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Background Information:
When studying the different religions of the world we tend of focus on the distinctions between these religions and understanding what makes them unique, however it is important to note that although these religions are distinct and unique in their own way, there are common themes and structures that can be applied to them. Some of the common elements present in the different religions that we will be studying this semester are:
• Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Writings
o Divinely inspired writings that contain origins of the religion, essential beliefs, and major teachings. Some religions also revere writings of prominent figures throughout their history who have contributed to expounding the theology of the religion (ex: writings of the Islamic saints)
• Beliefs and Practices
o Tenets of the religion that unify its community of believers on a variety of topics ranging from their relationship with the divine, soteriology, creation, eschatology, anthropology, etc.
• Prayer and Worship
o Liturgical practices that believers of the faith participate in throughout their daily lives. Some liturgical practices and rituals of prayer are performed in conjunction with the celebration of religious festivals at particular times of the week (ex: Sabbath) or times of the year (ex: Christmas)
• Morality – Code of Ethics
o Guiding principles that adherents of the faith abide by throughout their lives informed by the theology of the religion
• History
o Understanding how the religion was established and the advances of the religion throughout human history that shape the global image of the religion today while also recognizing changes in theology that have occurred throughout history due to major historical events
In your reading of Chapter 12 – Encountering Islam: The Straight Path of the One God you have gained a better understanding of what the religion of Islam is all about from the context of its history, sacred scriptures, beliefs and practices, code of ethics, etc. You will now use the information gleaned in the chapter to expand upon particular elements of Islam enumerated below:

  1. Islamic Symbols and Names (.5 pages)
    A. Identify a common Islamic symbol and explain its significance
    I. Consider the following:
  2. History/Origins of the symbol
  3. Important religious figure(s) associated with the symbol and their involvement with it
  4. How is the symbol utilized by Muslims today?
    A. Is it used during prayer/worship?
    B. Is it worm as an outward sign of faith?

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When William I died in 1087, his third son William Rufus was given the English throne much to the contempt of his older brother Richard Curthose, who was given the Duchy of Normandy, his father’s original title prior to the Battle of Hastings. This resulted in open rebellion by Curthose against William Rufus, who answered swiftly with an excursion into Normandy. Malcom III saw this as an opportunity for expansion, and in 1091 led an expidition south to besiege Newcastle. The threat was enough to bring William II back to England and this time, Malcom III was ready for a fight. Fortunately for both sides, a peace was sued via the mediation of Edgar Ætheling, and Malcom III once again returned to Scotland. Not a year later did that peace begin to crumble. If it is to be believed that Cumbria was under Scottish control in 1092, the settlement of English peasants in the village surrounding William II’s newly-constructed castle Carlisle may have been the catalyst. Whatever the cause, Malcom III once again travelled south to Gloucester to confront William II on the issue of lands and estates granted by William I being seized by his son for purposes of English resettlement. Malcom III found William II unwilling to negotiate, who instead delegated the matter to English barons. Malcom III found these conditions unsuitable, and returned again to Scotland. It is unlikely that William II’s intention was to provoke casus belli to Malcom, but according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, war is what William II received: “For this reason therefore they parted with great dissatisfaction, and the King Malcolm returned to Scotland. And soon after he came home, he gathered his army, and came harrowing into England with more hostility than behoved him….” As Malcom III was besieging Alnwick, he was ambushed by a small force of knights led by Robert de Mowbray, Earl of Northumbria. Accompanied by his son Edward and Edgar Ætheling, all three men were killed in the fighting which ensued, leaving the army leaderless, and Scotland without a king. Malcom III’s wife Margaret would die nine days later of a broken heart. The resulting power vacuum made way for Malcom III’s brother Donald III to succeed him, interrupted in 1094 by a deposition attempt by Duncan II with the support of landowners and clergymen in the Lowlands, and the Anglo-Norman nobility to the south. A sequence of misjudgments by Duncan II, however, would see him killed in battle on 12 November, 1094 — outmanned, outmaneuvered, and out-supported. Donald III’s reign was marked by nativist policies, which would see the exiled Anglo-Saxon nobles which had taken refuge in the courts of Malcom III and Margaret driven out of Scotland. These policies were wildly popular with the Highland clans, who had supported Donald’s recapture of the Scottish throne from>

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