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Nepal is a secular country and many religions exist here in the country. It is amazing how so many religions are living here peacefully. Today in the article, I am listing names of two most followed religions after Hinduism and Buddhism.
Islam Religion in Nepal
Islam is the third most followed religion in Nepal. In Nepal, only around four percent of people follow this religion. People who follow Islam religion are termed as Muslims. So basically there are only a few Muslims in Nepal, But since Nepal is s country with religious tolerance, all the cast groups live here peacefully in the country. In Nepal, there are few mosques for Muslim people. One is just beside Ghanta Ghar in Kathmandu. Outside Kathmandu as well, there are few mosques.
History of Islam religion
The history of Islam religion in Nepal dates back to the 7th century. Prophet Mohammad was the one who founded the religion. Legends say that he is a follower of God Allah and he was the one who heard the words of God Allah. Prophet Mohammad mediated for more than twenty years. Then he got a revelation from God. That is how religion took birth and it spread all over the world later on. While in Nepal, Muslims entered the country during the reign of Ratna Malla. During the time when he was ruling the country, Muslims entered Nepal and later in Nepal as well the religion got popular making it the third most followed religion in the country.
Rules Muslims have to follow
We all know that Muslim People are very serious when it comes to their religion. They have strict rules and regulations they follow. From a very young age, they follow these routines no matter how busy they are. One of the major philosophies in the Muslim religion is that they believe in the only god Allah. Anyone who follows in Islam religion should believe that there is no other god but Allah.
Another great thing about the Muslim religion is that they must donate at least twenty-five percent of their earnings to the poor. This is a compulsory thing and they call it the process of Paying Zakat. Muslim People have to pray five times a day.
They pray five times a day ie at noon, dawn, mid-afternoon, at dusk and after dark of night. I wonder how do they manage to pray five times a day at this time. Because we all are busy and I am sure Muslim people also are but it is their dedication towards their religion that they do it even in busy days.
Another strict rule that applies to be a Muslim is that you have to fast in the months of Ramadan. In those months you can’t eat, sleep or have sexual intercourse from morning to dusk. This is one of the major festivals in the Muslim religion. Muharram is another important religion. Mecca is the major pilgrimage site in this religion. Mecca is also the birthplace of founder prophet Muhammad. Any Muslim must make a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in life. But this is no compulsion for those who are not able to do so financially and physically. Other than that it is believed that every Muslim must visit Mecca at least once in a lifetime.
Kirat religion in Nepal
Kirat religion is another religion in Nepal. It is the fourth most followed religion in Nepal covering 3.05 percentage of the total population. Kirat religion initially was a part of Hinduism religion but now it is considered a separate religion. The founder of this religion is Falgunanda Linden. Kirat religion is exclusive to Nepal, few parts of India and Tibet. Other than that there are no Kirati people in the world.
In Nepal, the religion started when Kiratis when Kiratis ruled over Nepal for 1000 years before Lichhavis dethroned them in 158 AD. During the rule of Kiratis, religion started and spread in Nepal. The followers of Kirat religion believe that it is as old as Hinduism. At many Hindu books as well, Kiratis have been mentioned so we can say that the religion existed far before. Kiratis are also mentioned in Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. Basically Rai, Limbu, Yakkha, Sunuwar are the Kirati people in Nepal. They entered Nepal from the northeast side in ancient times and that how Kirat religion started in Nepal.
Kirat religion is one of its kind. They have their own rules and customs to follow. Mundhum is the holy book in Kirat religion. Mundhum contains all sorts of principles the followers have to follow and also different legends. The name of the book is made up of two words as in Mun and Dhum. Mun stands for energy and dhum translates to moving. That’s is why the book translates to moving energy. The book is considered immortal and Kiratis has a deep respect for the book.
Principles of Kirat religion
Kirat religion doesn’t believe in worshipping gods and goddesses but they believe in worshipping trees and nature. They worship trees, hills, rivers and worship mother nature as god. Actually mother nature is the one who feeds us so it is no wrong to say that Mother Nature is god. That is the principle Kirati people follow. They also worship their ancestors for all the works they have done and the contribution they made for protecting their religion and custom.
But they also worship gods and goddesses. The main god is Tagera Ningwaphuma who is believed to be a shapeless identity that appears as bright light. They believe in the goddess. the other goddess they worship is Kirat Limbu ancestor Yuma Sammang and God of war Theba Sammang. They are considered a second supreme god in their religion. Just like in Hinduism religion, they worship Mahadev in the name Kirateshowr Mahadev. As per legends, Mahadev once got married to Parvati in the form of Kirati girl and that’s how Lord got the name Kirateshowr.
Major festivals of kirati people are Sakela/ Sakewa and Ubhauli/ Udhauli. Both of these festivals is the gesture of thanking mother nature for all she gives to human beings. Kirat religion is a great religion but now it is quite fading. there are only a few people who are working for protecting and preserving the religion.