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Arabs, The - A Living History, Part 6 - Ways of Faith

(50 mins) Muslim author and poet Ali al Mek looks at the ways and meaning of the Islamic Faith as they affect one particular group of Muslims within his own experience, the people of the village of Umduban in central Sudan. No single community or village can ever adequately represent the entire Islamic Faith, but this encounter with the religious life of Umduban leads to an understanding of that living Islam which informs the very existence of Muslims the world over.

Umduban is also a religious centre. The film follows small groups of individuals who have come to the village ­twin boys sent to the Quranic school, a young woman seeking a cure, a Khartoum tradesman who belongs to a Sufi order and finds fulfilment in ceremonies through which man draws closer to God. But there is another expression of Islam present in Umduban too- that which lays its sole emphasis on obedience to the laws derived from the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet’s teachings. This Islam is expressed through the teachings of an elderly religious Sheikh and through his family ­three generations of Muslims who talk about their Faith at the Eid celebration ­ the time of year when all Muslims return to their parents’ hearth.