Islam in the Western World


Islam in the Western World

The Family

  • Harmony in the family is considered the first step to harmony in the universe. The family is the basis for society. All teachings, responsibilities etc regarding the family are based on the Shari'ah Law.
  • All Muslim social, moral and economic life is based on the concepts of Halal and Haram. Muslim scholoars have agreed that everything Allah has created is halal unless it has been declared haram. Not all Muslims however will agree on everything that is stated as Muslim custom because customs vary from country to country and Law school to Law school.

Islamic attitudes to sex and marriage

  • All Muslims now believe that sex must be restricted to marriage and has certain connotations for a Muslim social life.
  • Zina(sex outside of marriage) is haram. This is why the sexes are kept seperate as much as possible and why women and men must wear modest, baggy clothes which do not draw attention to their sexual characteristics. Men are forbidden to wear silk or gold and women must have everything covered but face, hands and feet, when in public.
  • Celibacy is regarded as Makruh if not actually haram. After all the Prophet married several times and a good Sunni Muslim must follow the example of the Prophet therefore marriage is important.


  • Marriage is a gift from God. However, the marriage itself is seen as a contract rather than a sacrament. Therefore there is no concept within Islam that marriage is the exchanging of eternal vows made before God.
  • Most Muslim weddings involve not only the signing of the contracts, but also special prayers and Qur'anic readings by an imam.
  • All Muslim weddings are followed by some form of celebration; it is essential that the wedding should be witnessed by the community.
  • The restriction on contact between sexes after puberty are the reason for the popularity of arranged marriages. However it is still permissible for the bride and groom to meet each other before they agree to marriage.
  • "We have sent messengers before you, and granted them spouses and offspring" Surah 13= Previous prophets married, you should their example.
  • "No institution in Islam finds more favour with God than marriage" Surah 1

Restrictions on who a Muslim can marry

  • The Qur'an says that Muslim men can marry Jews or Christians as well as Muslims but a Muslim woman can only marry a Muslim man.
  • Men are only allowed to marry upto four women but only if all can be treated equally if not, they should only marry one.
  • Islam has the same restrictions on marrying blood relatives that are common to all societies.
  • "Marry of other women, two or three or four, but if you feel you will not deal justly between them then marry only one" Surah 4

The status of women

  • There is no doubt that Islam raised the status of women from what it had been in Pre-Islamic Arabia.
  • "Women have the same rights in relation to their


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