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Articles on Quran

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The response to anti-Islamic law bills introduced in 2017 included counterprotests like this one in Seattle. Ted S. Warren/AP Photo

What is Sharia? Islamic law shows Muslims how to live, and can be a force for progress as well as tool of fundamentalists

Day 6 of our Understanding Islam series. Sharia constitutes a broad set of rules that guide Muslims on how to lead an ethical life. The way Sharia is interpreted depends on who is using it and why.
Muslim women in India protesting against the use of Sharia as a tool for oppression. anjay Purkait/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Muslim women are using Sharia to push for gender equality

Sharia is often portrayed as being brutal and barbaric. However, in many parts of the world, women are using Sharia to stop oppressive practices.
Muslims pray at the Mihrab, a niche in a wall indicating the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, at the Foundation Stone, located under the Dome of the Rock in the Al- Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City. Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images

Why the Al-Aqsa Mosque has often been a site of conflict

The Masjid al-Aqsa of Jerusalem is linked in the Quran to the story of the night journey of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and has deep religious meaning for Muslims across the world.
The Muslim pilgrimage known as the hajj is both a religious mandate and a symbolic act of unity with Muslims worldwide. Reuters/Ahmad Masood

The Muslim Hajj: A spiritual pilgrimage with political overtones

Millions of Muslims will convene in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Aug. 9. The annual five-day pilgrimage, known as the hajj, is required of all Muslims who can physically and financially make the journey.
This term ‘jihad’ can include various forms of nonviolent struggles: for instance, the struggle to become a better person. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

So, what really is jihad?

Violent radicals are often described as jihadists. A scholar explains what the word means and why those using the word to justify terrorism are often misrepresenting their sources.
Muslim women at a prayer service at a mosque in Redmond, Washington, to mark the end of Ramadan and the start of Eid-al-Fitr in 2016. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

What is Eid al-Fitr and how do Muslims celebrate it? 6 questions answered

Muslims throughout the world will celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, a celebration at the end of Ramadan. Here’s an introduction to this important feast and its partner, Eid al-Adha.
A delegate in traditional Uighur dress listens to a speaker during a meeting with delegates from China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in Beijing, AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

The history of China’s Muslims and what’s behind their persecution

Muslims came to China in the 13th century and played an influential role. Tensions have escalated since 9/11, and the global community is largely silent.
Women pray at a mosque during the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on May 6 in Bali, Indonesia. AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati

What Ramadan means to Muslims: 4 essential reads

Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam – acts that denote the obligations of living a good Muslim life.
Muslims praying in a Chicago mosque following the shooting in New Zealand, on Friday, March 15. AP Photo/Noreen Nasir

What is the significance of Friday prayers in Islam?

Last Friday, Muslims were killed while praying at two mosques in New Zealand. For Muslims, Friday is the day of gathering, the most important prayer day of the week.
A student on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, trying out the hijab on World Hijab Day, 2017. AP Photo/Russell Contreras

Why Muslim women wear a hijab: 3 essential reads

For Muslim women, the hijab is not simply about religion. They may wear it for a variety of reasons. On World Hijab Day. women – Muslim and non-Muslim, are invited to experience this head covering.
For many Muslim women, a hijab is a way of expressing resistance. AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

Why do Muslim women wear a hijab?

Hijab is not simply about religion – women wear it for a variety of reasons.

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