Answer the following questions after your reading assignment and your virtual tour. Submit your responses as a Microsoft Word document.

1) One part of Islam is represented by mysticism. Please go to the link below and watch the video .
The Surfi Whirling Dervishes of Istanbul (Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_Cf-ZxDfZA )
After you have watched, please answer this question. Mysticism is common in almost all religions. It is that part of a religion dedicated to feelings and emotions. Sometimes authorities in Islam are very critical of mystical traditions in Islam. One common tradition is represented by Sufis. Describe Sufis. Why is it important? Why does mysticism in any religion attract a lot of followers?

2) As has already been stated, Islam is easy to join but more difficult to practice. A considerable part of that practice is known as the Five Pillars of Islam. Here is a short video of pilgrims to Mecca on the haj walking around the original place of worship of Islam, the Kaaba.
Pilmgrims to Mecca (Link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzAJIXwc49A)
Notice the ritual. Rituals are always important to any religion. Describe the Five Pillars of Islam and relate why you think each one is important to the complete practice of Islam.

3) Any person who has been paying attention to the Middle East over the past few decades knows that there is a difference between a Sunni Muslim and one who is described as a Shiite. Avoid the historical distinction and identify why you think that in contemporary society there are still areas of conflict between the two groups. Why is this? Remember, contemporary society. Don’t dwell on the distant past.

4) Although the Islamic canon is represented by the Quran, an important oral tradition comes from the pronouncements of Mohammed know as the Hadith. However unlike the Quran, there is considerable variation. Why is this the case? What are problems between groups over Hadith?

5) Review the website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/. Pick one ritual listed under “practices. Describe that ritual. Remember, a ritual has meaning and purpose, and that meaning may be something other than the common explanation. Explain why you think it is important for Muslims to practice this ritual.

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