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South Arabia is a country that is commonly known for its progressive jewelry market. It is also the largest manufacturer of jewelry in the Middle East. Majority of people in the country are Muslims who are also the major customers. People from various parts of the globe visitSaudi Arabia to take advantage of the jewelry market. The greatest challenge that is faced in this country by many people who come from all over the world is mainly based on cultural beliefs of Muslims in South Arabia who are very conservative. Therefore, for any business to thrive in that country, one has to adapt to and respect cultures, beliefs as well as business practices of people of Saudi Arabia. Another factor that affects many business people who move toSaudi Arabia to make investments is the issues of religion. This is explained by the fact that every business person must ensure that his products and services are acceptable, and do not compromise their religious beliefs. This paper provides description of the beliefs, culture and religion of the Muslim community. In addition, this paper studies Adam’s encounter as he establish his business in Saudi Arabia.

Adam was a trader based in Europe.He was about 50 years old but still looked young and energetic. He learned that there was a great demand for jewels in Saudi Arabia. In addition, he was the fourth born in his family, and his parents were known to be good in business. He went to school in Liverpool and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. He did not continue with veterinary but decided to start a business. Since his parents were willing to give him a helping hand, he found it easy to start a business in dealing with jewels. He opened a stall in one of the popular streets in Liverpool and within a short time he had become known and his business was doing well. His other three siblings were not into business as they had opted to do formal employed jobs.

After four years in business, Adam learned about the jewels market in Saudi Arabia. He considered that market as a good business opportunity that could help him maximize his profits. He did not hesitate and decided to move to that country and take advantage of the business opportunity. He informed his family about his plans and they supported him, and he had to leave his family in Liverpool. Adam was aware that he was going to find it hard to cope with his new environment. He had to learn much about Muslim including religion, beliefs and culture. Being a shrewd businessman, he decided that he would leave for Saudi Arabia and start his business there. However, since he did not know anyone there, he decided that he would learn the culture of the Saudi Arabia people first so that he would be able to conduct his business well. First, he had to attend Muslim classes. Although, he did not have the accent, he was able to learn and write in Arabic. His next task was to learn about Muslim and how it came to being and then Muslim culture.

As a business man, Adam knew that different countries had different business practices; for instance, ways of attracting customers and how to raise their interest differed in different country. Therefore, he knew very well that it would be a challenge in the beginning, but according to him, he aimed at long-term goals. The major challenge that Adam faced was to adapt to Muslim culture since Saudi Arabia is dominated by Muslims and he was a Christian. Therefore, Adam knew that for his business to succeed in Saudi Arabia, he had to understand the cultural and business practices of Muslims. Also, he knew that it is imperative to understand different types of Muslims in Saudi Arabia in order to transact any business with them.

In his endeavor to learn the culture of Muslims, Adam learned that Islamic religion was founded in the seventh century in an Islamic state called Medina which is located in Saudi Arabia, North of Mecca. It is important to know that Caliph is the title given to the ruler or a head of State in the Muslim empire while a Calipha is a female caliph. She can be the wife to Caliph or a widow of the Caliph; some people call them Khalifa. He identified that Muslims constitute twenty percent of the world population. He learned that according to history, there occurred schism after the death of Prophet Mohammed since he had not given the guidelines as to who would be the next Muslim leader. At the time of his death, there were customary laws which guided the appointment of leaders either through hereditary or picking a leader with good qualities. Differences in the way to choose the next Muslim leader led to the divisions and there emerged the Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Muslims diverged after the death of Prophet Mohammed and the followers could not agree on whether to choose from bloodline or a leader to follow the footsteps of Mohammed. The Sunnis chose Abu Bakr who happened to be the prophet’s advisor to become the Caliph. The Shiite favored the cousin and son-in law to Mohammed. Up to date, the successors of Ali are called Imams who not only lead the Shiite but are also considered to be the descendants of Mohammed2.

Adam was not only a merchant in Saudi Arabia, he was also wantedto study the Muslim culture and religion. Through his interaction with the people from the Middle East, he was determined to learn much so that he could build good relation with people from Saudi Arabia. Learning about their culture would make him build good relation with the people from the local community and, hence, increase the prospects of his business thriving well. Adam learned that Mohammed was a business man before becoming a prophet, and he was born in Mecca. His parents died when he was young and when he was twenty five years old; he married a widow who introduced him to business. On his journey, Mohammed met with angel Gabriel who had a special message and revelation to the prophet. He was then to become the messenger of God. From then, the prophet started preaching and spreading the message. Those people who accepted Mohammed’s teachings were called Muslims and their religion was given the title Islam. Mohammed developed some code of character and behaviors which he claimed had come from Allah or God. Mohammed was respected by his followers and they even considered him as one of the most perfect prophets. He helped develop the laws of Islam which came to be known as Sharia laws. The word of God which was revealed to Him was recorded in an Arabic language in a holy book called the Koran.

In Saudi Arabia where Adam resided and established his business, the Muslims there belonged to the Sunni group. They were very strict and sternly followed the Sharia laws to the fullest. In a certain instance, Adam was shocked when he witnessed a Sunni woman being stoned to death for allegedly committing adultery. He also found out that it was a taboo for a Muslim woman to expose her hair in the public. Adam also felt restricted since he could not take alcohol as he had used to while he was in Europe. The Sharia laws were against the consumption of alcohol.

Adam developed interest of uncovering the reasons behind splits among the Muslim community. Through his vast business knowledge, he was looking forward to find why the Sunni won over the Shiite. He realized that the Sunni composed of about eighty five percent of the total population of Muslims in the world. He was quick to learn that a Muslim man was regarded as very superior since the Muslim society was based on a patriarchal system. He realized that a Muslim man can marry up to four wives if he can support all of  them, and can also divorce his wife and remarry her as many times as she wishes. He also found out that a wife was considered to be a sexual property to her husband. That was according to Adam pertaining to the Muslim culture.

During his time in Saudi Arabia, Adam discovered that young Muslim woman was to be fully covered while in public and was also supposed to restrain her sexual passions and only an old Muslim woman was supposed to go in public when not fully covered with a dress. An old woman was the one who had no hopes of getting married and one who was past the years of getting a child. He also learned that Muslim was a faith religion. Muslims believe in one God Allah who is their Lord and creator. They also believe in angels which were created by Allah and were obedient servants of Allah. The Muslim doctrines are contained in the Quran. All Muslims believe in prophets including Moses, Jesus, Joseph and Jacob. Muslims just like Christians believe that The Day of Resurrection will come when to them, Allah will wake them from death and they will be rewarded according to the good one has done. The evil and those who do not believe in Allah will face punishment.

He noticed that Muslims are always willing to help others especially their fellow Muslims. They believe that while spending their wealth wisely they got more blessings. Muslims are not allowed to eat pork and they also have to bless their food before eating. He found out that they do attend the mosque on Fridays and they normally make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once every year. Despite the hardships that they would face, one was supposed to make a pilgrimage to Mecca.

According to Adam, Islam’s believe that their religion and culture prevail over all nations of the world. They believe in one God who is Allah and they only follow one religion which is Islam. Their follower’s areas strictly warned against converting into Christianity. In Saudi Arabia, anyone who abandons Christianity is subjected to a death penalty. Becoming familiar with Muslim religion, he noticed that the Islam religion was growing very fast in Europe. Policies back in England were changing to accommodate the Muslim community. As a result, there were more Muslim schools in Britain and there were more loudly sounds of their calls to prayers several times a day. During all this time, he was still doing his business, managed to employ two other people in his stall in Saudi Arabia. Being a Christian in a Muslim dominated society, Adam faced numerous challenges. Having learned Arabic, he was able to interact with them and this helped him build good reputation among his hosts.

Later, Adam decided to embark on another more challenging exercise. He had heard about the Sunni and the Shiite Muslims he wondered what it was all about. He found out that the Sunnis account for about eighty five percent of the total Muslim population in the world while the Shiites were about fifteen percent in the world. The Shiite Muslims were dominant in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In Saudi Arabia, only the Sunni Muslims were present.

According to Adam, it was interesting to note that Muslim religion had several branches. Muslims are those people who have accepted and follow the teachings of Prophet Mohammed. Mohammed was born in Mecca and later married a widow who got him into business. When he was travelling on his business tour, he met with Angel Gabriel. The angel revealed special messages to Mohammed and when Mohammed returned, he started spreading the teachings he had learned and soon developed some behavior that he claimed had come from Allah.

Adam realized that the Sunni are the largest denomination. The Sunni believe that Prophet Mohammed died before he had appointed a successor to lead the Muslim society. The Muslim community is also called Ummah. There were confusions among the Muslims as to who would take after Mohammed death. Since they did not have someone to lead the community, the Sunni elected Abu Bakr, who was prophets Mohammed’s friend and also a father –in –law as the first Caliph. This created more controversy as the Shiite believed that Mohammed himself had appointed a successor to replace him who was Ali ibnAbiTalib to be the first Caliph. This led to the split among Muslims of Shiite and Sunni due to leadership differences.

After the death of Mohammed, there emerged civil wars between the two Islamic factions. This civil war came to be known as Fitna. Most of Mohammed’s relatives were involved in the war for power struggle. The war did not ease until the governor of Syria intervened and started controlling the Caliphate. This led to the emergence of anew dynasty called the Umayyad dynasty and during this period of time, there emerged three sects which were: Sunni, Shiite and Khwarij.Khwarji is regarded as an illegal sect and it is only practiced In Yemen and Oman.

Mohammed then left Mecca and headed towards an oasis called Yathrib as he was criticized because of his views in Mecca. He renamed the new town where he settled Medina and while living there he continued preaching his message. In addition, Mohammed became an arbitrator and a mediator of disputes between the tribes in Medina. In Medina there were Jews who had moved there after being expelled from Palestine. It is worth noting that Mohammed’s teachings had greatly borrowed from the Jewish tradition and culture. The Jews distanced themselves from Mohammed and they did not recognize him as a prophet and thus could not accept him and his teachings. Mohammed then changed the dietary and he advocated that Muslims all over the world be taking Halal. Halal means the food that is lawfully permitted under the Muslim teachings.

In Medina, Mohammed gained more power and command from the locals. He gained political advantage by marrying women from important and prominent families. Being a business person, he was able to get access to the market. Within a short period he was controlling the market in Medina as well as the oases in the region. This made the traders and all the tribes’ people in Medina to recognize him. These factors made Mohammed so popular in Medina. Mohammed later died and left his followers to carry on the tradition he had begun. The Sunni believe that Mohammed did not give specification as to who should be his successor.

Adam on his study noted that even though the Sunni and Shiite have differences, the two sects agree on practical and theological matters. The Sunni tradition puts more emphasis on the politics and life in the public. They even put more weight on the Sharia law on a broad range of social issues such as marriage, business, inheritance and divorce. Under the Sunni Islam, the Sharia law is interpreted in four various school of law: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafii and Hanbali traditional laws. Each tradition is based on the founder. Some Sunni Muslims believe that one is supposed to choose a school of law and follow all its teachings.Some other Sunnis believe that it is good to mix several schools of law.

Adam found out that the Sunnis and the Shiite Muslims view the Islamic oral laws differently. These Islamic oral laws are also known as Hadith. The Sunni view some of these collections to be extra holy as compared to the others. Adam also noticed that Osama Bin Laden who was a world terrorist was a Sunni Muslim. According to Osama Bin Laden, the whole Muslim world had suffered humiliation and disgrace from the where their brothers had been killed and their blood spilled.

Adam noted that the great and main split in the Islamic religion exists between the Sunni and the Shiite. Despite having rifts between the two groups, there still exist differences among the Sunnis. Some secular groups within the Sunni Islam claim that sharia law should be only interpreted on an individual basis. Some other Sunnis even harass liberal Muslims who try to compromise on the traditional Muslim standards and norms. Also, he looked at other groups among the Sunni called the Muslim Brotherhood as well as Jamaat-e-Islami. They were the groups which had resulted in Hamas who aimed at destroying the worldly Muslim and the western society and restore a world of religious Muslim rule through terrorism.

Adam also looked at the differences and found out that there is still another difference between the Shiite and the Sunni. This one involves the Mahdi or the rightly guided one whose purpose is to bring a worldwide caliphate into existence. The Shiite believes that they have already been there while the Sunni is yet to come up to that point. Moreover, he looked at the diet of the Muslim community. He found it was necessary since at various instances, he would be hosting Muslim friends in his home. He found it vital to be familiar with the Muslims culturally accepted foods so that he could know before serving refreshments and meals to the Muslim community.

According to Adam’s study on foods that are acceptable in the Muslim community, Islam advocates for the observation of the dietary laws by every Muslim from an Islamic teaching point of view. Halal means that foods are lawful and are permitted to be eaten while haram are foods and beverages that Muslims must avoid. He found out that the foods must be having a Halal certification symbol and symbols showing the ingredients. Haram ingredients may include alcohol, pork and pork products or any dish prepared with alcohol or pork products, also food having blood and blood by-products is considered to be haram. For meat or meat products to be termed as Halal, it must be slaughtered as per the Islamic dietary laws.

According to the Sunni, the first four Caliphs who were also the supreme leaders were the rightful successors of Prophet Mohammed. The Sunnis now choose their leaders basing on the on the Islamic political laws. The Taliban is an example of the Sunni group in the Middle East. Unlike the Sunni, the Shiite is a well-organized group having a hierarchical system and has different rituals from the Sunni.

Code: Sample20

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