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Information About Islam. Introduction. Links and Resources on Islam. Basic Beliefs and History. Geography and the numbers of Muslims. Muslims in America. Variations within Islam. Islamic Law. Islamic Economics. Islamic Dress Islam and Modernization The Muslim World’s Relations with the U.S.

The US was poised to inherit the role of the European powers in the Muslim world, especially after the creation of the modern nation-state. These clans came to serve as catalysts, forwarding the faith to large parts of the Horn region. Those soldiers who surrendered to him were converted to Islam. Muslims must pray to God alone, not to other people. Part of the basic teachings of Islam with regard to economics is clear:

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The rest are primarily African Americans, most of whom are Sunni Muslims. Like other groups before them in America, Muslims are trying to find meaningful and practical ways to live out the precepts of their faith in a diverse, modern, materialistic and sometimes hostile culture.

This task, this burden, has been made all the more difficult in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks where different clothing brings suspicion, different religious architecture invites desecration, and different ideas on the role of the United States in the world are often viewed as politically incorrect.

Yet there are many Muslims serving currently in the armed forces of the United States around 15, with Muslim chaplains to help serve their spiritual needs.

Increasing numbers of Muslim men feel that the Prophet serves as the visible symbol of the importance of wearing a beard, and that they should be allowed to do so even if working in agencies that traditionally do not allow for that. They are scoring some very interesting successes in this regard. In many places, for example, police, firemen and women, and those in the military are being allowed to wear beards, dress Islamically, and so on.

Outside of their professions, some men also choose to wear some kind of non-Western wear, including kufis small caps, worn especially by African American Muslims or other forms of dress representing traditional cultures.

This mystical impulse developed in reaction against the legalism characteristic of much in conventional Islam. Mysticism in itself has many varieties: Since anything that makes the Prophet, or any other human, seem to be more than simply ordinary makes conventional Muslims more than a bit uneasy, the place of mystics within the Islamic tradition is not always secure. This veneration does not end with Muhammad, however.

Mystics also have many shrines where saints are buried. Indeed, this kind of mysticism is banned in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan since such practices are not scripturally based. Even where mysticism is not banned, it has suffered something of a retreat in the modern Islamic world.

Some Muslim political activists contend that mysticism encourages a certain passivity that inhibits their efforts to restore or revitalize the world-wide Muslim community. There is a notion that Islam, due to its rejection of iconography, rejects all artistic representations of human beings. However, when one considers the art of the miniature in Persian and Mughal painting, one finds a widespread use of the human form.

In countries like Jordan, for example, Christians may be as guilty as Muslims of following such a custom, and many Jordanian individuals and agencies are working hard to educate people about the evils of such practices.

It is essential to understand that Muslims all over the world are in different stages of figuring out how to be relevant to the 21st century. This involves not only refusing to adopt indiscriminately entire western systems of thought and behavior. This is a very complicated process and is influenced by Muslim experiences of western incursion into Muslim territories and the long process of achieving independence in their respective countries.

Now, non-Muslims need to recognize that many Muslims also feel that way. Different people in different societies will respond to such issues in different ways. The important point for Muslims is that they are trying to figure out how to live in community as God intends. Exactly what that means is not always easy to determine. Over years, since the rise of Islam, Islamic law developed a subtle and sophisticated jurisprudence that was able to provide both continuity as well as flexibility in legal doctrine, so the law remained relevant to widely diverse societies of Muslims.

Another important aspect of legal interpretation is determining the weight of any particular order: For example, some scholars say that it is obligatory to pray the five daily prayers in a mosque; others say that while the five prayers are obligatory, they do not have to be prayed in the mosque.

Some scholars say that it is prohibited for men to shave their beards, others say it is discouraged, still others say that such an act has no legal importance. Scholars who interpret too many rulings as obligatory or prohibited, rather than recommended or discouraged, are perceived to be too harsh and unrealistic by the majority of Muslims. These schools were not sects, but in some historical periods, there was great tension among the schools, especially when states favored certain schools over others.

In modern times, there have been attempts to diminish the differences among the schools, and find common ground by reassessing the textual basis for traditional doctrines. Islamic law encompasses both ritual law and worldly matters , including transactions, family law, criminal law etc.

Historically, Muslim governments supported ritual law by patronizing religious institutions, but generally did not enforce one school of law to the exclusion of another. Rulings affecting worship were not brought to state courts. The courts only enforced worldly matters that were in the jurisdiction of the government. Nevertheless, since religious texts gave strong support for consideration of local custom and the common good, judges has great flexibility in continually interpreting worldly laws to accommodate changing times.

Islamic law was struck a great blow by European colonization. The jurisdiction of Islamic courts was severely limited; in most cases, judges were only able to rule on matters of family law. This had two negative effects: As a result, attempts to reintroduce Islamic law as state law have not produced a just legal system.

Justice has been thwarted by superficial and rigid understandings of the law. One of the things that gives great cause for optimism about the prospects for a just interpretation of Islamic law is the number of brilliant Muslims scholars working in this area.

At Harvard Law School, there is a center for Islamic Legal Studies funded, ironically, by a branch of the Bin Laden family that is doing very good work. Other good organizations and programs include:.

Another area where Islamic scholarship is a work is in the field of economics. This has included trying to come up with an economics model that is 1 theoretically consistent with Islamic teachings, and 2 practically workable as well. Part of the basic teachings of Islam with regard to economics is clear: Those who were engaged in business needed to be reoriented, and their priorities needed to be changed. With this background, the basic principle of Islamic economics is that gains from economic activity can be sought only through one of two means: Income from activities such as usury, gambling, monopolistic trade practices, hoarding and speculation are therefore all prohibited in Islam.

Usury, which is the lending of money on the condition that the original capital plus an additional guaranteed sum is returned, is particularly condemned.

If a person is unable to loan money freely in this fashion, or wishes to extend loans as an economic activity rather than as social assistance, he or she must form some kind of partnership with the borrower so they share any gain or loss resulting from the use of that capital. Many people think it is impossible for a global economy to function without usury. In contemporary times, Muslims have formed Islamic banks, investments companies and businesses with the goal of fostering productive economic activity, while avoiding prohibited financial tools.

While any number of reasons might be cited for this, one factor is that the integration of the world economy makes it hard for any economic activity to be isolated enough to promulgate any theories that are strongly at variance with current global practice.

The purpose is to allow men and women to interact in a wholesome and productive environment and to support the ability of Muslims to confine intimacy to marriage. Intimate relations of any sort outside of marriage are forbidden in Islam. Current modes of Islamic dress take many different forms in Muslim societies across the world.

For example, Muslim men and women in West Africa traditionally wear billowing robes, in Indonesia and Malaysia, wrap-around skirts and long shirts, in Arab countries, long straight-cut robes. In Pakistan, men and women wear baggy pants and long shirts. In most of these societies, both men and women traditionally wear some form of head covering in public.

In some Muslim societies, women cover their face and wear a lightweight cloak in public. The black chador of Iran, the dark-colored abayas of the Arabian Peninsula and the varied colored chadori of Afghanistan are the most distinctive.

Historically, not all women in these societies wore these cloaks, and those who did often did not spend much time in the public sphere. In this new context, many Muslims have abandoned traditional dress for Western styles.

Most governments in the Muslim world leave the choice totally up to the individual. In these countries, one notices a broad diversity of clothing styles. In radically secular countries, such as Turkey and Tunisia, religious dress is prohibited in the public sphere. This creates resentment among those who choose to wear this dress. In a few conservative or sharply ideological societies, such as most parts of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan under the Taliban, police actively enforce compliance with their particular interpretations of modest dress.

This creates resentment among those who normally would not dress this way. What about Muslim women who do not wear Islamic dress? As usual, there is a variety of answers. Others feel strongly that how an individual Muslim chooses to express her or his faith is a personal matter between that Muslim and God. The current president of one of the largest Islamic Centers in the United States is a woman who does not cover her head.

While some American Muslims might wish that she did, she and others like her are articulate spokespersons for Islam.

The Muslim religious phenomenon is a complex one that traverses more than 14 centuries of human history, and the Muslim world itself is a multi-ethnic, polyglot and multi-cultural world which has been formed against a number of social, historical, and religious backgrounds. Indeed, from the very beginning, the Muslim civilization responded to a great number of forces, internal and external.

In the formative phase of Islam, in the first five centuries or so, the Muslim world was busy assimilating and acting creatively upon the philosophical, scientific, medical, literary, and religious achievements of the Greeks, the Persian, Indians, Christians and Jews.

The basic foundations or principles of the Islamic worldview were recorded in this formative phase of Islam. Because of this complex process of assimilation, a huge tension arose in the first Islamic centuries between what we nowadays call Modernity and Tradition, between innovation and traditionalism, or between the old and the new.

In the early modern period, around the 15th and 16th centuries of the common era, the Muslim world responded to a different set of challenges, and in order to meet that challenge the Muslim world created three major Empires: All of these Empires were complex manifestations of the Islamic entity. The world of Islam was no longer the pristine, simple world of the Prophet and his disciples.

All of these empires were multi-religious, multi-ethnic and polyglot empires; they understood globalization in their own terms. However, these empires still took Islam to be their starting point. In the modern period, especially in the 19th century, all of these Empires begin to decline, to weaken, to wane.

And one simple manifestation of this decline was the Western colonization of many parts of the Muslim world. The Western world penetrated every aspect of Muslim society in the 19th century to the extent that it is impossible to speak of modern Islamic history without speaking about the West at the same time. All the major movements in the Western world from the Reformation to the Industrial revolution to the Enlightenment and the theories of progress current in European societies in the 19th century had an impact on the Muslim world.

The colonial presence is a major fact in modern Muslim societies, a fact that has had a major impact on the Muslim faith, practice, and way of life.

The Muslim response to European colonialism took many forms. In the case of the Ottoman Empire, Tanzimat, or a total modernization of society, was the course taken. However, it was too late to modernize and save the Empire. Another response took the form of nationalism. In Indonesia, Sukarno was the leader of indigenous forces. One broker keeps on calling me to invest USD in Euro. Value Key tennisnews. Level 2 options trading scottrade strongest price movement of 1. Handelszeiten Forex Markt forex aktienoptionshandel mentoring of trading Optionen handel exit Binärem Options Handel Leverage Effekt Definition Binäre optionen aktienoptionshandel mentoring nachteile beim handel mit binären optionen legal Wie erfolg.

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The objective of the conquests was mostly of a practical nature, as fertile land and water were scarce in the Arabian peninsula. A real Islamization therefore only came about in the subsequent centuries. Ira Lapidus distinguishes between two separate strands of converts of the time: Islam was introduced in Somalia in the 7th century when the Muslim Arabs fled from the persecution of the Pagan Quraysh tribe. When the Muslims defeated the Pagans, some returned to Arabia , but many decided to stay there and established Muslim communities along the Somali coastline.

The local Somalis adopted the Islamic faith well before the faith even took root in its place of origin. For the polytheistic and pagan societies, apart from the religious and spiritual reasons each individual may have had, conversion to Islam "represented the response of a tribal, pastoral population to the need for a larger framework for political and economic integration, a more stable state, and a more imaginative and encompassing moral vision to cope with the problems of a tumultuous society.

At the outset, they were hostile to conversions because new Muslims diluted the economic and status advantages of the Arabs. Only in subsequent centuries, with the development of the religious doctrine of Islam and with that the understanding of the Muslim ummah , did mass conversion take place. The new understanding by the religious and political leadership in many cases led to a weakening or breakdown of the social and religious structures of parallel religious communities such as Christians and Jews.

The caliphs of the Arab dynasty established the first schools inside the empire which taught Arabic language and Islamic studies. They furthermore began the ambitious project of building mosques across the empire, many of which remain today as the most magnificent mosques in the Islamic world, such as the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.

Only on the Arabian peninsula was the proportion of Muslims among the population higher than this. Expansion ceased and the central disciplines of Islamic philosophy , theology , law and mysticism became more widespread and the gradual conversions of the populations within the empire occurred.

Significant conversions also occurred beyond the extents of the empire such as that of the Turkic tribes in Central Asia and peoples living in regions south of the Sahara in Africa through contact with Muslim traders active in the area and Sufi orders. In Africa it spread along three routes, across the Sahara via trading towns such as Timbuktu , up the Nile Valley through the Sudan up to Uganda and across the Red Sea and down East Africa through settlements such as Mombasa and Zanzibar.

These initial conversions were of a flexible nature. The reasons why, by the end of the 10th century, a large part of the population had converted to Islam are diverse. According to British-Lebanese historian Albert Hourani , one of the reasons may be that.

Muslims now lived within an elaborated system of ritual, doctrine and law clearly different from those of non-Muslims. The status of Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians was more precisely defined, and in some ways it was inferior.

They were regarded as the 'People of the Book', those who possessed a revealed scripture, or 'People of the Covenant', with whom compacts of protection had been made. In general they were not forced to convert, but they suffered from restrictions. They paid a special tax; they were not supposed to wear certain colors; they could not marry Muslim women;. It should be pointed out that most of these laws were elaborations of basic laws concerning non-Muslims dhimmis in the Quran.

The Quran does not give much detail about the right conduct with non-Muslims, in principle recognizing the religion of "People of the book" Jews, Christians, and sometimes others as well and securing a separate tax from them inlieu of the zakat imposed upon Muslim subjects.

Ira Lapidus points towards "interwoven terms of political and economic benefits and of a sophisticated culture and religion" as appealing to the masses.

Earlier generations of European scholars believed that conversions to Islam were made at the point of the sword, and that conquered peoples were given the choice of conversion or death. It is now apparent that conversion by force, while not unknown in Muslim countries, was, in fact, rare. Muslim conquerors ordinarily wished to dominate rather than convert, and most conversions to Islam were voluntary. In most cases worldly and spiritual motives for conversion blended together. Moreover, conversion to Islam did not necessarily imply a complete turning from an old to a totally new life.

While it entailed the acceptance of new religious beliefs and membership in a new religious community, most converts retained a deep attachment to the cultures and communities from which they came. The result of this, he points out, can be seen in the diversity of Muslim societies today, with varying manifestations and practices of Islam.

Conversion to Islam also came about as a result of the breakdown of historically religiously organized societies: This worked better in some areas Anatolia and less in others e. Along with the religion of Islam, the Arabic language, number system and Arab customs spread throughout the empire. A sense of unity grew among many though not all provinces, gradually forming the consciousness of a broadly Arab-Islamic population: There are a number of historians who see the rule of the Umayyads as responsible for setting up the "dhimmah" to increase taxes from the dhimmis to benefit the Arab Muslim community financially and to discourage conversion.

During the following Abbasid period an enfranchisement was experienced by the mawali and a shift was made in the political conception from that of a primarily Arab empire to one of a Muslim empire [18] and c. Other estimates suggest that Muslims were not a majority in Egypt until the midth century and in the Fertile Crescent until Syria may have had a Christian majority within its modern borders until the Mongol Invasions of the 13th century. The expansion of Islam continued in the wake of Turkic conquests of Asia Minor , the Balkans , and the Indian subcontinent.

The Ottoman Empire defended its frontiers initially against threats from several sides: Later, the Ottoman Empire set on to conquer territories from these rivals: Cyprus and other Greek islands except Crete were lost by Venice to the Ottomans, and the latter conquered territory up to the Danube basin as far as Hungary.

Crete was conquered during the 17th century, but the Ottomans lost Hungary to the Holy Roman Empire, and other parts of Eastern Europe, ending with the Treaty of Carlowitz in Islam has continued to spread through commerce and migrations; especially in Southeast Asia , America and Europe.

Jizya has been described by some as a ritual humiliation of the non-Muslims in a Muslim state for not converting to Islam and it is said to have driven conversions. At Mecca , Muhammad is said to have received repeated embassies from Christian tribes. Like their Byzantine and late Sasanian predecessors, the Marwanid caliphs nominally ruled the various religious communities but allowed the communities' own appointed or elected officials to administer most internal affairs.

Yet the Marwanids also depended heavily on the help of non-Arab administrative personnel and on administrative practices e.

As the conquests slowed and the isolation of the fighters muqatilah became less necessary, it became more and more difficult to keep Arabs garrisoned. As the tribal links that had so dominated Umayyad politics began to break down, the meaningfulness of tying non-Arab converts to Arab tribes as clients was diluted; moreover, the number of non-Muslims who wished to join the ummah was already becoming too large for this process to work effectively.

For four months, the siege continued. Ultimately, the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem , Sophronius , an ethnic Arab, [22] agreed to surrender Jerusalem to caliph Omar in person. The caliph, then at Medina, agreed to these terms and travelled to Jerusalem to sign the capitulation in the spring of Sophronius also negotiated a pact with Omar, known as the Umariyya Covenant or Covenant of Omar , allowing for religious freedom for Christians in exchange for " jizya ", a tax to be paid by conquered non-Muslims, called " dhimmis ".

Under Muslim Rule, the Christian and Jewish population of Jerusalem in this period enjoyed the usual tolerance given to non-Muslim theists. Having accepted the surrender, Omar then entered Jerusalem with Sophronius "and courteously discoursed with the patriarch concerning its religious antiquities". The Mosque of Omar , opposite the doors of the Anastasis, with the tall minaret, is known as the place to which he retired for his prayer.

Bishop Arculf , whose account of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the 7th century, De Locis Sanctis , written down by the monk Adamnan, described reasonably pleasant living conditions of Christians in Palestine in the first period of Muslim rule.

The caliphs of Damascus were tolerant princes who were on generally good terms with their Christian subjects. John Damascene held important offices at their court. The Abbasid caliphs at Baghdad , as long as they ruled Syria, were also tolerant to Christians. Harun Abu-Ja-'afar , sent the keys of the Holy Sepulchre to Charlemagne, who built a hospice for Latin pilgrims near the shrine.

Rival dynasties and revolutions led to the eventual disunion of the Muslim world. Palestine once again became a battleground as the various enemies of the Fatimids attacked. At the same time, the Byzantine Greeks continued to attempt to regain their lost territories, including Jerusalem. Christians in Jerusalem who sided with the Byzantines were put to death for high treason by the ruling shiite Muslims.

As Jerusalem grew in importance to Muslims and pilgrimages increased, tolerance for other religions declined. Christians were persecuted and churches destroyed. The sixth shia Fatimid caliph, Caliph Al-Hakim , , who was believed to be "God made manifest" by the Druze , destroyed the Holy Sepulchre in This powerful provocation helped ignite the flame of fury that led to the First Crusade.

It used to be argued that Zoroastrianism quickly collapsed in the wake of the Islamic conquest of Persia due to its intimate ties to the Sassanid state structure. Through the Muslim conquest of Persia , in the 7th century, Islam spread as far as the North Caucasus , which parts of it notably Dagestan were part of the Sasanid domains.

By the 16th century, most of the people of what are nowadays Iran and Azerbaijan had adopted the Shia branch of Islam through the conversion policies of the Safavids.

Islam was readily accepted by Zoroastrians who were employed in industrial and artisan positions because, according to Zoroastrian dogma, such occupations that involved defiling fire made them impure. A number of the inhabitants of Afghanistan accepted Islam through Umayyad missionary efforts, particularly under the reign of Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and Umar ibn AbdulAziz.

The population within its areas began firmly accepting Islam in significant numbers, notably in Taraz , now in modern-day Kazakhstan. The first complete translation of the Qur'an into Persian occurred during the reign of Samanids in the 9th century. According to historians, through the zealous missionary work of Samanid rulers, as many as 30, tents of Turks came to profess Islam and later under the Ghaznavids higher than 55, under the Hanafi school of thought.

This was followed by the Ghurids and Timurids who further expanded the culture of Islam. Islamic influence first came to be felt in the Indian subcontinent during the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders.