Blog

 
 

Important Sites: The Prophet’s Mosque

Medina, in Saudi Arabia, houses Al-Masjid Al-Nabawi, the Prophet’s Mosque. This mosque is the second holiest site in Islam after the Kaba and the Sacred Mosque in Mecca. It was built after the hijra from Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E. Many Muslims performing the hajj will try to go visit this holy mosque as well. The focus of this post, the second in a series on important sites, is the Prophet’s Mosque.

The Prophet’s Mosque today stands on the site of the mosque first built by the Prophet Muhammad near his house in Medina. Originally, the mosque was an open-air building made of palm trunks and mud walls. The Prophet included a section in the mosque called the suffah, a shady place where strangers and needy people could take shelter. The mosque served several purposes: a place of worship, a community center, a court, and a religious school. Initially, the prayers faced Jerusalem; however, the qibla was later changed to Mecca. Continue reading

Radio

 
 

Talking with the Taliban

Aired January 19, 2012 | Visit the WPR Page | Download the Show

The Taliban announced this week that ten years after 9/11, it is finally willing to talk with the United States. There’s only one catch: in return, the Obama Administration has to release at least five senior Taliban officials held at Guantánamo. President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights Michael Ratner joins us to talk about prospects for peace, and the future of Guantánamo.

Regions & Themes

 
 

Lectures: Islam in Russia and the NIS

Back to Eastern Europe and Central Asia

This series of digital lectures provides an overview of Islam in the Russian Federation, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. In this series, prominent scholars of history, sociology, religious studies, and literature discuss themes such as the history of Islam in the region, how religious belief and practice survived seven decades of state-sponsored atheism during the Soviet period, and the reemergence of Islamic practice, culture, and scholarship today in Russia, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. The lectures were originally recorded in June 2008 during a three-day a workshop for middle- and high school teachers, sponsored by the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia (CREECA) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Continue reading