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MUSLIM LIFE

l.Life as a Muslim

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Daily life as a Muslim

While often seen as a radical or extreme religion, Muslims consider Islam to be the middle road. Muslims do not live life with complete disregard for God or religious matters, but nor do they neglect the world to devote themselves solely to worship and prayer. Muslims strike a balance by fulfilling the obligations of and enjoying this life, while always mindful of their duties to Allah and to others.

  • RELATIONS WITH NON MUSLIM
  1.  Speak Gently

At all times, Muslims must show the best of manners and wisdom when speaking of faith to others. One must listen carefully, and share opinions with careful thought and patience.

“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance” (Quran 16:125).

“And do not argue with the followers of the Book except by what is best, save with those of them who act unjustly, and say: We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him do we submit” (Quran 29:46).

“…Whenever you speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill the covenant of God. Thus does He command you, that you may remember” (Quran 6:152).

2. Recognize that God is the One to Guide

Do not feel discouraged if people seem unconvinced by your beliefs, and are unwilling to share your faith. The Quran describes that God Alone is the One to guide people’s hearts.

“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things” (Quran 2:256).

“If your Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one people: but they will not cease to dispute” (Quran 11:118).

“And do thou be patient, for your patience is but from Allah; nor grieve over them: and distress not because of their plots. For Allah is with those who restrain themselves, and those who do good” (Quran 16:127-128).

3. Part Kindly From Those Who Ridicule Faith

If you face someone who persistently ridicules or mocks your faith, and is obviously unwilling to listen to your point of view, quietly withdraw from the situation. Do not become angry or engage in arguments.

“He has already revealed to you in the Scripture, that when you hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, you are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme. If you did, you would be like them…” (Quran 4:140).

“Tell those who believe, to forgive those who do not look forward to the Days of Allah: It is for Him to recompense (for good or ill) each people according to what they have earned” (Quran 45:14).

“Therefore be patient with what they say, and celebrate (constantly) the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun, and before its setting; yea, celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day: that you may have (spiritual) joy” (Quran 20:130).

“Bear, then, with patience, all that they say, and celebrate the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting” (Qur’an 50:39).

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l.Life as a Muslim

images (15)

Daily life as a Muslim

While often seen as a radical or extreme religion, Muslims consider Islam to be the middle road. Muslims do not live life with complete disregard for God or religious matters, but nor do they neglect the world to devote themselves solely to worship and prayer. Muslims strike a balance by fulfilling the obligations of and enjoying this life, while always mindful of their duties to Allah and to others.

  • RELATIONS WITH NON MUSLIM
  1.  Speak Gently

At all times, Muslims must show the best of manners and wisdom when speaking of faith to others. One must listen carefully, and share opinions with careful thought and patience.

“Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance” (Quran 16:125).

“And do not argue with the followers of the Book except by what is best, save with those of them who act unjustly, and say: We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him do we submit” (Quran 29:46).

“…Whenever you speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill the covenant of God. Thus does He command you, that you may remember” (Quran 6:152).

2. Recognize that God is the One to Guide

Do not feel discouraged if people seem unconvinced by your beliefs, and are unwilling to share your faith. The Quran describes that God Alone is the One to guide people’s hearts.

“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things” (Quran 2:256).

“If your Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one people: but they will not cease to dispute” (Quran 11:118).

“And do thou be patient, for your patience is but from Allah; nor grieve over them: and distress not because of their plots. For Allah is with those who restrain themselves, and those who do good” (Quran 16:127-128).

3. Part Kindly From Those Who Ridicule Faith

If you face someone who persistently ridicules or mocks your faith, and is obviously unwilling to listen to your point of view, quietly withdraw from the situation. Do not become angry or engage in arguments.

“He has already revealed to you in the Scripture, that when you hear the signs of Allah held in defiance and ridicule, you are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme. If you did, you would be like them…” (Quran 4:140).

“Tell those who believe, to forgive those who do not look forward to the Days of Allah: It is for Him to recompense (for good or ill) each people according to what they have earned” (Quran 45:14).

“Therefore be patient with what they say, and celebrate (constantly) the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun, and before its setting; yea, celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day: that you may have (spiritual) joy” (Quran 20:130).

“Bear, then, with patience, all that they say, and celebrate the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting” (Qur’an 50:39).

k.Marriage in Islam

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In Islam, marriage is a social and legal relationship intended to strengthen and extend family relationships. Islamic marriage begins with a search for an appropriate partner, and is solemnized with an agreement of marriage, the contract, and the wedding party.

  • Marriage Contract (Nikah)

In Islam, marriage is considered both a social agreement and a legal contract. Negotiating and signing the contract is a requirement of marriage under Islamic law, and certain conditions must be upheld in order for it to be binding and recognized.

  • Wedding Party (Walimah)

The public celebration of a marriage usually involves a wedding party (walimah). The family of the groom is responsible for inviting the community to a celebration meal. The details of how this party is structured, and the traditions involved, vary from culture to culture.

i.Who was the Prophet Muhammad? 

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Muhammad our Prophet
  • In brief, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was born in a noble tribe of Mecca in Arabia in the year 570 AD. His ancestry goes back to Prophet Ishmael (P), son of Prophet Abraham (P). His father died before his birth and his mother died when he was six. He did not attend a formal school since he was raised first by a nurse as it was the custom those days, and then by his grandfather and uncle. As a young man, he was known as a righteous person who used to meditate in a cave. At age 40, he was given the prophethood when the angel, Gabriel, appeared in the cave. Subsequently, the revelations came over 23 years and were compiled in the form of a book called the Quran which Muslims consider as the final and the last word of God. The Quran has been preserved, unchanged, in its original form and confirms the truth in the Torah, the psalms and the Gospel.

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  • Muḥammad[n 1] (Arabic: محمد‎;c. 570 CE – 8 June 632 CE[1]) is regarded by Muslims, almost universally,[n 2] as the last prophet sent by God to mankind.[2][n 3] According to Muslims, he was sent to restore Islam, which they believe to be the unaltered original monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other prophets.[3][4][5][6] Non-Muslims generally consider him to be the founder of Islam.[7]
  • Born approximately in 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca,[8][9] Muhammad was orphaned at an early age; he was raised under the care of his paternal uncle Abu Talib. After his childhood Muhammad primarily worked as a merchant.[10] Occasionally he would retreat to a cave in the mountains for several nights of seclusion and prayer; later, at age 40, he reported at this spot,[8][11] that he was visited by Gabriel and received his first revelation from God. Three years after this event Muhammad started preaching these revelations publicly, proclaiming that “God is One“, that complete “surrender” (lit. islām) to him is the only way (dīn)[n 4] acceptable to God, and that he was a prophet and messenger of God, similar to the other prophets in Islam.[12][13][14]
  • Muhammad gained few followers early on, and met hostility from some Meccan tribes. To escape persecution, Muhammad sent some of his followers to Abyssinia before he and his followers in Mecca migrated toMedina (then known as Yathrib) in the year 622. This event, the Hijra, marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar, also known as the Hijri Calendar. In Medina, Muhammad united the tribes under the Constitution of Medina. After eight years of fighting with the Meccan tribes, Muhammad gathered an army of 10,000 Muslim converts and marched on the city of Mecca. The attack went largely uncontested and Muhammad took over the city with little bloodshed. He destroyed the three-hundred and sixty pagan idols at the Kaaba, in the city.[15] In 632, a few months after returning to Medina from the Farewell Pilgrimage, Muhammad fell ill and died. Before his death, most of the Arabian Peninsula had converted to Islam, so by the time of his death, he had united Arabia into a single Muslim polity and ensured that his teachings and practice together with the Quran, which Muslims believe was revealed to him by God, formed the basis of Islamic religious belief.[16][17]
  • The revelations (each known as Ayah, lit. “Sign [of God]”), which Muhammad reported receiving until his death, form the verses of the Quran, regarded by Muslims as the “Word of God” and around which the religion is based. Besides the Quran, Muhammad’s teachings and practices (sunnah), found in the Hadith and sira literature, are also upheld by Muslims and used as sources of Islamic law (see Sharia). While conceptions of Muhammad in medieval Christendom were largely negative, appraisals in modern history have been far more favorable.[14][18] Other appraisals of Muhammad throughout history, such as those found in medieval China, have also been positive.[19][20][21][22][23]

h.The Muslim’s Beliefs

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God of Muslim only Allah
  • Unlike other beings, man has the tendency to think that any thing that is organized much have an organizer. Islam simply applies the same natural logic to the universe and the environment around us which has so many amazing and well organized inter-related systems that witness of the existence of a powerful creator.
  • It is in this direction that Muslims believe in an unseen Ultimate Creator, source of all the physical and spiritual power that exist in the universe. We know about this creator not only through the powerful evidence of how organized is the universe, but also through a line of prophets, including but not limited to Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammed. They came to draw our attention to him so that we may make the choice to believe by responding to an inner instinct (that is confirmed daily) that all that is organized must have an organizer and that this universe is the creation of the ultimate organizer: God the one, the eternal, the creator, the fastest who calculates, the light, the originator, to list only a view of the names and attributes of the one God as outlined in the Koran (Qur’an).
  • The first five verses of the Koran represent the Islamic natural approach to believe in the one God:

Read in the name of your Lord who created;
Created man from a clot that clings
Read and your Lord is the most generous;
He who taught by the pen;
Taught man that which he knew not.

Accordingly a Muslim faith is pronounced in the format of admitting the existence and oneness of the Creator as follows:

I witness there there is no God, but one God
and that Mohammed is his prophet.

(or for that matter one of his prophets, since the Koran states that Mohammed is no more than a prophet, a lot of prophets have passed before him).

g.Islamic festivals

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Hari Raya Aidilfitri
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Ramadhan Al Mubarak

What are the major Islamic festivals?

  • Idul Fitre, marks the end of fasting in the month of Ramadan and is celebrated with public prayers, feasts and exchange of gifts. Idul Adha marks the end of the Hajj or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. After the public prayers, those who can afford, sacrifice a lamb or a goat to signify Prophet Abraham’s obedience to God, shown by his readiness to sacrifice his son Ishmael.

Eid al-Fitr

Known as the “Feast of Breaking of the Fast” which marks the end of Ramadan. It falls on the first day of the next month, Shawwal and celebration lasts 3 days.

Eid al-Adha

Known as the “Feast of the Sacrifice” is the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. It is a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham)’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of submission to Allah’s command and Ismail’s acceptance to being sacrificed. According to the story, despite being very sharp, the knife did not cut Ismail by following the command of Allah and great angel Jibreel (Gabriel) brought a ram to be sacrificed instead. Eid al-Adha celebrations last 4 days.

islamic-festivals-important-dates

Important days and nights in Islam

Islamic New Year

It is the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. The first Islamic year began in 610 AD with the Hijra of Prophet Muhammad and the first Muslims from Mecca to Medina.

The Day of Ashura

Is the 10th day of Muharram. It is the day Prophet Noah’s ship landed on ground after The Flood. It is the day Red Sea was split off so that Prophet Musa and the believers escaped the Pharaoh and his army chasing them. It is also the day where Allah accepted the tawba (repentance) of the peoples of Prophet Adam and Prophet Yusuf (Joseph).

Day of Arafa

It is the 9th day of the month Dhu al-Hijjah -the last month in the Islamic Calendar). It is also the second day of Hajj. The next day is the first day of Eid al-Adha.

Laylat al-Qadr

Known as The Night of Power, The Night of Destiny as well. First verses of the Quran were revealed to prophet Muhammad in this night. It is in the last 10 days of Ramadan however exact day is not known. It is the most important night in Islam. Surat Al-Qadr describes its importance.

Laylat al Raghaib

It is the first Friday night of month Rajab. According to some scholars, it is the night where Prophet Muhammad’s mother realized she was pregnant.

Laylat al Bara’at

It is the 15th night of the month of Sha’aban. It is known as Shab-e-barat as well. According to some scholars, Quran was brought to the earth’s heaven from Lawh Al-Mahfuz (Protected tablets where everything is written).

Laylat al Mi’raj

It is the night Prophet Muhammad ascended to the Jannah (Paradise). The part journey from Mecca to Jerusalem is called Isra and Mi’raj is the second part of the journey where Prophet Muhammad was ascended to Allah’s presence and to Jannah. Salah (daily prayers) became mandatory after this journey.

Alvida Jumma

It is the last Friday in Ramadan. Every Friday is a mubarak (blessed) day for Muslims including the last Friday of Ramadan.
Going to mazaar (graveyards) is a Sunnah. The intention must be to remind ourselves death and Akhirah (afterlife). Quran can be read for the deceased. You can also pray for the deceased.

Mawlid Al Nabi

Known as Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi or Barafawat as well. It is the celebration of birthday of Prophet Muhammad. İmam Suyutî had called it as a bidat-i haseenah (a good innovation).

Kheer Puri Niyaaz

It is a Shia tradition, Sunnis do not and should not celebrate it. It is based on a fabricated story “of a woodcutters’ wife praying on the 22nd of Rajab due to the economical hardships in addition to her husband being far away from her trying to make money”.

f.Islam – A Comprehensive Way of Life

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  • To understand the essence of Islam is to understand the very essence of humanity. More than a religion, Islam is a complete and comprehensive way of life leading to a balanced way of living. Islam brings civilization and happiness to man. Islamic principles and teachings can provide realistic, fair and objective solutions to the prevention of individual, familial, social and international problems which are threatening the existence of human communities throughout the world.
  • A spiritual belief that does not deal with social behavior, economic relations and international organizations is as erroneous as the social doctrine that does not consider spiritual belief, morality and behavior. Such social doctrines are abortive attempts, incapable of total human guidance or of achieving any coherence or accord among human beings.
  • Both the individual and the society are in dire need of a belief that accommodates and directs all their vital activities towards construction and growth. When the individual and society adopt such a belief and apply it to life, humanity can accomplish seemingly miraculous achievements which can only occur when man unites himself with the Eternal Power that channels his personality -potential in the right direction.
  • History has shown that Islam is unique in its ability to provide guidance for the entire range of human activity. It does not separate spiritual and secular life as unrelated entities.
  • Islam integrates all domains of human life, just like the different systems in the human body integrate to provide a complete human being. If one system does not work properly, it has got to affect the whole body. Likewise, Islam proposes systems of laws that integrate all parts of human society to bring happiness and peace to all its members. There is no other way or system that urges the active worship of Allaah in its general and most comprehensive sense other than Islam. Fox example, Islam teaches that Muslims should fast for a month every year (i.e. Ramadan) in order to acquire piety and self-discipline and to develop awareness of the needs and problems of others who are starving or are in desperate need of food. Such an awareness of the needs of others is not enough on its own. Therefore, Zakaah (obligatory charity) is prescribed to be distributed among the segments of society that are in need of individual and communal assistance.
 A very important universal concept in Islam is “Ummah” (Nation). Ummah transcends all limitations implied by the term ‘nation’ by encompassing all people regardless of race, color, or sex. Allaah emphasized this great Islamic principle in the verse (which means);
“Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allaah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. And none differed over it [i.e. Scripture] except those who were given it-after the clear proofs came to them-out of jealous animosity among themselves. And Allaah guided those who believed to the truth concerning that over which they had differed, by His permission. And Allaah guides whom He wills to a straight path.” [Quran 2:2 13]
  • Moreover, Islam has a unique understanding for the concept of Ummah. Ummah is the field for knowledge, ethics, government and positivism. Ummah in Islam is a system in which people integrate, even if they belong to different belief systems. It is a system of universal justice and peace that accommodates everyone who believes in freedom of thinking and in calling people to the truth-whether they are individuals or communities.
  • Indeed, Ummah in Islam is an apparatus which is more advanced than that developed by the West, the UN., or those apparatuses established by the American-European block merely to bring about a “new world order,” but which in reality often are geared only to maintain Western control over Third World human and material resources.
  • The Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, proposed a constitution for the city of Madeenah during the first days of his emigration from Makkah. He, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, included the rights of both Jews and Christians, thereby safeguarding their freedom and beliefs. History has never known a constitution that represented minorities as this constitution of the Islamic state did. Ummah as an Islamic concept will, Allaah willing, bring the advent of universal peace as well as an internal social system. Ummah is the field-ground for civilization to take place. Such an Ummah can be integrated and united, if it derives its doctrines, constitutions, morals, values and the whole perspective of life from the same united source: belief in the only true Allaah. This is known as the concept of Tawheed (Monotheism).
  • The value systems of Western societies will continue to collapse, since they are built on shifting grounds. The Sunday Times of London, in its September 1994 issue, reported about a revolt by women against the values prevailing in Britain: ‘‘British women seek new morality in its religious affairs” correspondent Lesley Thomas stated.
  • According to the report, this is not the case of British women who are favoring Islam. “Thousands of British women are becoming Muslims in a trend that baffles feminists and causes concern to Christians.” The report continues that “of the estimated 10,000 British converts to Islam over the past decade, most are single, educated women, doctors, college lecturers and lawyers.” The educated in the west are beginning to see that the “full” life is found only in Islam, the universal religion.
And what about the present day Muslim world? Unfortunately, some “educated” Muslims now pay only “lip-service” to Islam. They think that Islam is a slogan to be raised or a word to be uttered. Islam is the way of life that should be implemented in all spheres of life. These hypocrites have forgottenthat Allaah dislikes those who brag about things that they do not practice. When man’s deeds are not commensurate with their words, their conduct is odious in the sight of Allaah.
“O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do? Great is hatred in the sight of Allaah that you say what you do not do.” [Quran 61:2-3]
 
  • May Allaah let the Muslim World never forget that Islam provides a complete and comprehensive way of life. Islam creates harmony in the mind, the soul and the body in a marvelous way. The need for Islam emerges from the humanity’s search for a constitution that provides guidance and satisfaction in all spheres of life. It is a code of life that is not limited to partial needs, but rather a way of life that penetrates all barriers to interact with people’s needs in this life and beyond. It is a way of life where there is no discrimination between what is sacred and what is secular.
  • Islam is unique among the religions and civilizations the world has known. In contrast to the other religions of the world, Islam defines religion itself as the very business of life, the very matter of space-time, the very process of history, and the gift of Allaah. Therefore, all these work together to constitute them.
  • Islam is a divine guidance wherein humans of all nations, colors and tongues feel linked to a Supreme Power and Justice. Its teachings are kept intact and authentic. It is the only way to happiness, dignity, and universal peace. Islam is so unique in its method for solving the problems of humanity. I can say with confidence that the twenty first century will be the century of Islam. The everlasting miracle of Islam, THE QURAN, is a standing challenge to the intellect of all peoples at all times. In Islam’s four abiding principles – equality, tolerance, promotion of science, and solution to the world’s problems – its universality asserts itself. It calls to all mankind, if only mankind will listen.
“Then do they not reflect upon the Quran? If it had been from [any] other than Allaah, they would have found within it much contradiction.” [Quran 4:82]

e.Sport

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  • Depending on the country, women in Muslim parts of the world have varying experiences; they face different obstacles in trying to participate in sports.  Even so, these female athletes have a few things in common.  They all must try to navigate the complexity of their identities.  Individually, girls and women make decisions for themselves based on their values, obligations, expectations, affinity to sport and whatever else it is that makes them who they are.  Below, we’ll explore some of the ways girls and women in Muslim countries might experience sport.  Keep in mind that there is no single “female Muslim” experience.
  • Navigating Their Personal Identities

    In light of the traditional Islamic practices and the lack of resources (leagues and/or facilities) which accommodate them, many Muslim girls and women must decide what it is they’re comfortable with, based on their values, obligations, expectations, affinity to sport and other facets of their identities.  It’s a personal struggle for women to reconcile being Muslim, being a woman, and being an athlete.

    Yuka Nakamura studied the experiences of Muslim women who were born in or immigrated to Canada.  Obviously, Canada is not a Muslim country.  However, we can still learn something about the way Muslim women come to practice their faith while identifying as athletes.  Of the twelve subjects in her study, Nakamura found that modesty was the more important issue and posed the greatest barrier.  Even so, differences in observances existed.  Eleven of the twelve  said they’d cover their legs when exercising publically, even if they were in a women-only space; eight said that they wore their hijab during sports even though all of them believed they were supposed to.

    Here, we’ll see how different women observe the practice of separating themselves from men during exercise and sports.  The women and girls that Kay categorized as traditionalists believes that to participate in sports women need to be out of sight of men[13].  Some of the subjects of Walseth and Fasting’s research show a more nuanced interpretation.  They believed that women only need to be out of sight of men if they’re going to be wearing sports attire which shows inappropriate amounts of skin[14].  Some women who were stricter in their observance (they wore the krimar and/or niqab) thought that women, even dressed in their appropriate garments, should refrain from activities which might be sexually exciting to men[15].

    In Catherine Palmer’s research of Muslim refugees, she explains how deciding on a team uniform for the refugees’ soccer team illustrated the complexities of individuals having different practices.  Some girls on the team chose to wear typical shorts and tee-shirts while others preferred to play wearing long sleeved shirts and track pants under their uniforms.  With regard to headscarves, some girls abandoned their headscarves all together, some opted for a bandana instead of their hijab, others wore the krimar, and some would take off their niqab when they were only with girls[16].  The team’s goal recalled a situation in which girls would remove their hijab to head the ball and then put it back on and resume playing.  The team had to overcome issues surrounding “sexualized movements” when the girls learned how to chest the ball[17].

    Consistent throughout the literature was the notion that men and women should not compete together.  Even this, however, was not unanimous.  Zahra, one of the girls in Nakamura’s research, practiced with and competed against boys in karate.  She felt comfortable with this because she was never making “skin on skin” contact.  Walseth and Fasting also noted that one participant in their study played soccer with her brothers[18].

d.Culture of Islam

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Kaabah at Makkah Mukarramah
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Mosque that is a place for Muslim to prayer
  • Islamic culture is itself a contentious term. Muslims live in many different countries and communities, and it can be difficult to isolate points of cultural unity among Muslims, besides their adherence to the religion of Islam. Anthropologists and historians nevertheless study Islam as an aspect of, and influence on, culture in the regions where the religion is predominant.
  • The noted historian of Islam, Marshall Hodgson, noted the above difficulty of religious versus secular academic usage of the words “Islamic” and “Muslim” in his three-volume work, The Venture Of Islam. He proposed to resolve it by only using these terms for purely religious phenomena, and invented the term “Islamicate” to denote all cultural aspects of historically Muslim people. However, his distinction has not been widely adopted, and confusion remains in common usage of these article.

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