The word Islam has a multiplicity of meanings, including “peace,” “submission,” and “surrender.” Muslim is a word that means “one who submits,” but it is used to refer to both monotheists and the followers of Islam. Islam is a living tradition and means many different things to many different people. Religious traditions and practices are different depending on the social, cultural, and political contexts. The five pillars of Islam, which are for many the basic elements and obligatory acts of faith, exist in conjunction with Islamic law (sharia) and can regulate almost every aspect of private and public lives. By providing guidance on issues from banking to welfare, sharia regulates every area of contemporary life. With Muslims differing in their approach to worship, pilgrimage, ...

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