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Salah " prayer" called namāz is one of the Five Pillars in the faith of Islam and an obligatory religious duty for every Muslim. It is a physical, mental, and spiritual act of worship that is observed five times every day at prescribed times. In this ritual, the worshiper starts standing, bows, prostrates them self, and concludes while sitting on the ground. During each posture, the worshiper recites or reads certain verses, phrases and prayers. The word salah is commonly translated as "prayer" ...more
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Early Islamic pottery followed the forms of the regions which the Muslims conquered. Eventually, however, there was cross-fertilization between the regions. This was most notable in the Chinese influences on Islamic pottery. Trade between China and Islam took place via the system of trading posts over the lengthy Silk Road. Islamic nations imported stoneware and later porcelain from China. China imported the minerals for Cobalt blue from the Islamic ruled Persia to decorate their blue and white ...more
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POPULATION GROWTH. See Family Planning.   High population growth rates over the past forty years coupled with worries about economic and social development have spurred debate on the use of family planning measures by Muslims ...more
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Popular Religion in Europe and the Americas

Popular Religion in Europe and the Americas Local Muslim belief and practice in non-Muslim countries reflect the historical experience of the community and the larger cultural environment within which it lives. Conversion and migration throughout the twentieth century have resulted in about eleven or twelve million Muslims living in Europe and America (the Muslim population figures tend to be estimates because of illiteracy, misunderstanding, and concealment of identity for fear of becoming e ...more
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Popular Religion in Southeast Asia

Popular Religion in Southeast Asia Nearly all Muslims in Southeast Asia form part of the Malay cultural region. This Muslim community is the largest in the world. It includes about 85 percent of Indonesia's 195 million people, about 1 i million people in Malaysia, and several million in the southern Philippines. Underlying the many local differences in practice and belief are certain shared cultural features, including the use of Malay or Indonesian as a language of religious communication, f ...more
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Popular Religion in South Asia

Popular Religion in South Asia A system of beliefs, rituals, practices, and attitudes among Muslims that deviates to some extent from the dictates of the shari`ah has been a dominant element in South Asian Islam for centuries. Although Islam demands absolute conformity with the shari`ah in all matters, public or personal, religious or mundane, and rejects compromise with non-Islamic culture, in reality it assimilated ideas, values, and symbols from different societies and traditions during it ...more
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Popular Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa

Popular Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa During the nineteenth century, and to an even greater extent under colonial domination in the twentieth century, rapid and widespread islamization touched hundreds of African ethnic groups in West Africa, extending well into the forest zone, and in the interior of East Africa as far as Zaire and Malawi and South Africa. Previously many of these groups had only marginal contact with the Islamic world; in many places active Christian missionary efforts com ...more
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Popular Religion in the Middle East and North Africa

Popular Religion in the Middle East and North Africa "Popular" Islam is the term used to describe the variations in belief and practice in Islam as they are understood and observed throughout the Muslim world. Religious leaders and spokespersons talk of the unity of Islamic belief and practice, but, as in other religions, there is considerable local variation. Muslims often implicitly assume that their local beliefs and practices are inherently Islamic because they are central to local tradit ...more
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POPULAR RELIGION. [To consider local beliefs and practices as they differ from mainstream Islamic traditions, this entry comprises six articles: 1-An Overview 2-Popular Religion in the Middle East and North Africa 3-Popular Religion in Sub-Saharan Africa 4- ...more
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POLYGYNY. The practice of one man simultaneously having several wives is a controversial issue in modern Islamic societies. Before the advent of Islam polygyny was practiced in many societies of Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean; some observers have attributed this pattern to the predominance of patriarchal systems in the region, but it should be noted that elsewhere in the world, polygyny may occur in non-patriarchal societies. This traditional practice continued under Islam, where it is suppor ...more
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