1. Typical characteristics, including ethics, Islam shares with others
Prophet Mohammad founded Islam at a time when the society was full of tribal codes and animistic practices where the community lacked law and order (Martin et al., 2016). With the formation of Islam, people regained their hopes of having a better life. The features of Islam that it shares with other forms of religion include;
There is only one God- apart from idol worship, all other religions have one supreme being God whom they worship. Islam religion believes in Allah while the Christian, worship God. All of them believe that God or Allah is the source and protector of life and must be praised and glorified by every human being.
Beliefs inequality- according to the Islam religion, all people, irrespective of their race or caste divisions, are equal in the eyes of God and should be treated as such. In the same way, Christianity and other religions also believe in the equality of human races.
Disbelief in a deity- just like any other religion like Christianity, Islam also opposes the worship of other gods like idol worship. They all believe that Allah or God is the supreme being that should be revered by all people at all times.
Everything in people’s lives happens on the will of God or Allah- the supreme is the giver and protector of life. Therefore he alone has the power to control everything that is going on in people’s lives. He knows when time is ready for an individual to die and he knows when someone is to be born (Martin et al., 2016).
Guiding Book- just like others, Islam has the Qur'an from where they get to know the word of Allah and what he expects from them. In the same way, Christians have the Bible where they get to read the word of God and know the ten commandments.the guiding book is like a manual that controls the actions of people (Martin et al., 2016).
Life after death- just like any other religion, Islam people also believe when a person dies, he or she is taken to start a new life in a sacred place with Allah. In the same way, Christians believe that people who die believing in Christ are taken to heaven to live their new life next to God.
2. How Islam is responding to challenges in the modern day world
The new trends in the contemporary word especially civilisation and technological advancement in the society are the biggest challenges facing the modern Islam people. Muslims thus become unable to decide between their religion beliefs and new demands in the society. It also weakens their spiritual stand, and some are torn between decisions, unable to take one path (Martin et al., 2016). Rather, they choose to remain in between, and it becomes tough for them to fit either in the modern society or to stay loyal to their religion and follow all the norms and rules that were set by their forefathers in the ancient. Islam, therefore, responds to the challenges of the modern world in the following ways;
Supporting a new and a just universal order- people in the Islamic society have formed organisations and humanitarian groups that they use to fight for a new world where justice and respect for the dignity and religions of individuals prevail. They want a country where all people are treated equally regardless of the religion belief of the people in power. The persons in the lower are also encouraged to champion equality in the distribution of resources across the country, so that all people, be it Islam or Christian gets equal share (Martin et al., 2016).
Balanced and sustainable development in the Islamic countries- to compete favourably with the other nations which are non-Islam, the Islamic countries are trying to ensure that development levels in their countries are on a par with the other countries. It reduces their dependency levels to the other states. In so doing, the Islam earn the power and the mandate to participate in world conferences and negotiations especially about trade and exports (Martin et al., 2016).
Profound and proper understanding of the recent times- the Islam people, after research and analysis of the current demands in the world, have decided to accept whatever changes the comes their way and embrace it. The accepting change allows them to fully fit in with other people who will then stop viewing them as mics, but as other members of the society. It ensures mutual coexistence between the Islamic and other individuals in the community.
Accepting intermarriages- as much as a large percentage of the Islam people still oppose intermarriages with other people of different religion, there is a portion of them that have realised intermarriages is a good method of ensuring that other people accepted them and treated as their equals. Intermarriage also helps in the reduction of inter-religion conflicts since people going to treat each as a family (Martin et al., 2016).
3. What has changed about the roles of women in Islam over time
Previously in the Islamic culture, women were considered slaves and less necessary. They had no human rights, no freedom and were not allowed to own or inherit property in any way. Their primary duty was to entertain men and was not allowed to contribute to any matter in the society or family especially about decision making (Martin et al., 2016).
However, over the years, the Islamic laws have changed, and women are now treated as independent and dignified human beings. They have regained their status rights and voice and can positively contribute to matters in the society. Again, the law gives women the power to choose their spouses and not to marry people chosen for them by their parents or guardians. They have gained the right to go to school and get a quality education that they can then use to seek employment and live a free and fulfilling life of their choice (Martin et al., 2016). Women have been allowed to vie for leadership positions and to participate in national elections as opposed to before when they were not authorised to go for management positions. In addition to that, the abolished female circumcision since it was considered inhuman mutilation of the female genital organs. Those who chose to go for circumcision do so out of their free will, but no law forces them to do. Hence, the women gained their freedom. They became their people, with the right to make their decisions and live their lives (Martin et al., 2016).
Martin, R. C., Woodward, M., & Atmaja, D. S. (2016). Defenders of Reason in Islam: Mu'tazililism from Medieval School to Modern Symbol. Oneworld Publications.
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