islam and the druze faith
Islam And The Druze Faith
Understanding what the actual word "Islam" means is helpful in understanding the religion which derives its name from it. Why? Because the word is rich in meaning and has many connections to other fundamental Islamic concepts.
The Arabic term 'islam means "submission" and itself comes from the term 'aslama, which means "to surrender, resign oneself." In Islam, the fundamental duty of each member is to submit to Allah (Arabic for "the God") and whatever Allah wants of them. A person who follows Islam is called a Muslim, and this means "one who surrenders to God."
The term Islam is related to the Syriac 'aslem which means "to make peace, surrender" and that in turn appears to be derived from the Semtic stem of *slem which means to be complete.
Islam is closely related to the Arabic word for peace, salem. Muslims believe that true peace can only be achieved through true obedience to the will of Allah. Commitment to Islam is supposed to result in a constant struggle to achieve peace, justice and equality.
*Islam It is important here to present a note about Islam in order to better understand the qualities of the religion. Understanding what the actual word “Islam” means is helpful in understanding the religion which derives its name from it. Why? Because the word is rich in meaning and has many connections to other fundamental Islamic concepts.
Who are the Sunnis?
Who are the Shi’ites?
Who are the Ismailis?
Who are the Fatimids?
Read more: Druze and Islam
Unlike churches, mosques are not denominational. Despite the differences among Muslims, traditional Friday prayer services are largely similar and Muslims of any background are welcome to attend services at any mosque.
Jihad is not a Pillar of Islam**
Muslims are commanded in the Qur'an to "enjoin good and forbid evil" (9:112). The word Jihad stems from the Arabic root word J-H-D, which means "strive." Other words derived from this root include "effort," "labor," and "fatigue." Essentially Jihad is an effort to practice religion in the face of oppression and persecution. The effort may come in fighting the evil in your own heart, or in standing up to a dictator. Military effort is included as an option, but as a last resort and not "to spread Islam by the sword" as the stereotype would have you believe.
Islam does not have nearly as many sects and divisions as does Christianity, but there are a few and it is worth knowing something about them. The two biggest are the Sunnis and the Shi’ites, with the Sunnis being the largest of all and representing the vast majority of Muslims, the Shi’ites are a minority everywhere except Iran.