Religion and Theology

Religion and Theology

M3D1: The Function of Din

To prepare for this activity, familiarize yourself with the following chronology:Before 610 CE, al-Jahiliyya (pre-Islamic period) 610 – 632, Muhammad’s Prophethood (he receives the Qur’an over a 22 – 23 year period). 632 – 661, Rashidun Caliphs (The chosen political leaders after Prophet brought to the Muslim community).
• Abu Bakr, 632-34, (1st leader after the Prophet)
• Umar, 634-44, (2nd leader after the Prophet)
• Uthman, 644-656 (3rd leader after the Prophet. In addition, a standard Qur’anic text is developed, 652, approximately 20 years after the death of the Prophet. To compare, it will take approximately 1000 years to develop the Jewish scripture and 100 years to develop the Christian scripture. One can presume that Muslims learned from Jews and Christians in this matter).
• Ali, 656-661 4thleader after the Prophet. In addition, Shi’a party of Ali, that is, the political party of Ali will formalize during this period. They believe that Ali should have been the first leader and not the fourth. They base that idea on the following:
o Ali is a relative of the prophet.
o A leader should be related to the prophet, according to Shi’a thought.)
The above line of leadership, from Abu Bakr thru Ali (including Ali) is based on what Sunnis believe.
o “ Sunni” means those who follow the prophet, but think of it as a coined term only. Shi’as believe in following the ways of the prophet, as well.
The differences between the groupings are based on interpretations between them.
Answer the following:What is the difference between the word Din and Religion (see reading)?
• Take into consideration the fact that no such word as “religion” exists in Islam (or Judaism).
How does Din function as an overarching idea in Islam?What is the importance of the individual and learning? Be sure to make the necessary connections to what Muhammad stated:
• “I leave you two authorities [talking to the Muslim community at the end of his life] if you follow them, you will never go astray, the Qur’an and Sunna”.


M5D1: Impressions of Islam

To prepare for this activity,
• View Dr. Beth Davis Stofka’s lecture on Islam and Muslims. It’s entitled, Everyday Diplomacy: Understanding Islam and Muslims, on the Webinar. VIEW THE FIRST 30 MINUTES ONLY.
Think about the following, as you complete this activity:
• What are your impressions of Islam and Muslims?
• Write down what first comes into your head about Muslims, then compare that to what you think about Muslims after the Webinar.

Answer the following:
• Write a one-paragraph summary of what you learned from the first thirty minutes of Dr. Stofka’s presentation and post to the discussion board
M5D2: Western Perceptions of Islam

To prepare for this activity,
• Read Chris Seiple’s, “10 terms not to use with Muslims: There’s a big difference between what we say and what they hear”

Answer the following:
• Post a response to Chris Seiple’s article in the form of a letter to the author. Your letter should be approximately 200 words long and address at least three of the ten terms mentioned in the article.

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