Portal:Religion
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Portal:Religion

For a topic outline on this subject, see Outline of religion

The religions portal

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Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual nature and a study of inherited ancestral traditions, knowledge and wisdom related to understanding human life. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to faith as well as to the larger shared systems of belief.

In the larger sense, religion is a communal system for the coherence of belief--typically focused on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Moral codes, practices, values, institutions, traditions, and rituals are often traditionally associated with the core belief, and these may have some overlap with concepts in secular philosophy. Religion can also be described as a way of life.

The development of religion has taken many forms in various cultures. "Organized religion" generally refers to an organization of people supporting the exercise of some religion with a prescribed set of beliefs, often taking the form of a legal entity (see religion-supporting organization). Other religions believe in personal revelation and responsibility. "Religion" is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system," but is more socially defined than that of personal convictions.


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About this sound Islam  (Arabic: ? al- isl?m) "the submission to God" is a monotheistic faith, one of the Abrahamic religions and the world's second largest religion.

Followers of Islam, known as Muslims (from the Arabic word, muslimeen, meaning those who submit to God's will), believe that God (or, in Arabic, All?h; also in Aramaic Alaha) revealed his direct word for mankind to the prophet Muhammad (c. 570-632).

These revelations are recorded in the Torah (Old Testament), the Injeel (revelation to Isa) and the Qur'an (Arabic - meaning Recitation) which Muslims believe to be the final revelation from God to humanity.

Muslims believe that Muhammad is the last or the seal of the Prophets. His preachings for humankind will last until qiyamah (Arabic - meaning The Day of Resurrection, aka The Day of Judgement).

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Kids dancing in 'The Great Masi Procession' during Ayya Vaikunda Avataram.
Credit: Vaikunda Raja

The Ayya Vaikunda Avataram (Tamil? ? ? - Incarnation of Vaikundar), is a festival celebrated by the followers of Ayyavazhi on the 20th day of the Tamil Month of Masi, the date on which the Ayyavazhi followers believe that Lord Vaikundar arose from the sea at Thiruchendur. And the 'Tha Great Masi Procession' is the Procession from Nagercoil to Swamithope.

Selected religious figure or deity

Rama (center) with wife Sita (right), brother Lakshmana (left standing) and devotee Hanuman (left, bottom).
R?machandra, or Rama (r?ma in IAST, in Devan?gar? or ?r? R?ma (? in Devanagari), was a king of ancient India whose grand story is portrayed in the epic Ramayana, one of the two great epics of India. In Hinduism, he is also considered to be the Seventh Avatara of Vishnu and one of the most important manifestations of God. He is one of the most popular heroes of Hindu mythology and folktales in South and Southeast Asia. Born as the eldest son of Kausalya and Dasaratha, king of Kosala, he is the embodiment of the Supreme Brahman and Dharma. Rama is Maryada Purushottama, literally The Perfect Man. He is the hero of the ancient Hindu epic poem, The Ramayana (from Sanskrit, The Journey of Rama). Rama is the husband of Sita, who is also considered the Avatara of Lakshmi and the embodiment of perfect womanhood.

Did you know...

  • ...that one key Confucian concept is that in order to govern others one must first govern oneself?
  • ...that the Qur'an is the only book that has been completely memorized by Muslims (hafiz) all around the world for nearly 14 centuries?
  • ...that in Shinto, the family is seen as the main mechanism by which traditions are preserved? Their main celebrations relate to birth and marriage.

On this day...

May 22:

Selected quote

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you; Don't go back to sleep. You must ask for what you really want; Don't go back to sleep.

Selected scripture

The Norse gods were mortal, and only through Iðunn's apples could they hope to live until Ragnarök. Image by J. Penrose, 1890.
The Poetic Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems primarily preserved in the Icelandic mediaeval manuscript Codex Regius. Along with Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda the Poetic Edda is the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends.

Codex Regius was written in the 13th century but nothing is known of its whereabouts until 1643 when it came into the possession of Brynjólfur Sveinsson, then Bishop of Skálholt. At that time versions of Snorri's Edda were well known in Iceland but scholars speculated that there once was another Edda--an Elder Edda--which contained the pagan poems which Snorri quotes in his book. When Codex Regius was discovered it seemed that this speculation had proven correct. Brynjólfur attributed the manuscript to Sæmundr the Learned, a larger-than-life 12th century Icelandic priest. While this attribution is rejected by modern scholars the name Sæmundar Edda is still sometimes encountered.

Bishop Brynjólfur sent Codex Regius as a present to the Danish king, hence the name. For centuries it was stored in the Royal Library in Copenhagen but in 1971 it was returned to Iceland.

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