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FAMILY. The basic social unit of Islamic society is the family. If Islam can be described as the soul of Islamic society, then the family might be seen metaphorically as its body. For thousands of years, the family has been the principal focus of people's emotional, economic, and political identity. Changes in the nineteenth and particularly the twentieth centuries have placed great strains on the unit, yet the family, together with the Islamic faith, retains a central place in the lives of peop ...more

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