Shamanism is practiced around the world and its followers are estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands in Europe, Asia, especially China and South Korea, Africa and South America. Many people have turned to shamans for treatment in the hope of finding spirits that can cure them of mental and physical illnesses that conventional medicine has not.
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Quranists are a small group of Muslims who regard the Koran as the only valid source of religious belief, guidance and law in Islam. They call themselves ‘the people of the Koran’ while their opponents call them ‘disruptors of the Prophet’s sunnah’. Quranists have long suffered persecution and non-recognition in the Middle East. Their rights have been curtailed and they have been the subject of attacks by governments and Islamic institutions.
Muslims are obliged to fast during Ramadan – the fourth pillar of Islam – by refraining from eating, drinking, sexual intercourse and other whims between sunrise and sunset, i.e. between the prayers of fajr and maghrib. The exceptions to this obligation are sickness, travel and menstrual periods in the case of women. However, the fasting days missed must be made up at another time of the year or an animal sacrificed for breaking the fast.
Pilgrims who break any of these prohibitions out of forgetfulness, ignorance or necessity are not considered sinful; those who break any of them out of necessity are not considered sinful but are obliged to offer an animal sacrifice; but those who break any of them deliberately without excuse are considered sinful and must also offer an animal sacrifice.
The Alawites are often accused of being esoteric, in other words they manifest their religion and teachings differently from what their essential beliefs say. In his book The Alawites, writer defined the Alawites as those who manifest their essence in different forms and make tawil (hermeneutic interpretations) of every Koranic revelation.
Nowruz is rooted in Zoroastrianism, which was the main religion in ancient Persia. For Iranians, Nowruz is like the combination of Christmas and New Year at once, and similar to the celebration of Christmas in the west, Nowruz has a social function. During the Nowruz festivities, people are supposed to visit each other and the elders give presents to the younger ones.