Beliefs and practices kept by converts

beliefs and practices kept by converts

It would seem that many of the beliefs and practices of popular Islam that have found acceptance in what began – in intention at least – as a revolution to an ideal religion, derive from other sources.  Such ‘converts’ have tended to retain many of their previous concepts beneath a veneer of conformity to orthodox Islam.

Some of the practices of Arabian tribesmen which continued, officially or unofficially after their Islamization, included the hajj to the kaba with various attendant ceremonies, rituals in such activities as paring nails or washings after certain kinds of defilement, the use of amulets for protection, the use of hair and fingernails for offensive magic, the protection measures taken against the qarina, the evil eye and jinn, and various kinds of divination.  New believers tended to carry into their worldview as Muslims previous ideas about the soul, death, spirit world, blessing and cursing.

In the progressive expansion of Islam, proponents of the faith have often been representatives not of the orthodox, popular religion.  As a result, within orthodoxy, it was demonstrated that ideal forms of the faith would be gentle and accommodating host to the more exportable and accessible expressions of popular religion.

Among Africans south of the Sahara, in more recent times, a similar process has occurred.  For example, Fulani Muslims in Cameroon use spirit possession and necromancy in a syncretistic mix of traditional and Islamic approaches to healing. In the western Sudan, among the Molsi, Islam’s inclusion of the African’s central concern for ancestor veneration broke the lengthy resistance shown to the new religion.  Thus the expansion of the formal faith has often been courtesy of adaptation made at a popular level to accommodate the major beliefs and practices of the convert peoples.




About evanlaar1922

Have you ever noticed how many special ways God refers to us, His dear children? He calls us His beloved sons and daughters, the righteous, children of the kingdom, His anointed, royal priesthood, the faithful in Christ, His temple, His friends, and so many other loving names that speaks to who we are in Him. Also in many cases, the names we are given at birth have both biblical and heavenly identities tied into them. Our Heavenly Father who watches over us daily has created the ideal path for each of us to take to travel the journey of life, just as a father will make plans for his own child by putting things in place at a very early age for education, health, graduation, and marriage. God has predestined and equipped each of us to carry out a specific purpose that will create the design He desires to be in place for His kingdom to be effective in the earth.
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