was the proper successor.
Shi'ites means "partisans of Ali."
For Shi'ites the key event at Karbala was when Ali's youngest son, Husayn, claimed to be the rightful successor and on his way to Iraq where he had many supporters, he was ambushed and killed at Karbolah (theme of victimization and martyrdom).
The "hidden imam" is the 12th imam (great spiritual leader) who disappeared in 874 CE and they believe he will return to overthrow evil and bring about a golden age of Islamic rule.
The four main differences between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims.
1. successor of Muhammad
2. suffering of imams is for the glory of god (shi'ite)
3. hidden imam
4. pilgrimage sites outside of Saudi Arabia (shi'ite)
What are the key characteristics of Suffism? Why do some accuse them of shirk? Who was Rumi?
Sufi means "wool"—it is a reaction to nominal and wealthy.
Emphasized the love of God and a religious experience in which all you aware of is God, you forget yourself.
Problem - blurred line between God and humans (Saint veneration and pilgrimages to shrines of saints)
Rumi = renown, 13th century Sufi poet; personal experience of God through Mevlevi order (well-known in Western world)
What is meant by "all people are Muslims by nature" (fitra) and Islam is the "natural" religion?
We have a natural disposition to monotheism and righteousness. We are born pure (Muslim) and our parents turn us into Christians, Hindus, etc. If we follow our natural inclination, it will lead to Islam.
What are the main ways that Muslims worship individually and corporately? Compare and contrast a Muslim service at a mosque with services at a synagogue or church.
The salat are not individualized prayers requesting aid from God or giving thanks, although those personal prayers ("dua") are also common among Muslims. Salat prayers are formalized--each prayer has specific verses of the Qu'ran to recite.
Prayers may be done anywhere...many Muslims perform them in a mosque. When Muslims pray together 1 person acts as imam.
prayer space, fountain, direction of prayer marked by mihrah, colorful rugs, no seats/pews, leave shoes outside
The background of the radical groups—how do they view the world? E.g. Sayyid Qutb, Wahhabism. What differentiates the Muslim radical from the moderate outlooks?
they view world in a very extremist way. the west is out to get them, through the writings of Sayyid Qutb who interpreted the Quran in a way that it was the job of muslims to eradicate the west after their economic persecution of the muslim countries
pioneered a new trend for Muslims to read and interpret the text for themselves
Wahhabism = strict literalist interpretation of Qur'an who reject rationalistic interpretations; reject Sufism since they blur the distinction between God and creature; enforce conservative application of Sharia; no shrines outside Mecca or saints
Qutb said Jews turned the divine law in to a lifeless legalism and Christians did the opposite--got rid of laws and replaced them with grace.
Radical resistance to European imperialism and American expansion/influence
they believe moderate muslims have caved to the west and have lost the true sense of muslims
How does the Qur'an view the relationship between Islam and other religions? From the Qur'an itself, cite a positive and a potentially negative quote about other religions. (i.e. statements about tolerance and warfare against unbelievers)
Had it been God's will, he could have made all of them one religion. But God brings whom he will into his mercy. . ." This could be interpreted to mean that one can treat members of other religions with disdain since God did not ordain them to be Muslim but it could also mean that one should treat them with respect since God wants them.
1. "No excuse for being an unbeliever" since Islam is the "natural religion" therefore God will judge. ("slay them...idolatry is worse than carnage"; "Slay the idolaters wherever you find them")
2. Though there is no excuse for unbelief, there is to be "no compulsion in religion." If we follow our natural inclination it will lead to Islam, the natural religion.
What do exclusivist and inclusivist Muslims say about other religions?
Exclusivists tend to say that Jews and Christians cover up the truth. They claim that the Bible predicted the coming of Muhammad and so those who reject Islam are rightly damned.
Inclusivists Members of other religions are not responsible for ignorance of the Quran. Jews and Christians have genuine revelations and so they are saved if they live righteously.
What is the view of Muslims towards Jews and Christians? What is meant by "peoples of the book?"
Jews and Christians are called "people of the book" and were tolerated so long as they paid the tax and didn't seek to convert Muslims.
What do Muslims think about the Christian teaching that Jesus is the "Son of God"?
Only one God -- Nothing is on the same level as God. Rejects the Nicene Creed -- "No partners with God". God has no son.
What do Muslims believe happened to the original revelations given by Moses and Jesus? How is this problem corrected by the Qur'an?
Muhammad claimed that God revealed Islam to humans at the beginning but humans strayed, so God sent Moses but Jews corrupted the message. Then God sent Jesus but his disciples corrupted the message. Only Muhammad and his followers kept the message and unchanged.
He doesn't think he's making a new religion--He's only clarifying Jews and Christians. Thinks Islam is the original religions everyone else corrupted the message of Allah ("straight path").
What did the secularization thesis claim would happen to religion as societies became modernized?
subordination of religion to science
What is meant by the "re-enchantment" of the world?
most pressing spiritual need of our time as seen by many new religious communities is this reversal of secularization of modern societies
environmentalism in many pagan religions - divineness is in nature and powers are in the natural world
What is meant by the "fall" of the church and the need for restoration?
"Restoration" movements -- the "fall" of the church—the true church (the primitive or original church) was lost and needed restoration. Belief that new Christians churches were restoring the primitive Christianity.
What are some common ideas associated with millennialism?
Millennial movements expect an apocalypse to occur along with the return of Jesus to rule the world. Some repeatedly set dates for the event.
What two distinctive practices do Seventh Day Adventists get from the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible)?
worship saturday and the dietary regulations
In Scientology what are engrams and how are they dealt with?
In this search for expanded consciousness comes with the presence of engrams (traumatic events stored as images in the reactive/subconscious mind). Healing brought about through counseling to release the troubled individual.
What do Baha'i believe monotheism implies for government?
What did God commission Joseph Smith to do about Christianity?
He is told to restore the Aaronic priesthood from John the Baptist (modeled after the first high priest of the Hebrews and his descendants).
The LDS are the new Israel under the direction of the 12 Apostles (restoration).
Restoration of the 10 tribes to build a new Zion.
What is the Book of Mormon about?
Israelites who sailed to the Americas but were eventually killed by native Americans.
How does God give continuing revelation to the LDS?
God is continuing to give divine revelation via the prophets and Apostles.
What are Mormon temples used for?
very important but not as places of congregational worship; outside of temple practices one cannot attain the highest salvation
What is "baptism for the dead" about? Why do they practice it?
Those who died without knowing about the restored gospel can have an opportunity to become Mormons after death if a Mormon is baptized for them in this life. Hence, Mormons believe they can help assist their ancestors or others who died before Mormonism was available or if they never became a Mormon.
What are two distinctive aspects of LDS teaching about the nature of God? What is their key distinctive belief about humans? Who is Jesus in relation to other humans?
God has a body and can be seen. God was once a mortal but developed until he became immortal and incorruptible. God is married.
Human essences are eternal and uncreated.
Jesus is literally our "elder brother" because he was the "firstborn" of God and his wife.
What does it mean for husbands and wives to be "sealed?"
you become spouses for eternity
What is the main issue about being an "authentic" pagan?
Those who claim that to be authentic paganism the rites must be connected to ancient religions. Some versions of this form have an additional requirement that one must be initiated by a spiritual leader who was initiated by a leader, etc. which goes back to ancient times.
What do pagans believe about the natural world?
They want to re-enchant the world of nature (environmentalism). Followers typically revere everything in nature as having a divine energy.
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