I am currently living in Austria, where it is typical for people entering a semi-public space (e.g. doctor's office, barber shop) to greet the entire room and receive a greeting back. What is the appropriate response when greeted with "salaam alaikum" (selamün aleyküm)? [more inside]
I'm invited to the courthouse part of an interfaith wedding of a relative of my girlfriend. I've scoured metafilter and the rest of the internet for the etiquette concerning gifts, but couldn't find anything applying to the situation. What would be appropriate? [more inside]
What are the specific arguments from the perspective of mainstream or traditional Islamic jurisprudence that forbid or sanction terrorist attacks? [more inside]
Someone close to me has become more and more vocal and virulent about their anti-Islamic views, even going so far as to claim that moderates refuse to listen to criticism of extremists & terrorists. I am looking for examples of Muslim writers and speakers to counteract these arguments, and show that the overwhelming majority of people within Islam do not support atrocities. Thanks.
What is the meaning of the #1 sign you see in photos of Muslims when they're celebrating a beheading or terrorist achievement? [more inside]
How to deal with a member of my daughter's girl scout troop whose religious beliefs make it difficult to engage in regular group activities? [more inside]
Should I, a non-Muslim woman, wear a hijab to a Muslim burial? What else do I need to know to avoid offending anyone there? [more inside]
I recorded these drummers on the archipelago of Socotra last March. Unfortunately, my contact there has gone MIA, but I could use some help translating the Arabic lyrics of this Islamic Mawlid chant. Can you help?
I've decided to skip my brother's wedding, for very good reasons. Help me figure out how to talk to him about this - it gets long, sorry. [more inside]
I saw this movie on either IFC or The Sundance Channel about 8-10 years ago. It was almost certainly French, though I suppose it's possible it could have been from Belgium or something -- but it had a very, very French feel. Here's what I remember: (some of the memories may be incorrect) [more inside]
I'm interested in knowing what people practicing any of the branches of Islam feel about the idea of recreating paradise on earth. The Quran describes paradise as a garden and there are historic gardens which use these descriptions as a template. Is making a garden templated on paradise as described in the Quran blasphemous in the eyes of Islam today? [more inside]
I'm trying to remember details about a book written about the US in the 1920s from the perspective of a visiting fundamental Muslim. The book, from my memory, was influential in the progress of fundamental Islamism (and later terrorism) as the book described the jazz age, black people, women's sexuality, etc. in a very bad light. Strangely Google isn't helping me with this. Thanks!
I have a family member who is interested in Islam and wants to read the Quran. I want to get him a devotional study companion. He's not a convert (yet?) but wants to learn more, explore a little, and maybe start up a discussion group with others. Assuming my friend is totally new to Islam and wants a non-technical, relatively easy read, can you suggest a good one, ideally with a Kindle edition? I am open to other suggestions if you have a better Quran companion in mind.
I know that Islam requires followers to perform the Hajj at least once in their lives if able... but what determines that ability? I presume it's a matter of health and financial concerns, but even so, I imagine many Muslims make great sacrifices and take significant risks for this. Are there generally-accepted measures of when it's understandable for someone not to make the Hajj, or is it all a matter of personal faith & judgment? I also know there was a time when one could send someone to more or less take their place... is that still an accepted practice? [more inside]
Young and modern Muslims of MeFi, what are the best resources out there - blogs, Web sites, podcasts - for someone who finds himself considering a deeper connection with the faith? [more inside]
A person is to be punished by hundreds of lashes in Saudi Arabia. How, specifically, is the punishment carried out? [more inside]
Hello, I am looking to find out what this tag reads in English: http://oi44.tinypic.com/w2j8t0.jpg Thanks very much to anyone who speaks Arabic and can translate this. Thanks
Are there any good dramatizations of the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols? [more inside]
Looking for a good primer on Islam, emphasis on the distinctions and history between Sunni and Shia branches [more inside]
Recommendations for nonfiction books on women in Islamic cultures. Bonus points for books that touch on queer, feminist, or disability studies themes. [more inside]
I need help finding resources on moderate or liberal Islam. This is for a new fiction project and I want to be sure to be as respectful as possible. [more inside]
Philanthropy: Is anyone aware of a non-profit organization that specifically focuses on U.S evangelical or fundamentalist-christian education or extremist Islam education (even better, grade school focused) its mission recognizing that the Christianity or Islam, in its perverted form(s), e.g., creationism, intolerance, senseless violence etc, is logically, from an educated standpoint, harmful to society. E.g., A reputable NP organization in whatever form committed to advocate against fundamentalist schools that teach silliness and harm children, likely an idea tank or direct advocacy program.
My very religious parents have invited me back into their home for the first time since I declared my agnosticism. I don't want to go. Am I making a mistake? [more inside]
My younger brother is doing a Peace Corp stint in Senegal. His host family (with whom he's staying while he learns the language) has taken to calling him by the name of their son of the same age. While I'm sure this is a gesture of welcoming, I find it very odd. Is this customary? What's the convention and where does it come from. [more inside]
Is it true that Muslims are allowed to lie? [more inside]
Can anyone recommend a Muslim community in Seattle that could help me (a non-Muslim) understand and participate in Ramadan? [more inside]
What politically neutral book(s) should I read on multiculturalism and Islam, immigration/integration politics and/or ethnic/religious tensions in Europe? [more inside]
My father unexpectedly passed away last weekend from a heart attack. I am not religious. Part of my family, and most of our community of friends & extended family, are. Help me navigate the religious talk without either going on the defensive, or being complacent. [more inside]
How do I stop feeling guilty for not wanting my boyfriend to convert to Islam? [more inside]
What's the best neutral, digestible, comprehensive primer to politics in the Middle East? [more inside]
A fundy Muslim father (and his extended family) with strong religious & cultural beliefs vs. his adult daughter's facebook account. How do I reconcile this? [more inside]
Gaddafi Pays Italian Models To Attend A Party That Is Actually An Islam Recruit Fete. Can you tell me what the banner in Arabic they hang inside reads?
How can I help support the "Ground Zero" Mosque? [more inside]
Looking for a magazine-style article where the author recounts how his middle eastern family changed over the course of a generation from modern secularism to religious/political conservativism [more inside]
How can I keep cool while covering up? [more inside]
Slumdog Millionaire: Late to the party, I watched this movie for the first time (and second time, too) this past week. [more inside]
I'd like to learn about various religions—scriptures, beliefs, everything. [more inside]
What's going on grammatically in the opening verse of the Quran, which uses a sound masculine plural for the word "worlds"? [more inside]
What's a good academic text/trade book about Jinni? [more inside]
Do you know any good blogs written by Muslims, especially devout Muslims, about Islam? It's quite a slog trying to find readable ones!
Is there an official bible for the Greek myths? [more inside]
What non-Christian religions and cultures have traditions comparable to Christmas carols and caroling? [more inside]
What's the best book for obtaining an overview of Islam (and its attitudes towards 'Western' culture)? [more inside]
What's an interesting aspect of Iranian society/ Shi'i Islam that would lend itself well to a 10 page expository essay? Nothing too controversial - my professor is Iranian. Just something interesting to write/ learn about. It has to be pretty specific. Thanks for suggestions!
I am looking for some truth about honor killings...and some insight or clarification rather on Obama's agenda concerning Islam. [more inside]
I'm trying to find a book about Islam and intellectualism. I can remember the cover, and the content - but not the title or the author. Gah! [more inside]
I've recently started learning more about Islam, and it intrigues me. But I had a conversation today with my muslim boyfriend in which he was adamant that he can't be muslim and believe in evolution. I'm okay with agreeing to disagree, but it's got me thinking. I've known many muslims who are scientists, and who would take no issue with evolutionary biology - how do they reconcile the two? [more inside]
My close friend is converting to Islam. Do you think he's doing the right thing? [more inside]
How does Eid work? For my girlfriend, who is a photographer: [more inside]
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