Faith

Faith, derived from Latin fides and Old French feid,[1] is confidence or trust in a person, thing, or concept.[1][2] In the context of religion, one can define faith as confidence or trust in a particular system of religious belief.[3] Religious people often think of faith as confidence based on a perceived degree of warrant,[4][5] while others who are more skeptical of religion tend to think of faith as simply belief without evidence.[6]

National gallery in washington d.c., mino da fiesole, fede, 1475-1480
Faith (Armani), by Mino da Fiesole.

Etymology

The English word faith is thought to date from 1200–1250, from the Middle English feith, via Anglo-French fed, Old French feid, feit from Latin fidem, accusative of fidēs (trust), akin to fīdere (to trust).[7]

Stages of faith development

James W. Fowler (1940–2015) proposes a series of stages of faith-development (or spiritual development) across the human life-span. His stages relate closely to the work of Piaget, Erikson, and Kohlberg regarding aspects of psychological development in children and adults. Fowler defines faith as an activity of trusting, committing, and relating to the world based on a set of assumptions of how one is related to others and the world.[8]

Stages of faith

  1. Intuitive-Projective: a stage of confusion and of high impressionability through stories and rituals (pre-school period).
  2. Mythic-Literal: a stage where provided information is accepted in order to conform with social norms (school-going period).
  3. Synthetic-Conventional: in this stage the faith acquired is concreted in the belief system with the forgoing of personification and replacement with authority in individuals or groups that represent one's beliefs (early-late adolescence).
  4. Individuative-Reflective: in this stage the individual critically analyzes adopted and accepted faith with existing systems of faith. Disillusion or strengthening of faith happens in this stage. Based on needs, experiences and paradoxes (early adulthood).
  5. Conjunctive faith: in this stage people realize the limits of logic and, facing the paradoxes or transcendence of life, accept the "mystery of life" and often return to the sacred stories and symbols of the pre-acquired or re-adopted faith system. This stage is called negotiated settling in life (mid-life).
  6. Universalizing faith: this is the "enlightenment" stage where the individual comes out of all the existing systems of faith and lives life with universal principles of compassion and love and in service to others for upliftment, without worries and doubt (middle-late adulthood (45–65 years old and plus).[9]

No hard-and-fast rule requires individuals pursuing faith to go through all six stages. There is a high probability for individuals to be content and fixed in a particular stage for a lifetime; stages from 2-5 are such stages. Stage 6 is the summit of faith development. This state is often considered as "not fully" attainable.[10]

Religious views

Bahá'í Faith

In the Bahá'í Faith, faith is meant, first, conscious knowledge, and second, the practice of good deeds,[11] ultimately the acceptance of the divine authority of the Manifestations of God.[12] In the religion's view, faith and knowledge are both required for spiritual growth.[12] Faith involves more than outward obedience to this authority, but also must be based on a deep personal understanding of religious teachings.[12]

Buddhism

Faith in Buddhism (Pali: saddhā, Sanskrit: śraddhā) refers to a serene commitment in the practice of the Buddha's teaching and trust in enlightened or highly developed beings, such as Buddhas or bodhisattvas (those aiming to become a Buddha).[13][14] Buddhists usually recognize multiple objects of faith, but many are especially devoted to one particular object of faith, such as one particular Buddha.[13][15][16]

In early Buddhism, faith was focused on the Triple Gem, that is, Gautama Buddha, his teaching (the Dhamma), and the community of spiritually developed followers, or the monastic community seeking enlightenment (the Sangha). Although offerings to the monastic community were valued highest, early Buddhism did not morally condemn peaceful offerings to deities.[17] A faithful devotee was called upāsaka or upāsika, for which no formal declaration was required.[18] In early Buddhism, personal verification was valued highest in attaining the truth, and sacred scriptures, reason or faith in a teacher were considered less valuable sources of authority.[19] As important as faith was, it was a mere initial step to the path to wisdom and enlightenment, and was obsolete or redefined at the final stage of that path.[20][21]

While faith in Buddhism does not imply "blind faith", Buddhist practice nevertheless requires a degree of trust, primarily in the spiritual attainment of Gautama Buddha. Faith in Buddhism centers on the understanding that the Buddha is an Awakened being, on his superior role as teacher, in the truth of his Dharma (spiritual teachings), and in his Sangha (community of spiritually developed followers). Faith in Buddhism can be summarised as faith in the Three Jewels: the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. It is intended to lead to the goal of enlightenment, or bodhi, and Nirvana. Volitionally, faith implies a resolute and courageous act of will. It combines the steadfast resolution that one will do a thing with the self-confidence that one can do it.[22]

In the later stratum of Buddhist history, especially Mahāyāna Buddhism, faith was given a much more important role.[23][24] The concept of the Buddha Nature was developed, as devotion to Buddhas and bodhisattvas residing in Pure Lands became commonplace.[25][26] With the arising of the cult of the Lotus Sūtra, faith gained a central role in Buddhist practice,[27] which was further amplified with the development of devotion to the Amitabha Buddha in Pure Land Buddhism.[28][29] In the Japanese form of Pure Land Buddhism, under the teachers Hōnen and Shinran, only entrusting faith toward the Amitabha Buddha was believed to be a fruitful form of practice, as the practice of celibacy, morality and other Buddhist disciplines were dismissed as no longer effective in this day and age, or contradicting the virtue of faith.[30][31][32] Faith was defined as a state similar to enlightenment, with a sense of self-negation and humility.[33][34]

Thus, the role of faith increased throughout Buddhist history. However, from the nineteenth century onward, Buddhist modernism in countries like Sri Lanka and Japan, and also in the West, has downplayed and criticized the role of faith in Buddhism. Faith in Buddhism still has a role in modern Asia or the West, but is understood and defined differently from traditional interpretations.[35][36][37] Within the Dalit Buddhist Movement communities, taking refuge is defined not only as a religious, but also a political choice.[38]

Christianity

Triumph of Faith over Idolatry Theodon
Triumph of Faith over Idolatry by Jean-Baptiste Théodon (1646–1713)

The word translated as "faith" in the New Testament is the Greek word πίστις (pístis) which can also be translated "belief", "faithfulness", and "trust".[39] There are various views in Christianity regarding the nature of faith. Some see faith as being persuaded or convinced that something is true.[40] In this view, a person believes something when they are presented with adequate evidence that it is true. Theologian Thomas Aquinas did not hold that faith is mere opinion: on the contrary, he held that it is a mean (understood in the Platonic sense) between excessive reliance on science (i.e. demonstration) and excessive reliance on opinion.[41]

Then there are numerous views regarding the results of faith. Some believe that true faith results in good works, while others believe that while faith in Jesus brings eternal life, it does not necessarily result in good works.[42]

Regardless of which approach to faith a Christian takes, all agree that the Christian faith is aligned with the ideals and the example of the life of Jesus. The Christian sees the mystery of God and his grace and seeks to know and become obedient to God. To a Christian, faith is not static but causes one to learn more of God and to grow; Christian faith has its origin in God.[43]

The definition of faith given by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews at Hebrews 11:1 carries particular weight with Christians that respect the Bible as the source of divine truth. There the author writes:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." — King James Version

"Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists." — International Standard Version

“The naive or inexperienced person[is easily misled and believes every word he hears, but the prudent man is discreet and astute.” (Proverbs 14:15, Amplified Bible) The Christian apostle Paul wrote: “Test everything that is said to be sure it is true, and if it is, then accept it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21, Living Bible)

In Christianity, faith causes change as it seeks a greater understanding of God. Faith is not only fideism or simple obedience to a set of rules or statements.[44] Before Christians have faith, they must understand in whom and in what they have faith. Without understanding, there cannot be true faith, and that understanding is built on the foundation of the community of believers, the scriptures and traditions and on the personal experiences of the believer.[45] In English translations of the New Testament, the word "faith" generally corresponds to the Greek noun πίστις (pistis) or to the Greek verb πιστεύω (pisteuo), meaning "to trust, to have confidence, faithfulness, to be reliable, to assure".[46]

Christian apologetic views

In contrast to noted atheist Richard Dawkins' view of faith as "blind trust, in the absence of evidence, even in the teeth of evidence",[47] Alister McGrath quotes the Oxford Anglican theologian W. H. Griffith-Thomas (1861–1924), who states that faith is "not blind, but intelligent" and that it "commences with the conviction of the mind based on adequate evidence...", which McGrath sees as "a good and reliable definition, synthesizing the core elements of the characteristic Christian understanding of faith".[48]

American biblical scholar Archibald Thomas Robertson stated that the Greek word pistis used for faith in the New Testament (over two hundred forty times), and rendered "assurance" in Acts 17:31 (KJV), is "an old verb meaning "to furnish", used regularly by Demosthenes for bringing forward evidence."[49] Tom Price (Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics) affirms that when the New Testament talks about faith positively it only uses words derived from the Greek root [pistis] which means "to be persuaded".[50]

British Christian apologist John Lennox argues that "faith conceived as belief that lacks warrant is very different from faith conceived as belief that has warrant". He states that "the use of the adjective 'blind' to describe 'faith' indicates that faith is not necessarily, or always, or indeed normally, blind". "The validity, or warrant, of faith or belief depends on the strength of the evidence on which the belief is based." "We all know how to distinguish between blind faith and evidence-based faith. We are well aware that faith is only justified if there is evidence to back it up." "Evidence-based faith is the normal concept on which we base our everyday lives."[51]

Peter S Williams[52] holds that "the classic Christian tradition has always valued rationality, and does not hold that faith involves the complete abandonment of reason while believing in the teeth of evidence." Quoting Moreland, faith is defined as "a trust in and commitment to what we have reason to believe is true."

Regarding doubting Thomas in John 20:24-31, Williams points out that "Thomas wasn't asked to believe without evidence". He was asked to believe on the basis of the other disciples' testimony. Thomas initially lacked the first-hand experience of the evidence that had convinced them... Moreover, the reason John gives for recounting these events is that what he saw is evidence... Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples...But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that believing ye might have life in his name. John 20:30,31.[53]

Concerning doubting Thomas, Michael R. Allen wrote, "Thomas's definition of faith implies adherence to conceptual propositions for the sake of personal knowledge, knowledge of and about a person qua person".[54]

Kenneth Boa and Robert M. Bowman Jr. describe a classic understanding of faith that is referred toas evidentialism, and which is part of a larger epistemological tradition called classical foundationalism, which is accompanied by deontologism, which holds that humans have an obligation to regulate their beliefs in accordance with evidentialist structures.

They show how this can go too far,[55] and Alvin Plantinga deals with it. While Plantinga upholds that faith may be the result of evidence testifying to the reliability of the source (of the truth claims), yet he sees having faith as being the result of hearing the truth of the gospel with the internal persuasion by the Holy Spirit moving and enabling him to believe. "Christian belief is produced in the believer by the internal instigation of the Holy Spirit, endorsing the teachings of Scripture, which is itself divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. The result of the work of the Holy Spirit is faith."[56]

Catholicism

The four-part Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) gives Part One to "The Profession of Faith". This section describes the content of faith. It elaborates and expands particularly upon the Apostles' Creed. CCC 144 initiates a section on the "Obedience of Faith".

In the theology of Pope John Paul II, faith is understood in personal terms as a trusting commitment of person to person and thus involves Christian commitment to the divine person of Jesus Christ.[57]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Some alternative, yet impactful, ideas regarding the nature of faith were presented in a collection of sermons now presented as Lectures on Faith.

  1. Lecture 1 explains what faith is;
  2. Lecture 2 describes how mankind comes to know about God;
  3. Lectures 3 and 4 make clear the necessary and unchanging attributes of God;
  4. Lecture 5 deals with the nature of God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost;
  5. Lecture 6 proclaims that the willingness to sacrifice all earthly things is prerequisite to gaining faith unto salvation;
  6. Lecture 7 treats the fruits of faith—perspective, power, and eventually perfection. [58]

Hinduism

Ahimsa, also referred to as nonviolence, is the fundamental tenet of Hinduism which advocates harmonious and peaceful co-existence and evolutionary growth in grace and wisdom for all humankind unconditionally.

In Hinduism, most of the Vedic prayers begins with the chants of Om. Om is the Sanskrit symbol that amazingly resonates the peacefulness ensconced within one's higher self. Om is considered to have a profound effect on the body and mind of the one who chants and also creates a calmness, serenity, healing, strength of its own to prevail within and also in the surrounding environment.

Islam

In Islam, a believer's faith in the metaphysical aspects of Islam is called Iman (Arabic: الإيمان‎), which is complete submission to the will of God, not unquestionable or blind belief.[59][60] A man must build his faith on well-grounded convictions beyond any reasonable doubt and above uncertainty.[61] According to the Quran, Iman must be accompanied by righteous deeds and the two together are necessary for entry into Paradise.[62] In the Hadith of Gabriel, Iman in addition to Islam and Ihsan form the three dimensions of the Islamic religion.

Muhammad referred to the six axioms of faith in the Hadith of Gabriel: "Iman is that you believe in God and His Angels and His Books and His Messengers and the Hereafter and the good and evil fate [ordained by your God]."[63] The first five are mentioned together in the Qur'an[64] The Quran states that faith can grow with remembrance of God.[65] The Qur'an also states that nothing in this world should be dearer to a true believer than faith.[66]

Judaism

Faith itself is not a religious concept in Judaism. The faith in God is mentioned in the Book of Genesis Chapter 15 verse 6 and in the Book of Exodus Chapter 4 verse 31 and in the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 43 verse 10, in the 24 books of the Jewish Bible. The word translated as "faith" here is the Hebrew word אָמַן which can also be translated "believe", "reliable", and "trustworthy".[67] In the Book of Isaiah, Chapter 43 verse 10, the commandment to know God is followed by the commandments to believe and to understand, thus denoting descending importance.[68]

However, Judaism does recognize the positive value of Emunah[69] (generally translated as faith, trust in God) and the negative status of the Apikorus (heretic), but faith is not as stressed or as central as it is in other religions, especially compared with Christianity and Islam. It could be a necessary means for being a practicing religious Jew, but the emphasis is placed on true knowledge, true prophecy and practice rather than on faith itself. Very rarely does it relate to any teaching that must be believed.[68][70] Judaism does not require one to explicitly identify God (a key tenet of Christian faith, which is called Avodah Zarah in Judaism, a minor form of idol worship, a big sin and strictly forbidden to Jews). Rather, in Judaism, one is to honour a (personal) idea of God, supported by the many principles quoted in the Talmud to define Judaism, mostly by what it is not. Thus there is no established formulation of Jewish principles of faith which are mandatory for all (observant) Jews.

In the Jewish scriptures trust in God – Emunah – refers to how God acts toward his people and how they are to respond to him; it is rooted in the everlasting covenant established in the Torah, notably[70] Deuteronomy 7:9:

Know, therefore, that the Lord, your God He is God, the faithful God, Who keeps the covenant and loving kindness with those who love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations.[71]

The specific tenets that compose required belief and their application to the times have been disputed throughout Jewish history. Today many, but not all, Orthodox Jews have accepted Maimonides' Thirteen Principles of Belief.[72][73]

A traditional example of Emunah as seen in the Jewish annals is found in the person of Abraham. On a number of occasions, Abraham both accepts statements from God that seem impossible and offers obedient actions in response to direction from God to do things that seem implausible (see Genesis 12-15).

"The Talmud describes how a thief also believes in G‑d: On the brink of his forced entry, as he is about to risk his life—and the life of his victim—he cries out with all sincerity, 'G‑d help me!' The thief has faith that there is a G‑d who hears his cries, yet it escapes him that this G‑d may be able to provide for him without requiring that he abrogate G‑d’s will by stealing from others. For emunah to affect him in this way he needs study and contemplation."[69]

Sikhism

Faith itself is not a religious concept in Sikhism. However, the five Sikh symbols, known as Kakaars or Five Ks (in Punjabi known as pañj kakkē or pañj kakār), are sometimes referred to as the Five articles of Faith. The articles include kēs (uncut hair), kaṅghā (small wooden comb), kaṛā (circular steel or iron bracelet), kirpān (sword/dagger), and kacchera (special undergarment). Baptised Sikhs are bound to wear those five articles of faith, at all times, to save them from bad company and keep them close to God.[74]

Epistemological validity

There is a wide spectrum of opinion with respect to the epistemological validity of faith[75] - that is, whether it is a reliable way to acquire true beliefs.

Fideism

Fideism is an epistemological theory which maintains that faith is independent of reason, or that reason and faith are hostile to each other and faith is superior at arriving at particular truths (see natural theology). Fideism is not a synonym for religious belief, but describes a particular philosophical proposition in regard to the relationship between faith's appropriate jurisdiction at arriving at truths, contrasted against reason. It states that faith is needed to determine some philosophical and religious truths, and it questions the ability of reason to arrive at all truth. The word and concept had its origin in the mid- to late-19th century by way of Catholic thought, in a movement called Traditionalism. The Roman Catholic Magisterium has, however, repeatedly condemned fideism.[76]

Support

Religious epistemologists have formulated and defended reasons for the rationality of accepting belief in God without the support of an argument.[77] Some religious epistemologists hold that belief in God is more analogous to belief in a person than belief in a scientific hypothesis. Human relations demand trust and commitment. If belief in God is more like belief in other persons, then the trust that is appropriate to persons will be appropriate to God. American psychologist and philosopher William James offers a similar argument in his lecture The Will to Believe.[77][78] Foundationalism is a view about the structure of justification or knowledge.[79][79] Foundationalism holds that all knowledge and justified belief are ultimately based upon what are called properly basic beliefs. This position is intended to resolve the infinite regress problem in epistemology. According to foundationalism, a belief is epistemically justified only if it is justified by properly basic beliefs. One of the significant developments in foundationalism is the rise of reformed epistemology.[79]

Reformed epistemology is a view about the epistemology of religious belief, which holds that belief in God can be properly basic. Analytic philosophers Alvin Plantinga and Nicholas Wolterstorff develop this view.[80] Plantinga holds that an individual may rationally believe in God even though the individual does not possess sufficient evidence to convince an agnostic. One difference between reformed epistemology and fideism is that the former requires defence against known objections, whereas the latter might dismiss such objections as irrelevant.[81] Plantinga has developed reformed epistemology in Warranted Christian Belief as a form of externalism that holds that the justification conferring factors for a belief may include external factors.[82] Some theistic philosophers have defended theism by granting evidentialism but supporting theism through deductive arguments whose premises are considered justifiable. Some of these arguments are probabilistic, either in the sense of having weight but being inconclusive, or in the sense of having a mathematical probability assigned to them.[77] Notable in this regard are the cumulative arguments presented by British philosopher Basil Mitchell and analytic philosopher Richard Swinburne, whose arguments are based on Bayesian probability.[83][84] In a notable exposition of his arguments, Swinburne appeals to an inference for the best explanation.[85][86]

Professor of Mathematics and philosopher of science at University of Oxford John Lennox has stated, "Faith is not a leap in the dark; it’s the exact opposite. It’s a commitment based on evidence… It is irrational to reduce all faith to blind faith and then subject it to ridicule. That provides a very anti-intellectual and convenient way of avoiding intelligent discussion.” He criticises Richard Dawkins as a famous proponent of asserting that faith equates to holding a belief without evidence, thus that it is possible to hold belief without evidence, for failing to provide evidence for this assertion.[87]

Criticism

Bertrand Russell wrote:[6]

Christians hold that their faith does good, but other faiths do harm. At any rate, they hold this about the communist faith. What I wish to maintain is that all faiths do harm. We may define “faith” as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of “faith.” We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. The substitution of emotion for evidence is apt to lead to strife, since different groups substitute different emotions. Christians have faith in the Resurrection; communists have faith in Marx’s Theory of Value. Neither faith can be defended rationally, and each therefore is defended by propaganda and, if necessary, by war.

— Will Religious Faith Cure Our Troubles?

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins criticizes all faith by generalizing from specific faith in propositions that conflict directly with scientific evidence.[88] He describes faith as belief without evidence; a process of active non-thinking. He states that it is a practice that only degrades our understanding of the natural world by allowing anyone to make a claim about nature that is based solely on their personal thoughts, and possibly distorted perceptions, that does not require testing against nature, has no ability to make reliable and consistent predictions, and is not subject to peer review.[89]

Philosophy professor Peter Boghossian argues that reason and evidence are the only way to determine which "claims about the world are likely true". Different religious traditions make different religious claims, and Boghossian asserts that faith alone cannot resolve conflicts between these without evidence. He gives as an example of the belief held by that Muslims that Muhammad (who died in the year 632) was the last prophet, and the contradictory belief held by Mormons that Joseph Smith (born in 1805) was a prophet. Boghossian asserts that faith has no "built-in corrective mechanism". For factual claims, he gives the example of the belief that the Earth is 4,000 years old. With only faith and no reason or evidence, he argues, there is no way to correct this claim if it is inaccurate. Boghossian advocates thinking of faith either as "belief without evidence" or "pretending to know things you don't know".[90]

See also

Shintō prayer
Shinto faith.

References

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  49. ^ Robertson, Archibald Thomas. WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. pp. Chapter 17.
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  83. ^ Basic, Mitchell. The Justification of Religious Belief. London: Macmillan.
  84. ^ Swinburne, Richard. The Existence of God. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  85. ^ Forrest, Peter. God without the Supernatural. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  86. ^ Swinburne, Richard. Is there a God?. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  87. ^ Lennox, John (2009). God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?. Lion UK.
  88. ^ Dawkins, Richard (2006). The God Delusion. Bantam Books.
  89. ^ Dawkins, Richard (January–February 1997). "Is Science a Religion?". American Humanist Association. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2008.
  90. ^ Peter Boghossian (2013). A Manual for Creating Atheists. Pitchstone Publishing. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-939578-09-9.

Sources

Further reading

  • Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, W. W. Norton (2004), hardcover, 336 pages, ISBN 0-393-03515-8
  • Stephen Palmquist, "Faith as Kant's Key to the Justification of Transcendental Reflection", The Heythrop Journal 25:4 (October 1984), pp. 442–455. Reprinted as Chapter V in Stephen Palmquist, Kant's System of Perspectives (Lanham: University Press of America, 1993).
  • D. Mark Parks, "Faith/Faithfulness" Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. Eds. Chad Brand, Charles Draper, Archie England. Nashville: Holman Publishers, 2003.
  • On Faith and Reason by Swami Tripurari
  • Baba, Meher: Discourses, San Francisco: Sufism Reoriented, 1967.

Classic reflections on the nature of faith

The Reformation view of faith

External links

Abrahamic religions

The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as Abrahamism, are a group of Semitic-originated religious communities of faith that claim descent from the Judaism of the ancient Israelites and the worship of the God of Abraham. The Abrahamic religions are monotheistic, with the term deriving from the patriarch Abraham (a major biblical figure from The Old Testament, which is recognized by Jews, Christians, Muslims, and others).Abrahamic religion spread globally through Christianity being adopted by the Roman Empire in the 4th century and Islam by the Islamic Empires from the 7th century. Today the Abrahamic religions are one of the major divisions in comparative religion (along with Indian, Iranian, and East Asian religions). The major Abrahamic religions in chronological order of founding are Judaism (the base of the other two religions) in the 7th century BCE, Christianity in the 1st century CE, and Islam in the 7th century CE.

Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are the Abrahamic religions with the greatest numbers of adherents. Abrahamic religions with fewer adherents include the faiths descended from Yazdânism (the Yezidi, Yarsani faiths), Samaritanism, the Druze faith, Bábism, the Bahá'í Faith, and Rastafari.As of 2005, estimates classified 54% (3.6 billion people) of the world's population as adherents of an Abrahamic religion, about 32% as adherents of other religions, and 16% as adherents of no organized religion. Christianity claims 33% of the world's population, Islam has 21%, Judaism has 0.2% and the Bahá'í Faith represents around 0.1%.

Bahá'í Faith

The Bahá'í Faith (; Persian: بهائی‎ Bahā'i) is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people. Established by Bahá'u'lláh in 1863, it initially grew in Persia and parts of the Middle East, where it has faced ongoing persecution since its inception. It is estimated to have between 5 and 8 million adherents, known as Bahá'ís, spread out into most of the world's countries and territories.It grew from the mid-19th-century Bábí religion, whose founder (the Báb) taught that God would soon send a prophet in the same way of Jesus or Muhammad. In 1863, after being banished from his native Iran, Bahá'u'lláh (1817–1892) announced that he was this prophet. He was further exiled, spending over a decade in the prison city of Acre in Ottoman Palestine. Following Bahá'u'lláh's death in 1892, leadership of the religion fell to his son `Abdu'l-Bahá (1844–1921), and later his great-grandson Shoghi Effendi (1897–1957). Bahá'ís around the world annually elect local, regional, and national Spiritual Assemblies that govern the affairs of the religion, and every five years the members of all National Spiritual Assemblies elect the Universal House of Justice, the nine-member supreme governing institution of the worldwide Bahá'í community, which sits in Haifa, Israel, near the Shrine of the Báb.

Bahá'í teachings are in some ways similar to other monotheistic faiths: God is considered single and all-powerful. However, Bahá'u'lláh taught that religion is orderly and progressively revealed by one God through Manifestations of God who are the founders of major world religions throughout history; Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad being the most recent in the period before the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. Bahá'ís regard the major religions as fundamentally unified in purpose, though varied in social practices and interpretations. There is a similar emphasis on the unity of all people, openly rejecting notions of racism and nationalism. At the heart of Bahá'í teachings is the goal of a unified world order that ensures the prosperity of all nations, races, creeds, and classes.Letters written by Bahá'u'lláh to various individuals, including some heads of state, have been collected and assembled into a canon of Bahá'í scripture that includes works by his son `Abdu'l-Bahá, and also the Báb, who is regarded as Bahá'u'lláh's forerunner. Prominent among Bahá'í literature are the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Kitáb-i-Íqán, Some Answered Questions, and The Dawn-Breakers.

Calvinism

Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians.

Calvinists broke from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. Calvinists differ from Lutherans on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, theories of worship, and the use of God's law for believers, among other things. As declared in the Westminster and Second Helvetic confessions, the core doctrines are predestination and election. The term Calvinism can be misleading, because the religious tradition which it denotes has always been diverse, with a wide range of influences rather than a single founder. In the context of the Reformation, Huldrych Zwingli began the Reformed tradition in 1519 in the city of Zürich. His followers were instantly labeled Zwinglians, consistent with the Catholic practice of naming heresy after its founder. Very soon, Zwingli was joined by Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, William Farel, Johannes Oecolampadius and other early Reformed thinkers. The namesake of the movement, French reformer John Calvin, converted to the Reformed tradition from Roman Catholicism only in the late 1520s or early 1530s as it was already being developed. The movement was first called Calvinism, referring to John Calvin, by Lutherans who opposed it. Many within the tradition find it either an indescriptive or an inappropriate term and would prefer the word Reformed to be used instead. Some Calvinists prefer the term Augustinian-Calvinism since Calvin credited his theology to Augustine of Hippo. The most important Reformed theologians include John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Bucer, William Farel, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Theodore Beza, and John Knox. In the twentieth century, Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, B. B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, Karl Barth, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Cornelius Van Til, Gordon Clark, and R. C. Sproul were influential. Contemporary Reformed theologians include J. I. Packer, John MacArthur, Timothy J. Keller, David Wells, and Michael Horton.

Reformed churches may exercise several forms of ecclesiastical polity; most are presbyterian or congregationalist, though some are episcopalian. Calvinism is largely represented by Continental Reformed, Presbyterian, and Congregationalist traditions. The biggest Reformed association is the World Communion of Reformed Churches with more than 100 million members in 211 member denominations around the world. There are more conservative Reformed federations such as the World Reformed Fellowship and the International Conference of Reformed Churches, as well as independent churches.

Creed

A creed (also known as a confession, symbol, or statement of faith) is a statement of the shared beliefs of a religious community in the form of a fixed formula summarizing core tenets.

The earliest creed in Christianity, "Jesus is Lord", originated in the writings of Saint Paul. One of the most widely used creeds in Christianity is the Nicene Creed, first formulated in AD 325 at the First Council of Nicaea. It was based on Christian understanding of the Canonical Gospels, the letters of the New Testament and to a lesser extent the Old Testament. Affirmation of this creed, which describes the Trinity, is generally taken as a fundamental test of orthodoxy for most Christian denominations. The Apostles' Creed is also broadly accepted. Some Christian denominations and other groups have rejected the authority of those creeds.

Muslims declare the shahada, or testimony: "I bear witness that there is no god but (the One) God (Allah), and I bear witness that Muhammad is God's messenger."Whether Judaism is creedal has been a point of some controversy. Although some say Judaism is noncreedal in nature, others say it recognizes a single creed, the Shema Yisrael, which begins: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one."

Druze

The Druze (; Arabic: درزي‎ darzī or durzī, plural دروز durūz; Hebrew: דְּרוּזִי drūzī plural דְּרוּזִים, druzim) are an Arabic-speaking esoteric ethno-religious group originating in Western Asia who self-identify as Al-Muwaḥḥidūn (lit., "The People of Monotheism"). Jethro of Midian is considered an ancestor of all people from the Mountain of Druze region, who revere him as their spiritual founder and chief prophet. It is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion based on the teachings of Hamza ibn-'Ali ibn-Ahmad and the sixth Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, and Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.The Epistles of Wisdom is the foundational text of the Druze faith. The Druze faith incorporates elements of Isma'ilism, a branch of Shia Islam, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism, Pythagoreanism, and other philosophies and beliefs, creating a distinct and secretive theology known to interpret esoterically religious scriptures, and to highlight the role of the mind and truthfulness. The Druze follow theophany, and believe in reincarnation or the transmigration of the soul. At the end of the cycle of rebirth, which is achieved through successive reincarnations, the soul is united with the Cosmic Mind (al-ʿAql al-kullī).Although dwarfed by other, larger communities, the Druze community played an important role in shaping the history of the Levant, where it continues to play a large political role. As a religious minority in every country, they have frequently experienced persecution, except in Lebanon and Israel, where Druze judges, parliamentarians, diplomats, and doctors occupy the highest echelons of society. Even though the faith originally developed out of Ismaili Islam, Druze are not considered Muslims, although Al Azhar of Egypt recognizes them as one of the Islamic sects, akin to Shia. Fatimid caliph Ali az-Zahir, whose father al-Hakim is a key figure in the Druze faith, was particularly harsh, causing the death of many Druze in Antioch, Aleppo, and northern Syria. Persecution flared up during the rule of the Mamluks and Ottomans. Most recently, Druze were targeted by the ISIL and Al-Qaeda in order to cleanse Syria and neighboring countries of non-Islamic influence.The Druze faith is one of the major religious groups in the Levant, with between 800,000 and a million adherents. They are found primarily in Syria, Lebanon (where the Druze are considered part of their Muslim population), and Israel, with small communities in Jordan. The oldest and most densely-populated Druze communities exist in Mount Lebanon and in the south of Syria around Jabal al-Druze (literally the "Mountain of the Druzes"). The Druze's social customs differ markedly from those of Muslims or Christians, and they are known to form close-knit, cohesive communities which do not fully allow non-Druze in, though they themselves integrate fully in their adopted homelands.

Faith Evans

Faith Renée Jordan (née Evans; born June 10, 1973) is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born in Lakeland, Florida, and raised in New Jersey, Evans relocated to Los Angeles in 1991 for a career in the music business. After working as a backing vocalist for Al B. Sure! and Christopher Williams, she became the first female artist to contract with Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment recording company in 1994, for which she collaborated with several label mates such as 112 and Carl Thomas and released three platinum-certified studio albums between 1995 and 2001, including Faith (1995), Keep the Faith (1998) and Faithfully (2001).In 2003, she ended her relationship with the company to sign with Capitol Records. Her first album released on the label, The First Lady (2005) became her highest-charting album at the time, reaching the top of the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, while the holiday album A Faithful Christmas, released the same year, would become her last release before the company was bought in 2007. Following a longer hiatus, Evans released her fifth album Something About Faith on the independent label Prolific and Entertainment One Music in 2010. With a career spanning two decades, Evans has sold over 18 million records worldwide.Other than her recording career, Evans is most known as the widow of New York rapper Christopher "The Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, whom she married on August 4, 1994, a few weeks after meeting at a Bad Boy photoshoot. The turbulent marriage resulted in Evans' involvement in the East Coast–West Coast hip hop rivalry, dominating the rap music news at the time, and ended with Wallace's murder in an unsolved drive-by shooting in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. A 1997 tribute single featuring Puff Daddy and the band 112, named "I'll Be Missing You", won Evans a Grammy Award in 1998. Also an actress and writer, Evans made her screen debut in the 2000 musical drama Turn It Up by Robert Adetuyi. Her autobiography Keep the Faith: A Memoir was released by Grand Central Publishing in 2008 and won a 2009 African American Literary Award for the Best Biography/Memoir category.

Faith Hill

Audrey Faith McGraw (née Perry; born September 21, 1967), known professionally as Faith Hill, is an American singer and record producer. She is one of the most successful country artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums worldwide. Hill is married to American singer Tim McGraw, with whom she has recorded several duets.

Hill's first two albums, Take Me as I Am (1993) and It Matters to Me (1995), were major successes and placed a combined three number ones on Billboard's country charts. She then achieved mainstream and crossover success with her next two albums, Faith (1998) and Breathe (1999). Faith spawned her first international success in early 1998, "This Kiss", while Breathe became one of the best-selling country albums of all time, led by the huge crossover success of the songs "Breathe" and "The Way You Love Me". It had massive sales worldwide and earned Hill three Grammy Awards.

In 2001, she recorded "There You'll Be" for the Pearl Harbor soundtrack and it became an international success and her best-selling single in Europe. Hill's next two albums, Cry (2002) and Fireflies (2005), were both commercial successes; the former spawned another crossover single, "Cry", which won Hill a Grammy Award, and the latter produced the singles "Mississippi Girl" and "Like We Never Loved at All", which earned her another Grammy Award.

Hill has won five Grammy Awards, 15 Academy of Country Music Awards, six American Music Awards, and several other awards. Her Soul2Soul II Tour 2006 with McGraw became the highest-grossing country tour of all time. In 2001, she was named one of the "30 Most Powerful Women in America" by Ladies Home Journal. In 2009, Billboard named her as the No. 1 Adult Contemporary artist of the 2000s decade and also as the 39th best artist. From 2007 to 2012, Hill was the voice of NBC Sunday Night Football's intro song. In 2019, Hill will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Faith No More

Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1979. Before settling on their current name in 1982, the band performed under the names Sharp Young Men and later Faith No Man. Bassist Billy Gould and drummer Mike Bordin are the longest-remaining members of the band, having been involved with Faith No More since its inception. The band underwent several lineup changes early in their career, along with some major changes later on. The current lineup of Faith No More consists of Gould, Bordin, keyboardist/rhythm guitarist Roddy Bottum, lead guitarist Jon Hudson and vocalist/lyricist Mike Patton.

After releasing six studio albums, including their best-selling records The Real Thing (1989) and Angel Dust (1992), Faith No More officially announced their breakup on April 20, 1998. They have since reunited, embarked on The Second Coming Tour from 2009 to 2012, and released their seventh studio album, Sol Invictus, in May 2015.

Five Pillars of Islam

The Five Pillars of Islam (arkān al-Islām أركان الإسلام; also arkān al-dīn أركان الدين "pillars of the religion") are some basic acts in Islam, considered mandatory by believers and are the foundation of Muslim life. They are summarized in the famous hadith of Gabriel. The Sunni and Shia agree on the essential details for the performance and practice of these acts, but the Shia do not refer to them by the same name (see Ancillaries of the Faith, for the Twelvers, and Seven pillars of Ismailism). They make up Muslim life, prayer, concern for the needy, self-purification, and the pilgrimage, if one is able.

Good faith

Good faith (Latin: bona fides), in human interactions, is a sincere intention to be fair, open, and honest, regardless of the outcome of the interaction. While some Latin phrases lose their literal meaning over centuries, this is not the case with bona fides; it is still widely used and interchangeable with its generally accepted modern-day English translation of good faith. It is an important concept within law and business. The opposed concepts are bad faith, mala fides (duplicity) and perfidy (pretense). In contemporary English, the usage of bona fides is synonymous with credentials and identity. The phrase is sometimes used in job advertisements, and should not be confused with the bona fide occupational qualifications or the employer's good faith effort, as described below.

Islam

Islam () is an Abrahamic, monotheistic, universal religion teaching that there is only one God (Arabic: Allah), and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, and unique, and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative examples (called the sunnah, composed of accounts called hadith) of Muhammad (c. 570 – 8 June 632 CE).

Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the unaltered and final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam also teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, and following Islamic law (sharia), which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment. The cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam.Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is historically believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, and by the 8th century the Umayyad Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east. The Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the historically Muslim world was experiencing a scientific, economic and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire, traders and conversion to Islam by missionary activities (dawah).Most Muslims are of one of two denominations; Sunni (75–90%) or Shia (10-20%). About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority country; 31% of Muslims live in South Asia, the largest population of Muslims in the world; 20% in the Middle East–North Africa, where it is the dominant religion; and 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sizeable Muslim communities are also found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world.

Judaism

Judaism (originally from Hebrew יהודה, Yehudah, "Judah"; via Latin and Greek) is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, monotheistic, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and culture of the Jewish people. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. It encompasses a wide body of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. The Torah is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible, and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. With between 14.5 and 17.4 million adherents worldwide, Judaism is the tenth largest religion in the world.

Within Judaism there are a variety of movements, most of which emerged from Rabbinic Judaism, which holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah. Historically, all or part of this assertion was challenged by various groups such as the Sadducees and Hellenistic Judaism during the Second Temple period; the Karaites and Sabbateans during the early and later medieval period; and among segments of the modern non-Orthodox denominations. Modern branches of Judaism such as Humanistic Judaism may be nontheistic. Today, the largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism (Haredi Judaism and Modern Orthodox Judaism), Conservative Judaism, and Reform Judaism. Major sources of difference between these groups are their approaches to Jewish law, the authority of the Rabbinic tradition, and the significance of the State of Israel. Orthodox Judaism maintains that the Torah and Jewish law are divine in origin, eternal and unalterable, and that they should be strictly followed. Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal, with Conservative Judaism generally promoting a more traditionalist interpretation of Judaism's requirements than Reform Judaism. A typical Reform position is that Jewish law should be viewed as a set of general guidelines rather than as a set of restrictions and obligations whose observance is required of all Jews. Historically, special courts enforced Jewish law; today, these courts still exist but the practice of Judaism is mostly voluntary. Authority on theological and legal matters is not vested in any one person or organization, but in the sacred texts and the rabbis and scholars who interpret them.Judaism has its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. It evolved from ancient Israelite religions around 500 BCE, and is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions. The Hebrews and Israelites were already referred to as "Jews" in later books of the Tanakh such as the Book of Esther, with the term Jews replacing the title "Children of Israel". Judaism's texts, traditions and values strongly influenced later Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, Islam and the Baha'i Faith. Many aspects of Judaism have also directly or indirectly influenced secular Western ethics and civil law. Hebraism was just as important a factor in the ancient era development of Western civilization as Hellenism, and Judaism, as the background of Christianity, has considerably shaped Western ideals and morality since Early Christianity.Jews are an ethnoreligious group including those born Jewish, in addition to converts to Judaism. In 2015, the world Jewish population was estimated at about 14.3 million, or roughly 0.2% of the total world population. About 43% of all Jews reside in Israel and another 43% reside in the United States and Canada, with most of the remainder living in Europe, and other minority groups spread throughout Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Australia.

Lutheranism

Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the teaching of Martin Luther, a 16th century German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation. The reaction of the government and church authorities to the international spread of his writings, beginning with the 95 Theses, divided Western Christianity.The split between the Lutherans and the Catholics was made public and clear with the 1521 Edict of Worms: the edicts of the Diet condemned Luther and officially banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or propagating his ideas, subjecting advocates of Lutheranism to forfeiture of all property, half of the seized property to be forfeit to the imperial government and the remaining half forfeit to the party who brought the accusation.The divide centered primarily on two points: the proper source of authority in the church, often called the formal principle of the Reformation, and the doctrine of justification, often called the material principle of Lutheran theology. Lutheranism advocates a doctrine of justification "by grace alone through faith alone on the basis of Scripture alone", the doctrine that scripture is the final authority on all matters of faith. This is in contrast to the belief of the Roman Catholic Church, defined at the Council of Trent, concerning authority coming from both the Scriptures and Tradition.Unlike Calvinism, Lutherans retain many of the liturgical practices and sacramental teachings of the pre-Reformation Church, with a particular emphasis on the Eucharist, or Lord's Supper. Lutheran theology differs from Reformed theology in Christology, divine grace, the purpose of God's Law, the concept of perseverance of the saints, and predestination.

Nicene Creed

The Nicene Creed (Greek: Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας or, τῆς πίστεως, Latin: Symbolum Nicaenum) is a statement of belief widely used in Christian liturgy. It is called Nicene because it was originally adopted in the city of Nicaea (present day İznik, Turkey) by the First Council of Nicaea in 325. In 381, it was amended at the First Council of Constantinople, and the amended form is referred to as the Nicene or the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed.

The Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian churches use this profession of faith with the verbs in the original plural ("we believe"), but the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches convert those verbs to the singular ("I believe"). The Anglican and many Protestant denominations generally use the singular form, sometimes the plural.

The Apostles' Creed is also used in the Latin West, but not in the Eastern liturgies. On Sundays and solemnities, one of these two creeds is recited in the Roman Rite Mass after the homily. The Nicene Creed is also part of the profession of faith required of those undertaking important functions within the Catholic Church.In the Byzantine Rite, the Nicene Creed is sung or recited at the Divine Liturgy, immediately preceding the Anaphora (Eucharistic Prayer), and is also recited daily at compline.

Orthodoxy

Orthodoxy (from Greek ὀρθοδοξία orthodoxía "right opinion") is adherence to correct or accepted creeds, especially in religion. In the Christian sense the term means "conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church." The first seven ecumenical councils were held between the years of 325 and 787 with the aim of formalizing accepted doctrines.

In some English-speaking countries, Jews who adhere to all the traditions and commandments as legislated in the Talmud are often called Orthodox Jews, although the term "orthodox" historically first described Christian beliefs.

Paloma Faith

Paloma Faith Blomfield (born 21 July 1981) is an English singer, songwriter, and actress.Faith is known for her retro and eccentric style. The singer met her managers Jamie Binns and Christian Wåhlberg in 2007. Her debut album, Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful? was released in 2009 and has been certified double platinum in the UK. The album contains the singles "Stone Cold Sober", "New York" and "Upside Down", and earned Faith her first BRIT Award nomination in 2010. In 2012, Faith released her second studio album, Fall to Grace, which debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart. The album was critically well received and surpassed the success of her debut, earning her numerous award nominations in 2013 and earning a double platinum certification in the UK. The album produced her first top ten single, "Picking Up the Pieces", the top twenty cover version of INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart" and earned her two BRIT Award nominations for Best British Female and British Album of the Year. Faith released her third album, A Perfect Contradiction in 2014, which stands as her most successful album to date. The album spawned the two UK top ten singles "Can't Rely on You" and "Only Love Can Hurt Like This", with the latter topping the charts in Australia. Faith won Best British Female Solo Artist at the BRIT Awards in 2015. Her fourth studio album, The Architect was released in 2017, and debuted at number one in the UK, becoming Faith's first number one album.

In addition to her solo work, Faith has also collaborated with the duo Sigma on the 2014 track "Changing", which charted at number one in the UK, and DJ Sigala on "Lullaby" which reached the top ten in 2018. Furthermore, she has also made feature film appearances in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Dread, the 2007 remake of St Trinian's and Youth. In 2016, Faith appeared as a judge on the fifth series of The Voice UK.

Potluck

A potluck is a communal gathering where each guest or group contributes a different, often homemade dish of food to be shared.

Other names for a "potluck" include: potluck dinner, spread, Jacob's join, Jacob's supper, faith supper, covered-dish-supper, dish party, bring-and-share, shared lunch, pitch-in, bring-a-plate, dish-to-pass, fuddle, fellowship meal, and carry-in.

Shahada

The Shahada (Arabic: الشهادة‎ aš-šahādah [aʃ.ʃaˈhaːda] (listen), "the testimony") is an Islamic creed, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, declaring belief in the oneness of God (tawhid) and the acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet. The declaration, in its shortest form, reads (right to left in Arabic):

لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا ٱلله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ ٱلله

lā ʾilāha ʾillā llāh muḥammadun rasūlu llāh

IPA: [laː ʔɪˈlaːha ˈʔɪl.lɑɫˈɫɑː mʊˈħammadʊn raˈsuːlʊlˈɫɑː]

There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God.Audio (prefaced by the phrase (wa) ašhadu ʾan —"(and) I testify, that") audio

Steve Winwood

Stephen Lawrence Winwood (born 12 May 1948) is an English singer and musician whose genres include progressive rock, blue-eyed soul, rhythm and blues, blues rock, pop rock, and jazz. Though primarily a vocalist and keyboardist, Winwood also plays a wide variety of other instruments; on several of his solo albums he recorded all instrumentation including drums, guitars, and keyboards.

Winwood was a key member of The Spencer Davis Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and Go. He also had a successful solo career with hits including "While You See a Chance", "Valerie", "Back in the High Life Again" and two US Billboard Hot 100 number ones, "Higher Love" and "Roll with It". He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Traffic in 2004.In 2005, Winwood was honoured as a BMI Icon at the annual BMI London Awards for his "enduring influence on generations of music makers". In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Winwood No. 33 in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Winwood has won two Grammy Awards. He was nominated twice for a Brit Award for Best British Male Artist: 1988 and 1989. In 2011 he received the Ivor Novello Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for Outstanding Song Collection.

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