Essay by Mr786University, Bachelor'sB-, March 2008

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"In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful" is the recurring phrase used widely by Muslims before starting many common tasks such as eating, or performing prayer. Like most religions around the world there is some aspect of prayer, in one form or another, in Islam. How much significance is placed on this prayer is what I will be looking to examine.

It is estimated that there are 900 million Muslims in the world today. There are many different forms of Islam, and hence different types of Muslims, mostly dependent on geographical origin. Due to the sheer volume of variations in Islam, in this essay, we will concentrate on the role of prayer for the most common types of Muslims, Sunni's. Although there are some minute differences in prayer methods, the concept and arguments will not be tainted by ignoring other types of Muslims.

An estimated 120 million Muslims reside in Arab world, and is said to be the birthplace of Islam.

Islam itself is over 1400 years old and Prophet Muhammad is largely regarded as the founder of Islam, who spread his ideas in Mecca after receiving a vision from god. Most of the first followers were his friends and family, who were punished for following a monotheistic religion. The monotheism theme that is fundamental to Islam means the oneness of god (Tawhid).

Prayer for Muslims is intended to purify the heart and bring about spiritual and moral growth. The aims of prayer are to bring people closer to each other and to Allah, to bring about peace and tranquility, to encourage equality by making Muslims pray shoulder to shoulder irrespective of race, skin color or social class, which also encourages unity and brotherhood. Other effects of prayer are to develop gratitude and humility, to...