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Religion is gravely infected with intellectual honesty. In religion it is particularly easy to escape notice, because of the common assumption that all honesty flows from religion and religion is necessarily honest whatever it does" Robinson, pp. 117-18.
Nine in ten have a religious preference, and majorities say that religion is very important in their lives. Nearly six in ten believe that "religion can answer all or most of today's problems" (Judith Stacey, 1990). Clearly the United States is a believing society.
Basically, Islam is at once a religion and a culture. As a religion, it covers three areas; doctrines, rituals, and non-ritual human activities. As a culture, it includes patterns of living its people may forge and assume in their efforts to meet the challenges of life within the framework of the religious teachings. Its religious features are perpetual, but its people's cultural patterns may adjust to the changing needs of time and place.
The Arabian culture pertaining to the belief in the monotheistic attributes of God, in his Angels, in the Sacred Books, in his Messengers, and in the Day of Judgment, as well as those pertaining to the ritual duties -- namely the declaration of the faith (shahda), keeping up the five daily prayers (alt), payment of alms (zakt), fasting during Raman (iym), and pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime by those who can afford it physically and financially (ajj) -- aim at the spiritual elevation of the individual, although they also inspire a sense of unity among the members of the community. ...
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