An introduction to the ways in which ordinary Muslim Americans practice their faith.
Muslims have always been part of the United States, but very little is known about how Muslim Americans practice their religion. How do they pray? What’s it like to go on pilgrimage to Mecca? What rituals accompany the birth of a child, a wedding, or the death of a loved one? What holidays do Muslims celebrate and what charities do they support? How do they learn about the Qur’an?
The Practice of Islam in America introduces readers to the way Islam is lived in the United States, offering vivid portraits of Muslim American life passages, ethical actions, religious holidays, prayer, pilgrimage, and other religious activities. It takes readers into homes, religious congregations, schools, workplaces, cemeteries, restaurants—and all the way to Mecca—to understand the diverse religious practices of Muslim Americans.
Going beyond a theoretical discussion of what Muslims are supposed to do, this volume focuses on what they actually do. As the volume reveals, their religious practices are shaped by their racial and ethnic identity, their gender and sexual orientation, and their sectarian identity, among other social factors. Readers gain practical information about Islamic religion while also coming to understand how the day-to-day realities of American life shape Muslim American practice.
"Edward E. Curtis’s new book is a groundbreaking collection of innovative essays that provide rich information about the diversity and complexity of Muslim American religious practices in the United States. Fascinating stories about the contemporary religious lives of South Asian American, Arab American, African American, Latino American, and European American Muslims are analyzed in this beautiful volume edited by Curtis, a brilliant historian of Islam in America. Highly recommended for courses and research on religion in America."-Richard Brent Turner,author of Islam in the African American Experience, Second Edition
Edward E. Curtis’ The Practice of Islam in America is a must read for anyone who wants to encounter Islam as a living and lived faith. This outstanding collection enables readers to encounter (through description and exemplification) the practice and meaning of daily prayer, fasting, and rituals (including birth, marriage, and death/funeral rituals; and much more.-John L. Esposito,University Professor and Professor of Islamic Studies, Georgetown University
Is every practice inspired by a good-faith commitment to Islam Islamic? From both a thirty thousand foot view, as well as the panoply of Muslim practices on the ground, this book sheds much light on this critical question and will certainly enhance the discussion thereon, both within and without the academy.-Sherman A. Jackson,King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture, University of Southern California
Edward Curtis has established himself as the premier historian of American Islam. In this volume, he brings together twelve scholars who shift the discussion of Islam in America from the question of “Americanization", identity, and xenophobia to an in-depth examination of religious practice. We are treated to twelve essays from scholars covering topics ranging from prayer and pilgrimage to charity, food consumption, weddings, birth rituals, and funerals. We are treated to an insider’s look at the everyday experiences of Muslim Americans. Highly recommended for students of Islamic Studies, American religion, anthropology, and history. -Omid Safi,Duke University
"The practice of Islam in America is often conscious of and sometimes shaped by Islamophobia...For this reason, we are in need of counter-narratives, and the publication of this detailed and diverse description of Muslim life in the United States is especially timely."-Reading Religion