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REL-250 Understanding Islam in Today’s World
Critical Reflection Paper 1
This written assignment requires you not only to make connections between basic beliefs and practices in Islam but also to reflect critically upon these connections as they pertain to Muslims in the world today. Please respond to the following series of questions in a 6-7 page paper (approximately 2000-2500 words). Follow the prompts carefully.
In their discussion of the concept of “Islam” (submission), the authors of our text claim that “correct practice makes people Muslims and that, for most people, correct belief follows upon correct practice”(Murata and Chittick, p. 9). Write an extendedessay in which you respond to this quote by demonstrating your understanding of the relationship between two of the five pillars and at least three of the central faith affirmations in Islam. Offer reflections about how the fulfillment of religious duties can strengthen and enhance faith for those in the Islamic tradition.
Begin with a discussion of the first pillar, the “Shahadah” (Testimony), and explain how its two parts (“no god but God” and “Muhammad is His messenger”) correspond to the faith affirmations about the oneness of God and prophecy (divine messengers).
Then choose one of the other five pillars (Worship, Alms, Fasting, or the Pilgrimage) and discuss how practicing this pillar would strengthen or enhance at least two of the major faith affirmations (Oneness of God, Angels, Divine Books, Divine Messengers, Judgment Day or the Divine Decree). Do not force the connections but be attentive to places where there are meaningful interrelationships.
Be sure to include, either in a concluding section or as a narrative throughout your paper, your own critical reflections about the relationship between beliefs and practices as experienced by observant Muslims. What have you learned about the importance of ritual practice and Muslim views about faith as a result of working on this assignment?
Your discussion should make reference to assigned readings from the Murata and Chittick Vision of Islam book, other assigned readings posted on the Angel site and, most importantly, the Qur’an (especially chapters and sections that pertain directly to the issues you choose to discuss). Provide documentation by using the APA in-text citation method (see examples in the prompts below). Quote the Qur’an by chapter and verse. If you use additional sources, provide documentation and citation of your source: either a URL in the text itself (e.g.,”islam101.net”) or another in-text citation and then include a reference (“sources cited”) page.
Please submit your paper in the Drop Box provided for Critical Reflection Paper 1 on ANGEL by the deadline announced. Late papers, for whatever reason, will be penalized 3 points for every day they are late.
This paper will be graded on a 25 point scale according to the following rubric:
§ 5 points: assignment criteria and style (length, following the prompts, spelling/grammar, etc.)
§ 15 points: content (accurate presentation of information about the topic; coverage of each of the topics; demonstration of knowledge gained from the assigned readings)
§ 5 points: critical engagement with and reflections upon the questions/issues raised.
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