Islam is one of the major religions in the world. It is based on the Quran which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad. The Quran defines the relationship between humankind and Allah. The six dimensions of Islam are described below.
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Experiential: This is the ability of the religion to generate feelings of safety, contentment, fear or mystery among the believers. Muhammad’s encounter with Allah resulted in the subsequent growth of Islam religion. It is this encounter that defined the relationships between Allah and the human kind.
Violation of the instructions provided in the holy Quran means disobedience to God which is believed to have adverse consequences. Recitation of the holy Quran is constantly used as a reminder to Muslims of what Allah requires of them in their everyday lives. According to Dien, the calligraphy of the Quran and the various rituals which are told to be put forwarded by Muhammad have been crucial for the spread of Islam to many parts of the world (20).
Mythical: Myths are sacred beliefs that describe what brought mankind, as well as the universe to their present form. In Islam, the truth and correctness of information provided in the Quran is paramount for its interpretation. In Islamic education, a line is drawn between religious narration and narration of historic activities (Dien 16).
A religious narrative is a guideline on what is expected of a person. On the other hand, historical narratives give an account of what happened and give a historical record of the events. However, one should understand that religious beliefs sometimes lack sense or logic and should be accepted without questions.
Ritual: Rituals refer to the manner in which a community expresses its myths. Strict adherence to the teachings of the holy Quran, such as praying at least five times every day, strict fasting during the period of Ramadan and performing pilgrimage to Makkah are some of the major rituals in Islam.
In Islam any life activity is an opportunity to worship Allah and the rituals are meant to bring the worshippers closer to Him. Cleanliness of both, body and environment must be observed before making a prayer. Aligning towards Makkah is a physical practice which is observed during prayer and is meant to bring the believer closer to God (Hopfe and Woodward 385).
The intentions of the prayer have to be good and without any desire to cause evil to humankind or the environment. Furthermore, the character of the believer should be as Allah has commanded.
Doctrinal: The doctrinal dimension describes the relationship with the Divine being. The Quran which was revealed to Prophet Muhammad describes Allah as the author and owner of creation.
All the creation is subject to Him. The Quran describes the expectations of Allah to the human kind. Each individual must have an understanding of the individual commitments and expectations from Allah. Absolute obedience to Allah teachings is the result of this doctrine and every Muslim is expected to observe this throughout their lives (Dien 12).
Ethical: Ethics refers to the standards or guidelines against which a person or an activity is judged as either good or evil. According to Dien evil and good are two conflicting elements that were put into human beings during creation and the Quran teachings seek to differentiate them (16).
A person’s ethics is as a result of their beliefs on various aspects of life. However, there are some differences between the Islamic beliefs and the ethical standards set by the society. Most religions have been institutionalized making the theory easy to enforce. However, Islam cannot be institutionalized due to the belief that there should be no intermediary between human beings and Allah. Instead, these are the institutions that become religiously oriented.
Social: Every religion assumes a certain form of social organization. One of the major transformations that Islam undergone was the transition from nomadic pastoralism to a culture based on Islamic beliefs and practices. These Islamic practices opposed materialism and selfish accumulation of wealth and power in the society.
In addition, human beings have a responsibility towards the environment and other creatures. However, some ideals of Islam are believed to have adverse consequences to the society if not born. For instance, payment of dowry is compulsory before marriage and this has resulted into a large number of unmarried women.
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In conclusion, the dimensional analysis gives a clearer understanding of the core beliefs and practices of the Islamic religion. Islamic religion seeks to promote ethical behaviour and adherence to socially accepted norms contrary to the impressions that it is a violent and ruthless religion.
Any activity that seeks to undermine this fact is unacceptable and is contrary to the will of Allah, thus punishable by Him. The rituals performed by Muslims seek to remind them of their responsibility to human kind and to the environment. They are also meant to remind them what Allah expects from them. Thus, the dimensionan analysis gives a clear picture of the Islamic religion.