The World’s Muslims: Unity And Diversity Essay Examples
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World’s Muslims have much in common. They all together believe in God and Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, as well as hold to such religion practices as providing charity to people in need and keep a fast during Ramadan. Nevertheless, depending on the place of living there are some differences in points of views as for Muslim faith. So, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life unveiled their survey’s results dedicated to Muslim unity and diversity.
Over 38,000 of Muslims across 39 countries were involved in the survey. According to it, a lot of Muslims worldwide believe in only one God and His Prophet Muhammad. At the same time, a great percentage of them put their faith in fate, hell, heaven and angels. Though Muslims across the surveyed territories have significantly common understanding of core beliefs of Islam, they are different in the levels of their religious commitment, acceptance of diverse religion movements and sects, as well as openness to numerous interpretations of their faith. There are some apparent differences:
Generational ones. For example, Muslims aged 35 and older follow their religion in a traditional way and pay more attention to the obligatory fulfillment of all restrictions like attendance of mosque or reading the Quran in comparison to Muslims between 18 and 34 years old across the Middle East and North Africa. According to the survey, in Russia the situation is vice versa.
At a regional level. For instance, the survey shows eight in ten Muslims in the regions of South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia consider their religion to be extremely important for them. In comparison, the Islamic religion takes less central role on the territories of the former Soviet republics.
Between Muslim males and females. The survey depicts males from the 39 countries attends mosque more frequently than females, especially in South Asia and Central Asia. However, it happens more likely because of Islamic customs that restrict female attendance of mosque. Although, Muslim women’s belief is very strong even without attending mosque.
There are different subgroups of Islam all over the world. Although such sectarian differences are essential in some countries, the survey says many Muslims are not interested in them at all. For example, Sunni and Shia, two main Islamic branches, do not accept each other even within one country.
Muslims’ beliefs are based on the existence of one God who sent His Prophet Muhammad to help people by means of giving them Holy Scriptures known as Quran. They believe in a Day of Judgment, hell, heaven and angels. Moreover, Islam is based on five main rituals. But only two of them are obligatory to be followed all over the world. They are almsgiving and fasting during Ramadan.
Summarizing up all information given in the survey, it may be said that Islamic belief is very strong all over the globe. Of course, there are some different rituals, levels of commitment, and gender differences in the Muslim groups depending on the place of living. It seems these differences appear because of dominated religion in this or that country. For instance, Russia where the main religion is Orthodox, of course it is possible to notice that Muslim religion will not be so strong, but in South Asia and Central Asia the amount of Muslims strongly holding to their traditions is very big.
Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. 2012. The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity. Web. 19 February 2015 <http://www.pewforum.org/2012/08/09/the-worlds-muslims-unity-and-diversity-executive-summary>
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