The Practice of Islam in America: An Introduction

The Practice of Islam in America: An Introduction

by Edward E. Curtis IV (Editor)


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An introduction to the ways in which ordinary Muslim Americans practice their faith.

Muslims have always been part of the United States, but very little is known about how Muslim Americans practice their religion. How do they pray? What’s it like to go on pilgrimage to Mecca? What rituals accompany the birth of a child, a wedding, or the death of a loved one? What holidays do Muslims celebrate and what charities do they support? How do they learn about the Qur’an?

The Practice of Islam in America introduces readers to the way Islam is lived in the United States, offering vivid portraits of Muslim American life passages, ethical actions, religious holidays, prayer, pilgrimage, and other religious activities. It takes readers into homes, religious congregations, schools, workplaces, cemeteries, restaurants—and all the way to Mecca—to understand the diverse religious practices of Muslim Americans.

Going beyond a theoretical discussion of what Muslims are supposed to do, this volume focuses on what they actually do. As the volume reveals, their religious practices are shaped by their racial and ethnic identity, their gender and sexual orientation, and their sectarian identity, among other social factors. Readers gain practical information about Islamic religion while also coming to understand how the day-to-day realities of American life shape Muslim American practice.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479804887
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 12/05/2017
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 878,353
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Edward E. Curtis IV is the William M. and Gail M. Plater Chair of the Liberal Arts and Professor of Religious Studies at the IU School of Liberal Arts in Indianapolis. A recipient of Mellon, NEH, Fulbright, and Carnegie fellowships, Curtis is author of Muslim American Politics and the Future of US Democracy (NYU Press, 2019), Muslims in America: A Short History (OUP, 2009), and editor of The Practice of Islam in America: An Introduction (NYU Press, 2017) and the Encyclopedia of Muslim-American History (Facts on File, 2010).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction Edward E. Curtis IV 1

Part I Prayer and Pilgrimage

1 Salah: Daily Prayers in Muslim America Rose Aslan 15

2 Dhikr: Remembering the Divine Rosemary R. Corbett 36

3 Hajj: The Pilgrimage Hussein Rashid 60

Part II Holidays

4 Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha: Fasting and Feasting Jackleen Salem 83

5 Ashura: Commemorating Imam Husayn Michael Muhammad Knight 104

6 Milad/Mawlid: Celebrating the Prophet Muhammad's Birthday Marcia Hermansen 123

Part III Life Cycle Rituals

7 Birth Rituals: Welcoming a Child into the World Maria F. Curtis 141

8 Weddings: Love and Mercy in Marriage Ceremonies Juliane Hammer 165

9 Funerals and Death Rites: Honoring the Departed Amir Hussain 188

Part IV Islamic Ethics and Religious Culture

10 You Can't Be Human Alone: Philanthropy and Social Giving in Muslim Communities Danielle Widmann Abraham 209

11 Food Practices: The Ethics of Eating Magfirah Dahlan 232

12 The Qur'an: Studying, Embodying, and Living with the Word of God Muna Ali 245

About the Editor 271

About the Contributors 273

Index 275

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