Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times before through prophets such as Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran, in Arabic, to be the unaltered and final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam also teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded in paradise and the unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, as well as following Islamic law (sharia), which touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment. The cities of Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam.
This call was met with an enthusiastic popular response across all social classes in western Europe. Mobs of predominantly poor Christians numbering in the thousands, led by Peter the Hermit, a French priest, were the first to respond. What has become known as the People's Crusade passed through Germany and indulged in wide-ranging anti-Jewish activities, including the Rhineland massacres. On leaving Byzantine-controlled territory in Anatolia, they were annihilated in a Turkish ambush led by the Seljuk Kilij Arslan at the Battle of Civetot in October 1096. (Full article...)
Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد بن يوسف بن نصر) (1195 – 22 January 1273), also known as Ibn al-Aḥmar (Arabic: ابن الأحمر) and by his honorifical-Ghalib billah ("The Victor by the Grace of God"), was the first ruler of the Emirate of Granada, the last independent Muslim state on the Iberian Peninsula, and the founder of its ruling Nasrid dynasty. He lived during a time when Iberia's Christian kingdoms—especially Portugal, Castile and Aragon—were expanding at the expense of the Islamic territory in Iberia, called Al-Andalus. Muhammad ibn Yusuf took power in his native Arjona in 1232 when he rebelled against the de facto leader of Al-Andalus, Ibn Hud. During this rebellion, he was able to take control of Córdoba and Seville briefly, before he lost both cities to Ibn Hud. Forced to acknowledge Ibn Hud's suzerainty, Muhammad was able to retain Arjona and Jaén. In 1236, he betrayed Ibn Hud by helping Ferdinand III of Castile take Córdoba. In the years that followed, Muhammad was able to gain control over the southern cities, including Granada (1237), Almería (1238) and Málaga (1239). In 1244, he lost Arjona to Castile. Two years later, in 1246, he agreed to surrenderJaén and accept Ferdinand's overlordship in exchange for a 20-year truce.
In the 18 years that followed Muhammad consolidated his domain by maintaining relatively peaceful relations with the Crown of Castile; in 1248 he even helped the Christian kingdom take Seville from the Muslims. But in 1264, he turned against Castile and assisted the unsuccessful rebellion of Castile's newly conquered Muslim subjects. In 1266 his allies in Málaga, the Banu Ashqilula, rebelled against the emirate. When these former allies sought assistance from Alfonso X of Castile, Muhammad was able to convince the leader of the Castilian troops, Nuño González de Lara, to turn against Alfonso. By 1272 Nuño González was actively fighting Castile. The emirate's conflict with Castile and the Banu Ashqilula was still unresolved in 1273 when Muhammad died after falling off his horse. He was succeeded by his son, Muhammad II. (Full article...)
Born and raised in Sialkot, Punjab in an ethnic Kashmiri Muslim family, Iqbal studied in Sialkot and Lahore, and thereafter in England and Germany. In England he did his B.A. that made him eligible to practice Law as an advocate. Although he established a law practice after returning, he concentrated primarily on writing scholarly works on politics, economics, history, philosophy, and religion. He is best known for his poetic works, including Asrar-e-Khudi – which brought a knighthood, Rumuz-e-Bekhudi, and the Bang-e-Dara. In Iran, where he is known as Iqbāl-e Lāhorī (Iqbal of Lahore), he is highly regarded for his Persian works. (Full article...)
In 1838, Syed Ahmad entered the service of East India Company and went on to become a judge at a Small Causes Court in 1867, retiring from 1876. During the War of Independence of 1875, he remained loyal to the British Raj and was noted for his actions in saving European lives. After the rebellion, he penned the booklet The Causes of the Indian Mutiny – a daring critique, at the time, of various British policies that he blamed for causing the revolt. Believing that the future of Muslims was threatened by the rigidity of their orthodox outlook, Sir Ahmad began promoting Western–stylescientific education by founding modern schools and journals and organising Islamic entrepreneurs. (Full article...)
Malcolm spent his adolescence living in a series of foster homes or with relatives after his father's death and his mother's hospitalization. He engaged in several illicit activities, eventually being sentenced to 10 years in prison in 1946 for larceny and breaking and entering. In prison, he joined the Nation of Islam, adopted the name MalcolmX (to symbolize his unknown African ancestral surname), and quickly became one of the organization's most influential leaders after being paroled in 1952. MalcolmX then served as the public face of the organization for a dozen years, where he advocated for Black empowerment, Black supremacy, and the separation of black and white Americans, and publicly criticized the mainstream civil rights movement for its emphasis on nonviolence and racial integration. Malcolm X also expressed pride in some of the Nation's social welfare achievements, such as its free drug rehabilitation program. Throughout his life, beginning in the 1950s, Malcolm X endured surveillance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). (Full article...)
The Oran fatwa was a responsumfatwa, or an Islamic legal opinion, issued in 1504 to address the crisis that occurred when Muslims in the Crown of Castile (in Spain) were forced to convert to Christianity in 1500–1502. The fatwa sets out detailed relaxations of the sharia (Islamic law) requirements, allowing the Muslims to conform outwardly to Christianity and perform acts that are ordinarily forbidden in Islamic law, when necessary to survive. It includes relaxed instructions for fulfilling the ritual prayers, the ritual charity, and the ritual ablution, and recommendations when obliged to violate Islamic law, such as worshipping as Christians, committing blasphemy, and consuming pork and wine.
The fatwa enjoyed wide currency among Muslims and Moriscos (Muslims nominally converted to Christianity and their descendants) in Spain, and one of the surviving aljamiado translations was dated at 1564, 60years after the original fatwa. The fatwa has been described as the "key theological document" to understand the practice of Spanish Muslims following the Reconquista up to the expulsion of the Moriscos. The author of the fatwa (mufti) was Ahmad ibn Abi Jum'ah, a North African scholar of Islamic law of the Maliki school. The fatwa was termed the "Oran fatwa" by modern scholars, due to the word "Al-Wahrani" ("of Oran") that appears in the text as part of the author's name. (Full article...)
Image 1The Sixty Dome Mosque is a medieval mosque located in Bagerhat, Bangladesh, built by Muslim saint Khan Jahan Ali in mid 15th century. This unique masonry mosque with 81 domes (including 4 corner domes) is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Image 2A Bedouin woman in Jerusalem, sometime between 1898 and 1914, dressed in Palestinian costume, the traditional clothing worn by Palestinians. Many of the handcrafted garments were richly embroidered and the creation and maintenance of these items played a significant role in the lives of the region's women. Until the 1940s, traditional Palestinian costumes reflected a woman's economic status, whether married or single, and the town or district of origin, and a knowledgeable observer could glean such information from the fabric, colors, cut, and embroidery motifs (or lack thereof) in a given woman's apparel.
Image 10A young woman from Ramallah, c. 1898-1914. Until the 1940s, women of Palestine wore elaborate handcrafted garments. The creation and maintenance of these items played a significant role in their lives. A knowledgeable observer could determine a woman's village of origin and social status from her clothing. The circular band near this woman's forehead is a ring of coins made from a portion of her dowry money, and indicates that she is unmarried.
Five people, including three Hezbollah members, are killed and several more are wounded as gunmen open fire at the funeral of Ali Shibli, a Hezbollah member who was assassinated yesterday in Khalde, Lebanon. Both the attacks are described as motivated by anti-shi'ism and as a revenge for the killing of a SunniArab teenager and a Syrian last year in the same town. (France 24)
Eight soldiers are killed by ISIL during anti-terrorism operations in northern Sinai, Egypt. Eighty-nine ISIL militants are also killed. Arms and ammunitions are confiscated, while hundreds of explosive devices, some explosive belts, thirteen tunnel entrances and 200 arms-loaded vehicles are destroyed.(Al Jazeera)
Ishmael is a figure in the Torah, Bible, and Qur'an. Jewish, Christian and Muslim believers regard Ishmael as Abraham's eldest son, born of his wife Sarah's hand maiden Hagar. Though born of Hagar, according to Mesopotamian law, Ishmael was credited as Sarah's son. According to the Genesis account, he died at the age of 137. Both Jewish and Islamic traditions consider Ishmael as the ancestor of northern Arab people. Judaism has generally viewed Ishmael as wicked though repentant. The Hebrew scriptures maintain that Isaac (the father of the Jewish people) rather than Ishmael was the true heir of Abraham. The New Testament contains few references to Ishmael. In Christian biblical interpretation, Ishmael is used to symbolize the older—now rejected—Judaic tradition; Isaac symbolizes the new tradition of Christianity. Islamic tradition, however, has a very positive view of Ishmael, giving him a larger and more significant role. The Qur'an views him as an Islamic prophet.