Public Versus Private

Public vs. PrivateOne of the concerns that Muslim parents and communities have is addressing the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual needs of younger generations throughout their education. Concerns about students’ spiritual formation in an environment that does not emphasize religious practices led to the creation of independent Islamic schools, often affiliated with mosques.... Read more about Public Versus Private

Muslims and American Politics

Muslims and American PoliticsMuslims take different approaches to political involvement. Some Muslims resist political participation, proposing the separation of dar al-Islam (governance based on Islamic norms) and dar al-Kufr (non-Islamic governance or “the abode of unbelief”). Others started participating after strong anti-Muslim sentiments arose in America after September 11th, 2001. Many choose to participate in politics to debunk stereotypes, to fight against hate, and to promote social inclusion and civic engagement.... Read more about Muslims and American Politics

Women in Islam

Women in Islam

There is no singular role or experience for women in Islam. Muslims women hold a variety of positions in society generally, and take on different responsibilities and restrictions in religious settings. They have convened groups for Muslim women and for interfaith dialogue to address how their gender informs their religious experience and how being Muslim affects their lives as American women.... Read more about Women in Islam

Unity and Diversity

Unity and DiversityIslam is not monolithic; understanding Islam means learning about the diversity of its streams. Ethno-religious mosques and organizations practice Islam while celebrating the varied ethnic cultures of immigrant Muslim communities. However, linguistic and cultural differences can cause de facto divisions among diverse groups.... Read more about Unity and Diversity

Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

Ramadan and Eid al-FitrMuslims fast from sunrise to sundown during the month of Ramadan. In addition to abstaining from eating and drinking, those who fast also restrain themselves from evil thoughts, speeches, and actions. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan and is one of the most anticipated Islamic holidays.... Read more about Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

Birthday of the Prophet: Mawlid al-Nabi

Birthday of the ProphetAcross the globe, including in the United States, Mawlid al-Nabi, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, is celebrated on the twelfth day of the month Rabi’ al-Awwal. Celebrations include festivals, prayer services, recitations of poetry and litanies, as well as religious gatherings. Celebrations of the Mawlid in America and distinctly English forms of poetry, songs, and literature shows the increasing importance of Mawlid al-Nabi amongst American Muslims. ... Read more about Birthday of the Prophet: Mawlid al-Nabi

Muslim Media

Muslim MediaTechnological advances have affected Muslims no less than the rest of the world. There are now Muslim talk radio shows, television shows that tell specifically Islamic stories, and online editions of the Qur’an and Hadith.... Read more about Muslim Media

Halal Food

Halal FoodHalal ("permitted" in Arabic) refers to Islamic dietary restrictions. Along with proscribing what not to eat (haram or “forbidden” in Arabic), halal requires minimal suffering and the pronouncement of the name of God during the slaughter of an animal. Though halal food items and restaurants were limited early on, today they have become a staple on the American culinary map. The variety of halal ethnic cuisines reflects the diversity of the American Muslim community. ... Read more about Halal Food

Qur’an and Qur’anic Recitation

Qur'an and Qur'anic RecitationMuslims treat their holy book, the Qur’an, with respect. To handle the Qur’an, Muslims must perform a ritual ablution, and they cannot put the Qur’an on the floor. Recitation of the Qur’an is encouraged, beginning in early childhood, through memorization at home, Islamic schools, and hifz classes. Professional reciters, or qaris, perform in major venues and act as imams for mosques around the world.

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Becoming a Muslim

Becoming a MuslimTo mark their commitment to embrace Islam, a new Muslim performs the cleansing of their entire body. They then recite the statements of shahadah in front of two witnesses, proclaiming that “there is no god but God and Muhammad is God’s Messenger.” Da'wah is the effort to present information about Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims.... Read more about Becoming a Muslim

Shi’i Remembrance of Husayn

Shi'i Remembrance of HusaynFor the first ten days in the month of Muharram, Shi’i Muslims mourn the martyrdom of Husayn (the grandson of Prophet Muhammad) and the other marytrs of Karbala. In places like Dearborn, Michigan, Shi’i Muslims recite or enact the martyrdom story (taziya) to commemorate the sacrifice. Wearing black, some women also gather on the seventh day for the “marriage of Kaseem” mourning procession.... Read more about Shi’i Remembrance of Husayn

Pilgrimage and Eid al-Adha

Pilgrimage and Eid al-AdhaHajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The Hajj occurs in the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah and symbolizes the unity of the Muslim ummah. During the time of the pilgrimage, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice.

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