Islam Subject:

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RELN1100 World Religions

Dr. R Nabulsi

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Writing Assignment 4: The Discipline of Prayer and Moral Life

Basic requirements: This assignment must be a minimum of 750 words.  Essays should be in Times New Roman font, double spaced, with standard (generally 1 inch) margins. Head your paper properly with your name, the course information, and a title. Papers should be turned in to GGC Brightspace (the D2L online course system) under the “Assignments” tab in the dropbox labeled for it by the date and time listed in the syllabus. Late assignments are not accepted.  It is recommended that you not wait until the last minute to complete journals. “I had computer problems” is NOT a valid excuse for late turn-in.

Be aware that the “Turnitin” system connected with this assignment scans for plagiarism issues. If a Turnitin score shows more that 20% similarity (including questions) your grade will be impacted.  If similarity score is greater than 40% your assignment will fail automatically. If you use outside sources, you must cite them CORRECTLY in MLA style and include a works cited page.  Failure to do so will be considered plagiarism. Assignments must be your own work and in your own words. Papers should be carefully written and edited for style, spelling and grammar.  College level writing is expected. Papers that do not meet minimum requirements will not receive a grade above 65.

For this Assignment:

Salah, prayer, is the second pillar of Islam.  This does not simply refer to random, personal prayer, but the formal prayer as a community which takes place five times a day. This prayer is part of a ritual:  there is purification with water before prayer, one faces toward Mecca, and you use your body as a vehicle for the prayers:  standing, bowing, prostrating, and sitting.  There are two things I’d like you to think about here.  First, what is the effect when we use physical action as worship and prayer? We can compare in Christianity the way in which Catholics make the sign of the cross, and some Christians fold their hands in prayer, and traditionally kneel by their beds for nightly prayers.  The second question has to do with the impact of a ritual which is repeated five times during the day, and how it is keyed to the movement of the day.   How might this kind of spiritual training carry over the rest of the day?  Is it more “difficult” to “sin” when we have just come from prayer and will return to prayer in a few hours?

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