A.L.L. Religion in Afghanistan

ISLAM

• Abrahamic religion-shares roots with Judaism and Christianity
• Qur’an holy book – infallible authority
• Five Pillars: Testimony of faith (Shahada), Prayer (Salat), Charity (Zakat), Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj), Fasting during month of Ramadan (Sawm)
• Other Beliefs: Faith (Iman), Oneness of God (Tawhid), Prophets, Angels, Judgment Day, the Books (Qur’an, Bible, Torah), Fate and Predestination
• Division between Sunni and Shi’a not as important as ethnic/tribal differences
• Pervasive part of daily life – Prayer 5x/day, education, Friday mosque
gatherings
• Religious figures (mullahs) respected and influential
-The Mullah is a religious leader or teacher
-Most are qualified by their ability to quote the Koran from memory
-Often times the Mullah retains the role of a leader who arbitrates local disputes based of Islamic principles, and teaches Islamic law and doctrine
• Literacy issues: misinterpretation; opportunity for perceived religious authorities to mislead those who cannot read

DISTRIBUTION OF SHI’A AND SUNNI

ETHNOLINGUISTIC GROUPS AND ISLAMIC SECTS


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