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My Religious Family Tree

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REL 1101-Survey of the World’s Religions
My Religious Family Tree

From one generation to the next, my family and I come from an Islamic background. There are two main branches of Islam, which are Sunni Islam and Shia Islam. My grandparents as well as my parents were born and raised in Egypt as Sunni Muslims. This led to the succession of my siblings and I, which include my brother and sister, being born and raised as Sunni Muslims in Brooklyn, New York. Although these two main branches of Islam have many similarities, they have a few difference. The word “Sunni” comes from the term Sunnah, which refers to the sayings and actions of prophet Muhammad as recorded in Hadiths. Hadiths are prophet Muhammad’s tacit approval or criticism of statements or actions that occurred during his lifetime. Sunni Muslims follow the five pillars of Islam. The five pillars of Islam are Shahada, Salat, Zakat, Sawm and Hajj. Shahada is the belief that there is only one God, which is Allah and that prophet Muhammad is Allah’s messenger. Salat is the Islamic prayer that is made up of five daily prayers. The names of the prayer are established according to the prayer times, which are Fajr (dawn), Dhuhr (noon), Asr (afternoon), Maghrib (evening), and Isha (night). All of the prayers must be performed while facing the Kaaba in Mecca. Muslims must wash themselves before prayer in a process called wudu or purification of the body. Zakat is the process of giving a fixed amount of one’s wealth as charity. It is designed to ease economic hardships and eliminate inequality. The final two pillars of Islam that Sunni Muslims follow are Swam and Hajj. Swam is also known as the process of fasting. Fasting occurs during the month of Ramadan. Muslims are expected to abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until dusk. They must also not commit any sins or perform sexual intercourse. Fasting allows Muslims to seek forgiveness and be closer to Allah, express their gratitude and... Show More

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