Islam

With Passover, Easter and Ramadan looming, clergy scramble to create holidays at a distance

April 6, 2020

 

The Rev. Richard Mosson Weinberg canceled the Boston ferns and the yellow daffodils for the Easter service ordered for his Episcopal church in Washington’s affluent Kalorama neighborhood. Rabbi Levi Shemtov scrapped plans for the 200-person Seder dinner for Passover in his Chabad synagogue nearby. And Imam Yahya Luqman called off the Ramadan dinners at his mosque down the street.

These three faith leaders, who normally lead worship within walking distance from each other in Northwest Washington, are all scrambling to find...

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How religious leaders are keeping faith during coronavirus, even from a social distance

April 1, 2020

REV. THOMAS CONWAY 

Executive Director of St. Anthony Shrine, Boston; interviewed on Sunday, March 15.

"I got a call yesterday from a woman saying, “I’m sitting outside the [church] building,” and she was crying. Her brother was in ICU, and because of the coronavirus crisis, she wasn’t able to go visit him. And he was dying. She had a very reasonable request: “Can we just pray for him for a minute?” And I said, “Sure, we can do that.” So we stood outside, and we prayed on the...

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COVID-19 pandemic may affect Ramadan

March 27, 2020

 

The Islamic community is concerned the COVID-19 pandemic may interrupt Ramadan. Local Imams and Muslim community leaders said depending on the masjid, Ramadan services could be canceled, altered or remain as planned.

“We are looking at April 24 being the first day of Ramadan on this side of the world. We are hoping this has [ended] by then but we are preparing for the worse,” said Aliya Khabir, principal consultant, AZK Communications, LLC. “What I’ve seen is that Imams and their boards have been meeting daily by phone to discuss next steps because the...

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Stay-at-home faith. There’s a podcast for that.

March 27, 2020

While the doors at many houses of worship are closed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, there are still ways to access spirituality online. Houston is home to a number of locally made podcasts, dedicated to exploring faith. These digital audio files can be downloaded and listened to whenever and wherever is convenient.

Interfaith Podcast Project

If Houston could tell its story, it would include a tale of diverse religions thriving in one city. That’s a challenge “Interfaith Podcast Project” accepted — exploring different faith traditions in a way that...

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What Islamic hygienic practices can teach when coronavirus is spreading

March 16, 2020

As outbreaks of the coronavirus spread throughout the world, people are reminded over and again to limit physical contact, wash hands and avoid touching their face. The recent Netflix docuseries “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” illustrates how the Islamic ritual washing, known as “wudu,” may help spread a good hygiene message.

The series focuses on Syra Madad, a Muslim public health specialist in a New York...

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Coronavirus reshapes Chicago religious practices, but some not changing their ways

March 6, 2020

 

Even as coronavirus concerns spread across the world and religious groups in the Chicago area made changes to their practices to deal with the disease, some churchgoers said they aren’t worried enough yet to change how they worship.

At St. James Episcopal Cathedral, a group of about 15 parishioners gathered for an afternoon Mass on Wednesday. Prior to beginning the readings, the Rev. Courtney Reid told the group that some tweaks in the ceremony will apply because...

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‘We’re going beyond identity’: Shiite students head to Harvard for first national conference

March 2, 2020

 

Laila Tauqeer has only been president of the Harvard Islamic Society for three months, but she has been busy.

This weekend, she’s hosting the country’s first national conference for Shiite Muslim college students around the country.

On Friday (Feb. 28), more than 270 Shiite undergraduates, graduate students and recent alumni will gather at Harvard’s student organization center to discuss spirituality, sectarianism, geopolitics and faith-based activism at the sold-out Ma’rifa Conference.

...

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Pittsburgh tragedy helped build deep interfaith cooperation

February 28, 2020

“The Quran tells us red and yellow are the most distracting colors, the ones that should not ever be used for a prayer rug,” the imam tells us, looking down at the red and yellow rug beneath our feet in the mosque. He adds, “It was a donation, there was nothing I could do about the improper coloring.”

“Why don’t people know what the Quran has to say about these things?” my teenage daughter asks.

“Well,” he explains, “there is a lot to know: 6,000 sutras, 20,000 hadiths and 100,000 stories about the life of Muhammad.”

My...

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School Faces Backlash Over Event Encouraging Girls To ‘Cover’ Their Heads With Hijabs – Opposing Views

February 28, 2020

Mason High School principal Mindy McCarty-Stewart canceled “A Covered Girl Challenge,” an event aimed at celebrating religious “diversity.” Students who wished to participate would get to wear a headscarf on the day of to celebrate Islamic culture.

McCarty-Stewart sent an apology to parents, writing that the event was aimed at challenging stereotypes faced by students wearing the head scarves, but “as the event spread beyond our school community, however, we received many strong messages that made me reconsider the event’s ability to meet its objectives.”

She added...

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Ahmadi Muslims mark 100 years in US with day of service

February 17, 2020

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is marking the 100-year anniversary of the sect’s beginnings in the U.S. with a day of prayer and community service at its 62 chapters across the country.

This weekend, in mosques in Boston, Chicago, Silicon Valley, Miami, Phoenix, North Jersey and Los Angeles, Ahmadi Muslims plan to prepare meals to donate at food pantries and distribute at area shelters. In Portland, members will plant trees; Austin members will volunteer at a local farm; in Richmond, Virginia, members plan to clean a historic cemetery; and Willingboro, New Jersey, members are...

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