If we talk about the history of Islam the way it started was from one single person that was Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) that came up bringing Islam as the last religion with a revealed book Quran.
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He was all for this religion so God rewarded him with the abilities and characteristics that made him stand against everyone and every torture and he still kept preaching the religion. In the initial phase he suffered a lot because on one hand he had the responsibility of spreading the religion to God’s creature with a promise that this will bring peace and satisfaction to them but on the other hand there was a lot opposition to stop him from doing so. When he came as the last prophet of Allah Christianity was the religion practiced that time and people were really for it and were not ready to listen to a word regarding any other superior religion. He had nobody to stand with him and help him but with his character and his deeds he was able to get a few people converted to Islam and he turned from one person to two and then the number kept on increasing. This religion had the essence of attracting people towards it. it has been said in the history this way that initially when people were in no position to listen to anything about Islam but once a few people converted and they witnessed how much peace and prosperity they found in Islam then it was like a door to an enlightened room that opened and everyone started getting through it and getting entered in to the room. Along with good deeds and strong faith in the religion Muhammad (PBUH) also was awarded with revelation from God in the form of Quran the teaching of which was no doubt an astonishing feature for everyone. The teaching of that Quran are still the way they were fourteen hundred year back and it is still and will be the most authentic book for the whole of the creature. Islam’s two main teaching which includes Quran and the appearance and teaching of Muhammad PBUH is a treasure and the character of an even just one Muslim can bring abrupt unexpected changes. This religion had given the power of words and character to the followers and they can conquer anything if they get committed to it. 100 is a pretty good number if their faith in God is there and they are there as the followers of the religion they will get the power to rule. They can bring a whole Muslims dominated group in action. Our knowledge about religion needs to be appropriate and satisfactory and then it can cause a mass change in the direction towards God. God wants his creature to be follower and has promised them good rewards to the follower but if the creature forgets God and lives with their own likes and dislikes without having an impact of the religion on their lives they loose the direction , they loose their identity and hence they lose the balance of their life. These 100 people if each can take up the responsibility to preach to a 10 people a day and then everyone of those 10 take the responsibility to breach Islam to another 10 people the number will keep on increasing. This way Islam will spread and there will be peace of mind and prosperity with every individual. People will stop cheating; they will stop committing actions that are religiously wrong. They will be taking care of their limits and there will be no gambling, no alcohol drinking, no other addiction, no lie, no theft activities and this world will be a peaceful place and safer world for everyone.
- Question A
Occidentalism and Orientalism are two concepts which are becoming very popular and are getting very confusing for most of the cultural, social or religious groups. But if we simply want to know what Orientalism is then that is the way west defines nonwestern and Occidentalism is the way non western defines western population. Orientalism contextually means modernization or in simple words following western culture but the literal meaning of orient is “to describe a person as Oriental is considered to be impolite and politically incorrect” (wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) Occidentalism is an inverse of that. “The term Occidentalism usually refers to stereotyped and sometimes dehumanizing views on the so-called Western world, including Europe and the English-speaking world.”(Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). This is like incorporating things from other into oneself so much that one stops acknowledging the actual source of it. Orientalism is more of a subjective feeling and judgment. These terms are obviously of concern because the talk about these is leading to clashes in different cultures/nations and is also leading to the identity stealing of a culture without acknowledging it. All this is ethically wrong and it should be taken care of by any means. The best way to take care of it is to go back to what our religion says about respecting each other’s values and norms. These two concepts can be taken care of if all the cultural groups stay following what their religion says. This will be amore unified way of thinking and there will feel more confident of accepting rejecting or claiming of some piece of culture or some piece of action as their own because they will have a reference to it from their religion. In this era there have been sitting taking place in order to get a point of understanding of accepting each other view but there a contradicting view happens either from one side or another which keeps the different groups including western, Japanese, and Asian away from coming to a point of settlement. Edward Said has worked on Orientalism and Xiaomei Chen had his contribution towards Occidentalism. Said’s “conception of Orientalism isn’t just of a batch of misrepresentations and “stereotypes,” but a whole systemically produced and sustained discourse of discourses in the West in a variety of academic fields, in popular culture, etc., “a battery of desires, repressions, investments, and projections” (p.74 of “Orientalism: A Reader” edited by MacFie). These two concepts have taken up very strong roots and this is a talk more amongst different cultures then religion. This persisting realities of Orientalism and Occidentalism can be reduced and ultimately finished from a society if the religion becomes the focus and religious groups help the cultures stick to what they actually are and what their teaching are. Orients loose the touch of their own culture and gets incorporated western culture and since religion is major components of any culture we a lot of religious believes also get diluted this way. A strong example of Occidentalism recently occurred in Muslim world when our prophet’s (PBUH)’s cartoons were made a displayed it was a way of dehumanizing Muslims and their faith. All the religion teaches honor and respect for each other and for the believers. If religions are to show us direction we will always have respect for any other nation’s view, ideology, culture and their religious practices and this way we will be able to minimize the impact of the realities associated to Orientalism and Occidentalism. The way a human being can be made happy by valuing his views a nation can be made happy the same way. Religion shows throw every action and religion is such a complete doctrine that once followed strictly can help in each and every aspect of life whether it is a social dealing, a personal dilemma, a cultural mishap or an interaction or dealing at global level.
- Question B
Here in this scenario the main factor to be taken in consideration is a difference of two cultures. The American woman got the grant to complete her collaborative research with having a woman from Saudi Arabia so they both belong to two contradicting cultures. In western culture the aim comes first if this American woman is committed to complete her research successfully with the appropriate utilization of her funds she will go through ant modification and transition to achieve that but if we talk about this woman form Saudi Arabia she has a different perspective for her the veil and the cultural or one can say to some extent religious concept comes first. The first thing that needs to get settled is these two women their self. They need to have a talk with due respect for their cultural or religious believes and then they should get exposed to each other’s society. Here if they both get stuck in the religious/ cultural practice their focus will get change and they will not be bale to work effectively on the project. Here Occidentalism has a role if the woman from Saudi Arabia thinks that she is getting modernized by taking her veil off and is going away from her culture or religion and will become like westerns then she has her own way of thinking and that needs to respected rather than criticized then the American woman should pick up a pattern of thinking which will be a diversion from Orientalism. They should reduce the chances of Orientalism and Occidentalism play a role and create distances which will ultimately affect the research project. “Whatever liberatory or other benefits Orientalism might have offered upon its appearance, it has harmed literary studies and literary students” (Landow, 2002). This concept of Orientalism might be good from one point of view but it inhibits the multiple routs that can be used in making progress in life. To some groups of people their cultural believes and religious teaching comes first and there is nothing bad about that if someone is oriental he/ she their believe needs to be respected. Religion never prohibit from going ahead in life an making progress but sometimes religion and culture start giving such mixed picture that it becomes hard to differentiate” In the present moment, the general American preoccupation with “the Muslim/Arab female” as a signifier of deeper imperial feelings makes female bodies a site where “American” femininity is linked to Western individualism and democracy, while erasing the specter of warfare against Arab and Muslim bodies, female and male” (Maira, S. For this American woman a successful way to carry her research project out will be to be non oriental as well as non occidental. Western culture accepts its capability and flexibility for modification but people from Saudi Arabia are not they rather show their firmness towards such an attitude so, the attempt or even a hope to change them is not right. They are there with their well defined values which show resistance to changes to them so they should be left with the believes they have. Circumstances should be manipulated in such a way that makes the work easy and interesting for them as well as for oneself while maintaining the preserveness of cultural, religious, and personal believes whenever wherever it is needed.
Edward, S. (1978). “Orientalism: A Reader” edited by MacFie. P. 74
Landow, P.G. (2002). Edward W. Said’s Orientalism.
Maria, S. (2008). Belly Dancing: Arab-Face, Orientalist Feminism, and U.S. Empire. The American Studies Association.
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Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, (2008). Orient.