Here Are A Few Basic Things To Know About Islam

Here Are A Few Basic Things To Know About Islam

Islam is one of the most misunderstood religions in the world, so here is a quick crash course on the religion.

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Islam is one of the most misunderstood religions in the world. Many people do not fully understand the faith, and many more persecute Muslims out of this fear of the unknown. However, considering that Islam is the world's fastest growing religion, it is vital to have an understanding of the faith's beliefs and practices. Here is just a quick intro to this extremely broad religion.

Islam began under the leadership of the Arabian merchant Muhammad. Muhammad claimed that he had direct revelation from God (Allah) and that Allah gave him the fundamental teachings for the universe. Muhammad compiled these lessons into the Qu'ran- the Holy text of Islam which is said to be directly written by God.

One of the most important teachings that Muhammad brought from God was the belief in monotheism, the belief in one, singular God. Specifically, Muhammad preached the word of the God of Abraham: an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect God. This is in direct opposition to the majority of 7th-century Arabian clans which (with the exception of several small Jewish clans) were polytheists.

After the death of Muhammad, Islam split into two distinct branches. The biggest reason that Islam split into 2 distinct branches is due to a disagreement in the leadership of Islam. After the death of Muhammad, there was disagreement about who should take over as political and spiritual leader of Islam. Sunnis hold the belief that Muhammad designated no successor, so it was right to elect a new leader. However, Shi'is believe that Muhammad designated his son-in-law to be his successor, and thus his lineage is the heir to the religious authority of Islam.

Muslims practice what is called the Five Pillars of Islam- the 5 Holy teachings of the Qu'ran. Two of these pillars are the Hajj and the Zakat.

The Hajj is the sacred pilgrimage to Mecca that each Muslim is expected to undergo once in his/her life if possible. The Hajj includes traveling to Mecca and imitating events from the life of Abraham, including walking around the Ka'ba- the first house of worship built by Adam and Eve.

The Third Pillar of Islam is the Zakat: the requirement of almsgiving to the poor. Muslims are required to tithe a certain percentage of their yearly income to the poor and give a certain percentage of other assets to the poor. The only rules are that it cannot be given to family or to investment funds, and the charities are arranged by religious committee

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Having A Long Distance Friendship Is A Little More Work, But It's Worth It

You use FaceTime at LEAST three times a week.

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You never realize how much you truly miss a person until your only way of communicating with them is through the lens of your iPhone camera.

My sweet cousin pictured above has worked her way into my heart as my sister. While that is one of the biggest blessings in my life, it's also pretty unfortunate because she lives about 17 hours away. In the past year, I have taken note and experienced what it's truly like to have a long distance friendship and how to maintain it well. Here are the things that I've learned, and loved in the process.

FaceTime was something I quite literally NEVER used, but now I use at least three times a week. Sometimes I'm fascinated that we have the technology that allows us to see each other from across the state with a click of a button.

Towards the beginning of my semester, I would have days where I just needed to be with someone when I studied. And while she's 7 years younger than I am, we would FaceTime and study in silence (at least we tried to). Having a long distance friendship means you still want to just be with that person, even if it's just sitting quietly on the other line of the phone.

I've learned that being intentional with talking to each other is so important. To the majority, asking how someone's day was is just a way to squeeze in small talk. But when you're trying to intentionally have a conversation with someone and want to truly know what's going on in their lives, asking 'How was your day?" is more than just a small talk conversation starter. It invites the other person into sharing details about their life, even if its just what they ate that day.

Having a long distance friendship means getting really sad sometimes because you just wish you could spend time with them. And its texting each other everything you WISH you could do together, but can't.

When you have a long distance friendship you also are ALWAYS thinking about plane tickets and potential dates. All of a sudden, you have emails from your airlines and flight alerts sent to your phone just to keep you in the loop on how much a plane ticket it is. What once was completely irrelevant is now something you want to keep a close eye on.

Having someone in my life that is like my little sister means I wish I could be there to help her get ready for her first dance. It means wishing I could be there to pray over her during stressful school days, help her make an after-school snack, and even talk about the drama of all that is 8th grade.

If you've ever had a little sibling you know how much your heart desires to be there for them in every season of their life. And when you aren't physically able to do that, it makes your heart ache just a little bit.

Some people seriously wonder how it's possible that in a short year how I could become so close to someone and even call them my sister. But friendship isn't based on time. It's based on communication, intentional togetherness, and quick bonding.

Being in a long distance friendship means you want to try new foods with them, have long movie nights, and have deep talks together — face to face.

But some of the best things of being in a friendship like this is that there is so much excitement when there's a FaceTime date. Phone calls become a true gem, and snail mail is one of the most fun things.

I wouldn't trade the depth of this friendship for anything, even if that means going through seasons of life communicating through letters and facetime. I am always thankful for this friendship and I already know its one that will last a lifetime.

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I Will Not Be Calm Because Taylor Swift's New Music Is Coming

There will be an explanation...

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Taylor Swift went live on Instagram this week and an announced some very cool and loving information... new music is coming and I'm definitely ready. As a fan since the beginning (and yes I mean the very first album) it's refreshing to know that she's in a romantic state of mind which means that this album will be chocked full mostly of love songs instead of sad songs, her sad songs are still great though. That being said, Me! was only just a part of the album and I'm totally ready for her to unleash the rest of it as the rest of the summer months piece together.

She puts in a lot of clues in her music which she is calling Easter eggs nowadays, and I was able to find out some of her clues including her album title, Lover. I have a feeling that Lover is going to be a rebirth of Taylor's music. Reputation didn't exactly have an explanation other than what the songs said in then. She didn't do any interviews which were totally her choice with that record. But Lover based off of the tracks that have been released thus far is going to be all around colorful and happier. She even is supporting Pride month, wearing a rainbow outfit at her Wango Tango concert and keeping the theme of the album all rainbow-like.

As a swiftie, I am looking forward to hearing all 18 songs through purchasing it at Target (thanks to my lovely Red card). August 23 cannot get here any sooner, and I will for sure be setting a countdown as well as chatting it up with my favorites in GroupMe to tell them what my favorite songs off of the album are. But I guess for now I will just try to be calm...

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