The Arabic word “Islam” translates to submission in peace, and in Islamic practice it is understood to mean submission in peace to the will of the God Almighty. Islam is one of the largest religions in the world and it put into practice one of religion’s most powerful leaders, Muhammed, who had a great influence on humanity. As a religious leader, Muhammed implemented principles upon which Islam still utilize today. Muhammed claimed to be the last prophet sent from God. Post September 11, 2011, the Islam religion was cast in a negative light, but this has not negatively affected the enthusiasm of Muslim members, nor has it hindered its growth. With over a billion members belonging to the ...view middle of the document...
The child Muhammed was born to a powerful clan, but he was not born into wealth. His spiritual quest led to results that were completely remarkable for him. While he was meditating on Mt. Hira about 610, Muhammed was confronted by angel Gabriel and delivered a message from Allah (Arabic for the God). Gabriel challenged Muhammed to read or recite the message of God.
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
Recite: In the Name of thy Lord who created,
created Man of a blood-clot.
Recite: And thy Lord is the Most Generous,
Who taught by the Pen,
Taught Man that he knew not. (Qur’an 96:1-5)
When Muhammed was assured God was really speaking through him, he did as he was told and recited the messages exactly as he received them. Muhammed had a lot of courage, and the message God gave him to recite was one of social and religious reform. Emphasis on God as the only deity and the absolute requirement that all idols of the Arabs be destroyed.
Recently, Americans became conscious of the fact that the Islam religion is of importance in the United States. They are represented by two major groups of people. One group are immigrants that have voluntarily come to the United States seeking a better life, while African Americans seeking a religion congenial than the Christianity of most whites. There are approximately six hundred mosques and Islamic centers in the United States.
Due to the lack of knowledge about Muslims by those outside of the religion, there is an unease growing between Muslims and non-Muslims. Therefore, it is important to delve deeper in to the Islamic religion to find out all there is to offer. I conducted my research on the religion by interviewing someone who faithfully practices the religion. I wanted to experience the religion first-hand, so I was allowed to spend an entire day with a member of the Muslim religion and observe him as she embarked on her daily routine.
Ameena Sahir, an African-American Muslim, was born and raised in the United States. She says, “Growing up Muslim, I was always teased by the other kids. Kids can be very cruel,” She accounts for being teased due to the lack of knowledge of others around her. “They did not know why I had to wear a hajib (head wrap) and it was obvious they did not know how to handle ‘different’. They did not like ‘different’. Even though I was born here and went to the same school they did, spoke the same language, and even lived in the same community, I was like a foreigner to them.” I asked how that affected her and how her parents responded to the bullying she experienced. She states her parents supported and comforted her throughout her younger years but as she grew older, “…they started to encourage me to handle the difficulties I faced on my own. They suggested I teach those around me about the Muslim culture and practices. I remember my mom told me, “Those who lack knowledge are ignorant, and it is up to you to change that.” Ameena described herself as a...