UNDERSTANDING THE RELIGION OF ALLAH
Early Muslim literature is Arabic as was the language of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Qur’an is thereby written in this language and Muslims are required to learn Arabic from a very young age. Those who profess of the Muslim faith are not allowed to convert to any other religion and the children born into these families are therefore forced to follow only Islam. Those who choose to defy this are killed by their parents since it is against the law.
The Islamic law (shari’a) has remained as was in the earlier centuries since guidelines are found in the holy book the Qur’an. Many non-Muslims consider certain punishments inhuman such as the amputating of limbs for theft, the stoning of women and homosexuals, lack of freedom of speech and also the consideration of women to be inferior to men in every context.
According to this religion, Muslim women are only allowed to get married to Muslim men who in many cases are their distance cousins. This is to avoid the erosion of culture and the Muslim religion since marriage into other religions such as Christianity is not allowed.
Marriage in Islam is regarded as the most important Muhammad stated that “Marriage is half of religion” which means it is of utmost importance. The marriage ceremonies are very colorful and are highly attended by relatives and friends.
The Muslim culture values purity and therefore those girls who are not proven to be virgins on the night of the wedding are divorced immediately and punished according to the law.
Muslims are heavily in bred and therefore this hinders their advancement in very many sectors of life. Their interest in technology has been noted to be close to nil since all their concentration is placed on their religion other than scientific inventions.
The Muslim diet does not consist of bacon, sausage, ham or pork. These are considered to be unclean and therefore cannot be consumed by Muslims. Any form of slaughter of animals for Muslim consumption is strictly done by Muslims in the name of Allah who blesses it.
According to statistics, Islam is the fastest growing religion in Britain with an increase from 1.6 million to 2 million since the year 2000.
Muslim holy days are: 1. Ashura which is a day of fasting to celebrate the day Nuh (Noah) left the ark and the day Musa (Moses) was saved from the Egyptians by Allah.
2. Eid ul-Fitr which is a celebration for the end of fasting. 3. Ramadan whereby Muslims fast during daylight hours for a whole month. These are just few examples of the many holy days the Muslims have.
Mecca which is considered a major centre of worship is one of the most important places for any Muslim to visit. It is written that a Muslim should strive to visit Mecca at least once in their lifetime. Non-Muslims are however not allowed to visit this holy city under any circumstances during the holy month of Ramadan.
Many may consider specific practices of the Muslim crude and unrealistic. However, it is a religion like any other and requires just as much respect. Its cultural diversity may not be acceptable to many but it should not escape our minds that just as we fight for gender equality, so should we religious equality therefore avoid discrimination and disregard for the Muslim culture.