Culture Spot: Islam

islamWhen discussing Islam, you often hear the question: do muslims believe in Jesus Christ? The simplest answer is yes, but not in the same way that Christians do. 

In the Christian religion, Jesus was the son of God. He was sent to Earth as a redeemer, to save the souls of all of God’s children. Through his eternal sacrifice of life, all of his followers sins are absolved. This leaves his faithful believers free to live their lives knowing they will have everlasting life in the kingdom of heaven. 

In the religion of Islam, he has a much different role. The religion of Islam itself will not allow anyone to be placed alongside God, as this would make him less than divine, and being formed long after Jesus was crucified, Islam places him in a much smaller position. He was a prophet, as were several important figures of his time from the Christian Bible, but not the son of God. He was sent to earth as a man in an age of turmoil and problems to help guide the people of Israel. Unfortunately, in the Israelite’s misunderstanding, he was brutally murdered while trying to teach repentance and the word of God. 

The Muslim people, however, do not believe he was murdered on the cross, they instead believe that he was taken by God into the kingdom of heaven, after fulfilling his duty to foretell the coming of Muhammad. The Koran states that both Jesus and his forbear Moses were messengers of God, and that he will return in the last days of this Earth. 

There are many interpretations of the stories of Jesus in the Koran, but it seems to be the general consensus that he was a very important figure, leading the way for Muhammad to spread the message of God and care for his peoples eternal souls.

Three Travel Tips for Those with Bad Backs

bad back on planeTraveling with chronic back pain can be extremely annoying and unpleasant. Improperly developed back muscles, a weak core, vertebral misalignments or a bulging disc are among the most common causes of back pain. Here are three simple and useful travel tips for individuals who experience back pain. 

Monitor Your Posture When Lifting Heavy Objects 

You may need to carry your backpack or lift your luggage when traveling. Bad posture during lifting is the primary cause of spinal problems because it results in an uneven distribution of the pressure exerted on the vertebrae when one bends his or her back. Physical therapists recommend to avoid bending forward as much as possible when lifting objects. Instead, bend your knees and adjust the position of your legs while keeping your back straight and do the lifting with your legs rather than your spine. 

Use a Yoga Ball Chair at Home to Strengthen the Core Muscles 

The abdominal muscles and the spinal muscles provide solid support to the vertebrae of the spine. When pressure is exerted on your back, the core muscles are stabilizing the individual vertebrae, which prevents discs from bulging and helps with back pain. A yoga ball chair ( is perhaps the best way to strengthen your core before traveling. All you need to do is sit on a yoga ball chair while performing your usual activities, which works the stabilizing muscles of the core and the small muscles of the spine that are not activated when sitting on a regular flat chair. Read more about ball chair benefits here:

Sleep on a Rigid Surface

Sleeping on a soft bed or mattress when traveling can worsen your back pain because it does not offer enough support to the spine. In fact, sleeping on soft mattresses causes the spine to bend and facilitates an uneven pressure distribution. If the bed in your hotel is too soft and you experience back pain, you can sleep on the floor with some blankets or padding underneath for comfort. Resting on a rigid surface or on orthopedic mattresses is recommended by physicians who treat back pain.