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The Origins and beliefs of Shia and Sunni Islam

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The Origins and beliefs of Shia and Sunni Islam During the first 30 years after the Prophet's death Muslim's were governed by four khalifahs who were outstanding men chosen by the community for their closeness to the Prophet and their good characters. They were unselfish, tolerant, and well versed in the Qu'ran, and they had been the Prophet's dearest friends. They had learned from him all his ways and attitudes. These first four khalifahs were known as the 'Rashidun' or 'rightly-guided' or 'orthodox'. The word 'khalifah' means 'successor'. Instead of living like princes, they lived very simple lives as the Prophet had done, in close touch with the people. They were renowned for their ragged and torn clothing, and their refusal to take any luxuries for themselves. Khalifahs were the most important people in the Muslim state, but were horrified if anyone started to think of them as kings - they were simply servants. Only God was King. The first khalifah was Abu Bakr, who ruled from 632-4 CE. Before he died he elected Umar to be the next khalifah. Ali and his supporters thought this was wrong, but refused to bear a grudge. Umar ruled from 634-44 CE, after being stabbed (by Firuz, a Persian slave) six times in the back whilst he was praying. Uthman was the next khalifah to be elected, after Ali had refused the position. He was a kind and gentle man, but tended to elect many friends and relatives to key positions. ...read more.


It is of those who seek justice and righteousness, demand independence and liberty, and struggle to prevent the unbeliever as well as the tyrant from exercising power over the Muslim. He believes Islam is not just a code which governs the moral conduct of an individual, but also a set of rules and regulations which provide for every need and all requirements. He considers the introduction of the modern education, the adoption of constitutional parliamentary systems of government, and the promotion of Westernised criminal codes as nothing but deliberate means to undermine Islam, by encouraging the faithful to abandon their religion. Khomeini calls on the Muslims to emulate the example of the Prophet and the first three Imams. He demands their transformation into holy warriors to save Islam from the dangers confronting the religion. He encourages his students, as the new soldiers, to believe that theirs is a total system and to reject the notion that there is a similarity between Islam and Christianity. Khomeini thinks that Muhammad, and Imam Ali, were preachers, rulers, and administrators. He believes in 'succession', and also in the necessity of appointing a successor to the Prophet. The successor must be a preacher and a jurist, and must ensure the obedience of the community to the Qu'ran. To conclude, Khomeini states that there must be a state based on Muslim legal philosophy. The aspects of Western life religion, in general, and Islam, in particular, should resist or reform. ...read more.


They should not buy meat from a market unless it is known to be 'halal' (this is the Muslim word for meat which they can lawfully eat). Many Muslim children do not eat school dinners because of their food restrictions. Another of the Muslims problems is schooling. There are four main areas which these problems fall into. Immodest dress, especially in PE lessons; not separating boys and girls after the age of ten; sexual instruction in the classroom; and religious instruction that is either Christian or Jewish (i.e. Bible based) or Islam presented in an incorrect manner. There are several things which Muslims consider to be wrong with these. It is because of the lack of schools which provide the rules and facilities needed for Muslims, that many Muslim schools have been started. One of the major difficulties for a Muslim is there ability to find time to pray. Some employers are not sympathetic if workers want to break off for a few moments to pray. Often there is no private place for them to go, or facilities to wash with first. This makes life very hard for Muslims, and I therefore believe the laws about praying should be slightly more lenient. Overall one can see that Muslims confront many clashes between their laws and the way of the western civilization. For them to get on more easily in the modern world they must reform or resist some of their strict laws and traditions. ?? ?? ?? ?? Divinity Coursework, Political Islam 1 J.Kidd ...read more.

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