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18 May '16

Understanding the Shia (Shiite) Muslims

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic culture
The following are certain key facts about Shia Muslims -
  • Shias are the second largest denomination of the Islamic faith after Sunni Islam.
  • Shias believe that they adhere to the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the religious guidance of his family whom are referred to as the Ahl al-Bayt,
  • Sunni Muslims believe that Shiites deviate from, and in certain cases even violate the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and the religious guidance of his family.
  • Unlike the Mainstream Sunni Muslims, Shiites consider the first three ruling Sunni caliphs a historical occurrence and not something attached to faith. The word “Shia” refers to a follower of the faction of Imam Ali according to the Shia ideology. You can also buy islamic history books to know more about these details.

-> Shia Muslims believe that Ali was appointed successor by Muhammad's direct order on many occasions, and therefore he is the rightful leader of the Muslim faith.

-> The collection of Hadith venerated by Shia Muslims is centered around narrations by members of the Ahl al-Bayt, while some Hadith by narrators not belonging to the Ahl al-Bayt are not included (those of Abu Huraira, for example).

-> Unlike Sunnis, the Shia holy book Makalmaat-e-husainia does not hold the following in high regard: Anas Bin Malik, Abu Huraira, Amr bin Aas, Ameer Maawia (companions of the prophet) and Ayesha (wife of the prophet)

-> Shias constitute no more than 10% of the total world Muslim population.

-> Most Shiites reside in Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, India, and Azerbaijan.

-> The largest percentage of Shiites (Shias) population is in Iran (roughly 90

-> 20% of India’s Muslim population is believed to be Shiite as well.


Shias (Shiites) are divided into the following branches:

o    Twelvers (Ithna Ashariyya) – They recognize the following twelve Imams:

1) Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib - al-Murtadha (The Satisfied One)

2) Imam Hasan ibn Ali - al-Mujtabah (The Chosen One)

3) Imam Hussein ibn Ali - Sayyid al-Shuhudah (The Lord of the Martyrs)

4) Imam Ali ibn Husayn - Zayn al-�bid�n (The Jewel of the Believers)

5) Imam Muhammad al-Baqir  (The Spreader of Knowledge)

6) Imam Jaafer al-Sadiq (The Truthful One)

7) Imam Musa al-Kazim (The Patient One)

8) Imam Ali al-Ridha (The Accepted One)

9) Imam Muhammad al-Taqi (The Pious One)

10) Imam Ali al-Naqi (The Pure One)

11) Imam Hasan al-Askari (The One with an Army)

12) Imam Muhammad al-Mahd� (The Rightly-Guided One)

o       Ismaili

o       Zaidiyyah

o       Alawites

o       Druzes

o       Alevi (Sufi order)

o       Bektashi (Sufi order)

o       Kubrawiya (Sufi order)

o       Noorbakhshi (Sufi order)

o       Oveyssi (Sufi order)

o       Qizilbashi (Sufi order)

o       Hamadani (Sufi order)

o       Tijānī (Sufi order)

o       Fatimid (Sufi order)

Check out the collection of books on Prophet Muhammad's life

18 May '16

Muslim Marriage - Marriage in Islam

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic culture

The Muslim marriage process is essentially comprised of some of the following steps - Rules related to Islamic marriage in Quran are also included.


This is the process by which a man and a woman become husband and wife. The short ceremony is usually conducted by an Imam. A minimum of two witnesses are required to be present in the nikah. The bride must always be accompanied by a Wali or guradian. During this ceremony the mahr (or marriage gift) that the groom gives to his bride is also decided. The Imam delivers the "Khutbah" of the nikah, which is a sermon with Quranic verses and Islamic speech. The Nikah process makes both the man and woman legal for each other as husband and wife. There is no requirement for special fanfare regarding elaborate parties, functions, wearing special clothing, etc. (See Islamic Clothing for Women here)


The Dukhlah (or Rukhsati as it is referred to in the Indo-Pakistan regions), is the process of "publicly" sending the bride and groom to live as husband and wife. In many cultures this is a very elaborate ceremony. Visit the Muslim Wedding section to review details of some of the traditions in various Islamic countries and cultures.


Walimah is an official lunch or dinner invitation by the groom and his family to their family and friends to declare the marriage. In most countries, Walima is followed within a day or two after the dukhlah.

Muslim Engagement

Before marriage, an engagement process is bride's and groom's intention to marry each other. Some Islamic opinions on this matter are included in the Muslim Engagement section

Marriage in Quran

Quran makes many references to marriage that can be found in the Quran on Muslim Marriage link.

The prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said: "When the servant of Allah marries, he has fulfilled half the (responsibilities laid on him by the) faith; so let him be God conscious with respect to the other half". (Mishkat) -

Get Muslim Marriage Islamic Books here.

See Islamic teachings for Muslim women

Maintaining a Healthy Muslim Marriage

Recent latest marriage research confirms that a quality marriage is one of the single most important investment that a person can make to live a healthy life. Those who have studied and practiced Islam know that the religion and the teachings and practices of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS),  are the best guide to enable Muslim couples to sustain a healthy relationship with each other.

As couples or as couples-to-be, every person knows that disputes and disagreements are bound to be present in every relationship. However, disagreement, disputes and conflicts are natural and healthy only if they are managed properly.

Experience and research also suggests that without investing your time and effort, relationship offer suffers – and unfortunately can become extremely draining on both partners. Muslim Marriage Excerpts from the Quran

And give to the women (whom you marry) their Mahr (obligatory bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it, and enjoy it without fear of any harm (as Allah has made it lawful). (Quran, Surah An-Nisa, Chapter #4, Verse #4)

And divorced women shall wait (as regards their marriage) for three menstrual periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands have the better right to take them back in that period, if they wish for reconciliation. And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.
(Quran, Surah Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #228)

And those of you who die and leave wives behind them, they (the wives) shall wait (as regards their marriage) for four months and ten days, then when they have fulfilled their term, there is no sin on you if they (the wives) dispose of themselves in a just and honourable manner (i.e. they can marry). And Allah is Well-Acquainted with what you do.
( Quran, Surah Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #234)

There is no sin on you, if you divorce women while yet you have not touched (had sexual relation with) them, nor appointed unto them their Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage). But bestow on them (a suitable gift), the rich according to his means, and the poor according to his means, a gift of reasonable amount is a duty on the doers of good. (Quran, Surah Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #236)

And if you divorce them before you have touched (had a sexual relation with) them, and you have appointed unto them the Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage), then pay half of that (Mahr), unless they (the women) agree to forego it, or he (the husband), in whose hands is the marriage tie, agrees to forego and give her full appointed Mahr. And to forego and give (her the full Mahr) is nearer to At-Taqwa (piety, righteousness). And do not forget liberality between yourselves. Truly, Allah is All-Seer of what you do. (Quran, Surah Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #237)

Conditions for valid Muslim Marriage Contract

Question: What is the correct Islamic procedure for a marriage ceremony, I mean if two Muslims are married (legally) without the presence of a religious "person" (like imam etc.), does that mean the marriage is non-existent in terms of Islam?


All praise is due to Allah.

A Muslim marriage contract is valid in Islam if the following conditions are met, even if the marriage does not take place in a court, or in the presence of a Judge or the Imam of the masjid. In addition, it does not need to be written.

The wali (guardian) of the girl has accepted the proposal by saying, for example, "I marry you my daughter", and the one who proposed has replied, for example, by " I accept," or "I am satisfied" (i.e. with his acceptance). This takes place in the presence of two witnesses The woman is legally eligible to marry the man according to Islamic shari'ah (that is she is not a Mahram of the proposer [those to whom the proposer is forbidden to marry. etc.])

Allah knows best.

17 May '16

Visit / Travel to Morocco

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic World

Perhaps no other country exhibits a sense of original Islamic Architecture than the country of Morocco. Almost all of Morocco's cities have original displays of ancient Arab culture and architecture. Furthermore, many local museums and art galleries have also preserved the ancient and traditional Arab culture. Visitors to Morocco therefore can enjoy both the country's natural beauty as well as it's Islamic architecture.

This page provides an illustrated guide to various places of interest in Morocco.

Muslim Architecture - Arab Old Town, Morocco

El Mansour Palace, Morocco

Moroccan Entrance

Volubilis (Capitol), Morocco

Menara Garden, Marrakech, Morocco

17 May '16

The Rise of the Ottoman Empire

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic culture

The rise of the Ottoman Empire can’t be explained without doubt; however there are 2 main theories that are meant to explain it. The first of these theories is that the Turko-Mongol warriors had eventually grown strong enough to be able to start using direct force to get its position in the Arab communities. It is said that their good organizational skills lead to a number of victories that were exploited to help them attain even more victories, and subsequent land gain. The actual rise of the empire was a very slow one and took nearly a half of a century as the Ottoman’s sought to control Asia Minor, Egypt, The Middle East and Africa. It was in this that they succeeded by first defeating the Byzantines. They were able to utilize their own forces to help them get more and more land and then keep it.

The most popularly known cause for their Rise is due to the fact that their Muslim warriors waged a holy war against the Christian Byzantine Empire that was to the west of them. This is the more likely version of the rise of the Ottoman Empire but it doesn’t really explain how the empire continued its reign for the four centuries that it lasted. However, it is clear that after Ahmad I died, the barbaric methods used by his sons to keep the throne was to basically just kill one another off until the last one standing could restore order.

This may sound horrific; however, when this mode of killing stopped there were a whole new set of problems for the empire. As with most dynasties, position was granted to the eldest living son of the Sultan, but in order to try to prevent threats to the sultan the imperial prince was denied any involvement in public matters and held captive during his upbringing in luxury of course so that no threats to him could be carried out as no one knew who he was. It was common that once the heir finally did get the throne he was generally an alcoholic or lunatic. Holy war and land claiming rose the Ottoman Empire, but it was sheer inheritance that kept it going.

16 May '16

Islamic Art

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic Art

Islamic Art plays a vital role in the way of life called Islam. Islam, extending from the Africa to Asia creates a unique scope of artistic concepts.

This diversity, however, is contained within a somewhat, restricted framework of techniques. Here I use the term ‘restricted’ very loosely, as each individual technique can be applied in such a way as to achieve an almost infinite number of transformations, for any given art form. I will be discussing this in more detail during the course of this essay.

Before moving on to discuss the huge variety we find in Islamic Art and the factors which unite this huge concept, I think it is important to clarify what this concept of ‘Islamic Art’ is.

The term Islamic generally refers to purely religious expressions, such as calligraphy.

Is it art created by Muslims? Or alternatively, is it art created by people residing in countries where the dominant religion is Islam? Or should it be confined to the literal meaning of the word ‘Islamic’? The word ‘Islamic’ means, ‘of Islam’. It is an expression used to describe the object in question, as being something which complies with the beliefs and values of the religion, Islam. I will be using the latter description, to describe the term ‘Islamic Art’. As a result, all figural works of art will not be included in this study. The reason for this being evident in the following saying of the Prophet Muhammad in which he condemned artists who try to

‘ape’ the creation of God: in their afterlife they will be ordered to give life to their works and will suffer from their incapacity to do so.

Muslim artists transformed everyday objects into artistic masterpieces.

See nice Islamic art patterns on Eid cards and posters here.

Islamic Art is therefore, inexhaustibly diverse, with an almost infinite number of art forms.

See nice Abaya patterns and fashions here

Variety is plentiful as it is, but if we break down each art form and analyze the multiplicity we find within the realms of that particular artistic expression, we find the world of Islamic Art expanding even further. As I mentioned earlier, certain restrictions are present, creating a framework within which Islamic Art is applied. The elements used to achieve this include, arabesque, calligraphy and geometry. This may seem like a limited number of styles to work with, reducing the diversity which can be achieved, however, this restriction, far from impoverishing the expression of Islamic artists, resulted in the raising of abstract design into an art form, not only of enormous wealth.

Looking at the fascinating field of calligraphy, we find that many different scripts have evolved in various regions of the Muslim world, over a vast expanse of time. These scripts range from Kufic, Naskhi, Thuluth and Diwani. It is clear from this that this particular element of Islamic Art is almost inexhaustible, given the various types of Arabic script and the extension of the Islamic culture.

Geometrically, each pattern being generated by a unique and complex system of numbers. The unique nature of the patterns produced implies the plurality present. No two patterns are the same, therefore, gaining a diverse attribute. One can delve deeper into the spirituality connected with Islamic Art by allowing oneself to contemplate a geometric pattern and allow the gaze to become soft and not attempt to fix it, the patterns endlessly mutate into different geometrical arrangements.

The vastness we begin to encounter within Islamic Art becomes quite unimaginable, extending as far as one allows it to extend. One geometric Expression, such as the ceiling of the Comates Hall in Alhambra, is quite different to another, such as the detail found on the minbar in the Arslanbane Mosque in Ankara.

See Islamic art patterns on hijabs and Muslim Scarves here

Haven explored the extent to which this diversity reaches, it is important to try and understand the reasons behind this occurrence.

Both contributing factors are mentioned here; space and time. The various styles evolved over long periods of time, with each generation adding to the diversity in the environment. With the Islamic civilization gradually expanding to cover a large area of land, enveloping many cultures, a series of local styles were added to Islamic Art.

The article was produced by the member of masterpapers.com. Sharon White is a senior writer and writers consultant at term papers. Get some useful tips for thesis and buy term papers .

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sharon_White (By Sharon White)


Other Sources

Modest and Artistic Clothing for Women

Muslimah fashions Site

Dua art calligraphy poster


Islamic Calligraphy and Art Articles and Showcases

The "Art" of Islamic Art - By Salma Arastu

Islamic Calligraphy - The works of Ricardo Panizza