The buzz around the Middle East this week is the selection of Dubai as the host of the 2020 World Expo, the first time it will be held in the Middle East in the event's 150-year history. Dubai is celebrating - putting out TV commercials and going overboard with the fireworks.
The rest of the world might be saying... Dubai? Where's that?
While the United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country, its city of Dubai is a modern business hub with strong international influence. Read more about Dubai from other About.com Experts:
In the Qur'an, there are many stories about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ (called 'Isa in Arabic). The Qur'an recalls his miraculous birth, his teachings, the miracles he performed by God's permission, and his life as a respected prophet of God.
Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus, but do not mark the occasion as a holiday. Nevertheless, Muslims respect Jesus as a righteous prophet of God. The Qur'an describes Christian people as believers in God who are often "devoted to learning... have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant."
Muslims recognize that all of their blessings come from Allah, and are reminded to give thanks to Allah throughout the day and night, all of their lives. These are personal prayers of thanks from Islamic tradition.
The 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the new Islamic year, is known as 'Ashura. This day is recognized for different reasons and in different ways among Sunni and Shi'a Muslims. For most Muslims (Sunni), it is a time to observe a recommended fast for two days, in remembrance of the Prophet Musa (Moses). For Shi'a Muslims, it is a time to mourn and remember the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, Hussein, who was killed on this day.
About a half-hour before maghrib prayer this evening, the local mosque began broadcasting recitation from the Quran. "What are they praying?" my non-Muslim friend asked. It was the eclipse prayer, recited as today's rare solar eclipse passed through the Middle East.
The colorful costumes and candy are in the shops, enticing children into the Halloween excitement. Do Muslims celebrate Halloween? How is Halloween perceived in Islam? To make an informed decision, we need to understand the history and traditions of this festival.
Photo by Rick Gershon / Getty Images: A Halloween parade in New York City features images of death and the supernatural.
Over the past 29 years, the King Fahd Complex for Printing the Holy Quran has produced and distributed 280 million copies of the Quran around the world. This massive Complex, located in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, is the largest Islamic publishing facility in the world. Learn more about their work.
Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed Eid Al-Adha.
The Day of Arafat has begun, and it is a sight which must be seen, to be believed. As far as the eye can see, a swelling mass of humanity fills the streets and valleys outside Makkah. Yet, their movement is orderly and peaceful. As always, it is best to go to the source, which in this case is Saudi TV channel KSA1 (Arabic) and KSA2 (English). I have discovered the fastest and most reliable live webstream for you to watch the Hajj, from the website Mecca.net. The delay is only 30 seconds from TVs within the Kingdom, with incredible video and sound quality. Watch the Hajj - see it for yourself!
On the first day of the Hajj pilgrimage, worshippers are traveling today to the valley of Mina, just outside Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The valley has been transformed with over 400,000 tents to shelter the pilgrims. There they will spend Sunday reading the Quran, praying, and catching up on sleep. Early Monday morning, they will leave Mina and travel 14 kilometers to the Plain of Arafat for the highlight of the pilgrimage.