The Similarities Between
From Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom, it was apparent that Morrie shaped his life based on many of his beliefs. He gained those beliefs from other religions and their cultures, one of those being the religion of Islam. During Morrie’s many lessons with Mitch, they talked about different concepts of death and how it differs between religions. What death is and how people cope with it. Death was one subject that Mitch did not like to discuss, but because of his limited amount of time with Morrie he got past it and learned the importance of his teacher’s last lesson.
In Islam, people believe that living and dying is the submission to the will of God. In fact, German philosopher Goethe stated, “If Islam means submission to the will of God, then in Islam we all live and die” (Deathreference.com). This means, many people who choose to study Islam think of it as being a live-die religion. If one submits themselves to Allah, then on his time will they live for a period of time and die at another period of time. Muslims, or people of the Islamic faith, believe in dying during the time of their fate. This submission varies upon Islamic scholars; some believe it is in their will to devote a specific amount of time to prayer with the time provided for them. Others believe in piecing themselves away from Allah, the Muslim God, and placing themselves above him.
There are two subgroups of Islam. The fittest are those who strongly worship God and his morals. On the other hand, the negative prototypes are those who value their own laws above Allah’s. Neither submission is favored, but it is observed of those whose worship is based on the religion of Islam. Morrie was a very egotistical old man at times, and other times, a very sad one. Morrie mourned at times because he felt pity for himself. He felt as if it was not his time, other times he felt that God would not give him a disease he was not fit to overcome. In the end of Tuesdays with Morrie, Morrie still won, because he learned from his dying and was thankful for God’s fate. The fact that Morrie knew approximately when he was going to die gave him time to cope and inspire others.
In the Islamic holy book, the Quran, it teaches that every individual struggles with good deeds and bad deeds, but spiritually it is up to them how they react to their situations. In Islam, this inconsistent struggle is known as “Jihad” (Deathrefernce.com). Morrie was a winner because he used his fate wisely by teaching others and telling the world of his disease along with ways people could cope with death. Morrie was like any other individual, throughout his life he struggled with the good and bad, from the death of his mother and father and his brother’s Polio to the births of his two sons. There were many ways Morrie could have lived his life but he chose to use the struggles of his past to sculpt his future.
Like every other being, death is a greatly recognized situation. Many people handle death differently. Muslims believe in preparing for death before it is too late (Deathreference.com). Morrie understood this statement and used it to come up with a lot of his aphorisms. One of his aphorisms, “Learn how to live, and you’ll know how to die; learn how to die, and you’ll know how to live,” seemed to be greatly influenced by The Quran’s book of warnings. Islam believes in charity, the process of doing something for others. Although Morrie was not physically able, before he passed he did give back to charity and he sculpted another life besides his while doing so, Mitch’s. In Islam, Muslims accept death and they think of it at as “one’s appointed time” (Deathreference.com). In Islam this is known as “Ajal”. Morrie learned to live by dying and how to die by living, and from that he gained the awareness of how he was going to die and an estimated time of when he would die.
When a Muslim dies it is either frowned or smiled upon but it is in their religion to attend any Muslim’s funeral. Before these funerals many activities occur, the people left behind of the deceased prepare the body by washing, perfuming and shrouding it (Deathreference.com). Similar to the most common performed funerals, a funeral prayer is said. After the Muslim body is buried in the graveyard, without casket, a person informs the dead of what has happened; he has died. In Islam, after life is believed if the deceased can pass a test on the Day of Judgment. Muslims believe that afterlife is the process in which a person’s soul is either sentenced to life in Paradise or life in Hell.
Thus this being known, Muslims do not believe in the process of reincarnation, this belief is highly unfortunate to the Muslims. The people of Islamic belief do not believe that a person can be reborn and live another life throughout another body. Only possible, a person’s spirit can go on, but after death their physical bodies are lost forever. “If one is to believe in reincarnation, it would mean that we should treat the poor, the destitute, and the suffering as if they deserve their misfortunes, and have no sympathy for them because they are only getting their punishment; and we should have high regard for the rich and the comfortable because they are receiving their reward for past good deeds. Such an attitude would be inhuman and against the basic teachings of Islam” (Muslim.org).
Morrie believed that if cremated, they would burn his legs separately and the rest of his body would be at piece, due to the nature of his illness. If Morrie was cremated everything would be burned to ashes, his soul, his hands, his arms, and his legs. Had Morrie chosen to be buried, sooner or later his spirit would leave his body and his bones would be left in his coffin to deteriorate and decompose. As read on Muslim.org, “In Islam, they teach that a human being not only has a body, but it also has a ‘spirit’ given to him or her by God” (Muslim.org). “During his life, man’s deeds shape and mould his spirit, for better or worse, according to his deeds. When a person dies, the physical body is finished, but the spirit remains as he or she had molded it by their deeds when alive. That is the life after death” (Muslim.org).
Most Muslims share the same practices, the primary being The Five Pillars. Although, only one of the five pillars was shown to be at least similar to Tuesdays with Morrie, it was Pilgrimage. Within the pillar of pilgrimage, every Muslim is to make the trip to Kaaba at Mecca. If one is able, physically of economically, they are to try and do so at least once in their lifetime (History.com). After coping with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Morrie Schwartz was confined to his wheel chair and declined from dancing ever again. As the disease progressed Morrie relied on a ventilator to breathe for him. If physically possible, Morrie would surely make a second pilgrimage to his old campus or dance club again too enjoy reliving old times.
As previously stated, A Muslim’s death is either smiled or frowned upon. It was myth that “Islam is completely incompatible with acts of terrorism; it is against Islam to kill innocent people” (thereligionofpeace.com). In the Islamic nation it has been recorded that, very frequently, Muslims will kill other Muslims in the name of their God. This usually occurs because these Muslims consider their victims nonbelievers of the religion, Posers. An actual Muslim will go to Paradise despite their reason for death if they were truly Muslims. A nonbeliever will usually be sentenced to time in hell after death. For a Muslim to kill another “unbeliever” in the name of Allah, this is considered Takfir (thereligionofpeace.com).
In review, Morrie’s beliefs were very similar to the people of Islam. Not only could many of the spoken topics been related to the words of Morrie but, hence, they were accurate. In Islam death is not gone about as an inhumane stage of life, more is it worshiped and highly provisioned. Occasionally, Muslims make it routine to visit other Muslim funerals. In their religion, this may be is considered compassion, and by attending each Muslim gains a new experience and some way of coping death. Of course the fear of dying ranges between religions and for Muslims they keep a bias opinion on death, but for every Muslim actually dying is one step closer to those who may receive a wonderful life in Heaven or a terrible life in Hell. Besides death there are many other beliefs behind the Islamic nation. Islam basis it’s religion on their God Allah, and what he worships they respect.
“Encyclopedia of Death and Dying.” Death Reference. Advameg, Inc., 2009. Web. 7 Dec. 2009. http://www.deathreference.com/Ho-Ka/Islam.html
Isha’, Ahmadiyya. “Beliefs.” The Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement: Presenting Islam as peaceful, tolerant, rational, inspiring. Islam Lahore Inc. U.S.A., ND. Web. 9 Dec. 2009. http://www.muslim.org/islam/int-is35.htm
“The History of Islam: Practices and Institutions.” 5 Pillars of Islam. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 9 Dec. 2009. http://www.history.com/content/ramadan/the-history-of-islam/5-pillars-of-islam
“The Myths of Islam.” The Religion of Peace. The Religion of Peace, 2008. Web. 9 Dec. 2009. http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Pages/Myths-of-Islam.htm