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rituals of birth, marriage and death

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    Posted: 05 June 2012 at 3:07pm
Salam/Peace,
 
Paige Marlow of Austraila, sent us some inquiry about  rituals of birth, marriage and death in Islam. Rather than only get one version of opinion, we post it here, hopefully get broader perspective.
 
Please kindly answer his questions below. Thanks.
 
Admin
 
========
Hello, my name is Paige and Im a Year 12 student from The Cathedral College and Im doing an assignments about the rituals of birth, marriage and death in Islam and was wondering if you could answer a few questions.

Below are the interview questions:


1.       What impact do rituals of birth, marriage and death have on groups and individuals?

2.       What elements of these rituals separate the sacred from the profane?

3.       Which elements of the rituals transform the participants?

4.       Is there anything which might be difficult for people of other religions to understand about these rituals?

5.       How does religion meet the spiritual and emotional needs of its members through the rituals of birth, marriage and death?

6.       Why are the rituals of birth, death and marriage important to Islamic faith?

7.       Why is it necessary to practice these rituals?


Paige Marlow

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote semar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 June 2012 at 10:27pm
Before answer your question let me explain what kind of ritual that we have on birth, marriage and death.
 
On birth event Islam doesn't have much ritual, even we can say that there is no ritual (no baptism etc). Yes in many Muslim country/community there some ceremony, but it's not prescribed by Islamic teaching. Just a local tradition. The only Islamic ritual on birth is reciting the adzan (call for prayer) on the ears of the new born baby, but this is also not mandatory.
 
On marriage, the ritual is very much only transaction and statement fo commitment between the bride and the groom, this is also very simple.
 
On death perhaps the most sacred ritual of the three, because there are multiple process. First bathing the death, second wrapping the death, praying the death (salat) then burying the death.
 
 
1.       What impact do rituals of birth, marriage and death have on groups and individuals?
It's difficult to measure the impact, because the impact is not physical but spiritual. Because spiritual, it's very depends on of the seriousness of the participant.

2.       What elements of these rituals separate the sacred from the profane? Basically just the seriousness or focuses is the element that separate the sacred and the propane. For birth very little ceremony so very much no element that we should worry that much. For marriage, as long you provide a few requirements you will be OK. Something with the death ritual. Again the most important thing are the state of your mind during that ritual.

3.       Which elements of the rituals transform the participants?
Again, because it's very difficult to measured. Perhaps the most touching part are the prayer for the death, that remind all participant sooner or later find the same fate.

4.       Is there anything which might be difficult for people of other religions to understand about these rituals? No, because in Islam there is not much process beyond logic on the ritual.

5.       How does religion meet the spiritual and emotional needs of its members through the rituals of birth, marriage and death? Just need focus.

6.       Why are the rituals of birth, death and marriage important to Islamic faith? Ritual in birth is not really important. In marriage is important because will define your relationship between husband and wife will be acceptable or not. In death also important because, it's ritual will be one of the initial step to return to God. However, somehow if we don't do properly, it's not the dead that will get the "consequence" but the Muslim community that will get the punishment (sins).

7.       Why is it necessary to practice these rituals?
The answer will be similar with number 6. It's not mandatory to do any ritual for birth. In marriage to make the relationship betwen the bride and the groom (specially sexual relationship become legal). For death, to make the death clean and ready return to God. However again, it 's the responsibility of the survive to do this properly, the dead will not get any consequence if there is any mistake.


Edited by semar - 05 June 2012 at 11:24pm
Salam/Peace,

Semar

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chrysalis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 June 2012 at 6:22pm
Originally posted by icforumadmin icforumadmin wrote:

 
Please kindly answer his questions below. Thanks.
 
Admin
 
========
Hello, my name is Paige and Im a Year 12 student from The Cathedral College and Im doing an assignments about the rituals of birth, marriage and death in Islam and was wondering if you could answer a few questions.

Below are the interview questions:


1.       What impact do rituals of birth, marriage and death have on groups and individuals?


Quite a big impact. As a Muslim I feel that these rituals bless our actions and phases in life such as marriage, children etc. We/I believe that more good will come out of an action if it is executed the Islamic way (according to the ritual). It also brings us together as a community (community involvement from other Muslims on occasions of Marriage, Death, Birth is an act of worship and highly rewarded). It is also an expression of my identity as a Muslim, or Muslim household.

Quote 2.       What elements of these rituals separate the sacred from the profane?

I don't understand this question.


Quote 3.       Which elements of the rituals transform the participants?

I don't know what you mean by 'transform' the participants... However these rituals are good reminders of Allah/God and our roles as Muslim citizens. They help rekindle spirituality and God-Consciousness because we are reminded how our lives revolve around Allah/God. Example: During marriage ceremony, the Imam will talk about God, and marriage and how it links to Islam and our role as Muslim spouses etc. I guess one could say that they help you become better Muslims by reminding you of God and Islam. (Hence the transformation)

Quote ] 4.       Is there anything which might be difficult for people of other religions to understand about these rituals?

Yes. I think other religions may not realize how involved Muslims are with Islam. Islam is not just a religion we can restrict to the Mosque or on Fridays... it is a way of life. So when Non-Muslims talk about banning this or banning that, they do not realize they are meddling with something so important and personal to Muslims. I guess they don't understand that Islam is not just a 'religion' or 'set of beliefs or rituals' for us... its a lifestyle.


Quote 5.       How does religion meet the spiritual and emotional needs of its members through the rituals of birth, marriage and death?

Spiritual needs: These rituals brings us closer to God and religion. They help act as reminders about our purpose on earth (worshipping God). They also help guide us about the correct way to do things. One also feel that their action has been blessed by God and will result in good no matter what the outcome.

Emotional Needs: Reinforces our sense of identity as Muslims. Brings us together as a community. Strengthens our relationship with God, which is a very good stress-reliever and gives a sense of comfort.

Since we believe these rituals are Divine Ordained, we have comfort knowing that this (ritual) is the best way to do something.


Quote 6.       Why are the rituals of birth, death and marriage important to Islamic faith?

Because they tell us the right way to do things, and we feel that our action will be an act of worship if done the right way. If done the right way (according to the ritual) birth, marriage etc become acts of worship and we get reward for them. They also help teach basic etiquette of hygiene, behavior, socializing to us. [e.g. what to do with a dead body, how to clean it, bury it etc.]. We also believe that one needs to take care of the spirit as well as body, these rituals help us reform & cleanse spiritually too.

They also build a sense of unity and identity in the community, and also help set standards of what is acceptablle and what is not. [For e.g. part of Islamic ritual of Marriage is asking if she woman agrees to marriage, if this part is skipped, the marriage is void. Helps set laws and standards of what is acceptable so people don't just 'wing it'].


Quote 7.       Why is it necessary to practice these rituals?


Because many of these rituals are part of being Muslim and carrying them out is an expression of one's acceptance of Islam as our religion.


"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote peacemaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 June 2012 at 11:37pm
Assalamu Alaikum and greetings!

Jazak Allah Khair, Brother Semar and Sister Chrysalis, for your replies and contributions, Masha Allah.

1. What impact do rituals of birth, marriage and death have on groups and individuals?

In Islam, ones intention in doing anything counts the most. The occasions of birth, marriage, and death are the times to reinforce our intentions and truly accept our individual and shared responsibilities of the family, community, and the society.

2. What elements of these rituals separate the sacred from the profane?

Since Islam is way of life, the Muslims believe if what they do is against Islamic principles, it is not acceptable, and if what they do conforms to the principles, it brings rewards of Allah (God).

3. Which elements of the rituals transform the participants?

It is the receptivity of the spiritual heart that perceives the things properly. And it is this aspect that helps one become the better person. For example, death of a loved one is a difficult moment in a family, but understanding that we all have to return to our Creator one day may act as a catalyst to help us become a better person when we are alive.

4. Is there anything which might be difficult for people of other religions to understand about these rituals?

Anyone willing to understand the faith, with an open mind and without any preconceived notion, would not find it hard. There are now abundant resources in this regard that make the job easy for everyone.

5. How does religion meet the spiritual and emotional needs of its members through the rituals of birth, marriage and death?

Everyone in this world has his or her religion that he or she things is right. Islam is a way of life. Yes, it uplifts its followers spiritually, emotionally, educationally, economically and in every sphere of life.

6. Why are the rituals of birth, death and marriage important to Islamic faith?

Taking proper care of the new born, nurturing a new relationship by an act of marriage, paying due respect to the dead body and its burial, and dealing appropriately with many other aspects take place when following a divinely ordained way of life. To be a Muslim, one is expected to follow the guidelines therein.

7. Why is it necessary to practice these rituals?

Being a follower of the divinely ordained faith entails the responsibility to follow the prescribed way of life.

Note: The post was edited for the clarity, whereas the primary content remained the same.



Edited by peacemaker - 08 June 2012 at 4:28pm
Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
Qur'an 55:13
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