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Understanding Islam

Religion is a complex thing for both kids and adults. It means so many different things to everyone - faith, community, history, power, family, and understanding the universe. It's easy to think of Islam as a scary or threatening thing when every time you turn on the TV you see images of Islamic terrorists killing and being killed, but is that what Islam is really about? Read on to get the basic info on one of the world's most misunderstood religions.

What is Islam?

More than one billion Muslims (followers of Islam) believe in Allah (God). They believe that Jesus was a prophet (messenger), not the Son of God, and they believe that Mohammed was the last prophet to visit the earth. According to Islam, Mohammed brought the Qur'an (the Muslim holy text) to the world in the seventh century. Muslims believe in the teachings of the Bible, the Torah (a Jewish text) and the Qur'an. In essence, just like Christianity is an extension of Judaism, Islam is an extension of Christianity. All three faiths have several different beliefs and traditions but they all believe in essentially the same God.

What Do Muslims Believe?

You could spend a lifetime studying Islam because, like any other religion, it's a complicated thing. Here's the rundown on the very basic principles:

  • Belief in One God (that would be Allah, if you haven't been paying attention).
  • Belief in all of God's messengers.
  • Belief in all of God's sacred texts (the Bible, Torah, and Qur'an).
  • Belief in angels.
  • Belief in Judgment Day, Heaven, Hell and Life after Death.
  • Belief that everything that will ever happen has already been decided by God (predestination).

Islam and Terrorism

Religion - Islam or any other - can provide an enormous sense of comfort, understanding and community to people. On the flip side, it can act as a shield for people to hide behind when they want to do something wrong. Islam teaches peace, personal freedom, tolerance and charity - the same basic principles taught by Christianity and Judaism. A lot of war-torn countries happen to be in countries that are predominantly Muslim so it's easy to get confused about what is causing the violence. The Qur'an doesn't advocate war anymore than the Bible does but some people use it as an excuse to commit terrible acts of violence. It's important to understand that these people don't accurately represent the more than one billion Muslims worldwide. Religious stereotyping is as lame as racism, sexism and all other prejudices.

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General In The Forums

Nandez
Nandez posted in Say Anything:
thanks for posting this Kristen. I think that it is a tough subject to talk about with other people and honestly I think it's good to talk about it in a moderate amount. Now that more pepole are being diagnosed with learning differences or some sort of other mental health disorder, I think that talking about it and informing people will only make it easier for people to feel less awkward or the odd man out. That's how I found about that I am not the only person in the room who has ADD. I'm more willing to come out and talk to people and discribe what I have to go through on a daily basis to raise awareness. School will always be hard for me so I look at my strengths to help push me forward in life. 
reply about 2 hours
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Say Anything:
Oh wow, a genuine trigger warning. Did the memes teach you nothing?  First off, an actual warning. Take no action based on what you've read here without first consulting a mental health professional.  Now, I have a lot of experience in mental illness. I have ADHD(Pre-DSMV), an anxiety disorder, and I've tested significant for bipolar (Pre-DSMV).  My best advise is to find a therapist that you personally connect with. It's not about being comfortable, because a good therapist will challenge your thoughts, but you need to be able to accept those challenges. And to do that, you'll need a therapist that you mesh with.  Aside from that, good medication can go a long way to helping you live with your mental issues. However, this isn't true for everyone, and it should be handled by a medical professional. 
reply about 2 hours
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Say Anything:
I mean, it's a problem, but it's a problem that most all hormonal teens go through. 
reply about 2 hours
jordand08
jordand08 posted in Say Anything:
Yes, there's so many things I wish I was told that I wasn't.
reply about 4 hours
Kirsteeeeen
This is great, Kris! Loved it.  Thank you :) It's one of those things I wish someone had said to me in the past, y'know?
reply about 4 hours