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Islam in Modern times

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Mission Statement for The Study of Islam Section @ the American Academy of Religion

The American Academy of Religion is the world’s largest learned society and professional association of scholars and teachers in the field of religion. Through academic conferences, publications and a variety of program and membership services, the American Academy of Religion (AAR) fosters excellence in scholarship and teaching. It also aims to advance publication and scholarly communication on religion; to welcome multiple perspectives on the study of religion; to support racial, ethnic and gender diversity within the Academy; and to seek ways to contribute to the public understanding of religion.

The AAR’s annual meeting is held every year in late November and provides a lively and enabling context for free inquiry, disciplined reflection and scholarly exchange on the world’s religions. The Study of Islam section is one of fourteen program units of the AAR and was officially recognized in 1986. It is one of the major sections of the AAR with a long-standing and committed participation of more than a hundred active members. One of the most diverse groups in the AAR, the section’s presenters, panelists, and audience represent scholars at all stages of their academic careers. The section also features regular attendance and participation of international scholars from countries including Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, and China.

The Study of Islam section serves as a forum for current research on Islam. The annual meeting of the AAR sponsors at least five sessions related to the study of Muslim faith and practice as well as additional individual presentations on Islamic topics in other program units and sessions. The cultural and linguistic diversity, the regional and historical range, and the varieties of methodologies currently used in Islamic Studies make the section’s offerings rich and diverse from year to year. The themes of the sessions fall under the following categories:

1. The study of Islamic texts and scriptures;
2. The study of lived Islam in various regions and cultures;
3. Methodology and approaches to the study of Islam;
4. Issues such as gender, liberation theology, human rights;
5. Specializations within Islamic studies including Mysticism, Law, Theology, Philosophy, Shi‘ism.

Our policy is to encourage methodological sophistication, ideological diversity and inter-disciplinary discussion in our program. Shared sessions with other program units of the academy have encompassed fields such as Islamic Ethics, Gender, Islamic and Judaic Studies, and Islam and Academic Teaching, and the Study of Religion.

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Essay on What Makes Islam, Islam?


– Religion can be viewed from many different perspectives. People throughout the world hold different religious values. One person’s religious value will not match the religious values of another person. Globalization as a whole has affected the way we view the different religions and our feelings towards them; it has moved towards a more symbolic representation of ideologies. Many have come to believe that the west is more superior to others. Martha Crenshaw argues that globalization is a key driver of terrorism because there is a comparison between countries having less access to means of production and others having more access….   [tags: Islam ]

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1063 words
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Islam by Marriage Essay


– What An-Na’im did is, he took the rule without looking into details, he did not examine the case were both spouses are Christian or any other religion, and then one of them converted to Islam. If the wife became Muslim, there should be a waiting period which is for the husband to think of Islam. If the husband converted to Islam before the deadline, they continue their life as a husband & wife. But if the husband does not want to be a Muslim and the waiting period finished, they should apart from each other….   [tags: Islam ]

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The Veil is not Mandatory in Islam Essay


– Over the years many scholars have argued on the interpretation of the Qur’an on the verses that relate to the hijab (veil). A few debated that is not fard (mandatory) and only Sunnah (choice). The majority though won and it was decided that the hijab is mandatory in Islam based on verses in the Qur’an and hadeeths said by the prophet and passed on by others. Misinterpretations can be made, although by the majority at times, and I think they made an incorrect assumption in this matter. Nowhere in the Qur’an is it stated that a woman should cover her hair….   [tags: Islam]

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The Five Pillars of Islam Essay


– Like many other religions, the Muslim faith has experienced many changes and branches. Like Christianity, the original faith is still practiced by some, but others have started new branches with their own unique interpretation being Muslim. Despite these differences within the Muslim religion, one set of rules for moral guidance is central to all. These rules are the Five Pillars of Islam. The Five Pillars act as a moral compass for Muslims and are universally accepted as they are mentioned specifically in the Qur’an, the sacred Muslim book of God’s words as they were recited to Muhammad (Molloy, 425)….   [tags: Islam ]

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Islam: The Rich Culture of the Middle East Essay


– With 1.5 billion followers worldwide, the religion of Islam is the second most popular religion over the entire globe, and follows a strict set of rules derived from the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, a messenger of God, or Allah. Founded in 622 C.E. (also known as A.D.) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion that drew inspiration from earlier religions like Christianity and Judaism. It is divided into three different sections- the Sunni, Shi’a and Sufi sects. The Qur’an is the holy book of Islam, and is considered the unaltered word of Allah….   [tags: Islam ]

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The Practice of Islam Essay


– Islam: A monotheistic religion characterized by the adoption of principles of submission to God; and believing in Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), as the last messenger of God. Accordingly, my role in this life is to worship Allah (SWT). In Islam, people should express verbally and believe in the heart that there is no God but Allah (Tawheed), as well as to practice Islam as much as Muslims might be able. In the Quran, Allah (SWT) says, “And I have neither created the Jinn nor humans except to worship Me.” Az Zâriyât (51:56)….   [tags: Islam,religion,]

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9/11 and Its Affects on Americans Views on Islam Essay


– “Who are you?”(Eggers 206) were the first words that Abdulrahman Zeitoun heard from the police officers that had surrounded him and his friends with their guns drawn as he walked out of 5010 Claiborne that he owned. He had been stopping by the house to use the telephone once a day to call his wife Kathy, who was in Arizona with their four children to escape Hurricane Katrina, a catagory 5 hurricane that had hit New Orleans, the city they lived in. Abdulrahman Zeitoun had stayed home to protect his many properties that he and his family had required in the sixteen years since he had moved to the city….   [tags: Islam ]

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The Start of Islam Essay


– The Start of Islam      Out of the many interesting religions of the Far East Islam has quite a uniqueness to it. The name, Islam stems from the word “salam,” that means peace. The word “Muslim,” which means a follower of Islam, refers to a person who submits him or her self to the will of God. Many religious experts believe that the prophet Muhammad founded Islam in the year 622 CE. Muhammad was believed to have lived from 570-632 CE. This particular religion started when the angel Jibreel read the first revelation to Muhammad….   [tags: Islam Muslim Religion]

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Essay on Woman And Islam


– Nabia Abbott’s chapter on The Umayyads takes an in-depth look at the rise and fall of this dynasty, paying close attention to women of this time and the roles they played. Abbott discusses early Umayyad Caliph’s and their wives, giving awareness to Uthman and Na’ilah as well as Mu’awiyah and Maisun bint Bahdal. Each of these matches is portrayed by Abbott as somewhat equal or at least a mutual respect between the couples. But as time wore on slowly the ideal Arab wife was being infringed upon by the harems that the elite Umayyads were setting up….   [tags: Women Islam Religion]

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Islam Essay


– Islam      Islam is comprised of three essential beliefs: The belief in God, obeying his moral laws, and believing in the after-life. Submission to God is directly followed by obeying the moral standards of everyday life. The Qur’an makes morality reign supreme and ensures that the affairs of life, instead of dominated by selfish desires, be regulated by norms of morality. These laws are the standard by which God determines the life of the believers, and the disbelievers on the Day of Judgement….   [tags: Religion Religious Islam Essays]

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Given the importance of scripture in Islam, the Study of Islam section regularly sets aside one session for Qur’anic Studies. The section encourages the use of inter-disciplinary discourses that bridge textual, philological, sociological and anthropological approaches to the Qur’an as well as other Islamic texts.

An additional aspect of the Study of Islam section is its outreach to the broader membership of the AAR by offering sessions concerning the teaching of Islam in the undergraduate liberal arts curriculum. Many American university programs in Religious Studies draw upon non-specialists to offer introductory courses on the Islamic world. The sessions on teaching Islam provide a forum for addressing important pedagogical issues. They also offer scholars an opportunity to deliberate on the broader conceptual categories and frameworks used in the study of religions. The Study of Islam section is thus a critical resource within the AAR for other scholars of religion who may not have Islamic experts in their departments.

The Study of Islam section also has a list-serve for its members called islamaar. (To join the list-serve, follow the directions on http://groups.colgate.edu/aarislam/listserv.htm). The list facilitates communication about scholarly topics and disseminates information about grants, employment, workshops and AAR business. Recent topics of discussion on the list have ranged from the best software for studying the Qur’an to the pros and cons of using novels in undergraduate teaching. In addition to the e-mail list, a special announcement informing members of all papers and panels with content of special interest to Islamicists is sent to the membership before the annual meeting. As the premiere international forum for the study of religions, the AAR plays a key role in influencing the way that scholars and teachers of religion in North America and abroad construct their curricula and discipline. Within this context, the Study of Islam section has a unique and important role to play in shaping the academic study of Islam. Considering its growing importance as the world’s second largest faith and its social, economic and political relevance to contemporary life, the Islamic world has not received the attention it deserves in higher education. Thus, the Study of Islam section’s goals are: to anchor the study of Islam centrally within the wider academic study of religions; to provide a disciplined forum for critical inquiry and high quality, original scholarship in Islamic Studies; and to encourage comparative and inter-disciplinary study of Islam and Muslim societies.

(We are deeply grateful to Dr. Tazim Kassam, Department of Religion, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA, for having formulated the above.)

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