Islam

Emerging Islamic Infrastructure

Emerging Islamic InfrastructureIncreasing internal diversity of Muslims in the United States after 1965 led to the creation of national organizations such as the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Shi’a Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities (NASIMCO). Since then, a variety of organizations and institutions have developed–including social, educational, financial, legal, and charitable efforts–that contribute solutions to wider social issues and build and sustain indigenous American Muslim communities from the ground up. ... Read more about Emerging Islamic Infrastructure

African-American Islam Reformed: “Black Muslims” and the Universal Ummah

African-American Islam Reformed: “Black Muslims” and the Universal UmmahThe history of the Nation of Islam continued in the mid-1960s under the leadership of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed. Mohammed focused on reforming the organization with an emphasis on orthodox Islam and interracial and interreligious collaborations. Other important African-American Islam organizations emerged, such as the Dar-ul Islam movement and the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA).... Read more about African-American Islam Reformed: “Black Muslims” and the Universal Ummah

African American Islam Reborn

African American Islam RebornProminent African American Muslim leaders and organizations include Noble Drew Ali (founder of the Moorish Science Temple), Ahmadiyyah missionaries from India, and the Lost-Found Nation of Islam in America led by Elijah Muhammad. Some of these groups are distanced from the Muslim ummah due to teaching that was contradictory to the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. Black Muslims now make up over 20 percent of the American Muslim population.... Read more about African American Islam Reborn

Early American Mosques

Early American MosquesFor America's first Muslims, prayer took place in private homes or rented public spaces which grew into Islamic associations. As Muslims began to establish roots in America, their communities started to build American earliest mosques in Maine, North Dakota, Michigan, and Indiana between 1915 and 1925.... Read more about Early American Mosques

Resurgence and Migration: The Muslim World Today

Resurgence and MigrationAmong other factors, diversity in Islam emerges from revival/reform movements within the religion, and from Muslims’ experiences of migration. Some examples of revival/reform movements in Islam are traditional reformers, modernist reformers, and strict adherents to the shari’ah. In America, the over 3 million Muslims prove the truth in the adage “Islam is one, Muslims are many.”... Read more about Resurgence and Migration: The Muslim World Today

The Rise of European Colonialism

The Rise of European ColonialismEuropean colonization from the 17th through the 20th century often replaced the religious foundation of Islam and Islamic educational, legal and cultural institutions. The late 19th century saw movements for independence in different Muslim cultures. Current post-colonial states reflect a growing diversity, some declaring themselves secular states (Turkey), with others adhering to a strict codification of Shari’ah law in the national legal system (Pakistan).... Read more about The Rise of European Colonialism

Expansion of Islamic Civilization

Expansion of Islamic CivilizationFrom the 7th through the 18th centuries, Islam spread across the globe, as Muslim rulers expanded their control throughout North Africa, West Africa, and Central Asia. During this time Muslim rulers, soldiers, traders, Sufis, scholars, poets and architects all contributed to the shaping of distinctive Islamic cultures. Across the wide-reaching Islamic world, transregional Islamic culture mixed with local traditions to produce distinctive forms of statecraft, theology, art, architecture, and science.... Read more about Expansion of Islamic Civilization

Islamic Practices

The Five PillarsAmong Sunni Muslims, the key practices of Islam are referred to as “The Five Pillars” and include: shahadah (statement of faith), salat (prayer five times a day), zakat (giving a portion of one’s possession, usually 2.5% of annual wealth, through local mosques or organizations), sawm (fasting from sunrise to sunset in the month of Ramadan), and Hajj (pilgrimage to the Ka’bah in Mecca during the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah). Though these five key practices are observed by other Muslim denominations, Shi’a Muslims add others like khums (yearly tax given to the Imams) and walayah (acceptance and adoration of the Imams). Islamic practices are also constantly in dialogue with societal changes and advancements.... Read more about Islamic Practices

Shari’ah: Following the Straight Path

Following the Straight PathShari’ah refers to the system of law, ethics, and guidelines in Islam that govern a Muslim’s practical life. Shari’ah began with the Prophet Muhammad, and was later codified and taught by the ‘ulama. Along with schools, judges, courts, and rulers, the Shari’ah developed into a complex network. Today, the Shari’ah is applied in a variety of contexts - both at the state and individual level - which varies in different countries and amongst Sunni and Shi’a denominations.... Read more about Shari’ah: Following the Straight Path

Sufism: Seeking God

SufismSufism refers to the inner dimension of Islam which aims to attain mystical knowledge and love of God through meditative practices, or dhikr, ethical cultivation, and purification of the heart and self. Though Sufism began with individuals, Sufi communities, or tariqahs, were formed around them providing a template for spiritual guidance. Poetry, art, liturgies, biographical and philosophical works, and other forms of Sufi literature were also produced. Today, Muslims practice Sufism in a variety of modes and mediums.... Read more about Sufism: Seeking God

Sunni and Shi’i Interpretations

Sunni and Shi'i Interpretations

The differences between Sunni and Shi’i Muslims stem from questions about Muhammad’s successors. Shi’i groups historically argued that Ali was Muhammad’s successor, and continued recognizing successors from within the Prophet Muhammad’s family. Sunni groups historically argued for Abu Bakr al-Siddiq as Muhammad’s successor, and continued to select leaders from across the community.... Read more about Sunni and Shi’i Interpretations

Muhammad: The Messenger of God

Muhammad: The Messenger of GodThe Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation during an annual devotion at Mount Hira outside of Mecca. The Prophet’s message of tauhid (unity and oneness of God) challenged the polytheistic 7th century Meccan society; Muhammad was met with prosecution. His migration (hijrah) from Mecca to Medina signified the establishment of a model Muslim community and the beginning of the Islamic calendar.... Read more about Muhammad: The Messenger of God

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