Belief in the Oneness of God: Muslims believe that God is the creator of all things, and that God is all-powerful and all-knowing. God has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.
The five pillars – the declaration of faith (shahada), prayer (salah), alms-giving (zakat), fasting (sawm) and pilgrimage (hajj) – constitute the basic norms of Islamic practice.
“Islam teaches to respect others' values and culture. As Muslims, we don't celebrate Christmas but as a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, we help people attend church services, take part in food drives and try to help and play a part in the joy of those individuals who are celebrating alone.
Although alcohol is considered haram (prohibited or sinful) by the majority of Muslims, a significant minority drinks, and those who do often outdrink their Western counterparts. Among drinkers, Chad and a number of other Muslim-majority countries top the global ranking for alcohol consumption.
Turkey's top religious authority has decreed that Muslims may use toilet paper – though water is still preferable for cleansing. “If water cannot be found for cleansing, other cleaning materials can be used.
Traditionally, dogs are considered haram, or forbidden, in Islam as they are thought of as dirty. But while conservatives advocate complete avoidance, moderates simply say Muslims should not touch the animal's mucous membranes — such as the nose or mouth — which are considered especially impure.
In societies that practice polygamy, the specific type is polygyny, which is having more than one wife (polyandrous unions, of having more than one husband, are much less common). Muslim societies allow for up to four wives, but not without specific rules and regulations.
Divorce is not something that is forbidden in Islam. Under the Quran, a husband can leave his wife for up to four months in a trial separation. Once that four-month period has elapsed, the husband and wife are to reunite to continue their marriage or obtain a divorce.
Marriages in Islam are often assisted or arranged (by the two families of the bride and groom) but these can only take place with the consent of both parties. If someone was forced to marry, then the marriage would be invalid.
Islamic marriages require acceptance (قُبُوْل, qubūl), of the groom, the bride and the consent of the custodian (walī) of the bride. The wali of the bride is normally a male relative of the bride, preferably her father.
But Islam does not forbid love. Ismail Menk, a renowned Islamic scholar, argues in one of his lectures that love, within boundaries and with expectations of marriage, is an accepted fact of life and religion — if done the right way. This "right way," he says, is by involving the families from an early stage.
Muslims believe they get to Paradise by living religiously, asking Allah for forgiveness and showing good actions in their life. These good actions will be rewarded on the Last Day. Therefore, obeying the rules set by Allah is of ultimate importance.
Dating for Muslims can be very different from Western practices. Within Islam, a halal, or permissible, way of dating means getting parents or a third party involved early on; abstaining from casual dates, hookups and sex; and talking about marriage right off the bat.
This meat is called “halal.” Muslims are also prohibited from gambling, taking interest, fortune-telling, killing, lying, stealing, cheating, oppressing or abusing others, being greedy or stingy, engaging in sex outside of marriage, disrespecting parents, and mistreating relatives, orphans or neighbors.
For those who aren't aware, tattoos are considered haram (forbidden) in Islam. There is no specific Islamic verse outlining this point but many people believe wudu (the purification ritual) cannot be completed if you have a tattoo on your body.
This is one explanation for why Muslims do not celebrate Halloween. Another reason is that the holiday and its traditions are either based on ancient pagan culture or Christianity. Since none of these honor Islamic faith or beliefs, everything about Halloween can be considered as idolatry (shirk).
Islam supports the celebration of a birthday if it is an expression of gratitude to Allah for His bounties, sustenance and blessings in man's life, as long as that celebration does not include anything that may displease Allah, the Almighty.
A tobacco fatwa is a fatwa (Islamic legal pronouncement) that prohibits the usage of tobacco by Muslims. Arab Muslims tend to prohibit smoking (despite Saudi Arabia ranking 23rd in the world for the percentage of its population that smokes) and, in South Asia, smoking tends to be considered lawful but discouraged.
“Even though there are scholars who forbid dancing, there is a long tradition of dancing in Muslim cultures,” said Vernon Schubel, a Muslim and professor of religious studies at Kenyon College in Ohio. There is no mention of dancing in the Quran, which serves as Muslims' primary source of guidance.