Religiological Analysis of the Islam Through the Koran and Hadith Islam may be considered as an exotic religion to many in the western part of the globe. The impression that Westerners have is usually obtained through the media representing Islamic countries or groups in the middle of a Holy War. The wars, called Jihad, are usually waged by Islamic Fundamentalist who use terrorism to get their messages across giving Islam a negative reputation. Because of the lack of understanding of this highly publicized religion, many conflicts arise between the people who live in eastern and western worlds. In turn, this causes problems amongst different cultures through various political and religious battles that result from these misconceptions.
In order to prevent future strife, it is important for people all over the world to have a better understanding of other religions. To interpret Islam from a objective point of view it is easier to use Religiological Analysis, a system that that breaks the religion down into specific terms: Epistemology, Ontology, Anthropology, Psychology, Teleology, and Methodology. The Epistemology of Islam is contained in the sacred book called the Koran that was revealed in Arabic to the Prophet Muhammad in exact words of God through the Angel Gabriel. The Koran means Recollect, Clarify, Recital, Reading, and Criterion. It contains truths about everything and functions as a recollection of all previously revealed books. When Muhammad was forty years old, he had his first revelation and continued to do so for the next twenty-two years, remembering each revelation and then having them written down by scholars.
The whole book consists of chapters that were believed to be put in order by Muhammad himself and are word for word from God. This book is the most widely read and memorized book in the world and because of the number of people memorizing the book it helped it remain unchanged for the past fourteenth centuries. Containing truths about the world and our existence till the end (Judgement Day), it is also a guide for us on a way to live and worship God. Besides the Koran, Sunnah, known as the customs or practices of the Prophet Muhammad are also considered sources of knowledge by Muslims who hold him as an exemplary human and try to emulate his actions and lifestyle.
His actions, and sayings were recorded and reported in what is know as the Hadith, a collection of his doings in his whole life. Together, the Koran, Sunnah and Hadith are held to be the primary sources of knowledge for Muslims teaching them how to live their life, worship, and tells them about the truths of existence and Unique Divinity, God. Another source of knowledge can be derived from what pious scholars agree upon to be accurate about Islam and the practices of Muhammad. Also, Reason and Intuition are sources that are not in contradiction to faith according to Muslims, but rather reinforce Islam’s claims on truth. Intuition is said to be knowledge that comes directly from God and comes through meditation, contemplation, prayer, and fasting.
However, for Muslims, the most realistic knowledge and important type of truths are of God. Islams Ontology or Ultimate Reality, is Allah (Arabic for One God). This simply states that there is nothing more real and certain than God. God is the Ultimate Truth and Creator of all things, the reason for existence. Another interesting quality of God is that there are an infinite number of qualities and names of Allah.
Mentioned to us in the Koran are ninety-nine names of God, and this type of Ontology would be under the study of Theology. The study of the degree of reality, Cosmology, is between what is real, and less real, which are the two levels of reality represented in the Koran. Unseen versus the seen, and the like. The Koran tells us of truths where it may appear to be evident and we could understand, but there are other truths that we are incapable of understanding or knowing of.
These would be the reality of the unseen. Eschatology is the study of what is real concerning the end of time and is mentioned in the Koran as the Day of judgement,