Islam

Islam: Challenges of Contemporary life, issues of living in America, and questions about the legitimate use of “science” and such other developments make us search for the answers that require an enlightened reading of Islam that needs to be authentic just the same.Misunderstandings by Muslims and West are clarified. Spiritual side of Islam is most important, indeed. Yet the worldly matters “Muamlats” alone would be the focus of the website.

​American Baby: 9 Lessons from Converting to Islam

by Olivia, Muslim Matters 1. It Gets Easier The beginning is always the hardest. You’ve found the truth, fulfillment, and a sense of peace you never imagined possible. A handful of people can’t wait to share Islam with their families, but for most of us, breaking the news to parents, grandparents, relatives, and sometimes kids, brings a sense of dread. This sense of dread has been even more heightened since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. Many people perceive being a Muslim as the antithesis of being an American, even though Islam teaches us to uphold religious freedom. To most people, Islamic practice embodies the opposite of American values and lifestyles. Family members may be shocked or even mildly okay at first, but after it has ...

American Muslims, from fear to pluralism.

by Safi Kaskas, The World Council of Muslim Communities When America woke up on the morning after 9/11/2001 it was more religiously and ethnically diverse than ever before. The wave of immigration in the first half of the twentieth century made the United States a microcosm of the world. This new diversity had important religious implications, as new communities of Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, and others put down roots in America. Some Americans, saw this diversity as true strength. Others were, and continue to be, threatened by it and are arguing once again for immigration restrictions. The issues of immigration and identity have once again risen to the top of the American political and social agenda and it is very divisive. In 2005, more people from Muslim-ma...

Reflections And Lessons From The New Zealand Christchurch Mosque Attacks

by Yousuf Ali Those of us in the United States on the night of Thursday, March 14 went to bed with some very tragic news which only got worse when we woke up. Two mosques in New Zealand were attacked in an apparent Islamophobic and white supremacist attack on Friday prayers in New Zealand. By the next morning, 49 people were killed, and several days later we still haven’t verified the total number and all of their nationalities and identities. Needless to say, this was a very busy and trying time for Muslims worldwide with many including myself performing salat al janazah al-ghaib (the funeral prayer in absentia) after Friday Prayers. In response, there has been a considerable discussion amongst Muslims about how to defend themselves against such incidents in th...

The world’s largest Islamic group wants Muslims to stop saying ‘infidel’

By Patrick Winn, PRI's The World. The largest Islamic organization on the planet has a request for all Muslims. Quit calling people kafir, an Arabic word for infidels or nonbelievers. This proclamation was issued by Nahdlatul Ulama or NU, an Indonesian collective claiming more than 90 million adherents — from clerics and politicians to shopkeepers and farmers. One of the group’s core tenets is promoting a more tolerant brand of Sunni Islam. Its leaders aim to uphold a secular state. They preach coexistence with Hindus, Buddhists, Christians and Shia Muslims. And the word kafir, NU says, undermines that mission with "theological violence." “When someone calls you a kafir, that means you’re considered someone who is godless,” said Alex Arifianto, an Indone...

Meet Sadaf Jaffer, America’s first female Muslim mayor

​by Simran Jeet Singh, Religion News Service Last month, Sadaf Jaffer was sworn in as mayor of Montgomery Township, N.J., a bucolic, if rapidly growing, municipality of about 25,000 just north of Princeton. In that moment, Jaffer became the country’s first female Muslim mayor, first female Pakistani-American mayor and first female South Asian-American mayor. She might also be the first American mayor with a doctorate from Harvard who specializes in Islam, gender studies and South Asian history. Mayor Jaffer also serves as a postdoctoral research associate in South Asian studies at Princeton University, where she teaches courses on South Asian, Islamic and Asian-American studies. I had the opportunity to speak with Jaffer about her journey, including what it ...

African slaves were the first to celebrate Ramadan in America.

by Khaled A. Beydoun, Root. This past weekend marked the beginning of Ramadan. Nearly one-fourth of the world will observe the annual fast and 8 million Muslims in America will abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset during the holy month. A grueling task at any time of the year, Ramadan this year will be especially daunting during the long and hot summer days. Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the nation, and the second-most-practiced faith in 20 of these united states. And these demographic shifts prompted a prominent Los Angeles-based imam to comment recently that "Ramadan is a new American tradition." The cleric's forward-looking pronouncement marks Islam's recent arrival in the U.S. But this statement reveals a pathology afflic...

Free Muslim-run health clinic opens to all in Northeast Philly

By Shai Ben-Yaacov, WHYY Before the ribbon was cut Sunday afternoon, staff and supporters of SHAMS Clinic on Frankford Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia began the grand opening celebration with a prayer from the Koran. Speaking in part about the diversity of the city’s languages and colors, the prayer seemed to echo the mission of the clinic itself: It is open to everyone who needs it, but members of the all-volunteer staff make no apology about being Muslim, and their connection to an Islamic service organization. “I’m really hoping today, with the grand opening, people will just see that we’re really not different from all the other organizations,” said medical director, Dr. Ammar Shahid. “We’ve reached out to the local churches, synagogues, loca...

Contemporary Islam, Non-Denominational: NDM

by Muslim Council of America A growing number of Muslims, especially in the US and Canada, now identify with an Islam that is non denominational. They can simply be called Muslims, however, if anyone wants to distinguish them as a separate category, they may be described Non Denominational Muslims or NDM. Who are they and what do they believe in? They, like rest of the Muslims, believe in monotheism, in the prophethood and in the day of resurrection. They accept the Quran as the last divine testament or message. They believe in the concept of permitted and not permitted as defined by the Quran. They believe in the sunnah of the Prophet as is spread throughout the Quran and those statements of the Prophet that are essentially substantiated by the d...

The Russian and the US religious Right Axis

By Dr. Aslam Abdullah It was a sensational revelation yet; it could not generate enough discussion even among those who were directly affected by the disclosure. The Facebook acknowledged receiving advertisement money from Russian interest groups for posts announcing anti-Muslim rallies in Idaho in 2016. The revelation was seen as yet another proof of the Russian meddling in US elections. However, few bothered to delve deep into the Russian instigated Islamophobia in the US and the Western World. A cursory look at the background of known Islamophobes indicates a Russian hand directly or indirectly in anti-Islam rhetoric especially in the US. The Idaho anti-Muslim rally became a springboard of similar rallies across the country. But Idaho rally is not the only event...

“PILLARS OF ISLAM” VERSUS “FOUNDATIONS OF ISLAM”

Saleem Ahmed, Ph.D. President of the Honolulu-based Pacific Institute of Islamic Studies. While growing up in Karachi, I learned that belief in God, prayers, fasting, haj, and zakat are referred to as the “Five “Pillars of Islam”; that these were the “essential” requirements to be a Muslim; and that without fulfilling these obligations, no person could be a Muslim or think of entering Paradise. I tucked this information at the back of my head and did not pay much attention any further until the following incident jolted me: On a trip to Pakistan, I met an acquaintance (let’s call him Faheem) who greeted me warmly and, in response to my question, informed me that he had become “very happy, mashallah”. I congratulated him and inquired as to what was t...

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