Islam: Empire of Faith - DVD

VIDEO RESOURCE (DVD) ISLAM: EMPIRE OF FAITH, a three-part series, re-creates the spectacular sweep of Islamic power and faith during its first 1,000 years, from Muhammad's birth to the Ottoman Empire under Suleyman the Magnificent. The film features re-enactments of events, and views of art, artifacts, and architecture. These are combined with scholarly interviews to recount the rise and glory of Islamic civilization.

Five Myths About Mosques in America by Edward E. Curtis IV

WEB RESOURCE Edward Curtis, Religious Studies and American Studies Professor at Indiana University-Purdue University, addresses common misconceptions about the role of the mosque in America with some information about sharia.

Grand Mosque of Paris, The: Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust by Karen Gray Ruelle and Deboarah Durland DeSaix.

BOOK This is a story pieced together from secret documents and memories of people about resistance against the Nazis in World War II France. It begins with a religious quote shared by Muslim and Jews "Save one life, and it is as if you've saved all of humanity." Holiday House, 2009.

Eid al-Fitr

WEB VIDEO & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS Eid al-Fitr is the Islamic celebration that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting, spiritual renewal and reflection. This video segment from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly (free registration required) looks at Ramadan and how American Muslims observe it in a non-Muslim culture. A background essay supports the video.


WEB VIDEO In this video from PBS, two young American Muslims observe Ramadan, a month-long period of fasting and prayer that lasts from sunrise to sunset. Zuleqa and Khizer Husain of northern Virginia describe their daytime practices, which may include an hour or more of reading the Qur'an, and their evening meal, which often becomes a party.

Ramadan Moon

WEB VIDEO & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS For Muslims around the world, Ramadan is the holiest month in Islam, a time of prayer and daily fasting, as well as celebration. The start of Ramadan is signaled by the sighting of the crescent moon (hilal). This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly follows the process of sighting the new moon for Muslims in America. The video is supported by a background essay and discussion questions.

Access Islam - Timeline

WEB RESOURCE This timeline of events related to the founding and spread of Islam covers from 660 to 2005, with sections on the life of Mohammed and the first caliphs, the Umayyads, the Abbasids, The Sejuks, and Fatimids, the Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals, and the Modern Era. A last timeline from 1530 to 2006 highlights the history of Muslims in America.

Muslim Holidays and Religious Observances

WEB VIDEO Here are nine short video segments with transcripts from the award-winning PBS series RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY on Muslim religious practices such as prayer, Hajj, Zakaat, Eid al-Fitr, and Ramadan.

Islam Science and Learning

WEB VIDEO Here are three short video segments with transcripts from the award-winning PBS series RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY from the Muslim madrasah to the thriving medieval center of learning known as Timbuktu.


WEB VIDEO & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS Muslims see the madrasah, a place of learning and teaching, as an important element in learning and understanding the Qur'an as well as the Islamic faith. This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly explores the madrasah education with Roy Parvis Mottahedeh, professor of Islamic History at Harvard University. Mottahedeh gives viewers an introduction into the history and evolution of madrasahs. The video is supported by a background essay and discussion questions.

Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World by Natale Maydell and Sep Riahi

BOOK This award-winning picture book chronicles the lives of 13 Muslim women in history who have lived extraordinary lives and influenced their communities in a positive way, often overcoming hardship and inaccurate stereotypes. Global Content, 2008. Grade 5 - HS

Historical Atlas of Islam by Malise Ruthven and Azim Nanji

BOOK Author Ruthven, along with Muslim scholar Nanji, present a rich, readable history of Islam from Mohammed to bin Laden. Extensive maps and diagrams take the Mecca - Medina axis as their focus and demonstrate that for a millennium, the Islamic world stood at the apex of human scientific, spiritual and cultural achievement. Harvard University Press, 2004. MS - HS

Celebrating Ramadan by Diane Hoyt Goldsmith

BOOK In this photo-essay, text and images combine to present information about Islam and the special month of Ramadan. It features the family life of an American fourth grader, Ibraheem, as they celebrate Ramadan, the month of daylight fasting. The boy's Islamic school, his mosque, his extended family, and the centrality of religion in his life are conveyed. Holiday House, 2002. Elementary - MS

Muhammad by Demi

BOOK Demi's biography of the prophet Muhammad reflects the literary and artistic traditions of the Islamic world. For example, like most Arab texts, it begins with the words, "In the name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate," and an Arabic honorific always follows Muhammad's name. The readily understandable narrative tells the stories of Muhammad's life as Muslim children hear them, beginning with his birth in Mecca and ending with the declaration that although Muhammad has died, God never will. In keeping with Islamic artistic tradition, the paintings do not portray the face or body of the Prophet. Margaret McElderry, 2003. Elementary - MS

Mosque by David Macaulay

BOOK Macaulay offers an inside look into how a mosque was built in Turkey in the late 1600s, discussing building materials, construction, and functionality in terms of Muslim beliefs and practices. Houghton Mifflin, 2008. All ages

Islam by Sue Penney

BOOK This award winning entry in the World Beliefs and Cultures series is an overview of the beliefs and customs of Islam, including an introduction to sacred texts, a history of the religion, important holidays, and worship practices. Heinemann Library, 2008. MS

A History of the Muslim World to 1405 by Vernon Egger

BOOK Egger traces the development of the Muslim world from the Prophet Muhammad to the death of the Mongol emperor Tamerlane. Coverage includes the unification of the Dar al-Islam (the territory ruled by Muslims), the fragmentation into various religious and political groups including the Shi'ite and Sunni, and the series of catastrophes in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries that threatened to destroy the civilization. Prentice Hall, 2009. MS-HS There is a newer edition that includes information up to the mid 1700s.

Best Eid Ever by Asma Mobin-Uddin

BOOK It's Eid, and Aneesa should be happy. But her parents are thousands of miles away in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage. To cheer her up, her grandmother gives her a gift of beautiful clothes from Pakistan, one outfit for each of the three days of Eid. She even prepares lamb korma, Aneesa's favourite dinner, which they will enjoy when they return from prayers. At the prayer hall, Aneesa meets two sisters who are not dressed in new clothes for the holiday.Aneesa discovers that the girls are refugees. With their father, they have fled from their war-torn country. Boyds Mills, 2007. Primary-Elementary

Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet

DVD This PBS streaming film tells the story of Muhammad, the seventh century prophet who transmitted a new set of religious ideas to the world that continues to shapes the lives of more than 1.2 billion people, including many in America.

Hajj Parts I, II, III

WEB VIDEOS & DISCUSSION QUESTIONS These video segments from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly trace the Hajj experience of several Americans. Each is supported with background essays and discussion questions highlighted different parts of the Hajj.


WEB RESOURCE The Muslim practice of "zakaat," or almsgiving, is one of the five pillars of Islam -- part of the framework of Muslim life and required of all able adult adherents. While they may give zakaat at any time of the year, many Muslims contribute specifically during the month of Ramadan.

Discover Islamic Art: Virtual Exhibitions

VIRTUAL ART EXHIBITIONS This is a rich set of art images classified by historic caliphate, empire, theme, or style.

What You Will See Inside a Mosque by Aisha Karen Khan

CHILDREN'S BOOK The introduction provides basic information about Islam including the Qur'an, the qibla (niche) and the Five Pillars of Islam. It even takes readers into the washing area, where Muslims cleanse themselves before prayer, but it does not show people actually in prayer. Large photographs supported by short, descriptive explanations help readers understand different parts of the mosque structure as well as elements of a worship service. Skylight Paths Pub., 2008. Elem. - MS

Why Are Headscarves Feared and Banned in Turkey?

WEB RESOURCE At the end of WWI and the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey was secular and democratic. Turkey is overwhelmingly Muslim, but for almost eight decades its legal and political systems have shown a deep-seated fear of Islam as a political force and the society has been largely secular. This has gradually been changing under the Erdogan regime. During the secular period, one of the many restrictions on religion has included a ban on head scarves at public universities and in government buildings. In this Frontline video clip, three university students talk about what head scarves mean to them, and the Vice Rector of their university explains the reasons for the ban.

Frontline Muslims

WEB RESOURCE This Frontline program examines the global resurgence of Islam and its meaning through a series of interviews of Muslims from diverse regions of the world. These essential questions are addressed: What does it mean to be a Muslim today? Does Islam deserve its reputation as a patriarchal, authoritarian, and anti-Western religion? What is the role of Islam in movements for political and social change?

Sufi Whirling Dervishes

WEB VIDEO This Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly explores Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam. Sufism emphasizes universal love, peace, acceptance of various spiritual paths and a mystical union with the divine. It is associated with the dancing of whirling dervishes, who originated in the 13th century as followers of the poet and Muslim mystic, Rumi.

Religion Library: Suffism

WEB RESOURCE This website provides an overview of Suffism a Muslim movement whose followers seek to find divine truth and love through direct encounters with God. Sufism arose from within Islam in the 8th-9th centuries C.E. as an ascetic movement. There is information about the origins, history, beliefs, rituals and worship, and ethics and community of thise branch of Islam.

Learning the Word of God

WEB RESOURCE This Aramco article describes the experience of a young boy in a Qur'anic school in Africa.

Muslim holiday of Ashura brings into focus Shia-Sunni differences

WEB RESOURCE Each year, millions of Shia pilgrims visit the shrine of one of their most revered figures - Hussein, the Prophet Muhammad's grandson - to mourn the anniversary of Hussein's death on the Day of Ashura. While Ashura is sacred for all Muslims, it is especially important to Shias, illustrating some of the differences between Shia and Sunni Muslims.

Jalal al-Din Rumi 1207-1273

BIOGRAPHY This enotes article describes the life and thinking of one of the most widely read poets in the Persian-speaking world, Jalaluddin Rumi. Rumi was the founder of the Mevlevi Order, a controversial and often censored Sufi sect that practices sama', or meditative, whirling dance.

Q & A: The Practice of Hijab

WEB RESOURCE This Q & A posted on the ACLU website is an interview of a Muslim American woman they represented after she was forced by police to take off her head scarf. In this Q & A she explains why she wears the hijab. Sometimes, the ACLU posts requests for donations. This is not a request from the California 3Rs Project.

10 Things to Know About Islam

WEB RESOURCE John Esposito delivers 10 essential "things to know" about Islam that can give any reader a basic understanding and history of a complex religion that is often misunderstood. This primer has been a go-to piece for TeachMideast visitors over the years. Esposito looks at many parts of Islam such as core beliefs, differences between sects, gender roles, and why we should know about the religion at all. These are fundamental concepts that give important context to understanding current affairs in the Middle East and beyond. They are also integral to understanding and effectively engaging with the Muslims around the world world. Overwhelmed by all of the details?

The Sunni-Shia Divide!/?cid=otr-marketing_url-sunni_shia_infoguide

WEB RESOURCE This Council on Foreign Relations InfoGuide Presentation focuses on the origins and flash points of the sectarian conflict that is becoming entrenched in a growing number of Muslim countries, especially Iraq and Syria. Tensions between Sunnis and Shias, exploited by regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, could reshape the future Middle East.

The Islamists: Turmoil and Transformation

ACADEMIC ARTICLE Robin Wright, executive Director of the Wilson Center, wrote this introduction to a book published online. It deals with questions related to political extremist views and practices within Islam, which have been named "Islamism" by scholars. She begins with the statement "Islamism is now one of the most powerful forces of the 21st century." This means if we are to understand our world and develop effective public policies, Americans need to have a firmer grasp of this underlying ideology behind much of today's global terrorism.

Wudu: Islamic Washing Before Prayer

WEB VIDEO This short video shows the steps to the purification or washing process that Muslims perform before doing their daily prayers. It explains the beliefs behind this ritual performed multiple times per day.

Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar

WEB RESOURCE In this PBS Crash Course in World History video, John Green teaches the history of Islam, including the revelation of the Qu'ran to Muhammad, the five pillars of Islam, how the Islamic empire got its start, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and more. Learn about hadiths, Abu Bakr, and whether the Ummah has anything to do with Uma Thurman (spoiler alert: it doesn't). Also, learn a little about the split between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and how to tell if this year's Ramadan is going to be difficult for your Muslim friends.

Islam - Global Citizens: World Religions by Katie Marsico

BOOK Using the new C3 Framework for Social Studies Standards, this book series explores six major world religions through the lenses of History, Geography, Civics, and Economics. In Islam, the text and photos look at the history, basic philosophies, and geography of this religion, as well as how it relates to society today. As they read, students will develop questions about the text, and use evidence from a variety of sources in order to form conclusions. Data-focused supplemental material is included, as well as a bibliography, glossary, and index.

10-Year Challenge; Turkey puts spotlight on the headscarf

WEB RESOURCE This BBC article from early 2019 discusses the change in Turkey about whether or not women should and do wear headscarves as part of the Muslim faith. It is a contrast to the Frontline article (No. 557)that articulated why women did not want to wear scarves.

Inside the Mosque: What do you need to know?

WEB RESOURCE This is a simple, student-friendly description with images of the elements of a mosque. There is background information as needed.

Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar

VIDEO This student video features John Green teaching the history of Islam uses the same title as a PBS film. This video includes the revelation of the Qu'ran to Muhammad, the five pillars of Islam, how the Islamic empire got its start, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and more. It requires the viewers to share some information before viewing the site.