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Category Basics of Islam

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Preparing to Pray

In Islam it is impossible to pray correctly without the ritual cleansing by water, or in the absence of water with sand. Islamic instruction about prayer is filled with long passages on exactly how to accomplish the cleansing process. None of the steps can be sidestepped or done in an improper way, otherwise Islamic prayer looses its merit and validity. Here is a typical Muslim text about doing Wudu (the ritual cleansing):

The Call of the Muezzin

Each day across the entire Islamic World men called the muezzin call the faithful to prayer five times per day: at dawn (fajr), noon (dhuhr), in the afternoon (asr), at sunset (maghrib) and nightfall (isha’a). On Fridays all male Muslims are supposed to attend the noon time prayers which are usually accompanied by a sermon. So today, Friday August 13, 2010 literally hundreds of thousands of muezzin are calling the faithful to prayer. Many millions of Muslim men will go to the mosque as their local muezzin pronounces the call to prayer. Below are the words which are repeated day after day (Shiite Muslims use slightly different phrases for some lines).
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Eid-al-Fitr

Looking ahead to a weekend which will involve Eid al-Fitr, the ninth anniversary of 9/11, and a Qur’an burning in Florida that is getting worldwide attention and nearly unanimous denouncement, what are some things that Christians could be doing on a one-to-one basis with American Muslims? Is it a time for prayer? Engagement?

Friday Prayers

Prayer in Islam is generally not meant to bring one’s self into direct personal contact or communion with Allah. Even when Muslims speak of prayer as communication with Allah they are never thinking that Allah will actually speak back to them. The communication is always one way. In the very small Sufi Muslim minority one can speak of meeting God. However
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The Night of Power

Muslim scholars believe that while the Koran was revealed over a period of 23 years the Night of Power is considered the night in which the first revelations of Islam and the prophethood of Muhammed began. This night is in celebration of the arrival of the Koran. The whole Night of Power, from sunset to dawn, is the holiest night of the year. It is believed that there are groups of special angels who are only seen on the Night of Power. These angels perform special purposes.