Muslim Culture: An Intertextual Analysis

1445 Words 6 Pages
To examine an aspect of religion, one can look at places, temples, objects, and tasks. I observed a typical Islamic service on Friday to better understand Muslim culture. To further delve into the reasons behind their rituals it can be broken down into two parts, the scared, and the profane. “The division of the world into two domains, the one containing all that is sacred, the other all that is profane, is the distinctive trait of all religious thought” (Delaney). The mosque (masjid) was an average building, seemingly plain on the outside, and in. There were no bright colors or advertisements outside, no statues. Coming from a Catholic family where statues, sculptures, and art work are ever present this was alarming to me to not see such iconography. …show more content…
This ability to transcend from one world to the next, is what Huston Smith refers to as "transcendental dimension” (Smith). This supposedly leads to a “metaphysical understanding” (Smith). This is also considered a scared capability. The leader of the service or the Imam would be similar to a priest. Males sit cross legged on the floor, and sometimes kneel, and press their forehead against the floor. They pray towards the Kabba, or holy stone, in Mecca, and the direction that they face (quibla) is distinctly important For Muslims, Islam is a complete way of life. This is why they pray up to five times a day. In The Sacred Quest: An Invitation to the Study of Religion, religion is defined on a scholarly level with a form of reductionism, by reducing things to actions, such as; “Sacrificial rituals, prayer, meditation” (Cunningham). The Muslim prayers, called salat are a way of making contact with Allah, their god. The word salat does not neatly translate as prayer but more like worship, or direct contact with God. After all “sacred spaces are religious centers at which the heavenly and earthly meet, sites that act as bridges between the human and the divine worlds” (Hassner). All of the ritual practices and duties that make one a Muslim, including salat and alms-giving (zakat), and fasting (sawm), and pilgrimage (hajj). Once the devout Muslim completes his pilgrimage and …show more content…
The music played more importantly “resounds from a chorus of Muslim voices speaking in both scared poetry and prose” (Metcalf). The book of choice, like their bible, is the Qur’an, their scared book. In this book Muslims acknowledge Muhammad many times, citing him as the last prophet. Their understanding because Muhammad is the prophet, and has always been there he is scared. Sacred could also be a person or figure, for example, “founder or great figure at the beginning of the tradition,” such as “Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, the Buddha, Confucius, and Lao-Tzu have all been identified as founders of religious traditions at one time or another”

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