## Topic outline

• Forum: 1
• Key unit competence:

The learner will be able to discuss different ways God calls His people.Learning Objectives:

• Identify different vocations from the Bible.

• State the ways that God uses for calling his people.

• Describe the ways through which God calls his people for different services.

• Explain the relationship between different callings from God.

• Make right decision in choosing career and style of life.

• Link God’s call for service and spiritual gifts given to everyone.

• Appreciate different types of God’s callings.

• Show awareness of the importance of God’s callings.

• Show respect for God’s callings.

Introductory Activity 1:

In our family, we are six members: mother, father two girls and two boys. When our parents call us by names, we respond with a kind reply and our presence. It is their choice to call the young child or the elder to carry out different assignments. They give us different tasks that we should honestly accomplish according to our capacity.Suppose you are a parent and you call your child but he/she refuses to respond. How would you feel?

What could be your attitudes towards him/her in the next days?

1. Describe different calls you know from the Bible and the responses given to each of those calls.

2. How can you use your talents or gifts from God including life?

3. How can you know your vocation?

4. Identify some calls that children may get from their parents.

1.1 Meaning of Vocation

Learning Activity 1.1

The parent called her four children to assign tasks to them. The first one accepted the task and accomplished it immediately. The second attempted to refuse but she accepted after. The third one immediately refused. The fourth one accepted but he never practiced. What lessons do you get from each child? Is this a vocation or a command?

Vocation means a call. If you have a vocation, you have a strong feeling that you are especially invited to fulfill a particular job or to fulfil a particular role in life. Then you need to respond positively to your call. Call, vocation and mission are linked concepts. The voice of God calls us for general and for particular mission.

If you are called to serve, God has chosen you to carry out His work in the world. He has determined the tasks He wants each of us to do; our job is to serve Him by accomplishing what He has planned for us. Everybody is called for a particular mission. God expects our obedience and adhesion of faith. Our answers to God calls are different. Some of the called people hesitate (hesitation) to say yes to God’s call; others refuse (total refusal), and others accept immediately.

Application activity 1.1

1. Explain the link between a call and a mission.

2. How do you respond to the call of your parents?

3. If God calls you, what does He expect from you?

4. How can you discover your vocation?

1.2 The call of Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Jonah and Mary

Learning Activity: 1.2

Read the biblical text about the call of Abraham Genesis 12:1-9 and the call of the young rich man in Matthew 19:16-24 thereafter identify the purpose and values (service) related to this call.

The common and fundamental call from God is life. God calls everybody to life/(serve the community) in order to know him and to serve him by loving/(serving) our neighbors and the society in general. God started his plan of salvation when He called Abraham.

Paul was not among the twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was called to be an apostle by the will of God (1Corinthians 1:1) afterward. Paul made 3 missionary journeys to spread the Good News:

• The first journey (46-48 AD): Antioch in Syria-Attalia in Cyprus and Minor Asia (Acts 14:24). He then came back to Antioch.

• The 2nd journey (49-52 AD): from Antioch to Jerusalem (Acts 18:22). He came back again to Antioch.

• The 3rd journey (53-58 AD): from Antioch to Caesarea (Acts 21:15-17), then to Rome.

Paul died a martyr in 67 AD under Nero Caesar the Roman emperor. He founded many churches and he wrote 13 letters which are part of the New Testament.

Application Activity: 1.2

1. Identify and Categorize responses we give to different God’s calls and give a biblical example for each Category.2. Life is a fundamental call from God. How can you protect it? 3. What lessons do we learn from the call of Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Jonah, Mary, Paul?

1.3 Types of Calls/ Vocations

Learning Activities 1.3

1. What talents do you think you have that can help you to respond well to God’s call for you?

2. Discuss how these talents may help you to carry out God’s call for you?

3. In which capacity/services would you like to serve God and your neighbour? Explain

God’s calling always has something to do with the good life people have to live. From the very beginning of mankind, people have to subdue the earth by work, knowledge and by procreation. This is the mission given to human being (Genesis 1:28). Mankind has the opportunity to be co-worker with God. Calls are of different types:

Call to different services

• Educational services: to give educational services.

• Health services: to protect and improve human life.

• Spiritual services: to nourish the soul, give spiritual orientation and be role-model

• Services of charity: to help, to share and empathy.

• Social services: caring and meeting people’ requirements.

• Economic services: Develop, maintain and Improve people’s socio-economic developments.

• Security services: to defend human rights and prevent any kind of violence

Call to Particular Work

Some people are gifted and talented to perform particular work for example:

• Perform a healing prayer

• Perform a prayer of deliverance or exorcisms

• Prophesy and interpret the World of God

• Professional work like teaching, Art and craft, designing, leadership, journalism etc.

God invites everybody to use their own talents, gifts, skills for God’s own interest and for the community.

Call to Christian Vocation

In this type of vocation we have 3 categories: ordained ministers, consecrated life and laity. Their nomination may differ according to the Christian Denomination:

Ordained Ministers

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Sacrament of Order is required to be in this category.

Some Protestant denominations ordain ministers by anointing them or just laying hands on them and pray. In some cases, ministers go through interview to make sure they are qualified. Generally, the roles of the ordained ministers are to teach the Word of God, to govern the operations of the church and act as shepherds to the congregation. They operate in the name of Jesus Christ, the founder of the church.

The Consecrated Life

In the Roman Catholic Church one becomes consecrated by solemn vow to take oath for poverty, obedience and celibacy. The consecrated people are called brothers or sisters.

In few Protestant denominations also consecrate sisters. The members of this category are stimulated by Matthew 19:16-24).

The Laity

• We become laypeople by Baptism. For the Roman Catholic Church members one has to go through confirmation also. Lay people serve and participate in evangelization of the world by good Christian testimony and works of love (Acts 2:42-47).

• Most Protestant denominations consider laypeople as “the people of God” who have equal responsibilities to spread the gospel just like the ordained minister. They consider baptism as enough for one to carry out the great commission of Jesus as outlined in Matthew 28:18-20. This is what is called by Peter the “priesthood of all believers” (1 Peter 2:9-10). Laypeople can preach and do any-thing the ordained minister can do. However, some tasks remain the prerog-ative of the ordained minister such as baptizing, officiating a wedding unless the layperson has been given authorization by the higher church authority.

• In the Roman Catholic Church only laypeople are allowed to marry. The clergy vows celibacy. Laypeople are supposed to get married based on love and fulfil the given mission in Genesis 1:28: human being is then master of creation by work of knowledge, procreation and education of children. The Christian couple then has to be characterized by unity and indissolubility.

• The meaning of vocation also can be expressed in different social services and professionals people are entrusted in the society such as teaching profession, medical profession, law profession. In this sense, some professions, due to their nature and requirements are considered as vocations.

So people in those professions are called to serve in that service by the society.

Application Activity 1.3

1. Show with Christian examples how you can fulfil your call in order to serve God and people in your community.

2. From your personal experience, what do you expect to become in the future? Discuss this in regard to Christian vocation.

1.4. Christian and Social Services

Learning Activities: 1.4

1. Can one be at the same time a good Christian and a good citizen? Argue your answer.

2. Consider the list of duties below. What are the corresponding civic and Christian values: Offering the tithe, community work, pay taxes, liturgical activities, attend the mass, voting leaders, pay health insurance, cleanness in the chapel, visiting sick, spread Good News.

Social Services and Christian Behaviors

A society is an organized community of people with laws and traditions controlling the way that they behave towards each other. A Christian is at the same time member of the society and of the church. He or She must live with social and Christian values, serve God and the society. Having all these values helps us to be good to ourselves, to God and to the county.

Church Services

The church is a visible institution which serves its members in particular and it renders some services to the society in general.

• Church services to itself: the main service of the church to itself is the Evangelization (Matthew 28:18-20). Other related services are: liturgical services, prayer for healing and deliverance, spiritual direction, pastoral care, teaching, etc.

• Church services to the society: in partnership with the society the church offers some services to the community at large: setting infrastructures, peace building services, encouraging the values of the families, calling people to hard working, increasing moral principles, protecting human rights, doing charitable acts, educating people in all matters of life, financial support, etc.

Application Activity: 1.4

1. What is your opinion of taking sick people of your family to the praying room?

2. You are supposed to be a salesperson in a shop. What will be your Christian and social values in your business?

3. List at least four social welfare contributions you give to the church and to the community.

1.5 Basic Elements of Vocational Discernment

Learning Activity: 1.5

Case Study: Munyemana and Mukamana have five children. Ange is an engi-neer, Peter is a Doctor, Mary is a pilot, Mugisha is an agriculturist. They also wish they would have a priest in their family and they are trying to force their young-est son, Paul to attend the seminary studies. Do you think they are doing the right thing? Argue your opinion.

We realize our vocation through the experience, the testimony, what you learn and what you read, the attended meetings etc. Therefore, to discern vocation we base on:

1. Freedom: right to do what you want. You must discern vocation independently without pressure or other’s influences (Is 6:8)

2. Need to serve: do you feel the commitment to perform duties for interest of a person or a community?

3. Need of perfection: are you ready to completely serve God and people free from fault?  Do you think the chosen vocation will help you to be perfect? The conditions are faith, Hope and Love(1Corinthians 13:13)

5. Self-control: verify your degree of controlling your feelings, emotions, languages etc.

6. Self-awareness: do you possess qualities and critical thinking to judge and to understand your true thoughts and feelings?

7. Hearing God’s voice: it is a state of feeling commitment to serve God and your neighbor.

Application Activity: 1.5

What will you base on to identify your vocation?

1.6 End Unit Assessment

End Unit Assessment Questions

1. For what purpose do you think God created you?

2. Identify different calls/vocation with their specific services.

3. Explain reasons why these particular people were called by God: Abraham, Moses and Samuel.

4. Distinguish the Christian who is performing services of his/her calling with a Christian who is only serving his/her personal benefit.

5. Defend this statement with concrete examples. “The church and the community are different institutions which have separate services to offer.”

6. If you are chosen as a leader of your village, what particular services would you offer as a leader?

• Key Unit Competence:

• The learner will be able to describe the kingdom of God and signs of the end of times

Learning Objectives

• Identify the signs of the end of times and the second coming of Jesus. • List the events marking the end of times and preparing for the second coming of Jesus.

• Interpret the Biblical passage on the Kingdom of God.

• Analyze the signs of the end of times and of the second coming of Jesus.

• Compare the signs of the end of times and the second coming of Jesus.

• Appreciate the teachings of Jesus on the Kingdom of God.

• Manifest values of kindness, humility and goodness.

• Be responsible and accountable of his or her actions in the daily life.

Introductory Activity 2:

Read Matthew 13:1-52 about the Parable of a Sower, the parable of weeds, the parable of Mustard seed.

1. What does Jesus relate the Kingdom of God to?

2. Find out the lessons/values you get from the biblical texts above that can help you to enter God’s Kingdom.

3. According to you what is the Kingdom of God relating to your spiritual life

2.1 The Kingdom of God

Learning Activity 2.1

“Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Amen.

1. Identify key feature mentioned in this passage and relate them to the Kingdom of God

2. Discuss the statement: “Your Kingdom come”.

The Meaning of God’s Kingdom

God’s Kingdom is associated with the ideas of God’s rule (God’s will), God’s sovereignty and power (Psalm 22: 28, Psalm 103:19, Psalm 145: 14). Matthew 6:10 proves that we ask God to exert his authority in the world so that his purposes are achieved.God’s Kingdom is connected with the exertion of God’s will, with the act of ruling, of reigning, the exercise of authority. It is then the rule of God manifested in Christ to bring redemption to the earth.

God’s Kingdom has a link with the last judgment because of (the power of God in Jesus, authority and mercifulness). It is present now (Christ Emmanuel, present in his Church, he is still acting in the Church). It is ready to come (about the Christ’s return to Judge: John 14:3, John 21: 22, Revelation 19:11-16). The first teaching of Jesus Christ is, convert, change your hearts because the heavenly Kingdom is ready, (Matthew4:17, Mark 1:14-15, Luke 4:1-13).

God’s Kingdom also has the link with the heaven, eternal life or happiness: Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3; 5:10. This happiness was highlighted by Jesus at the last supper when He said... until that day when I drink it in God’s Kingdom (Mark 14:25)

The Fruits and Results of Kingdom of God

The fruits of God’s kingdom are seen with spiritual eyes. They are about faith not sight. Examples:

• To be clothed with imperishable body and immortality (1 Corinthians 15:53).

• The victory over sin.

• Transformation in God’s likeness with ever increasing glory (2 Corinthians 3:18)

• The eternal life and happiness, etc.

The teachings of Jesus explain well results of Kingdom of God. The results reflect the judgment, that is, the award and the condemnation as in the Parable of talent (Matthew 25: 14- 30; Workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20: 1-16); Parable of 10 virgins (Matthew 25: 1-13). God holds all people accountable (Revelation 20:4); we shall be judged according to our works (Revelation 22:12); God is righteous judge (Psalm 7: 11; 2 Timothy 4:8).

Application Activity: 2.1

1. Analyse what the kingdom of God entails or contains according to the biblical message?

2. What will happen to people who do not honour God’s commandments?

3. What will happen to people who will enter the Kingdom of God?

2.2 The Beginning and the Herald of the Kingdom of God

Learning Activity 2.2

What was John Baptist message according to Luke 3: 16-17? How is this message applied today?

The main mission of the Church is the proclamation of Good news, to help people to understand the Good News of the Kingdom of God. According to Jesus’ teachings and the Church teachings, “the time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:13-15).The mission of the Church begins and fills the time between the initial coming of the Kingdom and its ultimate consummation with the last judgment:

• The God’s Kingdom begins with the incarnation of Jesus

• Jesus himself represents the Kingdom of God.

• Jesus himself is the founder of the Church here on earth.

• The Christian Church composed by faithful members represents God’s King-dom.

• The Kingdom of God is in the hearts and minds of faithful members.

Thus, the Kingdom of God is not the same as the earthly kingdoms (John18:36-37).The herald of God’s Kingdom was John Baptist, who announced its coming on earth. The prophet foretold about precursor of Jesus (Malachi 3: 1; Isaiah 40: 30; Mark 1:2-3). It was for this that John the Baptist came.

The teachings of John the Baptist were followed by practice for example the baptism in Jordan. It is proved by the number of the people who accepted his baptism of conversion. He called people to prepare the paths for the Lord and to produce good fruits. He told tax collectors, rich people and Roman soldiers the conditions to reach God’s kingdom (Mark 1:1-18).

Application Activities 2.2

• With tangible examples, show how the teachings of John Baptiste concern your life today and the life of Christians in regard to faith and conversion.

2.3. The Kingdom of God through Prophets and the Gospels

Learning Activity: 2.3

The prophet Zechariah foretold “the Lord will be King over the earth. In that day, there will be one Lord, and His name will be one (Zechariah 14:9). Daniel prophesied that “but the Saints of the Most High will receive the Kingdom and will possess it forever and ever” (Daniel 7:18).

2. What are you going to do in order to be among the Saints? Write down your personal commitment.

God’s Kingdom through Prophets

Many prophets already foretold the Kingdom of God. They often describe the Kingdom of God that will be renewed by the Son of man the heir, inheritor from the Father. They predicted also the righteous as the co-heirs of it. Some predictions are found in book of prophet:• Prediction of preaching of Jesus about the Gospel of the Kingdom (Daniel 9:25).

• The second coming of Christ, where the Lord shall be king over all the earth (Zechariah 14: 9).

• The Saints shall receive the Kingdom forever, even forever and ever (Daniel 7: 18).

• God will deliver his people and renew his reign (Isaiah 35: 1- 4, 8-10).

• Reestablishment of God’s Kingdom (Isaiah 40: 9-11).

• The Kingdom of God will be accomplished through a Kingly messiah figure (Isaiah 52: 13- 53: 12).

• Israel will establish God’s Kingdom over all people through the kingly son of man (Daniel 7: 22).

The Kingdom of God through the Gospel

God’s Kingdom or Kingdom of heaven is the central theme of Jesus’ teaching. We find this teaching in Synoptic Gospels, especially in Matthew. There are several examples of the teachings about the kingdom of God:

• Our righteousness exceeds the one of Pharisees to enter in Kingdom of heav-en (Matthew 5:20).

• First seek the Kingdom of God, and do not worry about what to eat, wear.... your heavenly Father knows your needs (Matthew 6:31-33).

• Enter by small gate and narrow gate (Matthew 7:13-14).

• God’s Kingdom is forcefully advancing, we fight for it (Matthew 11: 12).

Parables of Kingdom of God:

•Young rich man Matthew (19: 16- 26).

• Unmerciful servant (Matthew 18: 23- 35).

• Parable of the two sons (Matthew1: 28- 32).

• It is like a mustard seed (Mark 4: 30- 32).

In the Gospel according to Mark 4: 26-30, shows 3 ways we understand God’s Kingdom:

• On earth: The Church as the visible institution with clear mission. The role of teaching, reading and sanctifying the people of God aims at leading believers to Kingdom of God

• Among believers: the kingdom of God is proved by our spiritual life. The ways we pray, we hope, we observe God’s commandments show that the authority of God reigns among us

• In heaven: It is a state of kingdom of God that will be marked by eschatology. It is an award that will be received on Parousia, the return of Jesus Christ to judge not to be judged, an award for the righteous eternal life)

As every Kingdom has four elements, God’s kingdom also has territory (earth and heaven), subjects (all believers), rules (authority, will of God) and ruler (Jesus Christ). So, God’s rules deliver men from power of sin, death and Satan (Matthew 12:28-29). The Kingdom of God can take place then, in hearts. The spiritual life of believers starts in Church, the visible sign of kingdom of God. It is finally accomplished in heaven, the eternal life after judgment.

Application Activity 2.3

1. According to some evangelists the kingdom of God is among us. Discuss how the Kingdom of God should be present in your class and to your family .

2. Role-play the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.

3. What values can you learn from the parable of the Vineyard’s workers?

2.4 The Presence and the Coming of the Kingdom of God

Learning Activity 2.4

Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11); He healed an official’s son at Capernaum (John4:43-54); He cleansed a man with lepro-sy (Matthew 8:1-4); He healed the woman in the crowd with an issue of blood (Matthew 9: 20-22); He healed two blind men Matthew 9:27-31; He fed more than five thousand people.

1. What was the intention of Jesus when He performed miracles?

2. What values can you learn from Jesus’ miracles?

3. Discuss whether the Kingdom of God has come or not yet come on earth?

The question of the coming of God’s Kingdom was raised by Pharisees. They thought about the observable Kingdom. Jesus replied that it is not observable (Luke17: 20-21). This kingdom of God came through Jesus (power of God, mercifulness, signs of greatest love for humanity). It is present in the authority, his every Word and deed (Luke 4: 43; Luke 17: 20- 21).

This kingdom of God is partly present and fully in the future. Some of their power is available. The decisive battle against sin, Satan, sickness, death has been fought and won by the King in his death and resurrection. But the battle is not yet over (Romans 8:23). It is still there until the second coming of Jesus and the last judgment. The Kingdom of God is already present (Luke 17: 20-21; Matthew 12: 28, Luke 11: 20), but at the same, it is not yet present (Luke 19: 11- 12).

Application Activity: 2.4

What things that happen to you, to your family and to your friends and neighbours show that the Kingdom of God is present.

2.5 The Last days

Learning Activity: 2.5

At the eve of the year 2000 some people mobilized others to consume all their possession. They thought the earth would come to an end. Others spent all their time praying. However, we realize that 2000 ended and the earth is still in existence.

1. What is the end of the world according to you? If you were there what could you have done?

2. Suppose you are a preacher, list and explain main elements that can mark your preaching on the end of the world?

Signs that will mark the end of times

The holy scriptures highlight the signs of the end of times.

• Nations will rise against nation and Kingdoms against Kingdoms (Matthew 24:7).

• There will be food shortages (famine).

• There will be great earthquakes.

• There will be pestilences and pandemics or diseases (Luke 21: 11).

• The traits of people of the last days will be: lovers of themselves, lovers of money, disobedience to parents, disloyal, having no natural affection, without self-control, fierce, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, having an ap-pearance of godliness but proving false to its power (2 Timothy 3: 1- 5).

The positive signs that will mark the last days are the abundance of knowledge (Daniel 12:4); the Good News of Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth (Matthew 24: 3-14; Ephesians 7:9, Luke 21: 17).

Four Realities of End of Times

1. Death

Christians should not be afraid of death because Jesus Christ rose (1Thessalonians 4: 14). Death is inevitable. Death puts end on our earthly life but it becomes the beginning of our new journey towards Father’s home.

2. Judgment

Judgment is an evaluation process that leads to a decision and a reward (Luke 19:12-27). God will come to judge all (Jude 1:14-15) at the end of age (Matthew 13:49), nobody knows the time. It will be like a thief (2 Peter 3:10). God is a judge of men’s actions (Genesis 18:20-25).

There are different reasons why God will execute judgment:

• To restore the relationship with God. (Genesis 3:15)

• To abolish the consequences of sin.

• To give glory to the Son of Man (Matthew 25: 31-33)

• To reward the righteous.

• To permanently restore God on Earth as it is in Heaven.

The ultimate purpose of God for men is to enjoy eternal life (John 6:65). The sin is judged worthy of death (Romans 6:23).The basis for the judgment isthe Law of God and the faith in Jesus. According to the Scriptures, the Proceedings for the judgment include the judge, the accuser, the accused and the attorney:

• Judge: God and Jesus Christ (ruler) John 12:31, Jude 1: 14-15

• The Accuser: Each one of us will give an account of him/herself to God (Romans 14: 10-12), bad or good (2 Corinthians 5:10; 1 P: 4 -5)

• Accused: the accused ones are the unrepentant hearts (Romans 2:5), the ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7), Who went on sinning willfully (Hebrew 10:26-28). In front of judgment seat, the dead and the living men will attend (Daniel 12: 2)

• Attorney: Attorney refers to a qualified lawyer. Attorney of God is Jesus Christ, Messiah.

3. Heaven

Heaven is living fully in glory of God after the judgment. The righteous will see God, look like Him, and praise Him everlasting. Heaven refers to the place where God and the holy livings are (angels). Heaven is life without death, sorrow, sickness, poverty (Revelation 21: 3-4). In heaven, people will experience great joy of being re-united with their loved ones (Luke 23:42-43, Hebrew 12: 22-23).

4. Hell

For most Christian understanding, Hell refers to Gehenna that means eternal suffering reserved for ungodly men, who refused his mercifulness till their death (see for instance Catechism of Catholic Church, No 232).

According to the common belief, it is a place or state of punishment of wicked after death and judgment. It is a dark side of eternity, endless punishment (Matthew 25:41; 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10, Revelation 14:9-11, Revelation 20:10, 14-15. Nevertheless, this is not believed by all Christian denominations. The Seventh-day Adventist Church for instance believes this punishment will take place on earth after 1000 years (Revelation 21:7-9). Though no one knows the exact time, the earth will come to an end after its mission is over. This is based on the fact that Sodom and Gomorrah are said to have been punished by unquenchable fire. Though the two cities are said to be set as an example of the eternal punishment (Jude 1:7), they are not still burning today. This position is also based on the fact that a Loving God cannot rejoice in burning the people forever and ever (Malachi 4:1).

Application Activity: 2.5

“Nowadays we observe many signs of the end times which show that the end times are closer. Therefore there is no need to save for the future” unknown author?.

Do you agree with this idea? Defend your opinion.

2.6 End Unit Assessment 2

End Unit Assessment 2 questions.

1. Choose the letter that corresponds to the best answer: nobody knows the date and time then, the good time to be prepared is:

a) next year;

b) in 2080;

c) today;

d) tomorrow.

2. What are the fruits/characteristics of God’s Kingdom?

3. Explain how the Church is the visible sign of the Kingdom of God here on earth.

4. Using the example of the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-52, examine how the kingdom of God is like?

5. Analyze the signs of the end times.

6. As a Christian, how would you work towards expanding the kingdom of God in your community?

• Key Unit Competence:

The learner will be able to observe the spiritual and social norms and rules in all sit-uations as guidance to happiness and peaceful life. Learning objectives:

• Outline the different spiritual norms and societal rules.

• Determine the Christian spirituality and the values.

• Outline the Christian and the civic values.

• Recall the importance of Christian and civic values in life.

• Study the Bible regularly and pray frequently.

• Construct harmony between societal rules and Christian spirituality.

• Execute the spiritual norms and values in his/her own community.

• Apply the Christian values towards happiness and peaceful life.

• Justify the Christian guidance towards happiness and peaceful life.

• Integrate Christian norms and values in his/her daily life.

• Participate willingly to the peace building actions based on the Christian spir-ituality.

• Exhibit loyalty towards the societal rules.

• Commit yourself and attend all the local church and honor churchs discipline.

• Practice proper relations with other people and help others to learn the word of God.

• Live an upright moral life and do all Gods will.

Introductory Activity 3

UWIMANA is a farmer. She is also a member of a Church near her house. Every time she attends the prayer meeting with her neighbours, she participates in several activities in her Church and her village.

• List some important things you think that Uwimana and her colleagues might discuss both in the Church and Village meetings.

• Do you think these things you have listed in question 1are important for the Church and the Village? Give reasons

• Is it important for Uwimana to participate in her church and village activities? Give reasons

3.1 Christian and the Civic Values

Learning Activity 3.1:

1. What is a value?

2. How are the Christian values related to civic values?

3. Do Rwandans have values? Give examples.

4. Discuss the importance of Agaciro Development funds in shaping national identity

Every Christian must be committed to accomplish the mission that Christ gave to all His followers. He/she has responsibilities in the life towards the society. There are distinctive religious virtues and civic values he/she follows.

The main foundation of the Christian life is the respect of the Ten Commandments of God. Jesus gave them an ultimate Commandment of Love that extends itself in all moral life. True believers are known by the love they show to one another.

3.1.1 Christian values

Christian values are based on God’s principles and the work of Jesus Christ. The main Christian values include respect for God, hope, righteousness, love, humility, godliness, etc.

a) Respect God

Respecting God is the foundation of Christian value. This means continuously seeking His righteousness and totally relying on Him. As humans, we have the freedom of choice to decide what is right and wrong; and if we value God we will know what is right/wrong. We value God when we acknowledge that He knows everything we need in our lives better than we do. Jesus says we should seek God and value God above all things: «But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you». (Matthew 6:33).

b) Hope

The Christian hope is based on Jesus Christ’s promises that He can redeem mankind and give eternal life. The hope enables a Christian to be patient and persevere since Jesus’ promises of eternal life are unseen and unrealized in this present time. Paul advises us to place our hope in God and not in material things. “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man sees, why does he yet hope for?”(Romans 8:24).

c) Righteousness

When a Christian accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, he/she is now in right with God and becomes a new person. A Christian is now set-aside for God to be holy and righteous. Righteousness becomes more and more precious as a Christian grows in his or her love of God. A Christian seeks to do God’s will and do what is right in God’s eyes because he/she desires to strengthen their relationship with God. The righteousness and holiness are linked: “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24).

d) Love

Christian love is called «agape», the love which means unmerited favor. Christians realize this type of love through God. He offers all of mankind eternal life through Jesus Christ. Christians in turn value God’s love and have a desire to provide this Godly love of unmerited favor to others: “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 1:21).

3.1.2 Civic Values

The Civic values are principles of conduct centered on personal relationship within a society and serve to maintain social order. The vast majority of civic values are interrelated. Here are some of them:

a) Solidarity

Solidarity is one of the most important civic values because it depends on the strengthening of social relations. It consists of providing support to the person in need, especially in time of difficulty. The solidarity strengthens the personal relationship between people.

b) Responsibility

Responsibility is a civic value in which a person undertakes to fulfill what is established. In homes, there are always tasks assigned to household members. It is necessary to fulfill the agreed commitments and respect the rules. This constitutes responsible citizenship.

c) Respect

Respect is an essential civic value which must be maintained since each person has some personal character. It is about recognizing others in their particularities, differences. Respect leads to friendly relationship.

d) Justice

Justice is a very important civic value which corresponds to the Judicial Power and to its units. It consists of making the right decisions that correspond with reality. For example, when there is a conflict, it is always fair to respect rights and render justice to the person who deserves it. Justice also applies in the areas of money and finance.

Application Activities 3.1

Do you think it is possible to be at the same time a good Christian and a good citizen? Justify your answer.

3.2. Duties of Christians

Learning Activity 3.2

1. Do you remember what the kingdom of God entails and the kind of people who will inherit it? Discuss them briefly.

2.

3. As a Christian, would you like to inherit/to go to the kingdom of God?

4. If yes, in detailed manner, as a Christian, list down what you do in order to inherit the kingdom of God.

5. Are there similarities between what you have to do in order to inherit the kingdom of God and what a good Rwandan citizen should do?

Every citizen of any country has certain obligations that they are required to fulfill. These vary from country to country. It is almost the same in the kingdom of God. We have duties and obligations to accomplish.

a) To be Good Citizen

Good citizenship means to conduct oneself in accordance with the rights, duties and privileges as an inhabitant of a country. A person might be a citizen in a certain geographical location by means of birth or naturalization. The respect of rules is a must. The Bible says: «Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God » (Romans 13:1).

b) To be peacemakers

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).

c) To show a spirit of gentleness and humble to all

«Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand » (Philippians 4:5).Christians must be careful of what they say and their actions. They must be ready to accomplish every good work (Matthew 5:16; James 3:5-6):

• «Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven » (Matthew 5:16).

• Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles and the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell” (James 3:5-6).

3.2.1 Duties of Christians towards the Society

Christians must be a unique people in every society in which they live. At times, they are involved in the world system where they cannot easily distinguish between the kingdom of God and earthly kingdoms. Also, the society may fail to recognize Christians as real representatives of God’s eternal kingdom. Therefore, Christians must understand that they have a double role in the world: citizens and representatives of God’s kingdom. Otherwise, if they function according to the principles of this world, they forget that God’s kingdom is in opposition to worldly kingdoms. Then, they loose their uniqueness.

Christians should raise moral objection against oppression, injustice and corruption. They should seek to redress the oppressed and protection for the vulnerable. Christians must be the salt and the light not just in what they say, but also in their life example. They need actions that correspond with their words. For example, Christians not only advocated for the abolition of slavery in the United States but helped to also establish the underground railroad that helped slaves escape from Southern plantations.

The advocacy on behalf of the weak goes on today as Christians speak out against abortion on behalf of those who have the least voice of all unborn children. Many others adopt children who need families, work to stop human trafficking, bring hope to those in prison, and care for the poor and needy because of their Christian faith. In doing so, these Christians act as salt and light helping society see, hear and understand the standard of righteousness and justice found in the Bible (Matthew 5:13-16).

3.2.2 Duties of Christians towards the Church

God has established three major institutions on this earth: the family, civil government and the church. It is the local church which has been commissioned by God to carry out His purposes in preaching the Gospel and reaching to the lost. Therefore, God’s plan for a Christian is better fulfilled when connected with the church.

a) Practice Biblical Discipline

When a believer identifies with the church, they place themselves under the discipline of the Word of God. The preaching or prophesying of the Word of God aims at encouraging and consolation of believers (1 Corinthians 14:3). In order for people to stay under the discipline of the Word of God they may get involved in regular attendance at the preaching services and participation in some kind of consistent Bible study, including the Sunday school or Sabbath School. Every church should have a Christian education program that has a systematic, comprehensive coverage of Bible content, doctrine and life expectation.

Another reason people identify with the church is to develop their spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit has given spiritual gifts to every Christian (1 Corinthians 12:11). These gifts were given for the benefit of the church as a whole (1 Corinthians 12:14-27). As every believer has a spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 7:7), it is important that they all identify with a church where they can exercise that gift in ministry.

c) Worship the Lord

A purpose of the New Testament church is to glorify God and help every believer worship God (Luke 24:52-53; John. 4:23-24; Acts 2:47). Worship is not an option but an obligation. It is giving to God the worth due to Him. Worship is done for the reason of magnifying God, but not in search for man’s needs. Since God wants worship from man individually and corporately (John 4:23-24), it remains the duty of the church to worship him together.

d) Fellowship with Others

The church is also a place for fellowship. The gospel unites believers from various backgrounds in Christ, thus providing a basis upon which fellowship can occur (Galatians 3:27-28). Biblical fellowship consists of caring for the needs and concerns of one another.

Application Activities 3.2:

What does to be the salt and light of the world mean to a Christian?

3.3 Spiritual norms and human freedom

Learning Activity 3.3

1. Discuss the role of rules and regulations in a community/society.

2. Identify some social regulations at school and mention their importance.

The norms, freedom and responsibility are inseparably linked. God’s authority establishes freedom; freedom requires responsibility; responsibility protects freedom and restrains authority.

To be led by the Spirit in this manner demands that we spend time in prayer: praising, repenting, begging, thanking. We must also spend time listening quietly (meditation). For example, prophets and apostles made prayers in this manner:

• Speak, Lord, your servant is listening (1 Sam 3:10).

• Lord, what am I to do? (Acts 22:10).

• Worship him, in a way that is worthy of thinking beings, by offering your living bodies as a holy sacrifice, truly pleasing to God. Do not model yourselves on the behavior of the world around you, but let your behavior change modeled by your own mind» (Rom 12:1 -2. John 8:32-26; 2 Corinthians 3:17).

The spiritual norms, divine laws as well as God’s commandments are fixed to de-velop social, moral and spiritual values. We are no longer slaves of laws (Rom 7:6). By Faith and Obedience to God’s laws we become righteous. Human being is at the same time social and Religious. He must then enjoy his freedom simultaneously observing social and spiritual norms.

Application Activity 3.3

Some students believe that they are free when there is no teacher or any other authority, and they are free to do whatever they want. What is your point of view? Justify.

3.4 Christian Freedom and the Societal Rules

Learning Activity: 3.4

According to you? What is freedom? Identify things that show that an individual is free?

In the Old Testament, God gave to his people very specific laws and regulations to guide them in their living. He gave them laws and procedures for dealing with everyday life. For instance: preventing infectious diseases such as mildew, rules for farming, for a Sabbath day, how to punish specific crimes, and how to conduct international relations. Specific instructions on worship and sacrifice were prescribed too. These laws were meant to keep Israel together as a nation and prepare for the coming Saviour.

Almost 2,000 years ago, the Saviour came and fulfilled God’s law for all people. Through faith, believers are justified by grace and forgiven from the past sins. They no longer have any specific restrictions for living and regulations for worship. They can live and worship in any way that pleases God. That is what we call Christian freedom (Galatians 5:13).

a) Freedom is not an authorization to Sin.

In situations where we have a right of choice, God has given us instructions so that we can make wise decisions as we exercise our Christian freedom. Christians are not supposed to use their Christian freedom as a license to sin (Galatians 5:13; Romans 6:1-14; 2 Peter 2:20-21). Even when Christ paid for our sins, Christians are not supposed to continue sinning against Christ (Romans 7:22; Galatians 5:16-18; Psalm 119). Also, as Christians live freely for God, they will not allow themselves to «be mastered by anything» (1 Corinthians 6:12).

This means they are not to fall into anything that is harmful to themselves, such as sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:13-20) or addiction. For example, being able to eat and to work is good, but indulging in food or working long hours to the point where either it is harmful to you or to your family physically or spiritually is an abuse of Christian freedom.

b) Standing Up for Your Freedom.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).

In fact, Christians can uphold the pure gospel by clinging to the freedom Christ has given them. Paul had to do so on his missionary journeys as he chose others to travel with him. When Paul took Timothy with him, he had him circumcised. Circumcision was commanded in God’s Old Testament law. So he would not be a stumbling block to the Jews he was trying to reach. However, he rejected the obligation to circumcise Titus lest that he does not contradict the Gospel message by putting a burden to the Gentiles.

c) Relationship between freedom and social norms.

A social norm is the accepted behaviour that an individual is expected to conform to in a particular group, community or culture. These norms often serve a useful purpose and create the foundation of correct behaviours. But freedom is not to do whatever you want. Even when a Christian is in Church, he/she lives in a society and cannot do whatever he/she wants. Therefore, to have freedom goes hand in hand with the respect of social norms.

Application Activity 3.4

Freedom is not an authorization to Sin. Discuss by giving tangibles examples.

3.5 The Christian Values towards Happiness and Peaceful Life

Learning Activity 3.5

What is the source of your Happiness and Peaceful life?

Historically, the Christian values refer to the values derived from the teachings of Jesus Christ. Happiness is the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.

a) Eight fundamental Christian social values

The following Eight fundamental Christian social values lead to happiness and peaceful life:

• Grace: Giving people more than they deserve.

• Hope: a guarantee of immunity from harm but a conviction that God is always present.

• Faith: to believe in something that is not yet seen.

• Love: means to show affection to others.

• Justice: A concept in favour of the disadvantaged.

• Joy: inward pleasant feeling.

• Service: support offered to another.

• Peace: not just the absence of fighting, but the state of positive living.

b) Some examples of Sources of Christian happiness

Christian happiness finds its foundation from the grace of loving and being loved by Jesus who offered his life for the world. It is expressed in the faith and hope for the following spiritual truths:• God is our perfect Father.

• We know Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.

• The Holy Spirit is sanctifying and empowering us.

• Our sins are forgiven.

• God lives in our hearts.

• We are justified and adopted into God’s world-wide and heaven-wide family.

• Everything is working together for our good.

• God is our guard and guide

• We have all the promises of God.

• Jesus has prepared a place for us in heaven and will welcome us there.

c) Peacemakers and the society

Peace and harmony come to those who strive for sustainable peace. We are called to be peacemakers, following the example of the supreme Peacemaker (Matthew 5:9). As Paul puts it, “if it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men» (Romans 12:18). The prayer for peace (peace of mind and peaceful relationship) is an essential recommendation and practice: «lead a quiet and peaceable life » (1Timothy 2:2); «Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus» (Philippians 4:6-7).

Application Activity 3.5

According to Matthew 5:43- 48, discuss how Christian students can be peacemakers at School and at home?

3.6 End Unit Assessment 3

End Unit Assessment 3

1. With specific examples of values, mention the difference between Christian and citizen.

2. Explain the benefits of observing the Christian and civic values in the society we live in.

3. As a Christian how would you be able to fulfill the duties and obligations towards the church and society?

4. What is the source of Happiness and Peaceful life of a Christian?

5. Read the following passage and discuss the aspects of peace: Romans 12:18; 1Timothy 2:2; Philippians 4:6-7.

• Key unit competence:

The learner will be able to make informed choices related to their relationships and in the light of their faith

Learning Objectives:

• Identify the biological, social, moral, psychological and spiritual aspects of human sexuality.

• Recall the meaning of relationship and friendship.

• Identify different forms of sexual abuse and sexual violence.

• Establish the relationship between human sexuality, friendship, love, and relationships.

• Distinguish right from wrong behavior vis-à-vis human sexuality.

• Make right and sound judgment and choices about sexual issues.

• Talk straight on sex issues.

• Show respect and protection of human sexuality in the society.

• Resist peer influence that may lead to abuse and violence as well as related sins.

• Act morally and have righteous behavior in the society and health habits.

• Build a good relationship with God and community.

Introductory Activities 4:

1. Do you have friends? What is the purpose of friendship? Identify things which would distinguish a good friend from a bad one?

2. Some people of opposite sex equate love with sex? What is your position?

3. Based on Hebrews 13:

4, explain how human sexuality is relevant and show its limits.

Human sexuality is a part of our total personality. It involves the interrelationship of biological, psychological, and sociocultural dimensions. The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) defines human sexuality as encompassing the sexual knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, values, and behaviors of individuals(SIECUS, 2005). Therefore, the various dimensions of human sexuality include the anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry of the sexual response system. Sexuality is about identity, orientation, roles, and personality, thoughts, feelings and relationships. The expression of sexuality is influenced by ethical, spiritual, cultural and moral concerns.

Reasons to Study Human Sexuality: There are many reasons for studying human sexuality, including:

• Obtaining accurate sexual knowledge.

• Clarifying personal values.

• Improving sexual decision making.

• Learning the relationship between human sexuality and personal well-being, and exploring how the varied dimensions of human sexuality influence one’s sexuality.

4.1 Human Friendship and Love

Learning Activity 4.1

Observe the picture below and then give answers to the following questions.

Friendship is the foundation of any good relationship. Whether you are searching for friends or maintain the ones you have, friendship is important in any human life. This is also why Christian teens need to work at keeping their friendships strong. Think of the traits that are important in any relationship like honesty and trust, and then apply to your friends. Avoiding pitfalls like gossip and lying will take you a long way in building friendships that last a lifetime.

Human friendship and love bring the question about many sexual issues: sexual attraction, sexual desire and drives, pleasure, sexual activity, puberty and adolescent sexuality, procreation, emotion and feelings. All these start by friendship which can be good or bad.

To have good friends you must be a good friend too. Most people need good friends but forget that they should also manage to be good friends for others. Here are some of the ways good friends treat each other. The following are qualities of good friends:

• listen to each other,

• do not hurt each other’s feelings,

• try to understand

• help solve problems

• give compliments

• can disagree without hurting one another

• are dependable, respectful and trustworthy.

• care about each other.Contrary, bad friends put sex on the first point of their agenda.

They push their peers to commit adultery, to use drugs, alcoholic drinks, and other several kinds of misbehavior. These put sexual health in danger.Occasions where friendship can be easily formed may include school (classmates), at work, in the training, through games and playing, through trading and business, in music and entertainment; while in prayers, choir, meetings, etc.

Definition of Key Terms

• Sexuality means sexual feelings, sexual attitudes and sexual activities. Sexuality is part of human being. It affects all the human aspects: social, physical, psychology, spiritual, moral, economic, etc. Sexuality has been in God’s plan since the creation (Genesis 1:27) and it is among blessings (Genesis 1:28; Hebrew 13: 4).

• Sex: Genital organ used to urinate and reproduce.

• Friend: Someone who you know well and you like, who is not member of your family.

• Friendship: Relationship between two friends.

• Love: Strong attraction to someone in emotional and sexual way. Sometimes love targets a purpose (e.g. marriage). Love can be romantic feelings.

• Lover: A person that someone has a sexual relationship with.

• Lovely: someone who is attractive, enjoyable and beautiful.

• Romantic: That makes you have feelings of love, show signs of love; that excites you.

• Sexual attraction and drives (also called libido): It is the inside energy that pushes a person to the sexual activity with another of different sex.

• Sexual desire and sexual pleasure: It is a desire to satisfy the sexual impulsion. It is sexual lust that aims at fulfilling the sexual joy got from sexual activity.

• Sexual activity: Sexual intercourse, sexual relationship. The sexual union done between a man and woman. It is reserved for responsible and mature people.

• Procreation: It is one of the purposes of sexuality. It concerns with human reproduction. It goes together with integral education of children (Genesis1:28).

• Sexual emotion and feeling: Internal and external sexual reactions about sexuality.

Types of Love

Love is the foundation stone of healthy relationships. When extended to your family, love has several manifestations. In life, there is nothing more satisfying and emotionally pleasing than the ability to love and be loved in return. Love has been given different names. Eros, Storge, Pragma, Agape, Ludus, and Mania. The six types of love demonstrate the passion and intention of how we love each other.

1. Eros (the passionate love)

Eros is mainly based on sexual attraction. It is a type of love in which the top priority is given to desire, physical attraction, physical appearance, and romance. The levels of passion and physical intimacy are high. People who love in this way are very charged up, emotional, about their relationship initially, but as time passes, the intensity reduces.

2. Storge (an emotional bonding)

This form concerns the family love. The love children feel for their parents and siblings is what constitutes storge. This is also the love parents naturally feel for their children. It is based on natural feelings and effortless love. It is the love that knows forgiveness, acceptance and sacrifice. It is the one that makes you feel secure,comfortable and safe.

3. Philia (Love of the mind)

It is known as brotherly and sincere love. It is more valuable and more respected than Eros. Philia exists when people share the same values and character.

4. Pragma (the need-based love)

Pragma focuses more on needs and wants such as educational qualifications, professions, income, social status, common hobbies, parental possessions, material belongings, etc. Partners measure their satisfaction in the relationship as per convenience.

5. Agape (the divine love)

Agape is considered to be the purest form of love. It promotes brotherly affection and love for each other. In fact, it is exactly what all religions have been trying to teach. It is basically love for all around us. The Bible mentions this love: “If a person has material resources and the love (agape) of God within him, his heart will take care of his brother who is in need (1 John 3:17). It is the selfless, unconditional and compassionate love.

6. Ludus (the euphoric love)

People who have this kind of love tend to give up on relationship as soon as the initial excitement is over. A ludus lover does not work toward a long-term commitment, and feels a form of pleasure only in the initial days of the relationship.

7. Philautia (Love of the self )

Philautia is divided into two kinds. There is one that is pure selfish and seeks pleasure, fame, and wealth. Another kind of love is the healthy one we give ourselves. Therefore, Philautia is essential for any relationship; we can only love others if we truly love ourselves and we can only care for others if we truly care for ourselves.

8. Mania (the obsessive love)

This is the worst form of love. It is full of extreme reactions like insecurity, jealousy, obsession, compulsion, and unrealistic demands. While a partner may feel important initially thinking that his/her partner is so dedicated to him/her, it might be different.

Human Development stage

Human sexuality is expressed differently in accordance with the stages of human development. The stages of human development are the followings:

• Infancy: between 0-6 years old

• Childhood: between 7-11 years old

• Puberty: between 12-14 years old (pre-adolescence)

• Adolescence: between 12-20 years old

• Adulthood: 21 years old and above

Application Activity: 4.1

A. What are the qualities of a good friend?B. Answer by True or False:

1. Sexual activity means Sexual intercourse, sexual relationship.

2. Friendship is relationship between two friends.

3. Sexuality means simply sexual activity.

C. Fill in the right answer:

• The unconditional love is called..........................................

• The love for parents is called .................................

• Love based on needs and wants is called.....................................

• Eros means ....................................................................

D. Mention the stages of human development.

E. Why is it important to know about human sexuality as a Christian?

4.2 Religious View of Human Sexuality

Learning Activity 4.2

Observe carefully this picture and describe it.

According to the biblical view, human sexuality is a gift from God. From the beginning, human identity is based on the Word of God. The Human beings (male and female) were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). The complementarity is the goal of any relationship, especially between two people of opposite sex. God affirms the first couple as very good (Genesis 1:31). We therefore affirm human sexuality to be a gift of God. By God’s grace, human sexuality enriches and fulfils our personhood.

This understanding of human sexuality is reflected in the teaching of Jesus Himself. Our Lord Jesus addressed matters of human sexuality and marriage on several occasions.

Application Activity 4.2

1. Provide 3 biblical verses which highlight human sexuality. One should be from the Old Testament, one from theGospels and another from other books of the New Testaments.

2. According to Genesis 1:27, how should we value man and woman?

4.3 Biblical View on Sexual Abuse and Violence

Learning Activity: 4.3

Observe and describe the following picture.

Meaning of Sexual Abuse and Violence

Sexual abuse is referred to as undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another. It is often perpetrated using force or by taking advantage of another. When force is immediate, for a short duration, it is called_sexual assault. The offender is referred to as a sexual abuser. Any behavior by an adult towards a child to stimulate themselves sexually is referred to as sexual abuse.

Sexual violence is defined as any sexual act or its attempt and unwanted sexual comments/advances against a person’s sexuality using coercion by any person regardless of their relationship. Apart from physical force, it may involve psychological intimidation threats like being dismissed from a job. It may also occur when the abused person is unable to give consent. For instance, while drunk, drugged, asleep or mentally incapable of understanding the situation. Sexual violence includes also rape, defined as physically forced or coerced penetration of the anus, using a penis or any other body parts. Rape of a person by two or more perpetrators is known as gang rape. In brief, Sexual violence and abuse is any behavior of a sexual nature which is unwanted and takes place without consent or understanding.

Biblical View of Sexual Violence in both Testaments

The Bible is clearly against sexual violence and abuse. The Old Testament contains tragic stories of sexual abuse, rape, and incest. In the book of 2 Samuel, Amnon the son of David forced his sister Tamar to have sex with him (2 Samuel 13:11-12, 14, 20). Tamar remained desolate in her brother’s house. She was locked in the si-lence, shame, violation and trauma of the abuse. She suffered at the hands of her half-brother.

The most biblical examples of incest occurred before the laws were given. The story of Lot and his daughters in Genesis 19:30–38 is also another form of sexual abuse. The two daughters of Lot decided to make their father drink wine and then lie with him, that they may preserve the family line through their father. The New Testament shows that adultery and sexual immorality will be judged. It also recommends the respect for marriage: “marriage should be honored by everybody(Heb.13:4). Therefore, any form of sexual abuse and violence is prohibited because it does not glorify God and His people.

Application Activity 4.3:

1. Find and read from the Bible 3 passages about sexual abuse and violence.

2. Explain in your words sexual abuse and sexual violence

Case study: Read and answer questions A young girl from the village has some pimples on her face skin caused by physiological changes of her body. A married Man told her that to be safe from that disease, she must accept to have sex with him. Is this a sexual violence and abuse? Discuss, identify other myths in the society that mislead young people

4.4 Different Aspects of Human Sexuality

Learning Activity 4.4

1. Provide your own understanding on the aspects of human sexuality. Explain your ideas with examples:

2. Biological aspects ( physiological)

3. Socio-cultural aspects

4. Moral aspects

5. Psychological aspects

6. Spiritual aspects.

Human sexuality has different aspects to be taken into consideration: biological, psychological, moral, spiritual and socio-cultural.

Biological Aspects of Human Sexuality

With regard to its biological aspects, human sexuality is the means through which a child is conceived and the lineage is passed on to the next generation.

Psychological Aspects of Human Sexuality

Considering its psychological dimension, sexuality is the means to express the fullness of love between a man and a woman.

Spiritual Aspects of Human Sexuality

Sexuality is a gift from God in order to express love between wife and husband and increase the health and satisfaction of marriage: “ Therefore, a man leaves his father and his mother and live with his wife, and they become one flesh (Genesis 2:24, Proverbs 5:18-19). Thus, sexuality helps to appreciate the goodness of God for having provided this gift. Note that sex out marriage is not allowed. Many churches condemn extramarital sex as sinful. You shall not commit adultery (Deuteronomy 5:18). Even sexual attraction to anyone who is not one’s spouse is condemnable (Matthew 5: 28).

Socio-Cultural Aspects of Sexuality

The socio-cultural dimension of sexuality is the sum of the cultural and social influences that affect our thoughts and actions. Among the sources of influence are religion, multiculturalism, socioeconomic status, ethics, the media, and politics.

• Religious Influences

Religious and spiritual beliefs influence feelings about morality, sexual behavior, sexual access and frequency, premarital sexual behavior, adultery, divorce, contraception, abortion, and masturbation, etc.

• Ethics Influences:

The ethics of sexuality involves questioning the way we treat ourselves and other people.

• Media Influences

It has long been recognized that the media helps shape public attitudes on many topics such as sexuality, gender roles, sexual behaviors, etc. In many cases, the illustrations of sexuality we encounter in the media are mainly for entertainment and advertisement. Consequently, media do not provide us with realistic illustration. However, human sexuality is again much more developed in newspapers, radios, internet, etc.

• Multicultural Influences

Cultures differ in their views of sexuality. The respect of cultural beliefs enables one to develop the ability of handling sexuality issues and behaviours. For example, the accepted age for marriage, criteria for choosing a partner, etc. depends on the culture.

• Socio-economic Influences

Socio-economic status and education influence sexual attitudes and behaviors. Low-income individuals often think and act differently from middle-class individuals. Some sexual behaviours are indicators of educational level. Examples, educated families tend to have spaced children compared to uneducated families. Socioeconomic status influences more than just sexual activities. The poor have less access to proper health care, birth control, and care during pregnancy, day care for children, and positive sexual role models.

• Political Influences

Public policy and measures affect our sexual behavior. Various political means can be used to try to influence sexuality. e.g. projects attempting to use health promotion to establish AIDS and STI awareness, decrease unwanted teenage pregnancies, and increase the number of women who receive prenatal care.

Application Activity 4.4:

1. Mention and explain different socio-cultural influences on sexuality.

2. Give and explain the kind of sexual behaviours you consider to be prohibited in your community.

3. It is said that human sexuality affects and is affected by socio-cultural influences. Explain this assertion and give two concrete examples.

4.5 Relationships and Marriage in the Christian Faith

Learning Activity 4.5

Describe these pictures and tell what they are about.

Relationships in the Christian Faith

Christians believe that every human being has been created with the ability to relate with others. Relationships are vital to man, yet they seem to be more unstable than ever before. We must realize that our relationship with God directly affects our relationship with people. Vertical and horizontal relationships are very important. Consequently, we must develop our our relationship with God, which will enhance our relationships with people. We must guard and protect our relationships in the home, in the church, on the job, and in the marketplace by becoming more intimate with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

• Vertical Relationship

The vertical relationship links man to God. Our vertical relationship with God is marked by an unconditional love and is based on grace. He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for our sins. Nothing will ever separate us from His love. God wants us to do certain things and have certain behaviors, but the greatest commandment of all is to love God with all our being (Matthew 22: 37-38). Our relationship with God is to be characterized by love. He has already shown us his love and we have to love for him too. Our obedience and behavior should be motivated by love.

• Horizontal Relationship

Horizontal relationship is between man and man. Relationships with other people are what we are most familiar with. These horizontal relationships with people bear some differences to the vertical relationship. The way we behave to one another can make or break our relationship. In horizontal relationships, there is a some obligations to fulfill in order to maintain the relationship.

• Reconciliation and Relationship

Reconciliation means to make peace between people who used to be enemies. The gospel states that people who were once enemies of God, are now on good terms with him. Reconciliation helps us to make relationship with God and we have been set free through Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:21-22).The Scripture describes an interactive relationship with God. This reality of interactive relationship has been expressed by Jesus in John 17: 20-21. The intimacy of this relationship is shown further by the fact that God lives within us. If we accept Christ as our Savior, his Spirit lives within us.

• Relationship between Vertical and Horizontal Relationship

There is a close connection between the vertical and horizontal relationship. The vertical fellowship with the Lord is affected by our horizontal fellowship with others. We should be in the divine fellowship, vertically and horizontally. For example, if we have a quarrel with our partners, husband or wife, our roommate, we will find it difficult to start our vertical fellowship with the Lord. Thus, it is important to maintain both the vertical and horizontal aspects of the fellowship in order to be healthy spiritually.Jesus expressed this relationship in terms of love to God and to the neighbor (Mark 12:30-31). His teaching has been repeatedly used by the apostle John: “If anyone says I love God, yet hates his brother he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God who he has not seen” (1John4:20).

Marriage in the Christian Faith

Marriage may be defined as lifelong and exclusive state in which a man and a woman are wholly committed to live with each other in sexual relationship under the conditions normally approved by their social group or society. The Christian marriage or Holy Matrimony was instituted and ordained by God. A man and woman are united together and become one fresh (Genesis 1: 27- 28; 2:24). God never desired people to divorce as we read in Malachi 2: 15-16.

Marriage is a life-long commitment (Romans 7:1-3). When two people are lawfully married, God recognizes that union and joins them together (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:5; Ephesians 5:31; Matthew 19:6). They stay bound until death do them part (Romans 7:2; 1). In fact, God had planned to provide a relationship whereby both partners can fulfill one another’s need for companionship.

In God’s plan, marriage provides a forum for successfully raising children. A child is much more likely to grow up to become a good citizen and a child of God from a home that is stable and spiritual. Marriage prevents immorality to married couple (Hebrews 13:4). The Marriage helps to develop our spiritual lives. In fact, it serves as a model of our relationship with Christ (Ephesians 5:22-320).

Application Activities 5.5:

1. Give reasons why marriage is important in the Christian faith.

2. The list below contains the ten commandments of God (Ex 20:2-17). Based on the simple definition of vertical and horizontal relationship of the divine fellowship, divide these 10 commandments into 2 categories in accordance with vertical and horizontal relationship.

Ten Commandments List

1. You shall have no other gods before Me.

2. You shall make no idols.

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

4. Keep the Sabbath day holy.

6. You shall not murder.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

10.You shall not covet.

4.6 Sexual and Reproductive Health

Learning Activity 4.6

What comes in your mind when they say” Sexual and Reproductive Health”?Write down your answers filling the following table:

All individuals have the right to have a responsible, satisfying and safe sex life. They have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide. All men and women have the right to access the appropriate health services including the access to safe, effective, affordable methods of fertility regulation of their choice. This will enable women to go through pregnancy and childbirth safely.

Sexual Health

Sexual health is the ability to embrace and enjoy our sexuality throughout our lives. It is an important part of our physical and emotional health.

According to the World Health Organization:

A central aspect of being human throughout life encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles and relationships. While sexuality can include all of these dimensions, not all of them are always experienced or expressed. Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors. (WHO, 2006 a)

The following steps can help individuals achieve good sexual health:

• Value who you are and decide what’s right for you

• Treat your partners well and expect them to treat you well

• Build positive relationships

• Make sexual health part of your healthcare routine

• Understand that sexuality is a natural part of life and involves more than sex-ual behavior.

• Recognize and respect the sexual rights we all share.

• Make an effort to prevent unintended pregnancies and STDs, seek care and treatment whenever needed.

• Be able to communicate about sexual health with others including sexual partners and healthcare providers.

Reproductive Health

Reproduction is the process by which organisms make more organisms like themselves. According to WHO (World Health Organization), reproductive health care is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing. It is not merely the absence of diseases or infirmity in all matters relating to reproductive system its functions and processes.

In human reproductive process, two kinds of sex cells or gametes are involved. The male gamete (sperm) and the female gamete (egg or ovum) meet in the female’s reproductive system. When the sperm fertilizes or meets the egg, this fertilized egg is called the zygote. The zygote goes through a process of becoming an embryo and developing into a fetus. Both the male and female reproductive systems are essential for reproduction.

Some girls might experience reproductive system problems, such as:

• Problems of the Vulva and Vagina: Vulvovaginitis, Nonmenstrual vaginal bleeding and Labial adhesions.

• Problems of the Ovaries and Fallopian Tubes: Ectopic pregnancy, Endometri-osis, Ovarian tumors, Ovarian cysts, Polycystic ovary syndrome and Ovar-ian torsion.

• Menstrual Problems: A variety of menstrual problems can affect girls, includ-ing:

Dysmenorrhea is when a girl has painful periods.

Menorrhagia is when a girl has very heavy periods with excess bleeding.

• Oligomenorrhea is when a girl misses or has infrequent periods, even though she’s been menstruating for a while and is not pregnant.

• Amenorrhea is when a girl has not started her period by the time she is 16 years old or 3 years after starting puberty, has not developed signs of puberty by age 14, or has had normal periods but has stopped menstruating for some reason other than pregnancy.

• Infections of the Female Reproductive System:Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also called sexually transmitted infections (STIs), these include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), human papillomavirus (HPV, or genital warts), syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and genital herpes (HSV). Most are spread from one person to another by sexual contact.

Whenever you think you may have symptoms of a problem with your reproductive system or if you have questions about your growth and development, talk to your doctor. In fact, many problems with the female reproductive system can be treated.

The reproductive health is made of the following components:

• Safe motherhood (maternal and child health)

• Family planning

• Infertility an reproductive disorders -Prevention and management

• Infant and child survival, growth and development

• Menopause and osteoporosis

• Prevention and management of reproductive cancers, STIs &HIV/AIDS

• Abortion-including the prevention and management.

Application Activity 4.6:

Case study: A family has four children; two girls and two boys. One of their children was born with physical disability. Unfortunately, the husband passes a lot of time blaming his wife that she gave birth to a child with disability. Which advice should you give to that husband?

In your own words, explain sexual health and reproductive health.

4.7 End unit assessment 4

Unit Assessment 4 Questions

1. Human sexuality is expressed differently in accordance with the stages of human development. Mention the five main stages of human development.

2. Answer the following questions by true or false:

a. Sex can refer to sexual organ or sexual activity.

b. Reproduction is the process by which organisms make more organisms like themselves.

c. The Bible is against sexuality because this can cause adultery.d. The vertical relationship of divine fellowship is between man and man.

3. Based on 1 John 4: 20 and Mark 12; 30-31, explain the complementarity between vertical relationship and horizontal relationship.

4. Christian churches condemn extramarital sex (Mt 5: 28). Explain why?

5. Illustrate the biblical view of marriage with explanations.

• SPECIFIC UNITS FOR CATHOLICS

Key Unit Competence:

The learner will be able to discuss the major periods of the Catholic Liturgical year and appraise their importance.

Learning objectives:

• Differentiate the major periods of the Catholic Liturgical year.

• State the importance of the major periods of the Catholic Liturgical year.

• Outline different feasts in each Liturgical season

• Establish the relationship between the major periods of the Catholic Liturgical year.

• Describe the importance of the major periods of the Catholic Liturgical year.

• Explain the obligations based on the major periods of the Catholic Liturgical year

• Appreciate the importance of the major periods of the Catholic Liturgical year.

• Celebrate the Christian festivals in Catholic Liturgical year and also help others to celebrate.

Introductory activity 5

Some countries have a cycle of seasons: autumn, winter, spring and summer. In Rwanda we have a year with two main seasons: wet and dry seasons. What makes a difference between the two seasons? Farmers should pay attention when the wet or dry season is near. In the same way, the Catholic Church has a liturgical year whose seasons must be carefully observed. Can you tell those seasons? What is the expected behaviour during each season?

5.1 Major periods of the Catholic Liturgical year Learning

Activity 5.1: Provide answers to these questions.

1. during Mass we see different cloths of different colours. Priests also change the liturgical garments? Why do you think so? Identify colours that are worn and the time in which these colours are used.

The catholic Liturgical Year is defined as cycle-seasons including the ordinary times and the high times/ strong times. During the high time seasons, the Catholic Church celebratesthe high feasts and the great memories of the Saints. The Catholic Liturgical Year starts with the first week of the Advent in November. It ends in the next November at the feast of Christ the King. Remember the highest feast of the Liturgical Year is Easter (the celebration of Mystery of our Salvation through Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ). In the Liturgical Year, there are specific colours used according to the seasons. The illustration below shows the cycle of Catholic Liturgical Year with the high times and the Ordinary times.

Application activity 5.1:

1. If you enter in catholic chapel, how will you know the period of liturgical year?

2. Why are some periods of liturgical year called high times?

3. What lesson do you learn from the life of martyrs that can help you in your Christian life?

5.2 The importance of High and ordinary times

Learning Activity 5.2:Provide answers to these questions

Suppose your birthday is about and you want to invite your friends and neigh-bours. Write down your preparatory activities and why you celebrate your birthday? How do we prepare for the high times and why is it important to celebrate the events below:

a) Easter

b) Christmas-Day.

High Times and their Importance:

The word “advent” means waiting or preparation. Advent is a season of four weeks. The Advent starts with the Sunday following the feast of “Christ the King” and ends on evening of Christmas Eve (24th December). The last eight days of Advent lead to the joy of Christmas Day. They are called Christmas Octave. The Advent is an important period for Christians because they get opportunity to prepare for the purification of hearts. The required Christian activities are then: praying, helping, repentance and fasting.Example of Saints Days during the Advent period

• 25 November: Saint Catherine of Alexandria: Optiomal Memorial

• 30 November: Saint Andrew the Apostle : Feast

Last Sunday in Ordinary Time (last Sunday before 27 November): Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe : Solemnity

December

• December: Saint Francis Xavier, priest : Memorial

• December: Saint John Damascene, priest and doctor : Optional Memorial

• 6 December: Saint Nicholas, bishop :Optional Memorial

• 7 December: Saint Ambrose, bishop and doctor : Memorial

• 8 December: Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary : Solemnity

• 9 December: Saint Juan Diego : Optional Memorial

• 11 December: Saint Damasus I, pope: Optional Memorial

• 13 December: Saint Lucy of Syracuse, virgin and martyr: Memorial

• 14 December: Saint John of the Cross, priest and doctor: Memorial

• 21 December: Saint Peter Canisius, priest and doctor: Optional Memorial

• 23 December: Saint John of Kanty, priest: Optional Memorial

• Christmas time

The period of Christmas or Christmas Time starts with the evening of Christmas-Eve and it ends with the feast of Baptism of our Lord. The Christmas season immediately follows Advent. The birth of Christ is celebrated on Christmas Day. The hearts of believers are full of joy because the Saviour is born. In Liturgical season of the Christmas, the white colour is used.

There are three feasts that follow the Christmas Day:

• Holy Family of Nazareth (first Sunday after Christmas);

• Feast of Epiphany

• The baptism of the Lord. The Christmas season is important period because Christians deeply understand the process of their Salvation through the incarnation of the Word (Jesus Christ). It is a period from Christmas Eve (evening of 24 December) to the Sunday after Epiphany or after 6 January.

Example of Saints Day during the Christmas time

• The saints Days 25 December: Nativity of the Lord (Solemnity)

• 26 December: Saint Stephen, the first martyr (Feast)

• 27 December: Saint John the Apostle and evangelist (Feast)

• 28 December: Holy Innocents, martyrs (Feast)

• 29 December: Saint Thomas Becket, bishop and martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 31 December: Saint Sylvester I, pope (Optional Memorial)

• 1 January: Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God (Solemnity)

• January: Saints Basil the Great andGregory Nazianzen, bishops and doctors (Memorial)

• January: The Most Holy Name of Jesus (Optional Memorial)

• 6 January: Epiphany (celebrated on the first Sunday after 1 January (Solemnity)

• 1st Sunday after Christmas-Day: Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph (Feast).

• Lent

The Lent period is a period of forty days before Easter. We find the number forty many times in the Bible: forty years of exodus, forty days Moses passed on the top of Sinai Mount; Jesus was tempted for forty days and nights, etc. The number forty can symbolize the period of training, of repentance or of receiving a mission. The Lent period starts with the day of Ash Wednesday and it ends on Palm Sunday. The liturgical colour during the Lent is purple. Lent is a major season for penitence and preparation for Easter. The main Christian activities during the Lent period are praying, helping, repentance and fasting. The week before Easter is called Holy Week. It starts with the Palm Sunday and it ends at Vigil Easter. The last three days in this week are called Easter Triduum:

• Holy Thursday: we remember the institution of the Eucharist and Jesus self-sacrifice.

• Good Friday: we remember and meditate on the implementation of our Salvation (suffering and death of Jesus).

• Holy Saturday:It reminds us that after Jesus was dead, He removed power from Satan while in the tomb.

During the Lent period, the liturgical readings introduce Christians with Jesus in order to rise with Him. Christians are called to feel their sinful condition and to die from sin.

Example of Saints Days during the Lent period

• 4 March: Saint Casimir (Optional Memorial)

• 7 March: Saints Perpetua and Felicity martyrs (Memorial)

• 8 March: Saint John of God, religious (Optional Memorial)

• 9 March: Saint Frances of Rome, religious (Optional Memorial)

• 17 March: Saint Patrick, bishop (Optional Memorial)

• 18 March: Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop and doctor (Optional Memorial)

• 19 March: Saint Joseph Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity)

• 23 March: Saint Turibius of Mogrovejo, bishop (Optional Memorial)

• 25 March: Annunciation of the Lord (Solemnity)

• Easter time

The Easter period starts in evening of Holy Saturday and it ends on the Pentecost. The Easter Time is a season in the liturgical year of Christianity that focuses on celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus Christ (the Liturgical colour used is white). During these fifty days, the Church celebrates Jesus’ victory over death, sin, suffering and Satan. This is the Season to rejoice in the new life obtained through the resurrection of the Saviour. The Church also commemorates various events that happened after the resurrection of Christ such as the apparition of Jesus to Apostles and ascension of Jesus.

Example of some Saints Days during the Easter time

• 13 April: Saint Martin I, pope and martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 21 April: Saint Anselm of Canterbury, bishop and doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)

• 23 April: Saint George, martyr, or Saint Adalbert, bishop and martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 24 April: Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen, priest and martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 25 April: Saint Mark the Evangelist (Feast)

• 28 April: Saint Peter Chanel, priest and martyr; or Saint Louis Grignon de Montfort, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 29 April: Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin and doctor of the Church (Memorial)

• 30 April: Saint Pius V, pope (Optional Memorial)

May

• 1 May: Saint Joseph the Worker (Optional Memorial)

• May: Saint Athanasius, bishop and doctor (Memorial)

• May: Saints Philip and James, Apostles (Feast)

• 12 May: Saints Nereus and Achilleus, martyrs or Saint Pancras, martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 13 May: Our Lady of Fatima (Optional Memorial)

• 14 May: Saint Matthias the Apostle (Feast)

• 18 May: Saint John I, pope and martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 20 May: Saint Bernardine of Siena, priest (Optional Memorial)

The ordinary times and their importance

The term Ordinary means what is not special. Ordinary Time refers to two periods that fall outside the major liturgical seasons. The first short ordinary time starts with the Baptism of the Lord up to Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. The second Long Ordinary time starts with Monday of Pentecost up to the Feast of Christ the King.The Ordinary time is a period in which we live our Christian lives without feasting like in Christmas and Easter season. However, it is the time for vigilance and the preparation for the second coming of Jesus. Thus, during the Ordinary time Christians believe that the Lamb of God walks among them and transforms their lives.

Example of Saints Day in Short Ordinary time:

• 20 January: Saint Fabian, pope and martyr; or Saint Sebastian, martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 21 January: Saint Agnes, virgin and martyr (Memorial)

• 22 January: Saint Vincent, deacon and martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 24 January: Saint Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor (Memorial)

• 25 January: The Conversion of Saint Paul, apostle (Feast)

• 26 January: Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops (Memorial)

• 27 January: Saint Angela Merici, virgin (Optional Memorial)

• 28 January: Saint Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor (Memorial)

• 31 January: Saint John Bosco, priest (Memorial)

• Sunday after Epiphany (or, if Epiphany is celebrated on 7 or 8 January, the following Monday): Baptism of the Lord (Feast)

February

• 2 February: Presentation of the Lord (Feast)

• 3 February: Saint Blase, bishop and martyr, or Saint Ansgar, bishop (Optional Memorial)

• 5 February: Saint Agatha, virgin and martyr (Memorial)

• 6 February: Saints Paul Miki and companions, martyrs (Memorial)

• 8 February: Saint Jerome Emiliani, priest, or Saint Josephine Bakhita, virgin (Optional Memorial)

• 10 February: Saint Scholastica, virgin (Memorial)

• 11 February: Our Lady of Lourdes (Optional Memorial)

• 14 February: Saints Cyril, monk, and Methodius, bishop (Memorial)

• 17 February: Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order (Optional Memorial)

• 21 February: Saint Peter Damian, bishop and doctor of the Church (Optional Memorial)

• 22 February: Chair of Saint Peter, apostle (Feast)

• 23 February: Saint Polycarp, bishop and martyr (Memorial)

Example of Saints Day in Long ordinary Time

• 3 July: Saint Thomas the Apostle (Feast)

• 4 July: Saint Elizabeth of Portugal (Optional Memorial)

• 5 July: Saint Anthony Zaccaria, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 6 July: Saint Maria Goretti, virgin and martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 9 July: Saint Augustine Zhao Rong and companions, martyrs (Optional Memorial)

• 11 July: Saint Benedict, abbot (Memorial)

• 13 July: Saint Henry (Optional Memorial)

• 14 July: Saint Camillus de Lellis, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 15 July: Saint Bonaventure, bishop and doctor (Memorial)

• 16 July: Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Optional Memorial)

• 20 July: Saint Apollinaris, bishop and martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 21 July: Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, priest and doctor (Optional Memorial)

• 22 July: Saint Mary Magdalene (Feast)

• 23 July: Saint Birgitta, religious (Optional Memorial)

• 24 July: Saint Sharbel Makhluf, hermit (Optional Memorial)

• 25 July: Saint James, apostle (Feast)

• 26 July: Saints Joachim and Anne (Memorial)

• 29 July: Saint Martha (Memorial)

• 30 July: Saint Peter Chrysologus, bishop and doctor (Optional Memorial)

• 31 July: Saint Ignatius of Loyola, priest (Memorial)

August

• 1 August: Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, bishop and doctor of the Church (Memorial)

• 2 August: Saint Eusebius of Vercelli, bishop, or Saint Peter Julian Eymard, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 4 August: Saint Jean Vianney (the Curé of Ars), priest (Memorial)

• 5 August: Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary Major (Optional Memorial)

• 6 August: Transfiguration of the Lord (Feast)

• 7 August: Saint Sixtus II, pope, and companions, martyrs, or Saint Cajetan, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 8 August: Saint Dominic, priest (Memorial)

• 9 August: Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), virgin and martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 10 August: Saint Lawrence, deacon and martyr (Feast)

• 11 August: Saint Clare, virgin (Memorial)

• 12 August: Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, religious (Optional Memorial)

• 13 August: Saints Pontian, pope, and Hippolytus, priest, martyrs (Optional Memorial)

• 14 August: Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, priest and martyr (Memorial)

• 15 August: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity)

• 16 August: Saint Stephen of Hungary (Optional Memorial)

• 19 August: Saint John Eudes, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 20 August: Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot and doctor of the Church (Memorial)

• 21 August: Saint Pius X, pope (Memorial)

• 22 August: Queenship of Blessed Virgin Mary (Memorial)

• 23 August: Saint Rose of Lima, virgin (Optional Memorial)

• 24 August: Saint Bartholomew the Apostle (Feast)

• 25 August: Saint Louis or Saint Joseph of Calasanz, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 27 August: Saint Monica (Memorial)

• 28 August: Saint Augustine of Hippo, bishop and doctor of the Church (Me-morial)

• 29 August: The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, martyr (Memorial)

September

• 3 September: Saint Gregory the Great, pope and doctor (Memorial)

• 8 September: Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Feast)

• 9 September: Saint Peter Claver, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 12 September: Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Optional Memorial)

• 13 September: Saint John Chrysostom, bishop and doctor (Memorial)

• 14 September: Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Feast)

• 15 September: Our Lady of Sorrows (Memorial)

• 16 September: Saints Cornelius, pope, and Cyprian, bishop, martyrs (Memorial)

• 17 September: Saint Robert Bellarmine, bishop and doctor (Optional Memorial)

• 19 September: Saint Januarius, bishop and martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 20 September: Saint Andrew Kim Taegon, priest, and Paul Chong Hasang and companions, martyrs (Memorial)

• 21 September: Saint Matthew the Evangelist, Apostle, Evangelist (Feast)

• 23 September: Saint Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio), priest (Memorial)

• 26 September: Saints Cosmas and Damian, martyrs (Optional Memorial)

• 27 September: Saint Vincent de Paul, priest (Memorial)

• 28 September: Saint Wenceslaus, martyr or Saints Lawrence Ruiz and companions, martyrs (Optional Memorial)

• 29 September: Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Archangels (Feast)

• 30 September: Saint Jerome, priest and doctor (Memorial)

October

• 1 October: Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, virgin and doctor (Memorial)

• 2 October: Guardian Angels (Memorial)

• 4 October: Saint Francis of Assisi (Memorial)

• 6 October: Saint Bruno, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 7 October: Our Lady of the Rosary (Memorial)

• 9 October: Saint Denis and companions, martyrs or Saint John Leonardi, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 11 October: Saint John XXIII, pope (Optional Memorial)

• 14 October: Saint Callistus I, pope and martyr (Optional Memorial)

• 15 October: Saint Teresa of Jesus, virgin and doctor (Memorial)

• 16 October: Saint Hedwig, religious or Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, virgin (Optional Memorial)

• 17 October: Saint Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr (Memorial)

• 18 October: Saint Luke the Evangelist (Feast)

• 19 October: Saints Jean de Brébeuf, Isaac Jogues, priests and martyrs; and their companions, martyrs or Saint Paul of the Cross, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 22 October: Saint John Paul II, pope (Optional Memorial)

• 23 October: Saint John of Capistrano, priest (Optional Memorial)

• 24 October: Saint Anthony Mary Claret, bishop (Optional Memorial)

• 28 October: Saint Simon and Saint Jude, apostles (Feast)

November

• 1 November: All Saints (Solemnity)

• 2 November: All Souls (ranked with solemnities)

• 3 November: Saint Martin de Porres, religious (Optional Memorial)

• 4 November: Saint Charles Borromeo, bishop (Memorial)

• 9 November: Dedication of the Lateran basilica (Feast)

• 10 November: Saint Leo the Great, pope and doctor (Memorial)

• 11 November: Saint Martin of Tours, bishop (Memorial)

• 12 November: Saint Josaphat, bishop and martyr (Memorial)

• 15 November: Saint Albert the Great, bishop and doctor (Optional Memorial)

• 16 November: Saint Margaret of Scotland or Saint Gertrude the Great, virgin (Optional Memorial)

• 17 November: Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, religious (Memorial)

• 18 November: Dedication of the basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles (Optional Memorial)

Application Activity 5.2

1. Draw a table/diagram to classify the liturgical year periods in high and ordinary periods.

2. What are the Liturgical colours used during the following Liturgical periods:

a) Christmas time

b) ordinary time

c) Pentecost

3. What is the greatest feast in the liturgical year? Explain why.

5.3 Saints’ Days

Learning Activity 5.3

Can you mention categories in which the Rwandan heroes are classified? What values do you get from Rwandan heroes? The Church calls the Christian heroes “the saints”, those who have been loyal to Christ until their death. If your school has been dedicated to any Saint, who is he/she? What were his/her values?

The earliest feast days of saints were those of martyrs, venerated as having shown for Christ the greatest form of love. Saint Martin of Tours is said to be the first or at least one of the first non-martyrs to be venerated as a saint. The title “confessor” was used for such saints, who had confessed their faith in Christ by their lives rather than by their deaths. Martyrs are regarded as dying in the service of the Lord, and confessors are people who died natural deaths.

In the current ordinary form of the Roman Rite, feast days are ranked (in descending order of importance) as solemnities, feasts or memorials (obligatory or optional).The 1962 version, whose use is authorized by a decree of Pope John XXIII in 1960. The feasts are different according to their hierarchy of importance. A solemnity is a feast day of the highest rank in the liturgical calendar, celebrating a mystery of faith. It is an obligation and non-postponed feast for example the one of Mary Mother of God, Ascension, Assumption, All Saints, Immaculate Conception and the Trinity etc. They are only the memorials that have universal significance and must be observed by the whole Church and marked in the general liturgical calendar. The optional feasts are the elective feasts. They are voluntary celebrated.

The feast days of saints celebrated in one country are not necessarily celebrated everywhere. Likewise, a particular religious institute may celebrate its founder or members of the institute, even if that saint is not listed on the universal calendar.

Application Activity 5.3

1. By decreasing order of importance, arrange these categories of the Saints: obligatory memorials, solemnities and optional memories.

2. What virtues do learn from the Saints?

5.4 End Unit Assessment

End unit assessment 5: Questions

1. Describe each season of the Liturgical year and indicate the colour that is used.

2. Compare the Advent with the Lent period.

3. Mention any four solemnities feast in the Liturgical year.

4. Indicate the Saint days for: The Assumption, the Immaculate Conception, and Mary Mother of God.

• Key unit competence:

The learners will be able to explain the importance of the sanctifying graces of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Learning Objectives:

• State the relevance of the Sacrament of confirmation in the Christian`s life and in the Catholic Church.

• Identify the administration of Confirmation.

• Distinguish the gifts from Confirmation to other sacraments studied.

• Explain clearly the importance of the Sacrament of Confirmation.

• To appreciate the role of Sacrament of Confirmation.

• Show respect to the gifts of the Holy Spirit from the Sacrament of Confirmation

Introductory Activity 6:

In families when children reach youth development stage, they have enough strength and mature mind. Their parents assign them different activities to accomplish outside home such as shopping, fetching water, digging, etc.

1. Why do parents prefer to send mature children for some types of work?

2. When does the Church consider its members to be mature for the mission?

6.1 The Meaning and Administration of Sacrament of Confirmation

Learning Activity 6.1

1. What are the main symbols used to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Catholic Church?

2. Who is eligible for the confirmation in the Catholic Church?

Like baptism, the sacrament of confirmation is one of the seven sacraments of Catholic Church (baptism, Eucharist, confirmation, penance and reconciliation, anoint-ing of the sick, holy matrimony and holy orders). The first three sacraments are called “sacraments of initiation”. The confirmation strengthens the graces received through baptism. It enables the faithful members to be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, strengthening them in their Christian life. The Sacrament of confirmation is received once in life and cannot be reiterated.

Institution of the Sacrament of Confirmation

The institution of the Sacrament of Confirmation is found in Acts 8:14-17: “When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them, they had been only baptized into the name of Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit”.

Confirmation as a gift of the Holy Spirit

a) The Holy Spirit in the Church

After confirmation, the person receives the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Soul and the heart of the church. Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit over His Church on the Pentecost. This Holy Spirit is in the hearts of His believers. The following are the roles (missions) of the Holy Spirit in the Church:

• Mission of teaching: The Holy Spirit helps the church to understand the Holy Scriptures and their preservation throughout the church Tradition.

• Mission of sanctification: Jesus renews and sanctifies His church by the Holy Spirit in the Sacraments including Confirmation.

• Mission of government: The Holy Spirit always gives light and strength to the church Hierarchy so that the ministers can honestly lead/organize the Church.

• Mission of heart orientation: From baptism we are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Holy Spirit is acting in our hearts. He transforms the man’s mentality into the one of the Son of God.

• Mission of faithfulness of church vocation: The main mission of the Church is Evangelization. The faithful Church must spread Good News everywhere and every time. The Holy Spirit helps the Church to focus on God’s vision and by its charity. It aspires to perfect coming of God’s reign.

b) The Holy Spirit encourages us to be witnesses of Christ

The Holy Spirit helps us to fulfill/participate in the Christ’s missions:

• Royal mission: To imitate Christ the King and to work for men’s salvation through winning over sin and devil.

• Priesthood mission: by the Holy Spirit we become the spiritual fathers and mothers imitating Mary, Mother of the Church.

• Prophetic mission: we are sent to all nations to make disciples. We are prophets who proclaim Christ, catechize, evangelize etc.

The Rites and Symbols in Sacrament of Confirmation.There are three main elements of confirmation rite. The bishop or priest opens wide his places his hands upon the candidates. With the Chrism (holy oil), he traces the sign of the cross on the person’s forehead and says, “Be sealed with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.” The newly confirmed person responds by saying, “Amen.”.

The holy Chrismis one of the three kinds of holy oil which a bishop blesses each year at the Mass on Holy Thursday. The other two kinds of holy oil are the oil of catechu-mens (used in Baptism) and the oil of the sick (used in Anointing of the Sick).

The oil represents the strengthening effect of God’s grace.The bishop extends his hands over the whole group of the candidates. Since the time of the apostles this gesture has signified the receiving of the gift of Holy Spirit. He then invokes the outpouring of the Spirit in these words in prayer of Epiclesis:

« All-powerful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by water and the Holy Spirit you freed your sons and daughters from sin and gave them new life. Send your Holy Spirit upon them to be their helper and guide. Give them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence. Fill them with the spirit of wonder and awe in your presence. We ask this through Christ our Lord.»

The sign of peace that concludes the rite of the sacrament signifies and demon-strates ecclesial communion with the bishop and with all the faithful.

Notice: The Renewal of Baptismal Promises, Laying on of Hands, Anointing with Chrism and the Holy Spirit are symbols and rituals that are central to the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The Minister of the Sacrament of Confirmation

• - Ordinary Ministers: The ordinary ministers of Confirmation are bishops. They are successors of Apostles and they have full holy orders.

• - Extra Ordinary Ministers: These are the priests who are granted the right by a bishop for a tangible reason. If the need arises, the bishop may grant the faculty of administering Confirmation to priests. The administration of this sacrament by the priests demonstrates clearly that its effect is to unite those who receive it.

The candidate for the Sacrament of Confirmation

Every baptized person not yet confirmed can and should receive the sacrament of Confirmation. Confirmation is usually administered to young people who are ten years and above. Candidates are ready at this time to take a more adult role in the Church. This indicates that they are ready to assume a new position in the community. Most confirmands participate in one or two years of preparation classes before receiving the sacrament.

Application Activity 6.1:

1. Give the meaning of Sacrament of Confirmation.

2. What are the Sacraments of initiation?

3. What are the roles of the Holy Spirit in the Church?

6.2 Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Effects of Confirmation

Learning activity 6.2:

1. Suppose you are in front of a judge in court but you are supported with a knowledgeable advocate. How would you feel?2. Since the Pentecost, the Holy Spirit became the helper of the church. What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the confirmed Christian?

a) The Gift from the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The confirmed Christian receives the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit such as wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, science, piety, and fear of the Lord. Every baptized Christian receives gifts of the Holy Spirit during baptism. These gifts are renewed and confirmed by confirmation. Their importance is stated below:

1. Wisdom: For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. This gift helps discern the truth, fully understand the image of God and treat our fellow with dignity.

2. Understanding: We comprehend the way to live as followers of Christ. The understanding takes away any confusion between the right and wrong way of life.

3. Counsel (right judgment): A person with right judgment avoids sin and lives according to the teachings of Jesus.

4. Fortitude (Courage): With the gift of fortitude/courage, we overcome fear and we are willing to take risks as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God.

5. Knowledge: With the gift of knowledge, we understand the meaning of God. The gift of knowledge is more than an accumulation of facts.

6. Piety (Reverence): With the gift of reverence, sometimes called piety, we have a deep sense of respect for God and the church. A person with reverence recognizes our total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love.

7. Fear of the Lord (Wonder): With the gift of fear of the Lord we are aware of the glory and majesty of God. A person with this gift knows that God is the perfection of all we desire (perfect knowledge, perfect goodness, perfect power, and perfect love).

To each gift of the Holy Spirit above corresponds a virtue:

The gift of wisdom: the virtue of charity.

The gift of understanding: the virtue of faith.

The gift of counsel (right judgment) : the virtue of prudence.

The gift of courage: the virtue of fortitude.

The gift of knowledge: the virtue of hope.

The gift of piety: the virtue of justice.

The gift of fear of Lord: the virtue of temperance.

b) The effects of the Sacrament of Confirmation

1. The indelible (ineffaceable) character: the one who receives this Sacrament is entirely marked the stamp of the Holy Spirit.

2. It makes one to be a child of God, being adopted as son or daughter of God the Father.

3. Confirmation unites us more firmly to Jesus Christ.

4. It increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

5. It solidifies our bond with the Church (the mystical body of Christ)

6. It gives us the special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the Church.

Application Activity 6.2:

Discuss the effect of Confirmation for the church and the Confirmed Christian?How does the Holy Spirit manifest within our lives (gifts of the Holy Spirit)?

6.3 End Unit Assessment 6

End unit Assessment 6

1. Define the Sacrament of Confirmation

2. How is the Holy Spirit considered in the Church?

3. Mention gifts of the Holy Spirit?

4. As confirmed Christian mention twelve virtues you live among your neighbours.

• SPECIFIC FOR PROTESTANTS

Key Unit Competence:

The learner will be able to fully explain the qualifications and responsibilities of the Ministry of Diaconate.

Learning Objectives:

Knowledge and Understanding

• Identify the ministry of Diaconate and the qualifications of deacon.

• Enumerate the responsibilities of deacon in the church growth

• Explain the Ministry of Diaconate.

• Describe the qualifications and responsibilities of a deacon.

• To appreciate the role of deacons.

• Participate in the daily activities of the Ministry of Diaconate.

• Sensitize his/her fellows with others to the service of Diaconate

7.1 Definition and significance of Ministry of Diaconate

Learning Activity 7.1:

Who is a deacon? What are the roles of deacons in your Christian community?

• Definition of deacon

1. A deacon is a member of the deaconate, an office in Christian church that is generally associated with some kind services, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions.

2. A deacon is a servant-leader who ministers to the physical needs of the church members.

3. The word deacon is derived from Greek word “diaconos” which means “servant”, “waiting-man”, “minister” or “messenger”.

• Historical Background of deaconate

The ministry of deaconate was instituted by the Twelve Apostles, primarily for benevolence ministry. With time, it grew and includes the service to those in need. The biblical account shows that this service came to support the ministry of the word (Acts 6: 1-3).

The purpose was to “free” the Apostles to pray and prepare to minister the Word of God. Some understood this passage to mean the role of the deacons was to oversee the business of benevolence of the church. Deacons are to share with the Pastor the burdens of church ministry.

They are to shield the Pastor and relieve him of burdens so that he may devote himself to a spiritual ministry. The early Deacons were selected for their spiritual qualifications (men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom), and not about external characteristics (1st Timothy 3 and Acts 6). The first 7 deacons were Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas” (Acts 6:5).

Deacons were to be capable of serving the Lord in spiritual ways. For example, Stephen full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people” and Philip who was gifted in Evangelism (Acts 8:5-7). He preached about Christ in the multitudes.

• Significance/Role of Deacon

The root “diakoneo” means “Personal help to others”. The office of deacon requires a godly life. Every deacon should have a good reputation, boldness in faith, reverence, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience, etc. (1 Timothy 3: 1-7). The following are roles of the office of deacons:

• They should have a sound doctrine.

• Strive for the unity of the church.

• Support evangelism.

• Eliminate controversy and to get the Church back to fulfilling its mission.

When a church has committed deacons who are in God’s Will, the cause of Christ will spread rapidly.

Application Activity 7.1

• Give a short definition of Deacon.

a. Which was the problem that led to appointment of 7 deacons?

b. Give the names of the 7 men chosen.

c. What did the Apostles do to confirm these chosen men?

d. What was the work/acts of deacon in the early church?

7.2 Qualifications of Deacon Learning

Activity 7.2:

What kind of deacons and deaconesses would you like your church to have? What do you feel they should be doing which they are probably not doing now? Outline your answer then compare and discuss your positions in a group of three.

In 1Timothy 3:8-13, Paul mentions some of the qualifications of deacons all together with elders. There are similarities in the qualifications of deacons and elders. Like elders, deacons should not be addicted, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must be blameless, the husband of one wife, and an able manager of his children and household. Furthermore, the focus of the qualifications is the moral character of the person who is to fill the office. The main difference between an elder and a deacon is a difference of gifts and calling, not character.Paul identifies nine qualifications for deacons in 1Timothy 3:8-12:

1. Dignified: It refers to something that is honorable, respectable, esteemed, or worthy.

2. Not double-tongued: They say one thing to certain people, but then say something else to others or they say one thing but mean another. They are two-faced and insincere.

3. Not addicted to much wine: A man is disqualified for the office of deacon if he is addicted to wine or other strong drink. Such a person lacks self-control and is undisciplined.

4. Not greedy for dishonest gain: If a person is a lover of money, he is not qualified to be a deacon, especially since deacons often handle financial matters for the church.

5. Sound in faith and life: This statement refers to the need for deacons to hold firm to the true gospel without wavering.

6. Blameless: deacons must be tested first. Blameless is a general term referring to a person’s overall character. Moreover, the congregation should not only examine a potential deacon’s moral, spiritual, and doctrinal maturity, but should also consider the person’s track record of service in the church.

7. Godly wife: Deacons’ wives must “be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things” (v. 11). Like her husband, the wife must be dignified or respectable.

8. Husband of one wife: This refers to the faithfulness of a husband toward his wife. He must be a “one-woman man.” That is, there must be no other woman in his life to whom he relates in an intimate way either emotionally or physically.

9. Manage children and household well: A deacon must be the spiritual leader of his wife and children.

In general, if a moral qualification is listed for elders but not for deacons, that qual-ification still applies to deacons. The same goes for those qualifications listed for deacons but not for elders. For example, a deacon should not be double-tongued.

Application Activities 7.2:

1. Based on Acts 6:4, what difference is there between an elder and a deacon?

2. Read the following 5 passages, and write all deacon’s qualities found therein:

a. 2 Timothy 2:3

b. 2 Timothy 4:7

c. John 10:3

d. Ephesians 6:10

e. 2 Timothy 4:8

7.3 Responsibilities of Deacons

Learning Activity 7.3:

Imagine a local church where deacons are weak and irresponsible in their du-ties, as required. Make a list of negative consequences that may happen discuss with concrete examples.

Based on the New Testament, the role of the deacon is mainly to be a servant. The church needs deacons to provide logistical and material support so that the elders can focus on the Word of God and prayer.Deacons are called to “hold” to the faith with a clear conscience, but they are not called to “teach” that faith (1 Tim. 3:9). This suggests that the deacons do not have an official teaching role in the church.

The title “deacon” implies one who has a service-oriented ministry. The pattern established in Acts 6 with the apostles and the Seven, it seems best to view deacons as servants who do whatever is necessary to allow the elders to accomplish their God-given calling of shepherding and teaching the church.

As the apostles’ delegated administrative responsibilities to the Seven, so the elders are to delegate certain responsibilities to the deacons. They could be responsible for any activity that’s not related to teaching and shepherding the church. Therefore, each local church is free to define the tasks of deacons based on their particular needs.

Nowadays, the duties and responsibilities of deacons may include:

• Facilities: The deacons are responsible for managing the church property. This includes making sure the place of worship is prepared (cleaning up or running the sound system).

• Benevolence: Similar to what took place in Acts 6:1–6 with the daily distribution to the widows; deacons may be involved in administrating funds or other assistance to the needy.

• Finances: While the elders should probably oversee the financial business of the church (Acts 11:30), it may be best left to the deacons to handle the day-to-day matters. This would include collecting and counting the offering, keeping records, etc.

• Ushers: The deacons could be responsible for distributing bulletins, seating the congregation, or preparing the elements for communion.

• Logistics: Deacons should be available to help in the welfare of the church members so that the elders are able to concentrate on teaching and shepherding the church.

Deacons’ role is more service-oriented. That is, they are to care for the physical or temporal concerns of the church. By handling such matters, deacons free up the elders to focus on shepherding the spiritual needs of the congregation. Though deacons are not the congregation’s spiritual leaders, their character is of utmost importance. Therefore, deacons should be examined and held to the biblical qualifications laid down in 1Timothy 3.

Application activity 7.3:

1. Give the difference between Elders and Deacons based on their responsibilities.

2. What should be the duties and responsibilities of deacons for the church today?

3. Based on the New Testament, the role of deacons is mainly to be a servant. What does this means?

4. Explain why the office of deaconate is one of the two highest offices given to mankind (see Acts 6:1-7; 1Timothy 3; Philippians 1:1).

7.4 End Unit Assessment 7

Unit Assessment 7

1. Define the following terms:

a. Deacon: ...........................................................................

b. Elder: ..............................................................................

2. What is the meaning of:

c. Not to be double-tongued (1 Timothy3:8).................................

d. To be blameless........................................................

3. Identify 9 qualifications for deacons in 1Timothy 3:8-12.

4. Answer by True (T) or False (F):

e. The early deacons were selected for their spiritual qualifications.

f. The early deacons were selected for their spiritual qualifications but not for their moral qualifications.

g. The deacons are to care for the physical or temporal concerns of the church.

h. Stephen was a man of spiritual power, and full of faith and the Holy Spirit but irresponsible.

i. The problem which led the Apostles to appoint the Deacons was the confusion raise among the Apostles themselves.

j. The word deacon is derived from the Greek word “diaconos” which means “servant”.

k. Deacons are the Pastor’s assistants in ministry.

REFFERENCES

I. Books

Charles D.P, (1960). Histoire de l’Eglise. Paris :Beachesne Comby J., (1986).

L’Histoire de l’Eglise, Paris : Cerf. Conseil Protestant Du Rwanda. (1993).Réconciliation, Programme de Cours De Religion, Protestante Pour L’enseignement Secondaire.

Kigali.Conseil Protestant Du Rwanda. (2002).

La vie En Abondance En Jésus- Christ, Contenu Du Programme Du Cours De Religion Protestante Pour L’enseignement Secondaire. Kigali.

Diyosezi ya Gikongoro na Butare (2013).

Imfashanyigisho ku Ndangakwemera ya Kiliziya Gatolika, Butare.

Donald K. McKim. (1996). Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms. London: Louisville Press.E.J. Dwyer (1962).

Catholic Catechism, Book 1. Sydney.Gerber, C. (1981).

Les Sentiers De La Foi., France : Editions S.D.T 77190 Dammarie Les Lys.Holy Bible, New International Version. (1984).

Nairobi.Ibiro bishinzwe iyobokamana (2013).

Amasengesho y’Abakristu n’ubumenyi mu Iyobokamana, Atlas Novanet. Plummer, A. (1981).

A Critical And Exegetical Commentary On The Gospel According To St. Luke. Edinburgh: T. Clark.Protestant Council of Rwanda (2016).

Christian family life as the mirror of the heaven. Kigali.Protestant Council of Rwanda. (2016).

Jesus the cornerstone of the church. Kigali. Protestant Council of Rwanda. (2016).

Sustainable Peace in the Word of God. Kigali.Sr De Cruz, M. & Sr Richards, M. (1963).

One In Christ. Taiwan: W.H. Sadlier.Welch E. & Wild J., God’s People, A Secondary Christian Religious Education Course, Book 1. (1990).

Nairobi: Oxford University Press.Welch E. & Wild J., God’s People, A Secondary Christian Religious Education Course, Book 2. (1990).

Nairobi: Oxford University Press.Welch E. & Wild J., God’s People, A Secondary Christian Religious Education Course, Book 3. (1990).

Nairobi: Oxford University Press.

II. Electronic References

Http: /Ibs Resources.Org/Courses/E(&D4.Shtml

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liturgy (consulted on 27/3/2018)https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090830091350AA30a6l(consulted on 28/3/2018)

https://www.gotquestions.org/denominations-christian.html (visited on 13/3/2018)

https://redeeminggod.com/teaching-method-of-the-apostles/consulted on the 14/3/2018

https://redeeminggod.com/teaching-method-of-the-apostles/ consulted on the 14/3/2018

http://scripturejewels.com/articles/Holy-Spirit_Role_in_Evangelism.htm consulted on the 14/3/2018

https://www.franciscanmedia.org/pentecost-the-birthday-of-the-church/consulted on the 15/3/2018

https://www.gotquestions.org/missionary-journeys-Paul.html consulted on the 15/3/2018

http://www.flamesinternational.org/rootofsin-part1/ consulted on the 15/3/2018

https://www.pinterest.com/zeldabywater/prodigal-son/ consulted on the 18/3/2018.

https://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/questions/what-is-forgiveness/ consulted on the 18/3/2018.

http://www.ethos.org.au/site/Ethos/filesystem/documents/In-depth/Politics/Eight-Core-Christian-Values-Brian-Edgar.pdf consulted on the 9 /3/2018.

http://www.stcbiblecollege.com/StudyGuides/TopicalGuides/VerticalHorizontalRelationshipsSG.pdf, 18/3/2018

http://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/EXPERIENCING-THE-VERTI-CAL-AND-HORIZONTAL-ASPECTS-OF-THE-DIVINE-FELLOWSHIP.HTML, 18/3/2018

https://faithsmessenger.com/relationships/, 18/3/2018

http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/sexual_health/sh_definitions/en/, 18/3/2018https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/female-reproductive-system.html, 18/3/2018(

http://www.jblearning.com/samples/0763741485/greenberg_human%20sexuali-ty_3e_ch01.pdf), 18/3/2018

• Key Unity Competence:

The learners will be able to justify the importance of pillars of Islam and practice them in daily life.

Introductory activity 1

People become Christians by being baptised. According to you how do people become Muslim. Identify activities and what they are supposed to confess as they join Islam.

1.1 The Five Pillars of Islam

Learning Activity:1.1

• Hadjati thinks that Qur’an is the moral code conduct for Muslims? Is this statement true? If yes are these moral obligations? If no, justify your answer?

The five pillars of Islam comprise five official acts considered obligatory for all Muslims. The Quran presents them as a framework for worship and a sign of commitment to faith. The ‘Five Pillars’ of Islam are the foundation of Muslim life:

1. Certifying that there is no god to be worshiped but Allah and certifying that Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) is Allah’s messenger;

2. Performing the five daily prayers (Swalat);

3. Alms giving (Zakat) to the needy;

4. Fasting (Swaum) during the month of Ramadan, a self-purification through fasting; and

5. Performance the pilgrimage (during the prescribed month) to Makkah for those who are able once in a lifetime.

a. Two testimonies of Faith.

There is none worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” This declaration of faith is called the (Shahadah), a simple formula that all the faithful pronounce. The significance of this declaration is the belief that the only purpose of life is to serve and obey God, and this is achieved through the teachings and practices of the Last Prophet, Muhammad (peace be upon Him).

b. Swalat or Prayer.

Swalat is the name for the obligatory prayers that are performed five times a day, and are a direct link between the worshipper and God. There is no hierarchical authority in Islam and there are no priests. At the mosques Prayers are led by a learned person called {Imam} who knows the Qur’an. Prayers are performed at dawn (Subhi), mid-day (Dhuhri), late-afternoon (As’ri), sunset (Magrib) and nightfall (Ishaa-i), and thus determine the rhythm of the entire day. While praying some Qur’anic are recited in Arabic, the language of the Revelation. Although it is preferable to worship together in a mosque for male believers, a Muslim may pray almost anywhere the prayer time finds him, such as in fields, offices, factories and universities.

c. Zakat: The financial obligation upon Muslims.

An important principle of Islam is that everything belongs to God, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust. The word Zakat means both “purification” and “growth.” Our possessions are purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need and for the society in general. Like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth. Each Muslim calculates his or her own zakat individually. This involves the annual payment of a fortieth of one’s capital, excluding such items as primary residence, car and professional tools.An individual may also give as much as he or she pleases as (Sadaqah).

Although this word can be translated as “voluntary charity” it has a wider meaning. The Prophet said, “Even meeting your brother with a cheerful face is an act of charity.” The Prophet also said: “Charity is a necessity for every Muslim.” He was asked: “What if a person has nothing?” The Prophet replied: “He should work with his own hands for his benefit and then give something out of such earnings in charity.” The Companions of the Prophet asked: “What if he is not able to work?” The Prophet said: “He should help the poor and needy.” The Companions further asked: “What if he cannot do even that?” The Prophet said: “He should urge others to do what is good.” The Companions said: “What if he lacks that also?” The Prophet said: “He should check himself from doing evil. That is also an act of charity.”

d. Swawm or Fasting.

Every year in the month of Ramadan, all Muslims fast from dawn until sundown abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations with their spouses during day time. Those who are sick, elderly, or on a journey, and women who are menstruating, pregnant or nursing, are permitted to break the fast and make up an equal number of days later in the year if they are healthy and able. Children begin to fast (and to observe prayers) from puberty, although many start earlier. Although fasting is beneficial to health, it is mainly a method of self-purification and self-restraint. By cutting oneself from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person focuses on his or her purpose in life by constantly being aware of the presence of God. God states in the Qur’an: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to those before you that you may learn self-restraint.” (Q.2:183). At the end of Fasting Ramadhan the Muslim communities celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, which is one of the two holidays of the Islamic calendar.e.

Pilgrimage (Hajj)

The pilgrimage to Makkah (the hajj) is an obligation only for those who are physically and financially able to do so. Nevertheless, over two million people go to Makkah each year from every corner of the globe providing a unique opportunity for those of different nations and colors to meet one another. The annual pilgrimage begins in the twelfth month called DHUL-HIJJA of the Islamic year (which is lunar, not solar). Pilgrims wear special clothes: simple garments that strip away distinctions of class and culture, so that all stand equal before God.

The rites of the pilgrimage, which are of Abrahamic origin, include going around the (Ka’bah) seven times, and going seven times between the hills of (Safa) and (Marwa) as did Hagar (Hajar, Abraham’s wife) during her search for water. The pilgrims later stand together on the wide plains of ‘Arafat (a large expanse of desert outside Makkah) and join in prayer for God’s forgiveness, in what is often thought as a preview of the Day of Judgment. The close of the pilgrimage is marked by a festival, the (Eid -ul Adha) one of the two holidays of the Islamic calendar which is celebrated with prayers and animal sacrifices and the exchange of gifts in Muslim communities everywhere.

Application Activity: 1.1

• Discuss with examples the importance of pillars of Islamic faith in relation to God and in relation to Muslim community as well as fellow human be-ings.

• Are there some festivals associated with pillars of faith in Islam? What are their importance?

1.2. The Importance of Monotheism (Tawheed)

Learning Activity: 1.2

• What do you think is the basis of Islamic faith in theory and in practice? Justify your answer with concrete examples:

Tawheed is the main foundation upon which the religion of Islam stands. The entire Qur’an is only a call to Tawheed (i.e. that it is a detailed explanation of La ilaha ila Allah and how we require to act on it). The verses (Ayats) of the Qur’an are of five types:

1. Those that describe Allah.

2. Those that tell us to worship Allah alone.

3. Those that teach us about Fiqh [i.e. the permissible(Halal) and the prohibited(Haram)].

4. Those that mention the people of Monotheism (Tawheed), past and future.

5. Those that inform us about the people of Polytheism (Shirk opposite of Tawheed) and disbelief(Kufr).

Some Reasons why Monotheism (Tawheed) is so important:

1. Allah has created mankind and the Jinn so that they should worship Him alone, which is the essence of Tawheed. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And I (Allah) created not the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).[Q.51:56]

2. Allah has sent Prophets and Messengers and revealed Divine Scriptures upon them to call people from the ignorance of false beliefs to the truth of Tawheed. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): ‘Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Tâghût (all false deities, i.e. do not worship anything besides Allah).’” [Q. 16:36]. Regarding to the revelation of Divine Scriptures, Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “He (Allah) sends down the angels with the Rûh (Revelation) of His Command to whom of His servants He wills (saying): ‘Warn mankind thatnone has the right to be worshipped but I), so fear Me (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds).” [Q. 16:2].

3. A Muslim believes in monotheism (Tawheed), so he worships Allah alone without ascribing any partners to Him, follows everything that Allah has commanded him to do and abstains from everything that Allah has prohibited. Therefore,Tawheedis the main differentiating factor between a Muslim and Non-Muslims. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “He it is Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers. And Allah is All-Seer of what you do.” (Q. 64:2)

4. Leading a life based onTawheedensures success both in the life of this world and in the life hereafter. When Allah sent Adam (peace be upon him) and his wife to live in this world along with Satan, He (i.e. Allah) commanded them the following (interpretation of the meaning): “He (Allah) said: ‘Get you down (from Paradise to the earth), both of you together, some of you are an enemy to some others. Then if there comes to you guidance from Me, then whoever follows My Guidance he shall neither go astray nor shall be distressed. But whosoever turns away from My Reminder (i.e. neither believes in this Qur’an nor acts on its teachings), verily, for him is a life of hardship, and We shall raise him up blind on the Day of Resurrection.’” [Q. 20:123-124]

5. The first command we find in the Qur’an is to establish (Tawheed) where Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), who created you and those who were before you so that you may become Al-Muttaqûn [the pious believers of Islamic Monotheism who fear Allah much (abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allah much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)].” [Q. 2:21]

6. Tawheed is the right of Allah upon us, because the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Verily the right of Allah upon His servants is that they worship Him and not associate anyone in partnership with Him, and the right of the servants upon Allah is that He does not punish those who do not commit polytheism (Shirk) with Him.”.

7. Tawheed is the cause for our entering Paradise, because the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever testifies that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah will enter the Paradise).”

8. Because of Tawheed Allah will forgive all sins of people and release them from the fire of Hell. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “A man will be brought to the Balance on the Day of Resurrection, and there will be brought out for him ninety-nine scrolls, every scroll of them stretching [when unrolled] as far as the eye can reach, in which are written his sins and his offenses, they will be put on one pan of the Balance. Then a small card will be brought out on which is written the Testimony of Faith: ‘There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad is His servant and messenger’, which will be put in the other pan and it will outweigh all his wrongdoing.”

Application Activity 1.2

• What is the importance of Tawheed in a Muslim’s daily life?

1.3. Categories of Monotheism

Learning Activity: 1.3

• Why do you think Allah alone should be worshiped? Not other divinities or creatures?

Linguistically, the word Tawheed, in Arabic, means unification (to make something one). In Islam, it refers to Allah being singled out alone (monotheism), in all that is particular to Him. The opposite of Tawheed is polytheism ‘Shirk’ which is to associate partners with Allah by giving (or attributing) that which is exclusively His to others.Scholarly Tawheed has been divided into three categories which help us to understand why Allah alone deserves to be singled out for worship. The division of Tawheed into three categories helps us to understand as to how our Creator is Unique and Alone in being singled out for worship and reverence. The three categories of Tawheed are:

The categories of Monotheirsm are the following:

The unity of Allah’s Lordship (Tawheed-Ar Rububiyat).Through this we understand that it is Allah Who Alone created the universe, which is why one of His divine names is The Creator (Al-Khaaliq). Through this we know that it is Allah Alone Who controls the universe and allows things to happen. This is why Allah refers to Himself in the Quran as The Sovereign (Al-Malik). Hence, when something happens, it only happens with the permission of Allah, as stated in the Qur’anic verse (which means): {And no calamity strikes except with the permission of Allah} [Q.64:11].

The Prophet further elaborated on this concept of Allah’s control over the universe by saying: “Be aware that if the whole of mankind gathered together in order to do something to help you they would only be able to do something which Allah had already written for you. Likewise, if the whole of mankind gathered together to harm you, they would only be able to do something to harm you which Allah had already written to happen to you”.

We know that another name, which Allah chooses to call Himself by, is the Sustainer (Ar-Razzaaq). Allah provides us with our food, shelter, clothing, families and friends. When our crops seem to be dying and there is not a cloud in sight, it is Allah Who sends down His rain from the skies and sustains us. Allah Says (what means): {Allah is the Creator of all things and He is, over all things, Disposer of affairs.} [Q.39:62]

The Unity of Allah’s Worship.

This part of Tawheed is known as (Tawheed al-Ibaada), or the unity of Allah’s worship (Tawheed al Uluhiya), this unity confirms that it is Allah alone Who has the exclusive right to be worshipped. It is this aspect of Tawheed which is the most important and the purpose of mankind creation.

It is through this that we learn how to worship our Creator alone. Allah is not the kind of god who does not respond or hear your calls. He is not the kind of god who needs some sort of middleman to take our prayers up to Him. Rather, Allah says (what means): {and your Lord says, Call upon Me; I will respond to you.} [Q.40:60].

There is nothing to prevent a person from calling directly upon Allah and asking for His help and forgiveness. Unfortunately, this is violated by most of mankind who believe that other men can intercede for them and even grant them forgiveness because of their apparent special status! This allows for them to then hear the confessions of people’s sins and subsequently grant them forgiveness. It is this kind of behaviour which takes a person away from the worship of Allah to the worship of man. Learning about the Tawheed of Allah is the most important thing for the whole of humanity. For if we learn how to trust and worship our Creator with sincerity, then and only then, will we escape from the slavery and captivity of this life. It is by worshipping Allah alone that a man does achieve true peace and success.

The Unity of Allah’s names and Attributes.

This category of Tawheed is known as (Tawheed Al-Asmaa’i wa-Siffat) or the unity of Allah’s Names and Attributes. Allah Says in the Quran (what means): {Allah, there is no deity except Him. To Him belong the best names.} [Q.20:8]. This category of Tawheed helps us to understand who our Creator is through His Names and Attributes. Through his names and Attributes we know that Allah is far beyond our imagination and bears no resemblance to human beings. {There is nothing like unto Him and He is the Hearing, the Seeing.} (Q.42:11). Muslims use the 99 names of Allah in daily glorifying and supplicating Allah.

1.4. Understanding Polytheism (Shirk).

Learning Activity: 1.4

Frederic is a pious and attends all Muslim prayers every Friday. However, recent-ly, when his son was sick, decided to visit a witchcraft house in 12 km from his home. He has done this more than 4 times.

• What do you think about the attitudes of Frederic in relation to his belief in Allah?
• Are there consequences of his attitudes to God, himself, Muslim community and the society in general?
Definition of Shirk.
Shirk is worship or belief in many gods associated with Allah in those aspects which are unique to Allah and His exclusive right. Shirk is to worship created beings and associate them with Allah, and to assign a portion of Allah’s divinity to someone else.Shirk means associating partners with Allah and it is the opposite of oneness (Tawheed). The Quran calls people to accept the oneness of Allah and severely prohibits people from associating partners with His personality or attributes. The Quran states that shirk is a big sin and oppression that God Almighty will never forgive associating partners with him and that He will forgive the sins except shirk of the people He wishes.

Severity of Shirk.
There is no issue upon which Islam is so strict as the one of monotheism(Tawheed). Therefore, shirk is considered the greatest violation with which the Lord of the heavens and the earth is defied. The severity of shirk can be summarized in the following points:
(1) Shirk makes the Creator like His creation, in that matters that are exclusive to Allah are associated with others who have no right to it. Therefore, Allah declares shirk to be the greatest wrong, “Indeed to ascribe partners (unto Him) is a tremendous wrong.” (Q.31:13)
(2) Allah has declared that He will not forgive the sin of Shirk unless the person sincerely repents from it, “Surely Allah forgives not that a partner should be set up with Him, and forgives all besides that to whom He pleases.” (Q.4:48)
(3) Allah has forbidden Paradise to those who commit shirk and die without repenting from, condemning him to Hell for eternity, “Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, Allah has forbidden to him Paradise and his abode is the Fire.” (Q.5:72)(4) All the good works a person may have done are lost, become worthless, and are rendered vain if a person dies unrepentant of shirk, “And certainly, it has been revealed to you and to those before you: if you should associate (anything) with Allah, your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers.” (Q.39:65)
(5) Shirk is the deadliest of all major sins. On one occasion, the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, asked his companions if they knew what was greatest of all major sins. He then explained to them, “The major sins are: shirk, not being kind to one’s parents...”.

Types of Shirk.

The texts of the Qur’an and Sunat indicate that shirk and the ascribing of rivals to Allah sometimes puts a person beyond the pale of Islam and sometimes it does not. Hence the scholars divided (Shirk) into two types which they call major shirk(Shirk al-Akbar) and Minor shirk(Shirk al-Asghar).
Following is a brief description of each type.
Major Shirk (Shirk Akbar).This means ascribing to someone other than Allah something that belongs only to Allah, such as Lordship(Rububiyyah), Worship(Ibadah) and his names and attributes (Asmai wa Swifati). This kind of (Shirk) may sometimes be outward (such as the Shirk of those who worship idols and graves, or the dead or absent). Or it may sometimes be hidden (such as those who put their trust in other gods besides Allah.

• Shirk in Allah Being the Lord. This category includes:
a. Atheism (the belief that human beings have no Lord). According to Islam Pharaoh denied the existence of Allah and claimed his own self to be the Lord over Moses and the people of Egypt. He announced to people: “I am your Lord, Most High.” (Q. 79:24). Modern day philosophers that deny the existence of Allah or scientists who consider the universe to have created itself or to have no beginning or end fall under this category. Also, the idea that the nature itself is God is also Shirk.

b.The belief that Allah shares His rule and control over the creation.People who fall into this category are those who may believe in Allah’s powers and abilities, but also believe that Allah is several “persons,” that He is somehow “split” into different beings. Islam teaches that Allah is One in every sense: perfect, indivisible, and complete. Another example of this shirk is held by people who pray to the dead. They believe the souls of the dead people and other people can meddle in the affairs of mortal men, that somehow the departed souls can cause change in the life of men and women by answering their prayers or in other ways. The truth is that the dead have no power over the lives of the living; they cannot answer anyone’s prayers, nor protect them, nor grant their wishes.
• Greater Shirk: Shirk in worship.
Muslims only worship Allah, pray to Him, do prostration to Him and they only say certain praises and glorifications to Allah and they cannot use them for anyone else. When someone is elevated the way Allah should be elevated, or if people praise someone or something in a way that Allah should be praised, then you will not accept it. You can praise people, but there are certain kinds of praises that are only for Allah.

Know that no one is going to come between us and Allah. Even our beloved prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) does not come “between” us and Allah. His mission was to connect us to Allah directly; the companions never sought Allah’s help through the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). They asked him to pray for them when he was alive, but never did they go to his blessed grave (peace be upon him) and ask him to ask forgiveness from Allah on their behalf. When we pray to God, we pray to him “through” no one. So that’s the first thing, direct worship only to Him and we do not ascribe partners or people in any way to the level of divinity. This means we only do glorifications and praises to Him alone.

• Greater Shirk: Shirk in Allah’s Names &Attributes. Making Allah like the creation or making the creation like Allah is the essence of Shirk on Allah’s Names and Attributes. It can be further classified into two types:
1. Humanizing Allah by giving Him attributes similar to humans, depictions of God in paintings and sculpture are of this type. The Muslim tradition has been clear on this point because of the Quran’s clear teachings, “There is nothing like Him, and He sees and hears all things.” (Q. 42:11).
2. Another form of this type of Shirk is when human beings are deified by giving them divine names or qualities. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (peace be upon him), said: “Allah Almighty has said: ‘The son of Adam... reviled Me and he had no right to do so... As for his reviling Me, it is his saying: Allah has taken to Himself a son, while I am the One, the Everlasting Refuge. I beget not nor was I begotten, and there is none comparable to Me.’”.

• Major Shirk in the form of Beliefs: Such as the belief that there is someone else, who creates, gives life and death, reigns or controls the affairs of the universe along with Allah. Or the belief that there is someone else who must be obeyed absolutely besides Allah, so they follow him in regarding as permissible (Halaal) or forbidden (Haraam) whatever he wants, even if that goes against what the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) conveyed to us. Or they may associate others with Allah in love and veneration, by loving a created being equally as they love Allah.
• Major Shirk in the form of Spoken Words”: Such as those who make pray to someone other than Allah, or seek his help or seek refuge with him with regard to matters over which no one has control except Allah, whether the person called upon is a Prophet, an angel or a jinn, or some other created being. This is a kind of major shirk which puts one beyond the pale of Islam. Or such as those who make fun of religion of Allah. Or who liken Allah to His creation, or say that there is another creator, provider or controller besides Allah. All of these are major shirk and a grave sin that is not forgiven if someone commits it and dies without repenting from them.

• Major Shirk in the form of Actions: Such as one who sacrifices, prays or prostrates to something other than Allah

Minor Shirk (Shirk Asw’gar).
This includes everything that may lead to a major shirk, or which is described in the texts as being shirk; but does not reach the extent of being major shirk in itself. This is mainly of two main types:
• Minor Shirk in the form of Beliefs: Such as the belief that something may be a cause of bringing benefit or warding off harm, when Allah has not made it so; or believing that there is a blessing in a thing, when Allah has not made it so.
• Minor Shirk in the form of Spoken Words: Such as when some people, “We have been given rain because such and such event” without believing that the events could independently cause rain to fall. This is because it is Allah who gives rains as He wills. Or swearing by something other than Allah, without believing in godship of the thing sworn by or regarding it as equal with Allah. (If someone swears by something believing in its godship, then it is major shirk). Or saying words like, “Whatever Allah wills and you will”. (Even it is said for the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), rather, it is recommended to say {If Allah wills and then you will}
• Minor Shirk in the form of Actions. This applies to one who touches a thing seeking its blessing, when Allah has not created any blessing in it, such as kissing the doors of the mosque, touching the thresholds of the mosque and seeking healing from its dust, and other such actions.

Minor Shirk (Shirk Asw’gar).
This includes everything that may lead to a major shirk, or which is described in the texts as being shirk; but does not reach the extent of being major shirk in itself. This is mainly of two main types:
• Minor Shirk in the form of Beliefs: Such as the belief that something may be a cause of bringing benefit or warding off harm, when Allah has not made it so; or believing that there is a blessing in a thing, when Allah has not made it so.
• Minor Shirk in the form of Spoken Words: Such as when some people, “We have been given rain because such and such event” without believing that the events could independently cause rain to fall. This is because it is Allah who gives rains as He wills. Or swearing by something other than Allah, without believing in godship of the thing sworn by or regarding it as equal with Allah. (If someone swears by something believing in its godship, then it is major shirk). Or saying words like, “Whatever Allah wills and you will”. (Even it is said for the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), rather, it is recommended to say {If Allah wills and then you will}
• Minor Shirk in the form of Actions.
This applies to one who touches a thing seeking its blessing, when Allah has not created any blessing in it, such as kissing the doors of the mosque, touching the thresholds of the mosque and seeking healing from its dust, and other such actions.

• Lengthing the prayer, or perhaps, only the period of prostration in front of others in intentions of being wondered by them;
• Purposely displaying the effects of fasting or other deeds on the body;
• Lowering the voice to imply fear of Allah or others affected mannerisms.
• Showing off knowledge or skills in conversation or using the remembrance of Allah repeatedly to give an impression.
• Reciting the holy Quran in good sound in order to be praised.

However some reassurance may be necessary, for there are things which one might imagine to be shirk but are not such as setting a good example for others (as a means of teaching) like giving donations and charity in public to attract other’s donations. Now we know what Hidden Shirk is, now we can bring back the true worship of Allah, Scholars have recommended treatments for ‘diseases of the heart’.
• Remember the greatness of Allah and then the insignificance of the world and its impermanent state. Remember that the ultimate source of all benefit and harm to yourself and all beings is Allah. Remember Allah looks into your heart.
• Once you are aware of your mistake, turn to Allah in ernest repentance, asking forgiveness and correcting yourself thereafter. The prophet (saw) taught his companions this supplication: “O Allah, we seek refuge in you from associating with you anything we know of, and we ask your forgiveness for that which we do not know”.
• Make a conscious effort to do more righteous deeds secretly without mentioning them until it becomes a habit.
• Take as friends and companions those you consider to be sincere, righteous and God-fearing. Encourage them to point out your faults and help you to overcome them. Accept advice without anger and try to follow that which is conducive to improvement.
• Finally, do not let Shaytan prevent your good works by suggesting that you are showing off. If you find something of that within, continue your work but correct your intention, seeking acceptance from Allah alone. For in Allah’s acceptance is salvation and success.
O Lord, do not let our hearts deviate after you have guided us, and give us from yourself mercy. Indeed, it is you who is the Giver (of all things).” (Q.3:8).

Application Activity: 1.4
• Explain the consequences of committing Shirk.
• Identify the implications of Shirk in worshipping activities.

1.5 End Unit Assessment

Unit assessment 1 Questions
1) Some Scientists nowadays deny the existence of Allah considering the universe created itself or has no beginning or end or believe in Polytheism, how can you reply them? Give arguments.
2) Give some Reasons why Monotheism (Tawheed)is so important.
3) Make a difference between Greater Shirk & Lesser Shirk.
4) What Hidden Shirk means?Give other examples of Hidden Shirk.
5) Allah said: {Had there been therein (in the heavens and the earth) gods besides Allah, then verily both would have been ruined. Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, (High is He) above what they attribute to Him!} (Q.29:22).
How can you compare the meaning of this verse with polytheism?

• 2.4The Quran’s message and human conductLearning Activity: 2.4 • Some say that since the Qur’an is Holy it came from Heaven? Do you agree with this statement? If yes? Why? If no justify its origin

Introductory Activity 2

Issac is a Senior 3 student. He considers the Qur’an as the normal book of per-sonal and community conduct as Penal code in Rwanda? Is he right is his think-ing? Why justify your position?

2.1 Introduction to Qur’an: the structure of the Qur’an

The Quran, the last revealed word of God, is the primary source of every Muslim’s faith and practice. It deals with all the subjects which concern human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, transactions, law, etc., but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time, it provides guidelines and detailed teachings for a just society, proper human conduct, and an equitable economic system.

Note that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad (peace be upon him) in Arabic language only. So, any Quranic translation, either in English or any other language, is neither a Quran, nor a version of the Quran, but rather it is only a translation of the meaning of the Quran. The Quran exists only in the Arabic language in which it was revealed. The holy Quran was gradually revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during 23 Years, and it contains 30 Parts (Juzu), 114 chapters (Surah) and 6236 verses (Ayat).

2.1. Believe in Allah and the Qur’an

Learning Activity: 2.1

• Is the Qur’an Holy book? Justify your position? Is it important to the individual prayer and to the community worship? How?

Believe in Allah.

The doctrine of believing in One God is the foundation of Islam and is the central to the teachings of the Holy Qur’an. God is the Supreme Being who exists independently of everything else. He is the sole Creator of the Universe, the Maker of the Heaven and Earth. According to Islam, no event occurs in this Universe without God’s knowledge and implicit consent. He is the ultimate source of every action and happening, animate or inanimate. God created not only the galaxies and stars, but also the life-form on this earth and elsewhere. He is the Nourisher and Sustainer of all creation; He is their Lord

The Holy Qur’an gives the important message that Allah is one. He is Independent. He does not need any support. Everything depends on Him. He has no father and has no son or daughter. There is none like Him. (Q. 112, verses 2-5). Islam stresses the need to have firm belief in various attributes of Allah, the Creator and the Controller of the Universe. He is the Lord of all the worlds. He is the Gracious, the Merciful. He is the Master of the Day of Judgment(Q. 1:1-4).

For human beings, He is a very personal God. He listens to their supplications and prayers (Q2:187). He provides for all their needs (Q 42:20). He overlooks their shortcomings and forgives their excesses (Q 39:54). He is there whenever they need Him, in distress or prosperity (Q 13:27). He deals with His creation with mercy, love and compassion (Q 3:31). He cannot be seen with physical eyes but reveals Himself to man through His Prophets and through the working of His attributes. Allah is eternal and infinite. He lives today as He lived before and will continue to live hereafter. He speaks to people as He spoke in the past. All His attributes are Ever Lasting.

Believe in the Last Book: Al-Quran.

Muslims believe that the Qur’an is Allah’s last revelation and the best of His speech, the Quran can be defined as this: The Arabic word of Allah that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) both in word and in meaning. It was narrated in frequent chains, and is a challenge and miracle to humankind.

We can learn five important things about the Quran from this definition.

• The Arabic word of Allah: The Quran is the word of Allah, in Arabic. This means that anything that’s not Arabic isn’t the Quran. You can’t pray in English, in French, in Swahili, in Kinyarwanda, it has to be in Arabic.

• Revealed to the Prophet: We know that Allah revealed many revelations including the Gospel (Injeel) revealed to the Prophet Jesus (Issa) and the Torah (Tawrat) revealed to the Prophet Moses (Moussa) and the Zabur revealed to the Prophet David (Dawud) (peace be upon them). Those are also revelations of Allah but they’re not the Quran.

• Revealed in Word and Meaning: not only the meaning of the Quran the same as what Allah meant; but the words themselves are also from Allah.

• Frequent chain (Mutawaatir): The Quran was revealed in a frequent fashion, so many narrators narrated it, at every single step in the chain of narration, so it’s impossible that they all lied or made a mistake.

• A challenge and miracle to Humankind: Muslims believe that the Quran is an ongoing challenge and miracle to the humankind until the end of the universe. The Qur’an has been given different names by Allah such as Al-Qur’an, Al-Furqaan, Al-Kitab, Al-Hudaa, A-Shifaa’, A-Zik’r, A-Nour, Al-Bayan, Ar-Rahmah, etc.

Believing in the Quran has two levels:

a. The first level is (a pillar of Faith) and leaving it is a nullifier of the Faith (Infidelity). It includes believing that the Quran is the word of Allah, was revealed to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), it is the last revelation, it was delivered to us completely, it is protected from addition and subtraction, it is a source of legislation, etc.

b. The second level includes (obligations and recommendations). Leaving them is not considered (an Infidelity). It includes applying all its rules, reading it, memorizing it, understanding and applying it, etc.

For a person to believe in Quran should think critically about two following things:

• Its unique qualities which include the following:

a. The Quran covers all the teachings of previous books. Allah says: “And We have sent down to you (O Mohammad) the Book (this Quran) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Muhayminan (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures)” (Q. 5:48)

b. Allah promised to safeguard it as he says “Verily, it is Us Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Quran) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)”. (Q.15:9).

• Its miracles which include the following.

c. . Knowledge or meaning. Al-Qur’an brought a lot of science and meaning which no human was capable of bringing. For example, the scientific phenomena that Qur’an has described long before they were understood. Such as Separation of Fresh/Salt water in the sea instead of their mixing, embryonic development stages in the mother’s womb, etc.

d. Fulfilled many prophecies. Some examples;

(1)New Transport Systems: “And when the she-camels, ten months pregnant are abandoned.” (Q.81-5). “And He has created horses and mules and asses that you may ride them, and as a source of beauty. And He will create what you do not yet know.” (Q. 16-9).

(2) Pollution: “Corruption has spread on land and sea because of what men’s hands have wrought” (Q.30-42).

One of the interpretations of the above verse of the Holy Quran is the environmental pollution, caused by human being. And that is spread both in land and sea due to our own inventions, i.e., fumes from chimneys of factories, chemical and nuclear waste, and huge traffic in the cities, noise and creation of ozone hole are manifest testimonies of the fulfilment of this prophecy. Thus there is a need of protecting the environment from change since the holly Quran revelation. Allah says “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message, and we will assuredly guard it (from corruption)”Q.15: 9

Application Activity 2.1

• Is using Qur’an in the spiritual activities necessary? Justify your position with concrete examples?

2.2. The relationship between the people and the Quran.

Learning Activity: 2.2
• The entire Quran is memorized by almost every Islamic scholar and hundreds of millions of ordinary Muslims male and female, generation after generation. Almost every Muslim, Arab and non-Arab, elders and Children, has some portion of the Quran memorized to read in his prayers. That shows that the Quran is memorized inimitably. Why do you think it is important? Is there a loss if someone does not memorize it?

The Qur’an as being the divine guidance of Allah for humanity establishes a living and dynamic relation between Allah and humanity to provide a basis for the integration of individual and social life and, in the final stage, for the creation of culture and the Islamic civilization. Muslims, therefore, have always approached the Qur’an as a dynamic source and a prescriptive guidance for the society and its welfare. Accordingly, Muslim scholars have solved the concrete problems by applying the rules derived from the Qur’an. Muslim intellectuals, throughout the history, hence, have produced an on-going and progressive way of interpretation and a fresh understanding by recontextualizing the Qur’an in the society.

The most dynamic aspect of the Qur’anic revelation is its invitation to Muslims to reflect the meanings of messages in order to seek right guidance for establishing an ideal society. The main key to prosperity for this construction is the interaction between revelation and the processes of reasoning in a way that there has been an ongoing relationship between humankind, and revelation.
The relationship between the Quran and Society is described in the following facts:

The Qur’an as a Communicative Act.
The Qur’an is the message from Allah to all humans, revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in Arabic to guide and to explain the right path as Allah says in the Qur’an: “Verily this Qur’an leads to the path that is most right” and also “And We have sent down the Book to you as an explanation for everything,a guidance, a mercy and glad tidings for Muslims”. Allah linguistically communicates with man in a way that the words are understandable and comprehensible. Allah uses the most clearly, eloquent and concise language, and in doing so the meaning is clear to those who are well-grounded in the Arabic language.

This is the reason that every messenger has been sent in the language of his people. There are two sides in this communication, God and human who are ontologically different from each other. However, the message is considered to have been delivered by an intermediary, Gabriel (Jibril). In this process the first side was always sender, speaker while the second side remained as the receiver.

Therefore, revelation consists in verbal communication between God and man. But theoretically no exchange words, nor teaching nor learning is possible unless there is realized between the two parties a certain kind of equality, i.e. the relation of the speaker and the hearer. Basically, the form of the Qur’anic revelation is such that God is the speaker, Muhammad is the recipient, and Jabril is the intermediary agent of the revelation. Muhammad is then the Messenger of the divine message and brings it to his people.

This communication is identified in the Qur’an by the term of (Wahy) which is the central concept regarding to the nature of the Qur’an. The termitself signifies the oral communicative character of Qur’anic revelation eventhough it is sometimes accompanied by visions and nonverbal communication. When the verb, Wa-ha is used of divine activity, it mostly refers to divine communication with human beings in terms of the process of communication, “God spoke” that “He revealed himself through language and that not in some mysterious non-human language but in a clear humanly understandable language.

Occasions of revelation: Relationship between revelation and social context
The Islamic tradition is certainly careful to maintain the ontological differences between Allah and human and one dimensional nature of revelation. However, each part of the Quran, verses (Ayat) was revealed in a particular context in response to a particular situation. The particularity and contextuality are sometimes translated as “occasions of revelation”. Occasions offer a coherent historical context for a limited number of the verses in the Quran and recognize the responsive nature of the revelation. This dynamic aspect of the Quran revelation is essential counterbalance to an understanding that privileges the idea of static and fixed pronouncement of the scripture. According to this understanding, the Qur’an is the eternal, uncreated and literal words of Allah which is originally preserved in the Heavenly Book (i.e. Umu ul-Kitab) and in the guarded Table (i.e. al-Lawh al-Mahfuz).

Application Activity: 2.2
• Discuss how Quran teaching would be the way being good and doing good at school, at home and in the community?

2.3 Revelation and collection of the Quran.

Learning Activity: 2.3
• Some say that since the Qur’an is Holy it came from Heaven? Do you agree with this statement? If yes? Why? If no justify its origin

Revelation and preservation of Quran.Quran is a heavenly book and the word of God Almighty. Lofty matters and facts of Quran have come down in the form of Arabic words and sentences which were sent down to the illuminated heart of the Prophet of Islam through the Angel Gabriel (Jibril). Verses of Quran were revealed on the Prophet of Islam in a period of 23 years on different appropriate occasions. Sometimes one verse, sometimes a number of verse and at other times even a whole chapter was revealed at a time.
The Holy Quran has 114 chapters and all of them except Surat 9 (Tawbat) begin with the formula (Bismillah Rahmani Rahim): In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, and the Merciful. Every chapter is composed of a number of verses. A number of chapters were revealed in Mecca or its surroundings and they are known as the Meccan chapters and others were revealed in Medina and its surroundings and they are Medinan chapters.

The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) paid special attention in order to preserve the collection of Quran and to prevent it from interpolation and alteration, and that is why he performed the following three actions:
1. Whenever a verse was revealed on the illuminated heart of the Prophet, he recited it immediately and stored it in his memory, never forgetting it, because his infallibility prevented him from forgetting it or making a mistake in it. Quran says: “We will make you recite so you shall not forget...” (Q.87:6)
2. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) recited to the companions every chapter or verse that was revealed on him and also encouraged them to learn them by heart. Through this method, a large number of companions learnt the correct recitation of Quran and among them seven persons became famed in this regard they were: Uthman bun Afan, Ali bun Abitwalib, Ubayy Bun Kaab, Zaid ibn Thabit, Abdullah Ibn Masud, Abu Darda and Abu Musa al-Ash’ari.

3. Transcription and compilation. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) chose some persons to transcribe the Quran. When a verse or some verses were revealed, he summoned one of them and dictated the same and they put it in writing. After that he asked the scribe to read what he has written and the Prophet listened to it carefully. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) used to specify the place where the scribe was supposed to record the verse and for example the Prophet says: Write down this verse in such and such chapter after such and such verse.

Compilation of the Quran.As mentioned previously, Muslims believe that verses of Quran were revealed dis-parately on the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) during a period of 23 years and he paid special attention to have them compiled and recorded. It was compiled a number of times till it came into the hands of Muslims in the present form and the method of compilation and arrangement was finalized during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) and under his supervision, taking into account the divine promise when God said: “Surely We have revealed the Reminder (Quran) and We will most surely be its guardian.” (Q.15:9). And also Allah’s promise where He says: “Falsehood shall not come to it from before it nor from behind it; a revelation from the Wise, the Praised One.” (Q.41:42). And a collection of chapters and verses of Quran, without any alteration or additions or deletions, remained forever at the disposal of Muslims.

Application Activity: 2.3
• Explain how the Quran was revealed and preserved to guide worship and spiritual activities of believers in Allah

1Aisha the wife of the prophet (may Allah be pleased with her), when she was asked about the code of conduct of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) she said: “his code of conduct was Quran”. We can learn the massage of Quran toward the human conduct through the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) since whatever he did or he said he got the inspiration from Allah as he says: “nor does he speak out of desire, it but a revelation revealed” (Q.56:3, 4).

The code of conduct of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him is derived from the Quranic verse where Allah the Almighty says “Indeed in the Messenger of God you have a beautiful example of conduct to follow...” (Q.33:21). Islam is not only a religion instead it’s a beautiful way of life. Islam states that one can achieve higher ranks through his/her good conduct. The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was best in his character and is a role model for whole humanity

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) “Through his manners and good conduct, the believer can attain the status of a person who frequently fasts and prays at night. In fact Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned good conduct as a best form of worship. On the Day of Resurrection, nothing will be heavier in the scale (of good deeds) of the believer than good conduct. God hates the one who swears and hurls obscenities”. Good character is a key of pleasing Allah and his beloved prophet. By maintaining good character, one can be beloved servant of Allah. The Prophet said: “The most beloved servants of God to God are those who have the best manner”.

Once a man asked Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that “what is religion”? Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) replied that religion is good conduct. Then that man came in front of him and asked again, “O dear Prophet, what is religion”? He replied again that religion is good conduct. That man came again on his left side and asked about religion, The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, good conduct. The man again to his back and repeated the same question, the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied good conduct. The Prophet (peace be upon him) told him that, “not being angry”, is good conduct. The man then asked, “What is misfortune?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “bad conduct”.

Hence according to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Islam is nothing but a good conduct or character and good conduct or character is based on transparency of both inner self and outer self. On the day of resurrection good conduct will be the heaviest righteous deed to be placed on one’s scale of deeds. Good conduct is a key to enter paradise. Islam states that anyone with good character will be with prophet (peace be upon Him) on the Day of Judgment. The Prophet (peace be upon Him) guarantees a house within the highest part of Paradise to those that have good ,So we must study good character and conduct. By adopting good character, we can make our life beautiful in both this world’s life and life after death. As Muslim’s and as humans, we should always follow Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) so as to become amongst the most effective Muslims with the most effective potential manners as a step nearer to Allah and a permanent resting abode in Paradise.

Application Activities: 2.4
• According to the teachings of Quran and the prophet as your role model discuss how you would behave with your non-Muslim fellow students at your school.

2.5 End Unit Assessment

Unit Assessment 2.
1. How long did the revelation of the Quran take place?
2. What happened to the Prophet when he was receiving revelation?
3. What were the verses of the Quran first written on?
4. What is a Surat?
5. What is an Ayat?
6. How many Surat are there in the Quran? And what is their general order?

• Introductory Activity 3

• Islam prescribes an obligatory charity, known as Zakat, based on two and a half percent of one’s income and wealth. In addition to this prescribed charity, Muslims are encouraged to give as much as they can in voluntary charity throughout the year. Give the importance of giving Zakat?

Introduction

Zakat literally means “to purify, to grow, to increase.” It has been used in the Quran to mean all of these things. It can also be considered a form of Sadaqah (charity), given to the poor. Zakat is levied on specific assets only, identified by Islamic Law (Shariah) as assets having the potential for growth. Levied at the rate of 2.5% or 1/40 each year, (calculated according to the lunar calendar) on the market value of the Zakat-able assets after deducting there from specified liabilities. The compulso-ry transfer of ownership of a portion of the property of the giver, calculated at the rate of 2.5% as previously mentioned, to a poor and needy Muslim who qualifies to receive Zakat according to the Islamic law (Shariah). Zakat is calculated according to the lunar year.

3.1. Zakaat as Islamic way for poverty reduction, source and rates of Zakat

Learning Activity: 3.1

Discuss how can Zakat be a good way of ending poverty? And a way to development

Islam looks upon poverty, as a dangerous social problem which puts man under trial dissuading him from his religion and compromising his dignity and character. It is a potential threat to the peace and stability of society. The objectives of Islamic law in preserving faith, human soul, progeny, property and mind would not be fulfilled in the state of poverty. These objectives require the provision of basic human needs such as food, clothing, shelter and marriage so that people may not be pushed to cross the limits of religion and morality.

In Islam, Zakat is the third after the declaration of faith in Allah and His Messenger and after the five daily prayers. Islam introduces Zakat as a response to social concerns towards the poor and the determination to address poverty. One of the objectives of Zakat distribution is to provide an adequate and suitable standard of living and to help Muslims remain above the level of poverty. It is meant to assist recipients to achieve a better quality of life and in turn become a contributor for the wellbeing of others. When someone gives Zakat, he or she has to ensure that the recipients are one of those who are eligible to receive Zakat. There are eight recipients of Zakat. Allah defines in Surat Tawbah: “Zakat expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakat] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveller – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” (Q.9:60).

The verse of Surat Tawbah quoted above lists the poor and the needy as the first Zakah recipients, reflecting the fact that the first objective of Zakah is to eliminate poverty and destitution from society. The primacy of this purpose of Zakah is highlighted by the fact that in some Hadiths it is the only purpose mentioned 1, such as the Hadith narrated by Mu’adh, when the Prophet sent him to Yemen: “Inform them that Allah has prescribed on them a Sadaqah, to be taken from the rich among them and rendered to the poor among them.”Finally, when the 2.5% zakat upon our wealth becomes an obligation on us, it is then no longer ours; it belongs to someone else. If we do not give away that portion of our wealth, remember that portion is the right of someone else and hence you are usurping another’s right and displeasing the Almighty.

Application Activity 3.1

• Discuss in group, how Zakat is a potential threat to the peace and stability of society.

• Who are recipients of Zakah as mentioned in verse: 9 (Surat Tawbat). Why?

3.2. Punishment for failure to pay Zakat.

Learning Activity: 3.2

• Is Zakat voluntary or mandatory? Explain.

• What do you think are benefits of zakat

Those who are careless about paying Zakat should be advised and reminded of how important it is, and should be told of the texts which warn against being stingy in paying it. Allah said : “And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed on them of His Bounty (wealth) think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakat). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things which they covetously with held, shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is Well- Acquainted with all that you do”. (Q.3:180).

And Allah said: “And those who hoard up gold and silver (the money, the Zakat of which has not been paid) and spend them not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a painful torment. On the Day when that (money, gold and silver, the Zakat of which has not been paid) will be heated in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, (and it will be said unto them :) ‘This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Now taste of what you used to hoard”.(Q.9:34-35).

The Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever Allah makes wealthy and he does not pay the Zakat due on his wealth, then (on the Day of Resurrection) his wealth will be made in the likeness of a bald-headed poisonous male snake with two black spots over the eyes. The snake will encircle his neck and bite his cheeks and proclaim, “I am your wealth, I am your treasure”, The Prophet then recited the Qur’anic Verse “And let not those who are stingy with that which Allah has bestowed on them of His bounty think that it is good for them. Nay, it will be worse for them until the end. It’s pretty clear that not paying Zakat is no joke. Severe punishments are prescribed for the one who does not pay Zakat, in the grave as well as on the Day of Judgment.

Application Activity 3.2

• Predict punishments that would be on those who are careless about paying Zakat.

3.3 Importance of Zakat and the rewards to observe it

Learning Activity: 3.3

• Discuss the reasons behind the prescription of Zakat.

It should be noted that Allah does not prescribe anything that is not for the best reasons and does not achieve the best interests. Allah is the All-Knowing, who encompasses all things by His knowledge, and He is the All-Wise who does not prescribe anything except for a reason. With regard to the reason behind the prescription of Zakaat, the scholars have mentioned many reasons for it, including the following:

To complete and perfect a person’s Islam,

1. It gladdens the heart. If a person gives something, especially wealth, he feels a sense of joy.

2. It joins a person to the ranks of the true believers.

3. It makes the Muslim society like a single family, in which those who have the means show compassion to those who do not have the means, and the rich to those who are in hardship.

4. It prevents financial crimes such as robbery and stealing and the like, because the poor will get enough to meet their needs, and they will excuse the rich because they are giving them some of their wealth,

5. Salvation from the heat of the Day of Resurrection.

6. It leads a man to learn about the laws of Allah, because he can never pay his Zakaat until he has learned the rulings on Zakat,

7. It purifies wealth, so that the wealth will grow literally and metaphorically.

8. It is a means of bringing down blessings. In the Hadith it says: “No people ever with hold the Zakat of their wealth but rain is withheld from the sky.

9. It expiates for sins. The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Charity extinguishes sins as water extinguishes fire.

Application Activity: 3.3

• Was is it necessary to prescribe the payment of Zakat.

3.4. The concept of Zakat-ul Fitri.

Learning Activity: 3.4

• Explain the Zakat -ul Fitr and how to distribute it.

Zakat ul-Fitr is often referred to as (Sadaqat ul-Fitr). Zakat ul-Fitr is the name given to charity which is distributed at the end of the fast of Ramadhan.Zakat ul-Fitr is a duty which is obligatory on every Muslim, whether male or female, minor or adult as long as he / she has the means to do so. The proof that this form of charity is compulsory can be found in the following statement whereby Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) made Zakat ul-Fitr compulsory on every slave, freeman, male, female, young and old among the Muslims; one handful quantity of dried dates or one handful quantity of barely beaker of dates, barley, raisins, cheese, grain of wheat. Some scholars say any topic of food that is common in a particular region can be given for Zakat-ul fitr. The head of the household must pay the re-quired amount for the other members.

Significance.

The significant role played by Zakat in the circulation of wealth within the Islamic society is also played by the Zakat ul-Fitr. However, in the case of Zakat ul-Fitri, each individual is required to calculate how much charity is due from himself and his dependents and go into the community in order to find those who deserve such charity. Thus, Zakat ul-Fitr plays a very important role in the development of the bonds of community. The rich are obliged to come in direct contact with the poor, and the poor are put in contact with the extremely poor. This contact between the various levels of society helps to build real bonds of brotherhood and love within the Islamic community and trains those who have, to be generous to those who do not have.

The main purpose of Zakat ul-Fitr is to provide those who fasted with the means of making up for their errors during the month of fasting. Zakat ul-Fitr also provides the poor with a means with which they can celebrate the festival of breaking the fast (‘Eid ul-Fitr) along with the rest of the Muslims. Ibn Abbas reported, “The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) made Zakat ul-Fitr compulsory so that those who fasted may be purified of their idle deeds and shameful talk (committed during Ramadhan) and so that the poor may be fed. Whoever gives it before Prayer will have it accepted as Zakat, while he who gives it after the Salat has given a usual Sadaqat”.

Hence, the goal of Zakat ul-Fitr is the spiritual development of the Believers. By making them give up some of their wealth, the believers are taught the higher moral characteristics of generosity, compassion (sympathy for the unfortunate), gratitude to God and the righteousness. But, since Islam does not neglect man’s material need, part of the goal of Zakat ul-Fitr is the economic well-being of the poorer members of society.

Conditions

Zakat ul-Fitr is only obligatory for a particular period of time. If one misses the time period without a good reason, he has sinned and cannot make it up. This form of charity becomes obligatory from sunset on the last day of fasting and remains ob-ligatory until the beginning of Eid-il-Fitri prayers. However, it can be paid prior to the above mentioned period, as many of the companions of the Prophet used to pay Sadaqat ul-Fitr a couple days before the ‘Eid’ day.

Rate

The amount of Zakat is the same for everyone regardless of their different income brackets. The minimum amount is a quantity of 2.5kg of food, grain or dried fruit for each member of the family.

Application Activity 3.4

• How is the rate of Zakat calculated? What are its beneficiaries?

3.5. Voluntary and compulsory charity (Sadaqat).

Learning Activity: 3.5

• What are charitable activities do you perform at school? Are they neces-sary? Why?

With regard to the Islamic definition: Zakat means worshipping Allah by giving that which He has enjoined of different kinds of Zakat to those who are entitled to them, according to the guidelines prescribed in Islamic law (Shariah). Sadaqat means worshipping Allah by voluntary charity without that being made obligatory in Islamic law. The word Sadaqat is sometimes used to refer to obligatory Zakat. Regarding to the difference between Zakat and Sadaqat, it is as follows:

1. Zakat is enjoined in Islam on specific things, which are: Money, gold, silver, crops, fruits, trade goods and livestock, i.e., camels, cattle and sheep. With regard to Sadaqat, it is not obligatory on any kind of Wealth; rather it is what a person can give, without any specific limits or guidelines.

2. Zakat is subject to the conditions that one full year has passed since acquiring the wealth, and that the wealth meets the minimum threshold (Nisaab) and it is a specific portion of wealth. Sadaqat is not subject to any conditions, and it may be given at any time, in any amount.

3. Allah has enjoined that Zakat be given to certain types of people, and it is not permissible to give it to anyone else. They are the people mentioned in the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “As-Sadaqaat (here it means Zakat) are only for the Fuqaraa’ (extremely poor), and Al-Masaakeen (the poor) and those employed to collect zakat; and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allah’s Cause, and for a traveller who is cut off from everything ; a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise” [Q.9:60]. With regard to Sadaqat, it may be given to those mentioned in the verse on Zakat and to others.

4. Whoever dies and owes Zakat, his heirs must pay it from his wealth, and that takes precedence over the will (Wasiyat) and inheritance. As for (Sadaqat), there are no such obligations with regard to it.

5. The one who withholds (Zakat) is to be punished,

6. Zakat is not permissible to give it to one’s ascendants or descendants. Ascendants include one’s mother, father, grandfathers and grandmothers; descendents include one’s children and their children. Sadaqat may be given to one’s ascendants and descendants.

Application Activities: 3.5

• With Examples, contrast Zakaat and Sadaqat.

3.6. Rules on some voluntary swalaat (a’nawafil)

Learning Activity: 3.6

• Have you participated Muslim festival? If yes how are they celebrated and what are its importance?

Eid-Ul-Fitr Prayer.

Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated at the end of the month of fasting. On this day, Muslim rejoices for having been given the strength to fulfil their obligation of fasting. The Eid prayers are considered obligatory in Islamic Jurisprudence. The Messenger of Allah (saws) exhorted all the believers, men, women, and children to attend the Eid prayers. It is obligatory on every believer to pay the ‘Zakat-ul-Fitr’ before the Eid prayer commences. It is Sunah to eat an odd number of dates before one goes to the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers. It is a preferred practice to perform the purification ritual bath (Ghusl), wear one’s best or new attire, use the brush (Miswak) to cleanse one’s teeth, and if one has perfume (For men), one should apply it before attending the Eid prayer.

It is preferred to offer one’s Eid prayers an open area with the believers; if one is prevented by rain or has a genuine reason, there is absolutely no harm if the believer offers the Eid prayers in the mosque. It is also a preferred practice for the believers to verbally declare the ‘takbirat’ aloud (Glorifications of the Lord) by saying Allahu akbaru allahu akbaru ......until the Imam starts the prayer.

The Eid prayer consists of two parts (Rakats): during which it is a Sunah for the ‘Imam’ leading the prayer to declare the ‘Takbir’ (Allahu Akbar) seven times after the opening ‘Takbir’ and before the recitation of the (Surat ul-Fatihat) in the first (Rakat). During the second Rakat, the ‘Takbir’ is to be declared five times before the recitation of the Surat Al-Fatihah. One should raise one’s hands above their shoulders during each pronouncement of the ‘Takbir’. After completion of the prayers, the ‘Imam’ leading the prayers should face the believers and declare a short (Khutba) or sermon praising and glorifying the Lord and exhorting the believers towards the good. After the sermon, the believers are at liberty to celebrate Eid with their family, friends, loved ones and their believing brethren.

Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th of the month of Dhul-Haj which is the 12thmonth of Islamic calendar; it is celebrated to commemorate the obedience of Prophet Ibrahim and his son Prophet Ishmael (peace be on both of them). Allah accepted the devotion and obedience of both of them and directed that a lamb be sacrificed instead of Prophet Ishmael, peace be upon him. Muslims, who gather in Makah for Hajj, offer their sacrifices on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, following the example of Prophet Ibrahim, (peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him). This act of sacrificing animals is also done by Muslims all over the world.

All Muslims, men, women, and children, join in the congregational two parts (Rakat) prayer held in the open outside a village or town, if possible, on Eid-ul-Adha occasion. Early in the morning, on an Eid day, after taking a bath, Muslims, young and old, put on their best clothes. Children specially, wear new garments. Perfume is used by men as it was the practice of the Holy Prophet (peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him), to wear perfumed attires on such occasion. Special dishes are prepared on Eid days in Muslim homes. On the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha, it is reported that the messenger of God (Peace and Allah’s blessings be upon him) preferred not to eat anything until he slaughtered his own animal for sacrifice. With the meat of that sacrifice he would have the first meal of the day, but to eat before that is not forbidden.

As was the practice of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, Muslims generally go to the Eid through one route and return by another route. The time for Eid Prayer is before noon. Like Friday Prayer, Eid Prayer is always offered in congregation. No Call (Azan) or (Iqama) is called for Eid Prayers. The Eid prayer consists of two-parts (Rakats) and is performed in the way above mentioned for the Eid-il Fitri prayers.

It is better to hasten to offer the sacrifice after the Eid il Ad’ha prayer, as the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to do, then the first thing he would eat on the day of Eid would be meat from his sacrifice.

Prayer for rain (Al-Istisqa-u Prayer).

Definition of the prayer for rain

Al-Istisqa’u means seeking rain from Allah the Almighty during drought and times of low rainfall.

The proof of the permissibility of prayer for rain

Prayer to seek rain is an emphatic Sunat. This was performed by the Prophet (peace be upon him) as reported in the Hadith of Abdullah bun Zaid: “The Prophet (peace be upon him) went to the praying ground to seek rain. He faced the direction of Kaaba (Qiblah), turned his cloak inside out, and prayed two parts (Raka’at).”

The time to observe prayer for rain

Salatul-Istisqa is permissible when there is a drought and sparse rainfall, or the level of water in the streams and well is low, or due to the river drying up etc. It is recommended (to observe the Salat) after the sun rises and has ascended up to the length of a spear; which is about 20 mins after sunrise, it is observed on the praying ground and not inside the mosque, in accordance with the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) manner, except when it necessitates doing it in the mosque.

Description of Prayer for rain

It should be prayed as a two-part (Raka’at) Salat with neither the Azan nor Iqamah. Recitations in both rakats are said aloud. The person observing this Salat says the Takbeer (Allahu Akbar) seven times in the first Rak’ah after the initiating Takbeer. In the second Rak’ah, he says five Takbeers apart from the one he says while standing up from the prostration.

He raises his hands with each (Takbeer), praises Allah and extols Him. He also seeks blessings upon the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) between each (Takbeer). After the prayer, the Imam delivers a single sermon (Khutbat) in which he seeks a great deal of forgiveness and recites Al-Qur’an over and over. Thereafter he supplicates, saying many of the authentic supplications of the Prophet peace be upon him, with insistence, showing humility, helplessness and demonstrating how powerless he is in front of Allah the Almighty, raising his hands up even higher (than he does in ordinary supplications).

Rain is a bounty from Allah alone:

It is important for every Muslim to believe that, truly, rainfall is due to the bounty of Allah and His Blessings on His servants.

The Solar Eclipse (Al-Kusoof ) Prayer.

Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “It is He who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light and measured out for it stages that you might know the number of years and the reckoning. Allah did not create this but in truth. He explains the signs in detail for people who have knowledge.” [Q.10:5]. He, also, says “And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate yourselves not to the sun” nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him” (Q. 41:37). Prayer of Eclipse is a prophetic practice.

The evidence for this is reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) where He says: ‘Eclipses are signs from Allah by means of which Allah makes His servants afraid. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And we sent not the signs except to warn, and to make them afraid (of destruction)” (Q. 17:39).

When the sun was eclipsed at the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), he went out rushing nervously to the mosque, dragging his cloak behind him, and led the people in prayer.He told them that the eclipse was one of the signs of Allah, with which Allah makes His servants afraid, and that it may be the cause of punishment coming upon the people. He commanded them to do that which could prevent the punishment, so he commanded them to pray when an eclipse happens, and to make supplications. Seek His forgiveness, give charity, free slaves and do other righteous deeds so that the punishment would go away and not befall the people. So the eclipse is a reminder to people, making them afraid so that they will turn back to Allah and pay attention to Him.

During the ignorance period, people used to believe that eclipses happened to mark the birth or death of a great person, but the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) declared this belief to be false and explained the divine wisdom behind the occurrence of eclipses as mentioned above.

Seeking guidance (Istikhara) Prayer

The Istikhara prayer is a very simple prayer of seeking guidance to choose between two lawful options. One prays two Rakats at any time that is not disliked, after which one recites the supplication of Istikhara. It is best to recite it before sleeping, though in no way necessary. Like other supplications, it is recommended that one face the Qibla. It is recommended to open the supplications of Istikhara, with praise of Allah and sending blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and to close it in this manner, too. It is disliked to ‘hasten’ in seeking the answer to one’s Istikhara, like other supplications, because the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,Your prayers are answered, unless you hasten, saying, “I prayed, but no an-swer came.

The supplication of Istikharat prayer is translated as follows:

O Allah, verily I seek the best (of either choice) from you, by your knowledge, and I seek ability from you, by your power, and I ask you from your immense bounty. For indeed you have power, and I am powerless; you have knowledge and I know not; you are the Knower of the unseen realms. O Allah, if You know that this matter ( State your project) is good for me with regard to my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then decree it for me, facilitate it for me, and grant me blessing in it. And if you know that this matter is not good for me with regard to my religion, my livelihood and the end of my affair then turn it away from me and me from it; and decree for me better than it, wherever it may be, and make me content with it.”

Looking for signs

One should suspend one’s own judgement or inclination about the particular matter, and wait for Allah to show one a sign or to make things happen in a way that indicates what to do. When one is not clear about the result of the Istikhara, the scholars mention that it is recommend to repeat it, up to 7 times if necessary (usually done on separate occasions). It is not necessary that you get a dream or even a “feeling.” Rather, the Istikhara is a prayer that Allah guides you towards that which is best for you. If you do the prayer of guidance (Istikhara) with the proper manners, the most important of which is to truly consign the matter to Allah and suspend your own inclinations, then Allah will make events unfold in the direction that is the best for your worldly and next-worldly affairs.

The funeral prayer (Janazah Salah)

The Funeral prayer of a deceased Muslim is a communal obligation (Fard Kifayah). If someone is buried without it being performed, then the whole community is held responsible but as long as some gather and perform it, the obligation is removed from the whole community.

It is prophetic practice, praiseworthy and extremely virtuous to participate in the Funeral prayer and burial of a Muslim. All participants in the Funeral prayer must be in a state of ablution, it is permissible to perform dry ablution (Tayammum) if one does not have time to do ablution. There is no Azan or Iqama for Funeral prayers. It consists of four (4) Takbir. Imam should stand: Opposite the head of the dead male and Opposite the middle of the dead female. The funeral prayer is to be done as follows: You say the first Takbeer (Allahu akbar), then you seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Satan (Shaytan) saying Awudhu Billahi Mina shaytwani Rajim, then you say Bismillah ir- Rahmaan ir- Raheem and recite al-Fatihah. Then you say second Takbeer and say blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as one does at the end of the prayer by saying Allahuma swalli ala Muhammad...up to the end.

Then you say a third Takbeer and make a du’aa for the deceased. The best is to say: Allaahumma ighfir lahu warhamhu wa‘aafihi wa a’fu ‘anhu, wa akrim nuzulahu wa wassi’ madkhalahu, waghsilhu bi’l-maa’ wathalji wal-barad, wa naqqihi min al-khatwaaya kama yunaqqa’ a-thawbul-abyad min al-danas. Allaahumma abdilhu daaran khayran min daarihi wa ahlan khayra min ahlihi. Allaahumma adkhilhu al-jannah wa a’idhhu min ‘adhaab il-qabri, wa min ‘adhaab il-naar.

This duaa is translated as follows: ‘O Allah, forgive him and have mercy on him, keep him safe and sound and forgive him, honour the place where he settles and make his entrance wide; wash him with water and snow and hail, and cleanse him of sin as a white garment is cleansed of dirt. O Allaah, give him a house better than his house and a family better than his family. O Allaah, admit him to Paradise and protect him from the torment of the grave and the torment of Hell-fire; make his grave spacious and fill it with light. O Allaah, do not deprive us of the reward and do not cause us to go astray after this) .” Then you say a fourth Takbeer and pause for a little while, then you say one (Tasleem) to the right, saying (Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmat-Allah).

The sunrise prayer (Salat Al-Duha)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever prays the sunrise prayer then waits patiently until he offers the dawn prayer in congregation, there shall be for him the reward of a pilgrim for both the major and minor pilgrimages, complete and not missing anything.

Its name: The sunrise prayer is called Salat al-Duha or Salat al-Ishraq.

Time for Salat al-Duha: The time of Duha prayer is from the time when the sun has risen to a certain height, until just before the time for Zuhr prayer. The minimum for Duha is two rakaats, and the maximum number is 8 rakaats. The best practice is to pray two rakaats by two, saying the salaam after each two rakats.

Witri Prayer

Witri prayer is one of the greatest acts of worship that draw one closer to Allah which the Muslim should observe regularly and not neglect it.

Its timing: It starts when a person has prayed ‘Isha-i’ prayer, even if it is joined to Maghrib at the time of Maghrib, and lasts until dawn begins, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has prescribed for you a prayer (by which He may increase your reward), which is Witri; Allaah has enjoined it for you during the time between ‘Isha-i’ prayer until dawn begins.” According to the Prophetic practice, if a person thinks he will be able to get up at the end of the night, it is better to delay Witri Prayer, because prayer at the end of the night is better and is witnessed (by the angels). But whoever fears that he will not get up at the end of the night should pray Witri before he goes to sleep.

The number of Rakaa: The minimum number of Rakats for Witri is one rakaat, but Witri may also be three or five or seven or nine rakaats. If a person prays three rakaats of Witri this may be done in two ways, both of which are prescribed in Islamic teachings, one way is to say the (tasleem) after two rakaats, then stand for praying the third on its own then you say the final Salam to end the prayer. Another way is to pray three rakaats by performing all three rakaats one rakaat after another, with one Tashahud and Salam at the end of the third rakaat.

In the first Rakat one should recite (Surat ul fatiha) and then (Surat ul-A’la). In the second one should recite Surat ul fatiha and then (Surat al-Kaafirun), and in the third rakaat recites Surat-ul Alfatiha and then (Surat al-Ikhlaas).

Tahajjud Prayer

Tahajud is voluntary prayer that is performed in the night; it is also called qiyamu layil”.Night prayers is found in a lot of proof explanation about Tahajud prayer as Allah said in Holy Qur’an: “And as for the night keep awake a part of it as an additional prayer for you to a Station of Praise and Glory.”In the other verse, Allah describes good people activity as follows: “They were in the habit of sleeping but little by night, and in the hours of early dawn, they were found praying for Forgiveness.”

In a tradition, Abu Hurayirah said,” The Prophet Muhammad was asked, “which one of the best prayer after obligatory prayer? Our prophet answered, ‘midnight prayer’. Asking again, “which one the best fasting after Ramadan fasting? He answered, “Fasting during Muharram month.”

Tahajud prayer usually is done by alone or together, tahajud prayer is not limited in number of rakaats, but at least two rakaats is to be observed. It is good that every 2 rakaats ended with salam, as the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) explained that: “Night prayer is two-two.” If someone wakes up for night prayer, it is recommended that he wakes his family up to pray together. Tahajud may be performed in the early part of the night, the middle part of the night or the later part of the night, but after the obligatory isha’ prayer. However, it is best to delay this Tahajjud Prayer to the last third portion of the night. The Prophet (peace be upon him) says: “Our Lord descends to the lowest heaven during the last third of the night, inquiring: “Who is asking for My forgiveness so I may forgive him’’?

A Muslim should be in the habit of keeping early hours, and waking up early. There may be exceptions to that on condition that they should not hamper one’s activity to worship at night. So, it is clear that the prayer offered at night is so valuable that it comes second only after the obligatory prayers. It is also the best time for Duaa to be accepted by Allah the Almighty.

Application Activity: 3.6

• Discuss voluntary prayers and their importance in personal prayer and community worship.

• Differentiate the concept of compulsory and voluntary acts in worship ac-tivities.

• Write down the benefits of putting trust in Allah.

3.6 End Unit Assessment 3

Unit assessment 3.

1. Define the term “Zakat”.

2. Differentiate between Zakat and Sadaqat.

3. Write down some punishments prescribed for someone who ignores Zakat.

4. Describe how Swalatul Istisqaa, swalatul janazat and Swalatul Kusoof are prayed.

5. Differentiate between Eidul Fitri and Eidul Aduha.

• Introductory Activity 4:

• Have you ever had conflict with your friends? What did you do to solve them?

• Discuss what you do in order to maintain peace and unity with Allah, Parents, friends and the entire community.

4.1.The importance of Unity, peace building and reconcilia-tion in Islam

Learning Activity: 4.1

Why do you think Unity is very important? Share instances where you have been involved in reconciliation activity.

The importance of Unity

Unity is strength. When the sea drops unite they become a boundless ocean. The seven colours emerge in the shape of a bewitching rainbow. The unity among people makes an invincible strong nation. This is the reason why Islam lays great stress on the importance of Unity. Islam means total submission to the will of Allah. Once you have declared yourself a Muslim, you have to abide by the commands of Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Islam is the religion of unity. The essence of Islam is believing in One Unique God; Allah and worshipping Him alone. Religion from the Islamic perspective is only one religion, i.e. submission to Allah. Allah said “Truly the religion with Allah is Islam.” (Q.3:19). All human beings are created of a unique common soul. Allah said “O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single soul.” (Q. 4:1). Man irrespective of their creed, colour, race, language, etc are all equal and are the members of one human family of which Adam and Eve were their parents.

The divine wisdom made them different nations to know each other with the only preference in the sight of God being their piety. “O Mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that who is more pious.” (Q.49:13).

Thus, Islam denotes all types of idle privileges of race, gender, nationality, wealth, etc. Islam advocates for peace, fraternity and unity. The best talk in Islam is the one which brings people together. “There is no virtue in most of their secret talks save in him who orders... conciliation between mankind. And whoever does this seeking the good pleasure of Allah; We shall give him a great reward.” (Q.4:114).

Thus, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, reconciliation between people is rewarded more than one year of praying and fasting. The mission of the Messengers of Allah was to form a united faithful human community. Human unity is only obtainable if humans as a global community enjoy a common divine goal. The unification of the goal will unite human beings. Such a united community is referred to in Islam as ‘Ummah’. “Mankind were one community and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings.” (Q.2:213). Islam regards a divided community on the brink of a pit of Hell-Fire: “Hold fast all of you together, to the Rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves.” (Q. 3:103). Nonetheless, a mere human unity is not a virtue in Islam if it is not based on Monotheism and justice. Division and disagreement on the other hand is acknowledged in Islam as a reality of the life of this world although it is not endorsed as a value.

According to Islamic teachings, all believers are a single Brotherhood.” (Q.49:10) as quoted in the Quran. Allah further explains about brotherhood by explaining that Muslims are allies, friends, supporters of one another, and this again is based solely on Islam. Brotherhood in Islam is to live in peace and to understand one another. They must not argue even if one disagrees with another and that they should follow the best meaning of what is being discussed. They must always forgive and have mercy for one another.

A Muslim also helps any innocent person and loves him. This is because Allah wants all Muslims to live together and in tranquillity, not backbiting and hating each other for no reasons. Even with non Muslims we should live with them in peace and respect and showing love and kindness to them. Allah the almighty says in the Quran: “The believers are nothing else than brothers, so make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.”(Q.49:10). The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) confirms the importance of Unity and brotherhood by saying: “You will not enter Paradise until you have faith, and you will not have faith until you love each other...

Unity is one of the corner stone of Islam; Islam is the greatest unifying force in the world. It is a religion to all humans regardless of colour, race and language. It is a religion that tolerates other religions and orders its followers to respect and protect all humans. According to the Holy Prophet teachings, every human being belongs to Adam and Adam was from soil. Islam has been strictly prohibiting racial discrimination. Peace, equality and paternity are thought through unity. When there is no unity, it will bring about disruption, devastation and disputes. God is the God of all human beings. All humans’ unity is the ultimate aim of the teachings of Islam. The doctrinal and ideological differences must not end up through war or bloodshed. Religion of Islam teaches that in order to achieve true peace of mind and surety of heart, one must submit to God and live according to His Divinely revealed Law.

Ways to achieve unity:

In order to achieve unity, there are many ways, but here are some: we need to understand that unity is not an option, but it is divine obligation that should be observed, we also need to reflect on Hajj (Pilgrimage to Makka) as a time for Muslim unity, we need to reflect on five daily prayers as we meet five times and we stand in one line side by side, we also need to learn tolerance towards other points of view, there is also a need to learn to criticize without hurting and avoiding taking a strong position on smaller points.

For the time being the best practical option is to learn to practice the Unity in diversity. Diversity is the law of nature. Variety is still ‘the spice of life’. Remember we are created in different nations so that we “get to know each other” not to fight one another. There is always going to be a form of disagreement “And if your Lord so willed, He could surely have made mankind one Ummah (nation), but they will not cease to disagree. Except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His mercy.” (Q.11:118-119).

Disagreement will only be removed on the Day of Judgment wherein reality will be shown and God will give His final decree. “Verily, your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection about that wherein they used to differ.” (Q.16:124). Unity, on the other hand, is the way that leads to the infinite. Diversity is an outward thing, unity is of the heart. As humans we have enough common grounds to be united. However, diversity is different from discord. It is discord not diversity that has thrown the world into the boiling pot of sorrow, wars, and death.

Do your Part: Unity begins from within a household. Endeavour to keep your family and friendship circles united. Make reconciliation between people. Learn how to live with people who may view the world differently. Always be optimistic in your so-called understanding of others. Follow fearlessly the Truth wherever you perceive it. Serve people of all nations. They are all ‘the family of God’ and His creatures. Remember the most beloved one in the sight of Allah is the one who serves His family more.

Awareness towards Global Human Disaster: As the citizens of planet earth we will have fewer obstacles to tackle when we fight problems like pollution, depletion of natural resources and natural disasters. Our planet earth is a space ship damaging of which will cause all to drawn, including the vandal. So far as man gets on somehow with life and is quite satisfied with his local and personal issues and the misery of other people in the world is ‘the least to worry about’, there is no hope for world community, for he will not see any further reason for his survival. Unless all people on this globe realize that discord and division is a global disaster and unless they cannot commit to this change of mind-set no human unity can be obtained.

Application Activity 4.1

Give the importance and evidence of Unity and reconciliation in Islam Give some examples that witness an amazing national and international unity and campaigning human unity and solidarity

4.2. Peace building and conflict resolution in Islam.

Islam means peace in all its forms and calls for justice in resolving all conflicts. So that the aggrieved party is satisfied with the result and being at peace works for peace with all concerned.

Islamic Peace Fundamentals

Islam literally means two basic concepts: First, means to surrender or submit to God. And second, means peace or to acquire peace. A daily example of this is provided by Muslims in their greetings of “Assalamu Alaykum”, which means “peace be with you”, this greeting is also the end gesture of their daily prayers. Therefore, Islam advocates living in peace with God, the Creator and Lord of all that exists. As well as, seeking peace within ourselves, and living in peace with other human beings, our surrounding and environment in its entirety. All conflicts - whether they are interpersonal, or within the family and community, or national and international disturb this relationship of peace. The Islamic principles of peace-building enunciated in the Qur’an also affirm that all human beings have a common origin.

Islamic methodology for conflict resolution and peace building

As discussed above, the Islamic precepts are meant to maintain peaceful, healthy, meaningful relationships with God and with all of humanity. This relationship is disrupted by conflicts, whether interpersonal, communal, national or international. Its restoration is essential for the sake of fairness and justice. Peace-building efforts work towards preventing an escalation of conflict and establishing a durable and self-sustaining peace. Peace is intimately tied with justice in its Islamic understanding.

You cannot achieve one without the other. Legitimate grievances of the affected party must be addressed, if real and essential peace is to be achieved. Here are some relevant verses from the Qur’an addressed to the Islamic community: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all you do” (Q. 5:8). And: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or you kin, and whether it is against rich or poor: For God can best protect both. Follow not the lusts of your hearts, lest you swerve, and if distort justice or decline to do justice, verily God is well-acquainted with all that you do” (Q. 4:135).

• The importance of Reconciliation among people in Islam

Reconciliation can be said to be bridging the gaps or filling spaces that occurred because of disputes and conflicts over their affairs and by removing their bad effects. One of the most honourable morals is reconciling people. It is highly recommended and it has been stated on more than one occasion in the Holy Quran as Allah Almighty says: “So fear Allah and amend that which is between you.” (Q.8-1). Reconciling people is one of the acts that yields great reward because it allows grudges to be removed and hearts cleaned. Allah the almighty says: “No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah, then We are going to give him a great reward.” (Q.4: 114).

Reconciling people is so important that a Muslim should regard it as an important aim in his worldly life. It is through reconciliation that hearts become one and unity is encouraged. Neglecting this may lead to a disintegration of the people. This is why Islam put reconciling people above many acts of worship. The Prophet (peace be upon Him) said: “Should I not tell you what is better in degree than prayer, fasting, and charity.” They (the companions) said: “Ye s .”. He said: “Reconciling people, for grudges and disputes are the razor (that shaves faith).

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also said: “Sadaqa (i.e. charity) is due on every joint of a person every day the sun rises. Administering of justice between two men is also a charity. Assisting a man to ride upon his riding animal, or helping him load his luggage upon it is a charity; a good word is a charity; every step that you take towards prayer is a charity, and removing harmful objects from the pathway is a charity.”

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also said: “The best charity is to reconcile between people.The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “It is unlawful for a Muslim to forsake his fellow Muslim for more than three consecutive days. When they meet, each of them turns his face away from the other. The better one is the one who starts the greeting.” The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) “The one who reconciles people is not considered a liar if he exaggerates what is good or says what is good.

Application Activity 4.2

• Give the importance of reconciliation in Islam compared to Rwandan national reconciliation.

4.3. The concept and purpose of Jihad in Islam

Learning Activity: 4.3

Give the meaning of Jihad in Islamic perspective. How can you convince those who nowadays misuse the meaning of Jihad?

Introduction.

The word “jihad” does not mean “holy war” as some people think. This is a Western media rending of a broader concept in Islamic teaching. The concept of “jihad” needs to be understood clearly. Many people in the media take Qur’anic text out of context. Following are basics about the real meaning of jihad.

The Arabic term “Jihad” has been misused according to political or psychological attitudes, therefore we have two versions:

a. Media version defines “Jihadas a Holy war” against non-Muslim in which bloodshed is allowed or mandatory and encouraged in Islam. In this wrong view of Ignorance, Jihad translates to “War” or “Kill” people.

b. Actual Islamic Definition, Jihad means to “struggle and striving for righteous deeds.” Also, it means to be fought within one’s self to refrain from committing sin and to better one’s self. In the Arabic language, this term actually translates to “Strive”, “Struggle”, “Fight against”.

There are two levels of Jihad:

1. Major Jihad: This is very important. We can divide it in two types:

a. Personal Jihad: This is the most important form, it is known as the spiritual struggle, a struggle between two powers within ourselves: the soul and the body. The conscience is in conflict with the bodily desires. The fasting in the month of Ramadhan the annual training, performing five prayers day and night, giving Zakat, fighting against Illiteracy or Poverty, self- reliance journey, are perfect examples of this major jihad. This spiritual conflict is an ongoing jihad within each one of us. Islam expects its followers to give preference to the soul and the conscience over the body and its desires.... This type of Jihad is the intimate struggle to purify one’s soul of evil influences - both subtle and overt. It is the struggle to cleanse one’s spirit of sin, is to put Allah ahead of our loved ones, our wealth and to strive and struggle to live as true Muslims.

b.Verbal Jihad: To strive for justice through words and non-violent actions. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims to demand and seek for justice peacefully. When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said the better jihad is a word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler! The life of the Prophet Muhammad was full of striving to gain the freedom to inform and convey the message of Islam in peaceful manner and Non-Violent methods.

2. Minor Jihad or Physical Jihad: This relates to the use of physical force in self-defence against oppression and transgression by the enemies. Allah commands that Muslims live peaceful lives and not transgress against anyone. If they are persecuted and oppressed, the Qur’an recommends that they migrate to a more peaceful and tolerant land. If relocation is not possible or does not solve the oppression, then Allah also requires Muslims to defend themselves against oppression by fighting against those who fight against them. This armed struggle (Jihad) however does not mean unjustified use of violence or killing innocent people. The minor jihad may be divided into two: aggression and defence. Aggression against any people is not permitted in Islam; however, defence is an absolute right of every individual and nation. Allah the almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight against you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loves not transgressors.” (Q.2:190).

Conditions under which Jihad is allowed

A physical Jihad or Combative has conditions:

• Declaration of Combative Jihad: No single individual or group can autonomously declare Physical Jihad, nor can any one group make peace by itself, but the entire Muslim nation must make peace under their supreme leadership. A peace treaty can be made by the nations’ leader and all subjects of the nation are bound by that decision. The final decision is up to the ruler after his consultation with all the neighbouring states and nations to come together and agree on a treaty with any foreign country. This applies as much to peace as it does to war. No individual or group may come forth and declare a Jihad: that will be a false Jihad.

All Muslim nations and their leaders must come together for a decision and declaration of self-defence war and that is the only accepted process under which the command to fight was given in relation to specific conditions. Thus, the declaration of war is not an arbitrary act at all. A further implication here, is that Physical Jihad was only declared by the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) as the head of the Islamic nation, and as such no one else can legitimately declare Jihad except a ruler who is the head of an Islamic nation. The duty lies squarely with the religious or political leadership to determine whether the conditions for Jihad exist and then to give the appropriate judgement after deepening the balance between the gains and the losses if they engage in Physical jihad.

• No compulsion in the religion: Islam has never been spread by sword to force people to convert to it. Islam as a religion always teaches to respect religious freedom as mentioned in the Quran itself. The Qur’an clearly states “There is no compulsion in religion, the path of guidance stands out clear from wrong” (2:256) and (60:8).

The facts speak for themselves that Islam was not spread by sword and force: Islam spread rapidly on the East Coast of Africa. And likewise no Muslim army was ever dispatched to the East Coast of Africa. Today the fastest growing religion in America and Europe is Islam. The Muslims in these lands are a minority. The only power they have in their possession is the power of truth that is converting thousands to Islam. Islam does only allow fighting against those who fight against us, and transgression is not allowed at all. “And fight in the way of Allah those who fight against you, and do not transgress (limits) for Allah likes not the transgressors” (2:190).

Islam forbids violence and killing innocent people who are not involved in the war. Islam also forbids destroying public infrastructures. The prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to instruct people that: “I advise you ten things: Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them...” This meant that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions were not to start the fighting; but to defend themselves against aggressors. That was how fighting was ordained; the fight was to defeat the aggressors, so that we can live in peace and justice, and once the justice is done, Allah does not command any one to continue fighting. Allah only permits people to fight in self-defence or for the defence of those who are attacked unjustly. These are conditions under which Physical Jihad is only allowed.

Therefore whatever is done beyond the conditions described above is an act of terrorism which is considered serious crime, forbidden by Islam and those involve in such acts or spread the false ideology of violent extremism by misusing the term Jihad for their own interest, are terrorists and criminals and they should be brought to justice.The illustration bellow is about the Islamic conditions and commands to be respected in self-defence Jihad.

Application Activity: 4.3

• Contrast Major and Minor Jihad.

• Discuss manners of Physical Jihad in Islam.

• Discuss activities you can perform in order to make spiritual Jihad against evil thoughts and actions.

4.4. The difference between lawful Jihad and violent acts of terrorism.

In summary, Terrorism differs from Jihad in nature and in behaviour as well as follows:Terrorism is an act committed to kill and harm innocent people and destroy public infrastructures as well as instil fear in the population, while Jihad does not permit these acts. Jihad is striving and struggling for improvement as well as fighting back to defend one’s self, honour, assets and homeland.

Also, Jihad is interpreted as the struggle against evil, internal or external of a person or a society. Jihad, in Islam, means doing any or all but not limited to the following: Learn, teach, and practice Islam in all aspects of one’s life at all times to reach the highest and best education in order to benefit oneself, family and society. Be a messenger of Islam everywhere in good behaviour and positive action. Fight evil, wrongdoing, and injustice with all one’s power by one’s hand (action), with one’s tongue (speech), or at least with one’s heart (prayer).

Application Activity: 4.4

• Show how personal struggle against evil thoughts can lead to inner peace and perfect spiritual being.

• Is Jihad the only way to live peacefully? discuss

4.5. The necessity of peaceful co-existence, Muslims and non-Muslims.

The coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims is a religious obligation in Islam. Islam took the utmost care to consolidate a set of principles, foundations, and general rules in the hearts of Muslims, through a number of Qur’anic verses and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), to achieve peaceful coexistence, the acceptance of others, and constructive cooperation. The Islamic texts that indicate the legal obligation of coexistence are as follows:

• Islam praised the divine religions, their divine books, and prophets. Allah said, “Children of Israel! Call to mind the (special) favour which I bestowed upon you, and that I preferred you to all other (for My Message).” (Q. 2-122).

• Islam also set the condition for a correct and complete belief to believe in all the Messengers. Allah said, “The Messenger believeth in what hath been revealed to him from his Lord, as do the men of faith. Each one (of them) believeth in Allah, His angels, His books, and His messengers. “We make no distinction (they say) between one and another of His messengers.”(Q.2-285).

• Islam encourages Muslims to act on the basis of kindness, goodness and righteousness with non- Muslims who are not oppressors to Muslims. Allah says in the Quran: “Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for Allah loved those who are just.” (Q. 60-8). The righteousness enjoined in the verse encourages kindness to them, the preservation of their wealth, families, honour, and all their rights, in addition to cooperating with them in common interests.

• To interact with non-Muslims with respect for their rights to choice their faith. Allah said, “Let there be no compulsion in religion...) (Q.2-256).

• Islam invites to familiarisation, which requires peaceful coexistence, between peoples that is far removed from ethnic and religious affiliation. It asserted that no differences are there among men except through piety. Allah said: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).” (Q. 49-13).

• Islam has also permitted to Muslims the consumption of the foods permitted to the People of the Book and the marriage of their women. Both these permissions require coexistence and a certain degree of harmony.Allah said:“This day are (all) things good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you and yours is lawful unto them. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues if any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good).” (Q.5-5).

• Islam allows dealing with non-Muslims on the basis of loans and lawful trades. As it was reported that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) died and his shield was pledged to a Jew for thirty sacks of barley.

• Islam obliges honouring the dead whether Muslim or non-Muslim.

• Islam prohibits insulting the false gods they that they are worshiped by some people. In the Qur’an, Allah said: “And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge”. (Q. 6:108).

• Islam calls for politeness and courtesy in dialogue in matters of religion as also constitute a form of justice and kindness towards non-Muslims. About this the Qur’an says: “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided”.The Medina Constitution of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): A symbol of peaceful coexistence, harmony and religious freedom in Islam.

The main goal of Constitution or Charter of Medina which was made by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) in 622 A.D was to enable Him to govern a multi-religious pluralistic society, in a manner that allowed religious freedom for all of them. The Charter consists of articles which set forth the formation of a sovereign nation-state with a common citizenship for all communities. The Charter protects fundamental human rights for all citizens, including equality, cooperation, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. Some clauses specifically state that Jews Christians are entitled to practice their own faith without any restrictions. In short, the Charter of Medina was the first document in history to establish religious freedom peaceful coexistence as a fundamental constitutional right.

Also, one of practical example for Peaceful Coexistence between Muslims and Non-Muslims is the declaration made by the second Caliph Umar ibn ul-Khattab in 7th Century who was particularly sensitive to the demands of justice concerning non-Muslims living under his authority. In a famous story, Umar was invited by the patriarch of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem to pray inside the church. Umar ibn Al-Khattab entered to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. He sat inside among its companions until the time of prayer arrived. Umar said to patriarch, “I want to pray.” The patriarch said, “Here is your place of prayer,” but Umar refrained from doing so inside the church and instead he prayed upon the staircase near a door apart from the church. When Umar finished his prayer, he said to patriarch: “If I prayed inside the church, the Muslims after me would take it and they would say: Umar prayed here”. This church still exists today in Jerusalem as the headquarters of the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, even though it was under the authority of Muslims for centuries.

This confirms that Islam has strongly emphasized the importance of peaceful coexistence between the followers of different faiths. It also shows how citizens of Muslim countries should enjoy freedom of religion and worship within the boundaries of civil law. Their houses of worship should be protected and defended from anyone who might want to harm them.

Application Activity: 4.5

• Give some examples from history showing that Islam emphasizes peaceful coexistence and tolerance between Muslims and non-Muslims.

• Discuss about the Medina Constitution of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) articles that establish peace coexistence among the differ-ent religion followers.

4.6. Compassion and forgiveness in Islam.

Learning Activity: 4-6

• What do these above Qur’anic verses mean to you?The example of the

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) presents us with many such paradigms that we can adapt to our current circumstances. Like all of his predecessors prophets did before him, the Prophet showed utmost mercy and forgiveness to everyone, so much so that even his staunch enemies sought refuge under his wings of compassion.

The Prophet dealt with every one of his opponents with utmost care, and he took very strategic measures not to destroy them but to conquer their hearts by giving the glad tidings and hope of a coming peace, the following verse was revealed right after the Battle of the Trench. Allah says: “When you obey God in His commands and prohibitions,) it may be that God will bring about love and friendship between you and those of them with whom you are in enmity. God is All-Powerful and God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate”. (Q.60:7)

Making peace.

Even in the most critical conditions he did not give up. Despite all the provocations of evil-doers and his own fellow tribesmen’s objections, he made agreements with his crucial adversaries and fulfilled peaceful commitments with them. After his immigration to Medina, the economic and social conditions of Mecca had gradually deteriorated. The Meccans were suffering from drought, famine, hunger, and misery. For sure, he could not have remained indifferent to this heart-rending situation. He sent them food and other needed aid; he literally inundated them with an immense benevolent contribution on the back of hundreds of camels. But, unfortunately the Meccans rejected all of it. Then he sent all the aid directly to (Abu Sufyan). Afterwards (Abu Sufyan) distributed everything to the poor and needy Meccans.

The Prophet those days gave weight to free commerce and trading with other communities, particularly with Meccans. He knew that business trading was an excellent opportunity to get in touch with others. Thus they could have found so many new ways to maintain peaceful relations. Regrettably, all the peaceful attempts made by God’s Holy Prophet were either repelled or responded to with brutal violence by the Meccans.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) forgiveness to his enemies.

There is an exemplary mercy, forgiveness of Prophet Mohammed shown to Non-Muslims. The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) was described as a “Mercy for all the Worlds”, as God said in the Quran: “We have sent you as a mercy for all the worlds.” (Q. 21:107)

The recipients of this quality were not limited to just the Muslim nation, but it also extended to non-Muslims, some of who spent all their effort trying to harm the Prophet and his mission. One of the key features of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was his ability to pardon and forgive even his most ardent enemies. In fact, Allah describes the Prophet in the Quran as a “Mercy to all of Creation” (Q.21:107); a clear testimony to his merciful nature. Let’s take a look at the following people the Prophet (peace be upon him) was able to forgive despite their past grave offences:

Thumama Ibn Uthal.Thumama was one of the Arab leaders of Yammama and Banu Hanifah. He had once killed a group of the Prophet’s companions in response to a letter he received from the Prophet Muhammad inviting him to Islam. Thumama was eventually captured by the Muslims and tied to a post in the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. During his imprisonment, the Prophet ensured he was treated well with sufficient food and drink. The Prophet even instructed his own camel to be milked for him. For two days the Prophet asked him about his condition, to which Thumama would reply with the same response “If you want to kill in reprisal, you can have someone of noble blood to kill. If out of your virtue, you want to forgive, I shall be grateful. If you want money in compensation, I shall give you whatever amount you ask”.

After the third day, the Prophet instructed his companions to release Thumama unconditionally. Thumama could not believe he was pardoned, but nevertheless, he made his way out of the Mosque and towards a nearby palm grove. He washed and watered his camel until he turned around and returned to the Mosque. There, he stood before the companions and announced that he was now a Muslim and said the testimony of faith. Thumama had been inspired by the kindness and the compassion shown to him by the Prophet, and this is one of the strongest indications of what led him to Islam.

Wahshi Ibn Harb.

Wahshi was responsible for spearing and killing the beloved uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, Hamza Ibn Abd ul Mutwalib, during the Battle of Uhud. This killing took place at a time where Hamza was a great support to the Muslims and Islam. Although, this act had hurt the Prophet deeply and caused him great grief, he still forgave Wahshi.

Hind Bint Utbah.

Hind was the wife of (Abu Sufyan Ibn Harb) and was a staunch opponent of the Prophet Muhammad and Islam. She would frequently inspire the Quraish to harm the Muslims and the Prophet. She ordered the killing of Hamza, the uncle of the (Peace be upon him) and also mutilated his body by cutting his chest and tearing his liver and heart into pieces after he was martyred. Following the Conquest of Makkah, she too was forgiven by the Prophet after repenting from her past.

His mercy and forgiveness to the people of Taif.

Another example of the Prophet’s forgiveness and mercy was clear in the earlier portion of his mission, the Prophet travelled to the city of Taif, a city located in the mountains nearby to Mecca, in order to invite them to accept Islam. The leaders of Taif, however, were rude and discourteous in their treatment of the Prophet.

Not being content with their insolent attitude towards him, they even stirred up some gangs of the town to harass him. This riff-raff followed the Prophet shouting at and abusing him, and throwing stones at him, until he was compelled to take refuge in an orchard. Thus the Prophet had to endure even more obstacles in Taif than he had had to face in Mecca. These ruffians, stationed either side of the path, threw stones at him until his feet were injured and smeared with blood.

The Prophet prayed to God and sought for aid, and God then sent the angel of mountains, seeking the permission of the Prophet to join together the two hills and crush the city of Taif, between which it was located. Out of his great tolerance and mercy, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) replied, “No! For, I hope that God will bring forth from their loins people who will worship God alone, associating nothing with Him.

Prophet’s forgiveness to His enemies in Mecca:

The tribe of Quraish were enemies of Islam and, for a period of thirteen years while the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) was still in Mecca, they would rebuke the Prophet, taunt and mock him, beat and abuse him, both physically and mentally. They placed the afterbirth of a camel on his back while he prayed, and they boycotted him and his tribe until the social sanctions became unbearable.

They plotted and attempted to kill him on more than one occasion, and when the Prophet escaped to Medina, they rallied the majority of the Arab tribes and waged many wars against him. Yet, when he entered Mecca victorious with an army of 10,000, he did not take revenge on anyone. The Prophet said to the Quraish: “O people of Quraish! What do you think I will do to you? Hoping for a good response, they said: “You will do good. You are a noble brother, son of a noble brother.”.

The Prophet then said:“Then I say to you what Prophet Joseph the son of Jacob said to his brothers: ‘There is no blame upon you.’ Go! For you all free!.

The Prophet was all for forgiveness and no amount of crime or aggression against him was too great to be forgiven by him. He was the complete example of forgiveness and kindness, as mentioned in the following verse of the Quran where Allah says: “Keep to forgiveness (O Muhammad), and enjoin kindness, and turn away from the ignorant.” (Q.7:199)

Repelling evil with the good and kindness.

The prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) always repelled evil with the good of forgiveness and kind behavior. He believed and practiced the precept that love could foil hatred, and aggression could be won over by forgiveness. He overcame the ignorance of the people with the knowledge and kindness of Islam, and the folly and evil of the people with his kind and forgiving treatment. With his forgiveness, he freed people from the bondage of sin and crime, and made them great friends of Islam.

He was an epitome of the verse of the Quran where Allah says: “Good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with what is better. Then he, between whom and you there was hatred, will become as though he was a bosom friend.” (Q.41:34). These are only some of the examples of people that the Prophet forgave despite the grave actions they had performed in the past. It is a message of self-reformation that teaches us that we can subdue feelings of revenge and hatred and build a society in compassion and love. May Allah make us all examples of such Prophetic forgiveness and allow us to follow in Prophet’s footsteps.

Application Activity 4.6

In your words, explain this Quranic verse“Good and evil are not alike. Repel evil with what is better. Then he, between whom and you there was hatred, will become as though he was a bosom friend.” (Q.41:34)

4.7. Tools for Humanitarian Work in Islam

Learning Activity: 4.7

See the picture above and answer the following questions:

• What does this picture portray?

• What caused these children to look like this? What are they missing?

• What can be done to them so that they become happy and

Acts of humanitarianism are an essential element of religious practice for Muslims. The Qur’anic and prophetic texts calling for humanitarian action, defining and ordering it are numerous. They are either of an obligatory or an inciting nature and do not exclude non-Muslims from humanitarian aid.

For a Muslim to undertake a humanitarian act is a way of receiving help from heaven, of erasing sins, and of meriting Paradise. There are mechanisms established by the religion which had an unprecedented impact on the lives of the population: the freeing of slaves, a significant support for the most vulnerable, and the expansion of the educational and health-care system. Nowadays faith based Muslim NGOs follow these texts to launch varied humanitarian programmes in different domains and in different parts of the world in all situations in general and in that of relief in emergency and natural disasters.

Humanitarianism is one of the fundamental principles of the Muslim religion. The act of giving money or helping someone in distress is not left to the free choice of the believer, but is instead an obligation in the same way as is prayer, fasting during the month of Ramadan and the pilgrimage to Mecca. Acts of humanitarianism, whether limited to a donation in money or in kind, or of a more practical nature, such as distributing aid, are an essential element of religious practice for Muslims.

This religious dimension motivates channels and intensifies the emotional and obligatory aspects of charity. The Quranic texts and Prophet Muhammad’s sayings calling for humanitarian action, defining and regulating it are numerous. They are either of an obligatory nature or a call for such work. To undertake a humanitarian act is a way of receiving help from heaven, of erasing sins, escaping punishment, thanking God for his mercies and meriting Paradise.In the following article, we will see examples of how the Muslim religion, by legal (Quran verses, prophetic practices), favors stimulates and reinforces humanitarian action to make it popular, general and able to be exercised on a daily basis.

Obligatory Character.

The Muslim religion considers both humanitarian actions and the duty to help as religious obligations by which all Muslims, rich and poor, are bound. Quranic texts and prophet’s saying sometimes have an exhortatory tone encouraging charity works. The Prophet says: “The first to enter Paradise are those who do charitable works...” At other times, the texts are formulated as a clear order. The Prophet Muhammad says: “Rescue prisoners, feed the hungry and look after the ill...” But there are also numerous texts which are severe in regard to those who do not help the poor, the orphans and the slaves. The obligatory nature of charity does not end with the wording of texts; Islam has also put practical mechanisms in place to manage humanitarian aid. These arrangements are very precise, as in the case of compulsory charity (zakat).

Validating faith

Islam insists on the translation of intent and conviction into concrete actions in all including humanitarian areas. It can be seen that whenever faith is evoked in the Quran, an injunction to react immediately follows and charitable acts are especially encouraged.The expression “those who believed and who did charitable works...” is cited a considerable number of times in the Quran, for example. Allah says: “Those who believe and do righteous deeds, a good state is theirs and a beautiful place of final return...” (Q.13:29)

Erasing sins

The Muslim religion considers error to be human. The behavior of man, whether in his relation to the Creator or in his relation to other creatures (humans, animals, plants...), cannot be perfect. His religion, however, forcefully recommends him to correct his mistakes and puts a series of means to do so at his disposal, such as repentance, submission to justice, and reparation for damage caused to others.

Islam also established a system allowing sins to be erased by performing humanitarian acts. In this regard the Prophet said: “Alms extinguish sins exactly as water extinguishes fire...” There are a number of dispositions in the case of violating an oath, from which the following can be cited: “God will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation feed ten poor people on scale of the average of that you feed your own families, or clothe them or free a slave...” Q.5:89)

In another example, in the case of voluntary failure to observe one of the days of fasting during Ramadan without a valid reason, the Muslim must fast for sixty consecutive days or feed sixty needy people. These dispositions which are erasing sins are also practiced if the believer is incapacitated, for example by health, and consequently unable to perform a ritual during the fast and the pilgrimage.

Alms (Zakat) as a symbol for Humanitarian Actions in Islam.

Islam is generally believed to be a call for action inspired by its beliefs and the consideration that humans are social beings; Islam is, in other words, more than a mere practice of rituals. In fact, one of the principles that inspire humanitarian work is also one of the pillars of Islam, Zakat (alms). It is held as mandatory on each and every capable Muslim to provide a certain portion of his or her net wealth every year to the poor and the needy.

A true Muslim is the one who does righteousness by spending from his substance, out of love for Him, for his kin, for orphans, for the needy, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves. A true Muslim believes that in his wealth and possessions there is the right and proportion of the needy. (Q. 51:19). Zakat is, thus, not just an act of good will on the part of the wealthy and the well-off; but it becomes a social right of the poor in this wealth. It redistributes wealth in the community so as to decrease societal tensions that result from income gaps. In this sense, Zakat aims at creating some sort of social justice and welfare systems as well as helping people overcome their attachment to the pleasures of life.

There is another basis, however voluntary, for acting in the social domain for the cause of Allah ,Sadaqah or “charity.” refers to proving one’s faith in a manner that not only has to do with one’s relationship to Allah, but also one’s relationship to people. In other words, doing the Sadaqah, beyond the mandatory alms, is recommended and encompasses every good action a Muslim undertakes to help his community. A special form of Sadaqah is the practice of (Waqf Khairi) (endowments or charitable trusts) that were developed in the early days of Islam by religious scholars for the aim of serving the general interests of the community, motivated by a reward from Allah. Waqf is a charity that is sustainable and “transcends time, inspired by the Prophet’s saying: “When a man dies his works stop bringing him a reward with the exception of three actions.” These include sustainable charities which will still benefit the community even after the donor has died.

Application Activity 4.7

• Zakat in Islam is not just an act of good will on the part of the wealthy and the well-off; but it becomes a social right of the poor in this wealth. Explain how?

4.8. Human Rights and Islam.

Learning Activity: 4.8

• Is there evidence that Islam promotes human rights

Fundamental human rights in Islam are well defined. The Holy Qur’an and sayings of Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him) provide exhaustive details about social responsibility of the state with respect to fundamental human rights. Concept of good life depends upon protection of fundamental liberties. Civil structure of society develops in the environment of freedom. The whole idea of civilizations needs an atmosphere where religious sentiments, life, property and honour of subjects are safe. They should feel protected and honoured. An individual finds emotional satisfaction through social acceptance.

Sanctity of Human Life: Protection of human life is fundamental objective and principle of Islamic teachings. The Holy Qur’an describes sanctity attached to human life in a quite different manner: “Whoever kills a person [unjustly]...it is as though he has killed all mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.” (Q.5:32).According to the Prophet Muhammad’s saying, killing innocent person is one of the seven major sins in Islam, where the Prophet listed murder as the second of the major sins, and he even warned that on the Day of Judgment, {The first cases to be adjudicated between people on the Day of Judgment will be those of bloodshed and killing of innocent people.

Freedom of Religion:Everyone has right to discharge his religious obligations according to his faith and belief. Freedom of religion is an accepted right of every citizen of the state. In the Holy Qur’an Allah says: “There is no compulsion in the matter of religion...” (Q. 2:256)

Property Rights:Individual ownership of property is a trust from Almighty the Creator. No one has right to destroy or take away property belonging to other people. In the Holy Qur’an Allah says: “O ye who believe! Eat up not your property among yourselves in vanities; but let there be amongst you business and trade through mutual agreement.” (Q. 4:29). Allah the almighty also says: “O believers! Do not betray the trust of God and Prophet, and do not intentionally appropriate, property entrusted to you”. (Q. 8:27).

Honour and Dignity:Every person has right to enjoy respect and honour in the society. It is not allowed to defame a person through wrong accusation. Strong punishment is provided for the acts committed against the dignity of person. An accusation not supported by proper evidence invites severe punishment. In the Holy Qur’an Allah says: “Those who accuse chaste women of unchastity, and then are unable to produce four witnesses (in support of their accusation) flog them with eighty stripes and ever after refuse to ac-cept from them any testimony – since it is they that are truly depraved.” (Q.24:4.

The high standard of testimony and the number of witnesses to prove the offence of fornication is to discourage mischief mongers to spread corruption on earth through wrong accusation without proper proof and evidence in support of such claim. Rules of Islamic Shariah tend to create a culture of mutual respect and honour in which honour and dignity of citizens is fully protected. In the Holy Qur’an Allah warns against evil social practices and says: “O believers! Avoid suspecting each other: In some cases suspicion is an offence, and do not spy on or speak ill of each other in the absence.” (Q. 49:11)

Right to Know and access to education:The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “It is duty of every Muslim man and wom-an to acquire knowledge”.

Health Care: Islamic teachings provide a complete code of health care and preventive measures to make a person healthy and active in his daily life routine. It is the state’s obligation to promote these measures and take adequate steps to ensure the provision of clean water and maintain clean atmosphere in living areas. Poverty, ignorance and disease are considered to be the most disturbing factors in human life. Clean and pollution free atmosphere is an essential requirement of healthy life. Cleanliness is part of faith as narrated from the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him). Faith is not complete without observing cleanliness.

No Punishment without Trial: A person must not be punished without conducting proper judicial proceedings and proving an offence against him. Everyone is innocent unless proved guilty through evidence in the court of law. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) made this principle clear where He says “Were people to be given according to their claims, some would claim the wealth and blood of others. But the burden of proof is upon the claimant and the taking of an oath is upon the one who denies (the allegation).”

Due to the importance of the proof In Islam, it is an obligation that people offer their testimony truthfully when called upon to do so. Allah the Almighty says: “And the witness should not refuse when they are called”. (Q.2:282).It is considered a sin to conceal what one has witnessed. Allah the Almighty says: “And conceal not the testimony, for he who hides it is certainly sinful of heart”. (Q.2: 283).

Right to privacy:It is right of every citizen that his private and family life should be respected. He must enjoy moments of privacy at his home. The Holy Qur’an says: “O believers! Do not enter houses of others, without respectfully seeking permission of their occupants; this is the conduct enjoined on you. And if you find none in a house, do not enter it unless directed otherwise. And go back if you are not allowed entry, this is what behoves you; and God knows all that you do...”(Q. 24:27-29).Sanctity of home life requires that every citizen has right to take residence wherever he feels convenient and desires to reside. Division of localities on the basis of race, colour and language is against the fundamental human rights of the people. Town planning and provision of proper housing facilities for the people is an essential function of the government.

Equality and Equal Protection of Law: Everyone is equal before the law. All citizens must be treated equally in law, rich or poor a person of high status or an ordinary person. Allah says: “Truly God commands you to give back trust to those to whom they are due, and when you judge between people, to judge with justice...” (Q. 4:58). And Allah also says: “..And act justly. Truly, God loves those who are just”.(Q, 49:9).Islam rejects certain individuals or nations being favoured because of their wealth, power, or race. God created human beings as equals. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: {O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety.}.

No one is above the law in Islam:The principle of treating people equally before the law, was also confirmed by the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) when the people of Quraish worried about the lady from Bani Makhzum who had committed theft. They asked, “Who will intercede for her with the Prophet?” Some said, “No one dares to do so except Usama bin Zaid the beloved one to the Prophet.” When Usama spoke about that to the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) the said, Usama Bin Zaid “Do you try to intercede for somebody in a case connected with Allah’s Prescribed Punishments?” Then he got up and delivered a sermon saying, “What destroyed the nations preceding you, was that if a noble amongst them stole, they would forgive him, and if a poor person amongst them stole, they would inflict Allah’s Legal punishment on him. The Prophet added: “By Allah, if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad stole, I would cut off her hand.

Freedom of Movement: Everyone has right to move from one place to another within territorial limits of a country without unnecessary restrictions imposed by the state authorities beyond the scope of law and rules. In the Holy Qur’an Allah says: “We have honoured the sons of Adam, provided them with the means of transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance pure things and conferred on them special favours.” (Q.17:70). And Allah also says: “Travel through the earth, and see how God did originate creation, so will God produce a latter creation for God has power over all things”. (Q.29:20) Here is an open invitation to move around the earth and observe signs of creation learn through the lessons of history.

What is important about civil rights in Islam is that the Almighty, the law Giver, grant-ed those rights and declared Himself the Guarantor, as state has no right to suspend them. Violation of these rights is considered injury to the rights of Allah. In Islamic teachings, these rights are considered sacred, whether a person is Muslim or not, be-cause Islam protects honour, forbids insulting others. Islam also rejects favouritism of individuals because of their wealth, power, race or nepotism.

Application Activity: 4.8

• How is protection of human life a fundamental objective and principle of Islamic teachings?

• All citizens in Islamic teachings must be treated equally in law, rich or poor, a person of high status or an ordinary person. Give some evidences.

4.9 End unit assessment

Unit Assessment 4.

1. Give some aspects that witness that Islam is a religion of Unity.

2. Give some examples that witness an amazing national and international unity and campaigning for human unity and solidarity.

3. Islamic Methodology for Conflict Resolution and Peace Building.

4. Give some conditions that physical or Combative Jihad has.

5. Examine the terror acts that are committed by some groups in the name of Jihad.

6. Give some articles of The Medina Constitution of the Prophet Muhammad that Symbolise the Peaceful coexistence, harmony and religious freedom in Islam.

• Introductory activity 5:

Many people confuse love and friendship. Others confuse sex and sexuality. These concepts are totally different. With examples, differentiate these concepts in line with Islamic faith

5.1. The meaning and importance of Friendship

Learning Activity: 5.1

• Do you have friends? If yes, highlight activities friends do to one another? Is friendship important? How?

The Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, often spoke to his companions about the value of good companionship. He emphasized the need to surround ourselves with good people. People, who hold the same values and beliefs that we do, make the best friends and companions. Differences of opinion, different lifestyles and interests may make our friendships interesting and sometimes challenging but if the core value system is not the same the friendship itself probably has no solid foundation. For the believer, the solid foundation must always be Islam; the irrefutable truth that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger.

Every believer, past, present and future is linked by this fundamental truth. Prophet Muhammad spoke about this bond on many occasions, like where the Prophet says. “The example of the believers, in their mutual love and mercy for one another is like the example of one body, if one part feels pain, then all of the body suffers in sleeplessness and fever”. The believer to the believer is like a solid building, one part supporting the other.

Friendship and companionship are important in Islam. A good friend is one who accepts your shortcomings, but at the same time guides and supports you. A good friend is one who accommodates your faults but corrects them where possible. A good friend is one who will love and forgive you for the sake of God. It is important to choose your friends carefully. Prophet Muhammad warned the believers about this too. He said that a person would be influenced by his friends, and he warned that everyone should look carefully at those they consider to be their friends.

What we can understand from this is that it is easy to be influenced by the people around us. It is easy to take on their mannerisms and qualities without even being aware of it. If these are good qualities, then it is a good thing but what if the people you consider friends have pushed you away from the remembrance of God? This could be a disaster, and God warns about it in the Quran. “And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer (oppressor, polytheist etc.) will bite on his hand, he will say: ‘Oh! I wish I had taken a path with the Messenger. Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend! He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (the Quran) after it had come to me.’” (Q. 25:27).

Prophet Muhammad also reiterated this point when he told the story of the blacksmith and the perfume seller. The example of a good companion (friend) in comparison with a bad one is like that of one who sells perfume (misk) and the blacksmith. From the first, you would either buy perfume or enjoy its good smell, while from the blacksmith you would either get burned or smell a bad scent.

Once we have found good friends it is important to keep and maintain the friendship. Believers are connected by their love of God and His messenger and this entails certain responsibilities. In his traditions, Prophet Muhammad said, “A person visited his brother in another town and God sent an angel to wait for him on his way. The angel said, “Where do you intend to go?” The man answered, “I intend to go to my brother in this town.” The angel said, “Have you done any favour to him, the repayment of which you intend to get?” He said: “No, I love him for the sake of God, the Exalted and Glorious.” Thereupon the angel said, “I am a messenger to you from God to inform you that God loves you as you love him.

Believers should never be envious of one another, they should always be happy when the blessings of God fall upon their friends and companions. The Prophet may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said: None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself. The Muslim’s prayer for his absent brother will be answered. There is an angel at his head who, whenever he prays for his brother, says, Ameen, and you shall have likewise. Do not have malice against a Muslim; do not be envious of other Muslims; do not go against a Muslim and forsake him. Oh the slaves of Allah! Be like brothers with each other. It is not violable for a Muslim to desert his brother for over three days. A believer loves others for the sake of God. He desires for them what he desires for himself. A believer is tolerant of others mistakes or shortcomings and is forgiving. There is no anger, envy, hatred or malice between believers.

It may sound too good to be true, doesn’t it? This however is Islam. It is a way of life that expects every person to respect every other person. Islam says you are part of a community and it is your right and your responsibility to be the very best person that you can be.

Seeking good companions and maintaining good relationships is a responsibility that each believer has to himself, his community and to God. Seek companions who are seeking paradise in the hereafter. “Content yourself with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, seeking His approval, and do not let your eyes turn away from them out of desire for the attractions of this worldly life, and do not yield to those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our remembrance, those who follow their own low desires, those whose ways are unbridled.” (Q.18:28).

Application activity 5.1

• With Quranic verses and prophetic traditions, discuss about the impor-tance of companionship and friendship in our life.

5.2. Islamic teachings about boys-girl’s relationship.

Learning Activity: 5.2

• Discuss the position of Islam towards boys-girls relationship. Is it good? Why?

A girlfriend is not the manner of a Muslim. It is forbidden for a male Muslim to have a girlfriend, as it is forbidden for a female Muslim to have a boyfriend. Muslims should have good relations with all people, males as well as females, at school, at work, in your neighbourhood etc. You should be kind and courteous to everyone. However, it is not allowed in Islam to take a friend of the opposite gender as a very special friend. Such friendship often leads to unlawful and forbidden acts and behaviours.

In the Qur’an, Allah mentioned that good men and women are those who marry, do not have fornicating relationships and do not have “paramours” or Akhdan. (See Q. 4:25, and Q. 5: 5). Akhdan are “sweethearts” or for a man a “mistress” and for a woman a “lover”. The Prophet (peace be upon him), is reported to have stated that “whenever two strangers of the opposite gender are alone with each other, Satan becomes the third one between them.” So it is not allowed for a Muslim boy to have a girlfriend or for a Muslim girl to have a boyfriend. Howsoever pure your intentions may be, the danger is that it will lead you to sin. Or at least you will be alone with each other and spend more time together.

Thus, you should be friendly with your classmates, both boys and girls; but do not take a girl as your intimate friend. Of course, Islam does not encourage homosexuality and lesbianism. So it does not allow taking a boy either as your intimate friend in the “gay sense”. Friendship with the opposite sex is not of Islam. It used to be of the pre-Islamic era life style. Friendship of both opposite sex can never be safe or sex-free.

But, a law is usually amended for social regulations. There is no law to be customized for a certain person or few people. The Qur’an and Sunnah guidance for the sexes dealing with each other has a main major issue for which Islam has set principles and rules to govern. It is the desire and lust. The Qur’an prohibits anything that motivates one’s heart in a seductive way towards the other. The Qur’an tells a woman when she speaks to a man to speak in a way that doesn’t show any interest in him lest he should feel seduced to build up an unhealthy relationship. If there is a possibility in any kind of action that it could lead by some percentage into catastrophe, no one will ever take that risk.

Application Activity 5.2

• What are the potential problems that could be caused by unlawful relationship between male and female?

5. 3. Avoiding peer pressure.

Learning Activity: 5.3

• Suppose your friend proposed to you a cigarette for smoking in order to maintain the relationship.

The Dangers of Peer Pressure.

The consequences of the absence of Islamic teachings as the governing system of today’s Muslim society are manifesting themselves in all aspects of our lives. The detrimental effects of not having the Islamic social system can be felt regardless of whether we live in the Muslim nations or elsewhere. In some cases, Muslim youth are losing their Islamic identity, their values and even their religion.

When one examines why some youth deviate, a simple but terrifying fact is brought to light most of the time, the cause is the influence of friends that surround them. The task of choosing the right friends and companions is essential to preserving our identity. Befriending righteous and virtuous Muslims is one of the prerequisites for staying on the straight path and pleasing Allah.

Islamic identity should not only be maintained within the family, we sometimes overlook who our youth are associating with when they are outside the house or on the computer. Islam has given us a road map to navigate through our lives in order to succeed both in this world and hereafter. We must always abide by the Islamic values in all aspects of our lives and choosing the right friends is no exception. A Muslim should choose friends who will advise him and remind him about Allah rather than leading him to the path of Satan.

It is therefore important for a Muslim to choose good friends. The love between two Muslim friends is such that they will confide in each other, help each other in times of need and difficulty, and strengthen each other’s commitment to the religion of Allah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims who have love for each other not to keep it to themselves. It has been narrated by al-Bukhari that the Prophet (saw) said, “If one of you loves his brother for Allah’s sake, then let him tell him since it causes familiarity to endure and firmly establishes love.

Relationship with non-Muslims.

As Muslims living at any part of the world, we interact with non-Muslims on a daily basis whether at work, university, college, school or in society at large. It is incorrect for us to cut ourselves completely from them and live in isolation. We should aim at building relationships with them and showing them kindness and compassion of Islam in order to attract them to embrace Islam. It is important to always remind ourselves that our purpose in this life is to carry Islam to everybody and show them the right path.

While we are young, we have the potential to follow Islam by advancing our understanding and carrying Islam to others and also using our youth strength appropriately because youth doesn’t last forever, so we must make good use of it before it is gone. We have to ensure that we follow the footsteps of the great Muslim youth of the past who were luminaries of humanity. Let us remember the words of the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) who said,“Value five things before other five things: Youth before old age; health before sickness; affluence before poverty; leisure before becoming too busy; and life before death.”[Tirmidhi]

Application activity 5.3

• Discuss about the rules you would set up to choose a good friend.

• Do you agree with the saying “Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are?” And why?

Islam takes into account all of humankind’s needs; spiritual, emotional and physical. Part of physical wellbeing includes sexual wellbeing and health. God created sex not only for procreation but to fulfill humankinds need for intimacy. Islam leaves no part of our lives unexplained and thus sexuality and intimacy are not topics that the Quran and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, May God praise him, shy away from or neglect.

Islam encourages marriage and has made it the only means through which one can satisfy their sexual needs. There are well-known consequences if a person engages in premarital relationships or behaves in a promiscuous manner. These include unwanted pregnancies, the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, family breakdown in cases of adultery and emotional difficulties arising from relationships without commitment.

Islam is aware of these complications and cautions the person who does not take the matter seriously. Islam defines pre-marital and extra-marital sexual relationships as great sins. “Nor come closer to illicit sexual intimacy for it is a shameful and immoral, opening the door (to other immorality).” (Q.17:32). There are some dangers and implications of unlawful sexuality (prostitution) include psychological, physiological, social, health-related and spiritual dangers.

a. Psychological Implications of Prostitution.

Under the psychological aspect, 2 dangers are suggested. They are the anxiety caused by prostitution and the permanent sense of guilt caused by it.

Prostitution keeps you in a constant anxiety.

The first psychological danger of Prostitution is anxiety. The Muslim who has an atom weight of Faith in his heart will remain with uncomfortable feelings, if God forbidden, he commits. This is no matter how much forgiveness he has sought from Allah. This is because, although Allah is surely forgiving for those who seek His for-giveness, the forgiveness granted does not eradicate the impact of the body contact that has taken place.

The scene can’t be wiped out from the memory. Although Allah may have forgiven him, he himself cannot forget the sin he once or repeatedly committed. Why? Because it involves someone’s dignity. It involves someone’s daughter. It involves someone’s mother. It involves someone’s wife. She too can’t forget it because it involves someone’ son, father or husband.

Prostitution will also affect his or her marriage life. The more it affects his or her marriage life, the more anxiety he lives in.This constant anxiety will subsequently evolve into guiltiness that hunts the person.

Permanent Sense of guilt that hunts you

Prostitution takes place with two parties of the opposite genders. It can’t take place with one only person. I’m afraid that may be a secret habit. It can’t also take place between two parties of the same gender. That’s even more dangerous than prostitution itself. It will hunt you, if anyone is affected by your action. And certainly, someone will be affected. When you break someone’s virginity, isn’t he or she affected?

When you drag someone son or daughter intoprostitution wouldn’t he be affected, even if he didn’t know about it? When you cause someone to betray her husband or his wife, isn’t that aggression to his or her right? Doesn’t that cause damage to the dignity and bond of a family? More important than all the above; it breaks the boundaries of God Himself. The boundaries of Allah are only broken by aggressors. When it comes to health, Prostitution poses different dangers to its committers. What’s there more dangerous than been kicked out of Allah’s mercy, or being deprived from any blessings from Allah as a result in involvement in it?

Spiritual Implications of Prostitution.

The most dangerous implication of adultery is that it’s a sinful act. Committing it invites Allah’s wrath. A community or society that normalizes adultery is affected with numerous (if not endless) hardships, unless they refuse to acknowledge it as such. This is regardless, whether or otherwise, the community or society is a Muslim or not.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) says in a Hadith reported by Imam al-Bukhari and Muslim: “When the fornicator is committing fornication, he is not a believer.”Thus, among the characteristics of the chosen servants of Allah (Ibad al-Rahman) is that they don’t commit adultery. Also, among the qualities of the believers is that, they safeguard their chastity. Failure to observe that lands one in the company of the evil.

Allah has created us and outlined some boundaries of His, which we should observe. The implication of crossing these boundaries affect us and our loved ones with us not knowing. A man who is known for Zina activities has done injustice to his children, as no one would like to build a kinship with him “and he who transgresses the bounds set by Allah commits a wrong against himself” (Q. 65:1).

Kinship is one of the noblest things to Allah. He reserves high regard for it. With the transgression of Zina, we don’t only do great injustice to ourselves as well as our loved ones. We also commit a greater transgression to the boundaries of Allah, and something that is highly regarded by Allah. This act of evil should not be confused with or connected to the noble concept of friendship, which did not meant for it but to serve the following:

Loving Friends for the sake of Allah.

This means that we would undertake actions to help a friend or further our relationship with them for the sake of Allah even though they may go against our personal interests. The Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever would like to taste the sweetness of belief (Iman) then let him love a person only for Allah’s sake.”[Ahmad].

Generosity and Kindness

Giving gifts has also been recommended by the Prophet (saw) and he explained that it strengthens the relationship between people. It was narrated by al-Bukhari that the Prophet (saw) said: “Give gifts and you will love one another.”[Bukhari]. Kindness to our friends, helping them in need and consoling them in times of grief should become natural to us for everyone needs help, a shoulder to cry on and someone to share their joy.

The relationship of friendship is one of trust as a good Muslim is trustworthy and not deceitful. He does not betray nor backbite. In reality this makes the relationship between friends in Islam stronger than friendship according to Western concepts as there is no constant worry about whether your friend is speaking ill of you to other people or betraying you.

Islam has prohibited backbiting and slander thus removing the cause of suspicion and doubt amongst people: “O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, indeed some suspicions are sins. And spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You abhor that (so abhor the other)! And keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is Relenting, Merciful.”[Q. 49:12].

Islam also forbids envy and jealousy which are the common causes of problems amongst friends. The Prophet (saw) said: “Do not have malice against a Muslim; do not be envious of other Muslims; do not go against a Muslim and forsake him. Oh the slaves of Allah! Be like brothers with each other. It is not violable for a Muslim to desert his brother for over three days.”[Muslim & Tirmidhi].

Application Activity 5.4

• Discuss about the relationship between the human sexuality and friendship

5.5. The spiritual morals and conduct of boys and girls.

Learning Activity: 5.5

• List down the spiritual conducts of boys and girls in Islam.

Islam is a comprehensive way of life, and morality is one of the cornerstones Islam. Morality is one of the fundamental sources of a nation’s strength, just as immorality is one of the main causes of a nation’s decline. Islam has established some universal fundamental rights for humanity as a whole, which are to be observed in all circumstances. To uphold these rights, Islam has provided not only legal safeguards, but also a very effective moral system.

Thus, whatever leads to the welfare of the individual or the society and does not oppose any maxims of the religion is morally good in Islam, and whatever is harmful is morally bad. Given its importance in a healthy society, Islam supports morality and matters that lead to it, and stands in the way of corruption and matters that lead to it. The guiding principle for the behavior of a Muslim is “Virtuous Deeds”. This term covers all deeds, not only acts of worship. The Guardian and Judge of all deeds is God Himself.

The most fundamental characteristics of a Muslim are piety and humility. A Muslim must be humble with God and with other people: “And turn not your face away from people (with pride), nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, God likes not each arrogant boaster. And be moderate (or show no insolence) in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying) of the ass.” (Q. 31:18-19).

Muslims must be in controls of their passions and desires.A Muslim should not be vain or attached to the ephemeral pleasures of this world. While most people allow the material world to fill their hearts, Muslims should keep God in their hearts and the material world in their hand. Instead of being attached to the car and the job and the diploma and the bank account, all these things become tools to make us better people. “The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail, but only he (will prosper) that brings to God a sound heart.” (Q: 26: 88-89)

Principles of Morality in Islam.

God sums up righteousness in the following verse “It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness (the quality of ) the one who believes in God and the Last Day and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; who spends of his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, to the needy, to the wayfarer, to those who ask and for the freeing of slaves; and who is steadfast in prayers, and gives Zakah (Alms); and those who fulfill their covenants which they made; and who are patient and perseverant in poverty and ailment and throughout all periods of fighting. Such are the people of truth, the pious.” (Q.2: 177).

This verse teaches us that righteousness and piety is based before all else on a true and sincere faith. The key to virtue and good conduct is a strong relation with God, who sees all, at all times and everywhere. He knows the secrets of the hearts and the intentions behind all actions. Therefore, a Muslim must be moral in all circumstances; God is aware of each one when no one else is. If we deceive everyone, we cannot deceive Him. We can flee from anyone, but not from Him. The love and continuous awareness of God and the Day of Judgment enables man to be moral in conduct and sincere in intentions, with devotion and dedication: “Indeed, the most honourable among you in the sight of God is the most pious.” (Q.49:13). Then acts of charity to others, especially giving things we love. This, like acts of worship, prayers and Zakah (mandatory alms), is an integral part of worship. A righteous person must be reliable and trustworthy. Finally, their faith must be firm and should not wane when faced with adversity. Morality must be strong to vanquish corruption: “And God loves those who are firm and steadfast.

Patience is often hardest and most beautiful when it’s against one’s own desires or anger: “And march forth toward forgiveness from your Lord and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for the pious. Those who spend (in the way of God) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon people; verily, God loves the doers of the good deeds.” (Q.3:133). These three acts are among the hardest things for most people, but they are also the key to forgiveness and to paradise. Are they not the best, those who are able to exercise charity when they are in need themselves, control when they are angry and forgiveness when they are wronged? This is the standard by which actions are judged as good or bad. By making pleasing God the objective of every Muslim, Islam has set the highest possible standard of morality.

Morality in Islam addresses every aspect of a Muslim’s life, from greetings to international relations. It is universal in its scope and in its applicability. Morality reigns in selfish desires, vanity and bad habits. Muslims must not only be virtuous, but they must also enjoin virtue. They must not only refrain from evil and vice, but they must also forbid them. In other words, they must not only be morally healthy, but they must also contribute to the moral health of society as a whole. “You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of ) men; you enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong and believe in God; and if the followers of the Book had believed it would have been better for them; of them (some) are believers and most of them are transgressors.” (Q. 3:110).

The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, summarized the conduct of a Muslim when he said: “My Sustainer has given me nine commands: to remain conscious of God, whether in private or in public; to speak justly, whether angry or pleased; to show moderation both when poor and when rich, to reunite friendship with those who have broken off with me; to give to him who refuses me; that my silence should be occupied with thought; that my looking should be an admonition; and that I should command what is right.

Application Activity 5.5

• Discuss about the essence of modesty and shyness in Islam.

5.6. The importance of young people in Islam.

Learning Activity: 5.6

• Discuss bout the worshiping activities that can be done much better at youth age.

Muslim youth can contribute to Islam by giving time, talent and money. They should also play an important role to bring about positive change in society, and should work with an objective of making Islam prevalent over all the other ways of life. The youth is the stage of life when the individual should grasp good knowledge about Islam and make effective utilization of the time and talent given by Allah.

Despite the inexperience of youth, it is a time in a Muslim’s life when his faith is likely to be tested repeatedly by temptations “of the flesh.” It is the duty of young Muslims to overcome these temptations and preserve their religion (Islamic way of life), share Islam with others and observe the teachings of the holy texts of Islam, such as the Quran and the Hadith. Beyond fulfilling these basic responsibilities, however, young Muslims are expected above all to play an important role in the advancement of Islam.

Establish Good Habits

Within the Muslim community, it is believed that youth is the most important period of life. This is the time in which opinions, habits and beliefs are formed, and it is important for the time to be spent in personal development. For example, Muslim youth should develop the habit of praying five times per day, as he or she will do in adulthood; of avoiding the temptations of time alone with the opposite sex and of seeking guidance from older, wiser Muslims. In this way, the Muslim youth will begin adulthood as a spiritually strong individual able to serve as a role model for other young people.

Glorify Allah.

Ideally, the Muslim youth should do all things with the aim of glorifying, or serving, Allah. Even casually spending time with friends offers the opportunity to share Islam. Young Muslims should also refrain from backbiting, slander, jealousy and envy and focus instead on gaining Islamic knowledge and practicing the Islamic values of forgiveness and forbearance. Even if a Muslim youth has limited understanding of the Quran’s complexities, he should endeavour in all situations to behave in a way that would please Allah. In fact, when a Muslim spends his youth in worship and study of Islam, Allah views it as a form of gratefulness for life.

Seek Knowledge

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) referred to the attainment of an education as a duty not as a right or as a privilege for all Muslims. In youth, Muslims have the responsibility to pursue both a religious and a formal education. Muslim youth may learn by attending religious services, but they are also encouraged to seek wisdom from parents and other relatives. The Prophet warned against mistreating or belittling the youth for their lack of wisdom and urged the different generations to come together and learn from one another.

Application Activity 5.6

• Discuss about the role of young people in Daawa’t Activities.

5.6 End Unit assessement 5

Unit Assessment 5.

1. Give the meaning and importance of friendship.

2. With Quranic verses and prophetic traditions discuss about the importance of companionship in our life

3. What are the potential problems that could be caused by the unlawful relationship between male and female?

4. Do you agree with the saying “Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are?” And why?

5. Give some dangers and implications of unlawful sexuality (prostitution) include psychological, physiological, social, health-related and spiritual dangers.

6. Give some spiritual morals and conducts of boys and girls, that are engaged in Islam.

REFERENCES

Bibliography

-Sahih Al-Bukhari

- Sahih Muslim

- Sunan Abu Dawud

Islamic History, Faith and Practice:

Armstrong, Karen. The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism. New York: Ballantine, 2001.

_____. A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. New York: Ballantine, 1994.

_____. Holy War: The Crusades and Their Impact on Today’s World. New York: Anchor Books, 2001.

Cleary, Thomas. The Essential Koran: The Heart of Islam. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1994.

Maalouf, Amin. Crusades through Arab Eyes. New York: New York: Schocken, 1989.

Renard, John. Seven Doors to Islam: Spirituality and the Religious Life of Muslims. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996.

Sells, Michael. Approaching the Quran:

The Early Revelations. Ashland, Oregon: White Cloud Press, 1999.

_____, (ed.). Windows on the House of Islam: Muslim Sources on Spirituality and Religious Life. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

Sufism (Islamic Mysticism):Barks, Coleman. The Essential Rumi. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1995.

Ernst, Carl W. The Shambhala Guide to Sufism. Boston: Shambhala, 1997.

_____, (ed.). Teachings of Sufism. Boston: Shambhala, 1999.

Contemporary Islam:Belt, Don, (ed.). The World of Islam. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2001.

Esposito, John L. and John O. Voll (eds.). Makers of Contemporary Islam. New York: Oxford Univeristy Press, 2002.

Feener, Michael, (ed.). Religions in Contemporary Societies: Islam. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, (forthcoming).Kurzman, Charles. Liberal Islam: A Sourcebook. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Lawrence, Bruce B. Shattering the Myth: Islam Beyond Violence. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998.

Rashid, Ahmed. Taliban: Islam, Oil and the New Great Game in Central Asia. London: I.B. Taurus, 2000.

Said, Edward. Covering Islam: How the Media and the Experts Determine How We See the Rest of the World. New York: Vintage, 1997.

Shah-Kazemi, Reza “The Other in the Light of the One: The Universality of the Qur’an and Interfaith Dialogue”, Islamic Texts Society, 2006.

Reviewed by Patrick LaudeSourdel, Dominique, Que sais-je? L’Islam, presse Universitaire de France, 2eme Edition, 1986

Hossein Nasr, Seyyed “One God, Many Prophets: The Heart of Islam: Enduring Values for Humanity”, (Lahore : Suhail Academy, 2004).

Murata, Sachiko and Chittick, C. William “The Vision of Islam”, paragon house, New York, 1994.

Kobeisy, Ahmed Nezar (2004).

Counseling American Muslims: Understanding the Faith and Helping the People Praeger Publishers. Shaykh al Uthaymeen (2000).

Al Qawlul Mufeed of vol1, al Madinah publication Yasir Qadhi. Lecture. AlMaghrib. Route 114: Quranic Sciences. University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, March 2008.

Muhammad n. yaasin. The book of emaan, the basic reality and invalidation of emaan, alfirdous ltd, London Yasir Qadhi. Lecture. AlMaghrib. Route 114: Quranic Sciences. University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, March 2008.

Muhammad n. yaasin. The book of emaan, the basic reality and invalidation of emaan, alfirdous ltd, London Andrew Rippin, The Function of asbab al-nuzûl in Qur’anic Exegesis Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (1988)

v.5 pp. 1-20;“Occasions of Revelation” EQ v.3 pp.569-573..

WEBSITES.

http://www.metanexus.net/essay/peaceful-co-existence-various-cultures-and-religions-islamic-per-spective-special-reference

http://www.islamicity.org/6388/contributions-of-islamic-civilization-to-the-modern-world/

https://newmuslimguide.com/en/preliminaries/213[10 Things Every Christian Should Know About Islam July 4, 2013 |Zane Pratt , https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/10-things-every-christian-should-know-about-islam/]Source: The Islamic Center of Southern California:

http://icsconline.org/publications/books/43-prayersalat/161-chapter-4.html

https://newmuslimguide.com/en/preliminaries/213[10 Things Every Christian Should Know About Islam Pratt, Zane, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/10-things-every-christian-should-know-about-islam/ July 4, 2013 |

http://www.islamicity.org/6388/contributions-of-islamic-civilization-to-the-mod-ern-world/

A brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam, 2nd Edition, 1997, Darussalam Hou-ston, www.islam-guide.com

http://alnaqiy.com/article/zakah-islams-response-to-poverty/

https://islamicbanker.com/education/zakah-remedy-poverty-islam

http://www.hidaya.org/publications/zakat-information/what-is-the-meaning-of-zakatUnited States of Islam: The Youth’s Role in Supporting IslamInter-Islam.org:

The Period of YouthAl-Islam.org: Raising Children in Islam

https://islamicnafahat.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/prophet-muhammads-pbuh-commands-in-war/References Jihad: A Misunderstood Concept from Islam - History and Law Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani (Chairman, Islamic Supreme Council of America) and Shaykh Seraj Hendricks (Head Mufti, Cape Town, South Africa) The Islamic Supreme Council of Amer-ica

http://islamicsupremecouncil.org/understanding-islam/legal-rulings/5-jihad-a-mis-understood-concept-from-islam.html?start=1This lecture was delivered in the Conference of “Meditations on the Modern Condition” 19-20 June 2004 at Sydney University; Cumberland Campus.

https://www.al-islam.org/articles/human-unity-sustaina-ble-peace-shaykh-mansour-leghaei

https://islamicmisconceptions.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/exemplary-mercy-for-giveness-prophet-mohammed-to-non-muslims/