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]
posted by scaryblackdeath
on Nov 12, 2013 -
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.
posted by bostonhill
on Jul 24, 2013 -
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]
posted by guessthis
on Oct 12, 2011 -
What politically neutral book(s) should I read on multiculturalism and Islam, immigration/integration politics and/or ethnic/religious tensions in Europe? [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Jul 25, 2011 -
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]
posted by raztaj
on Jul 20, 2011 -
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]
posted by divabat
on Apr 26, 2009 -
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?
posted by scrute
on Jan 13, 2009 -
After living most of my life in a secular bubble, I've been asked to fill in as a producer for a religion-focused public radio show.
Religious folk: please help me to do the best job I possibly can. What's going on in your religion or faith community right now? And what should I, as a secular humanist journalist, know in order to broadcast respectfully about your faith?
(anonymous because my question relates to my job and employer, which could be identified from my posting history) [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Sep 12, 2008 -
IslamFilter: I'm looking for examples of regional cultures/ethnic groups within the present-day Ummah that were bypassed by the expansion of Islam. For example, most of the people of the mountainous and hard to access Nuristan province of Afghanistan only converted to Islam ca. 1890. Prior to that it was known to everyone outside Nuristan as "Kaffirstan" (land of the unbelievers/infidels). [more inside]
posted by thewalrus
on May 26, 2008 -
As a student of international relations, I'm trying to acquire a broad understanding of Islam and Middle-Eastern culture. I'm looking for a few books to read in my spare time that touch on these subjects. [more inside]
posted by aheckler
on Apr 2, 2008 -
The Rowan Williams fiasco brought to mind a book that I read within the last year, but I cannot retrieve it now. In it, a Republican presidential candidate surprises everyone by calling for the adoption of sharia law in the United States. Can anyone help to identify it?
posted by yclipse
on Feb 19, 2008 -
Can you refer me to sophisticated discussions of violence that is driven by hybrid forms of capitalism and religion? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Nov 16, 2007 -
In Islamic discourse, how harsh a pejorative is the term "kafir"? Is it necessarily a pejorative at all?
posted by stammer
on Aug 28, 2007 -
Genuine question: Given that Mohammed was a succesful military leader who led armies to kill many thousands, at what point did he switch approach and promote peace? [more inside]
posted by pettins
on Sep 16, 2006 -
The Christmas holiday is fast approaching as we all know. My fiancee is Muslim, and we have always celebrated religious holidays separately. This year, I would like him to be a part of the family celebration. For my family it is more of a family bonding time (and become more of an American Tradition) than a religious event. If I'm correct, the celebration of Christmas is for the birth of Jesus. From what my fiancee has told me of Muslims, they believe in Jesus as a prophet, but have many differences in beliefs from Christians overall about who he was.
So would there be a debate between the two religions over the actual birth of Jesus (how he was conceived, is he the son of God....etc.) that would be conflicting for him to join us for dinner and this particular holiday itself? I want to be well informed when talking to him about it, and try to find a way to celebrate the holiday.
posted by Gooney
on Dec 8, 2004 -
The Koran. I read it long ago. I found it confusing, odd, hard to understand, in dire need of unpacking. I'd like to try reading it again. Can anyone recommend a superlative translation, or perhaps even better, a great paraphrase. Or at the very least one with decent annotations. I'm not averse to a version that does intelligent re-arranging of the sequence, as I recall chapters on cows following stuff on love. There are a number of current translations so pointers to informed reviews of them would be welcomed too.
posted by kk
on Nov 15, 2004 -