Characteristics of Muslim Culture

The Muslim Culture and Islamic is so heterogeneous as to the amount of people that remain, especially in parts of Africa and Asia.

However, it shares the aspects of the Islamic religion. It is important to note that the word “Muslim” itself derives from Arabic (“ aslama ”) and means “submitted to God”.

Muslim Men Praying

Therefore, every Muslim is a subject converted to Islam (from Arabic, ” surrender “). Therefore, the terms “Muslim culture” and “Islamic culture” are confused, since those aspects influence dimensions of the moral and political life of Muslim society.

Characteristics of Muslim Culture

Originally, Muslim culture took place among Semitic shepherds from different tribes who were brought together by the prophet Muhammad.

After his death in 632, Arabia was unified and the expansion of the Arab Empire began . He was totally grounded in the precepts of Islam being led by a caliph.

The socio-political system indicated by the prophet and written in the sacred books of the Muslim religion has spread across the Mediterranean, Red and Indian Ocean seas.

There, they established major trade routes. In addition, the Mohammedan culture in formation met with the Byzantine, Persian, Chinese and Indian cultures, assimilating their cultural aspects while preserving the customs and beliefs of the conquered peoples.

On the other hand, it is worth noting that Muslims are divided between Sunnis and Shiites .

The Sunnis follow the teachings of the Koran (or Koran) and Sunna. They were led by All-Abbas, the Prophet Muhammad’s uncle after his death.

The Shiites , on the other hand , are followers of Ali, Muhammad’s son-in-law, and use the Koran solely and exclusively as a form of socio-political guidance.

Next, we can point to “ Sharia ”, the set of laws based on the holy scriptures as the “book of Muslim law” and the guide to behavior.

In this system, legal documents are less important than the spoken word, which is just as important as the social position.

Originally, Muslims have excelled in agriculture, with their irrigation techniques to produce cotton, cereals and oranges. In addition to it, there are manufactures for the production of cotton fabrics, glass artifacts and steel manufacturing.

Another highlight is the Muslim architecture, responsible for the creation of magnificent palaces, mosques and schools. The Byzantine and Persian influences stand out, with their domes, minarets and twisted columns, decorated by arabesques.

From a scientific and cultural point of view, Muslims were responsible for the preservation and diffusion of Hellenic culture. They thus allowed the Greek legacy to benefit Western European culture.

Likewise, Muslim mathematicians created the Indo-Arabic numbering system. They contributed to the evolution of trigonometry and algebra, just as their physicists made important contributions to studies of refraction of light and optics.

Its chemists discovered nitric and sulfuric acids, silver nitrate, sodium carbonate and the distillation, filtration and sublimation processes that allowed them to produce alcohol.

His doctors carried out important studies to discover the causes of tuberculosis.

Philosophers Aristotle and Plato had a great deal of influence in philosophy. In literature, the most well-known works in the Western world are “ The thousand and one nights ”, “ The Mines of King Solomon ” and “ Ali Babá and the forty thieves ”.

Another very important aspect about Muslim culture is “ Ramadan ” (or Ramadan).

This law determines spiritual incitement in a certain month of the year (ninth month of the Islamic calendar) and fasting that prohibits the consumption of food or water before sunset.

Cooking

Muslim Cuisine

From the outset, it is worth noting that some foods and drinks are prohibited by Muslim culture. Examples are alcoholic beverages and pork, in addition to animals killed in natural causes or by another wild animal.

Therefore, the food base consists of fish, poultry, goats, cattle, camel and mutton. They are served roasted or fried and seasoned with oriental spices.

Muslim food is served with bread (Arabic bread), and tasted with grains, vegetables, legumes and dried fruits.

The most well-known dishes are rice with chicken, tablecloth, raw or fried kibbeh, combs and chickpea paste ( hummus ), eggplant and curd.

It is worth mentioning that in Muslim culture these foods are eaten with the hands (always with the right hand).

Religion

Pilgrimage to Mecca

The Religion that guides Muslim culture is Islam . It is monotheistic and its most important sacred book is the “Quran”, written by Muhammad, considered by Muslims to be the last prophet of God.

Thus, Mohammedans are charged with the declaration of faith, five daily prayers, charity, fasting during the holy month of Ramadan and pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

Marriage

Muslim Wedding in Mosque

Muslim marriage differs in each region in which it is celebrated. It is characterized, as a rule, as a contract in which it is foreseen the payment of an amount to the family of the groom who seeks the bride and must accept the offer from the father of the bride.

In addition, we must point out that Muslim laws allow a man to have up to four women and that only men can marry outside their religion.

Women

Muslim woman praying in mosque

In Muslim culture, the differences between men and women are clear with respect to the roles, rights and duties of each gender.

Thus, in most Muslim countries, women have full religious rights to decide on marriage, divorce, dress and education.

However, in others, they deal with restrictions to determine their marital status, study and work, since they owe obedience to men.

Therefore, it is common for Muslim culture to allow a husband to beat his wives and force them to dress modestly.

As an example, we have Iran and Saudi Arabia , where women must cover their heads in public or wear a burqa.

Muslim Culture Today

Most Muslims now live in Asia and Africa, where the largest Muslim populations are found:

  • Indonesia (184 million);
  • Bangladesh (119 Million);
  • Pakistan (116 Million);
  • Turkey (67 Million);
  • Iran (56 Million);
  • Egypt (48 Million).

At the same time, the Islamic religion, which is the mainstay of Muslim culture, is the fastest growing in the world. It is already the second most important religion on the planet, with more than 50 countries with a Muslim majority and more than 1.57 billion people in 2009.

 

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