Essentials of Faith: Islam

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Essentials of Faith: Islam (24:00)
Item# 36429

The Five Pillars of Islam—belief in one God, praying five times a day, fasting, giving to charity, and going on pilgrimage—guide all Muslims. But cultural and political influences have shaped the observance of the faith in various ways from country to country. This program explores the beliefs of four Islamic leaders and scholars who communicate penetrating insights and observations on the contrasts and continuity within their religion. Interviewees include Imam Abdul Sajid of the Al-Hijrah Trust, chef and TV show host Michael Bukht, prominent London banker Kosser Sheikh, and Professor Haleh Afshar, a lecturer in politics and women’s studies at the University of York. (24 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (10)

1. Basics of Islam (02:59)
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Islam is the religion of submission to the one God, Allah, as revealed through the prophet Muhammad in the Koran. The Koran contains about 85 commandments which must be obeyed.

2. Diversity Within Islam (02:02)

Islam began in the Middle East 14 centuries ago; today it is the world's second largest religion and has followers ranging from patriarchal ayatollahs to western families, to militants. The main division in Islam is between the Sunnis and the Shiites.

3. Faith and Politics in the Islamic World (02:22)

At Speakers' Corner in London, Muslims attract the biggest crowds and the most hostile reactions. While some Muslims denounce western leaders, others assert that some Islamic leaders have imposed their politics on Muslims across the world.

4. Modern Muslim Women (03:12)

A woman in London combines her high-powered job at a major international bank with a strict observance of Islam. Various pressures have led to a return among modern Muslim women to a more traditional and conservative way of dressing.

5. A Muslim's Pilgrimage to Mecca (01:32)

Obligations of Islamic faith include a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during a lifetime. An Islamic woman from London describes her emotional pilgrimage experience.

6. The Rights of Islamic Women (02:03)

An Islamic woman asserts that Islam was the first religion to honor and respect women. She also points out that some Muslim men choose to interpret the Koran in ways which justify unfair treatment and oppression of women.

7. Islamic Traditionalists, Modernists, and Radicals (02:25)

Islam is interpreted and practiced in very different ways by traditional, modern, and radical adherents. Most westerners see Islam only as the narrow form practiced by radicals and driven largely by oil money.

8. Death, Afterlife, and Jihad for Muslims (01:32)

Muslims believe there will be a day of judgement in which Allah will judge individuals according to their beliefs and deeds. The true meaning of jihad is widely misinterpreted and misunderstood, especially by those in the western world.

9. Islamic Tradition and Punishment (02:27)

Four major schools of Islamic law have traditions which date back to Muhammad, and in that sense they are all legitimate. Some of these traditions are more strict and oppressive than others.

10. The Essentials of Islam (01:06)

The fundamentals of Islam include a belief in one god, a belief that Muhammad was his prophet, and a belief in the Koran as the word of Allah. The Five Pillars of Islam unite Muslims from diverse regions, schools, and traditions.

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