Ep 35. What Does Being Religious in Islam Mean?

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The idea of being religious often conjures up to the mind the image of one being divorced from the material world to engage in ritual practice with the purpose of attaining nearness to God. However, from an Islamic point of view this is an extremely narrow understanding that limits the scope of what Islam is meant to encompass as a way of life. While devotion to ritual practice is highly encourage and praised, it certainly is not the only way to get close to God. Indeed, Muslim scholars have considered that the ritualistic night vigil for a student or a scholar is to study and write. From this the division of transitive and non-transitive acts of worship was developed, where in which the merit of the action is evaluated based on whether its benefit is restricted to the person performing it or more widespread to benefit the whole community.

The topic addressed in this episode is on the question of religiosity in Islam, which encompasses much more than simply holding prayers and fasting.

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