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  :: Why Know Islam?
  Islam and Muslims
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  Some Important Issues
 The Muslim Society  
  Why is the family so important to Muslims?  
The family is the foundation of Islamic society. The peace and security offered by a stable family unit is greatly valued, and seen as essential for the spiritual growth of its members. A harmonious social order is created by the existence of extended families; children are treasured, and rarely leave home until the time they marry.
  What about Muslim women?  
Islam sees a woman, whether single or married, as an individual in her own right, with the right to own and dispose of her property and earnings. The groom gives a marriage dowry to the bride for her own personal use, and she keeps her own family name rather than taking her husbands.

Both men and women are expected to dress in a way that is modest and dignified; the traditions of female dress found in some Muslim countries are often the expression of local customs.
  The Messenger of God said:
"The most perfect in faith amongst believers is he who is best in manner and kindest to his wife."

  Can a Muslim have more than one wife?  
The religion of Islam was revealed for all societies and all times and so accommodates widely differing social requirement. Circumstances may warrant the taking of another wife but the right is granted, according to the Qur’an, only on condition that the husband is scrupulously fair.
  Is Islamic marriage like Christian marriage?
A Muslim marriage is not a ‘sacrament’, but simple, legal agreement in which either partner is free to include conditions. Marriage customs thus vary widely from country to country. As a result, divorce is not common, although it is not forbidden as a last resort. According to Islam, no Muslim girl can be forced to marry against her will: her parents will simply suggest young men they think may be suitable.
  How do Muslims treat the elderly?  
In the Islamic world there are no old people’s homes. The strain of caring for one’s parents in this most difficult time of their lives is considered an honor and blessing, and an opportunity for great spiritual growth. God asks that we not only pray for our parents, but act with limitless compassion, remembering that when we were helpless children they preferred us to themselves.

Mothers are particularly honored: the Prophet taught that ‘Paradise lies at the feet of mothers’. When they reach old age, Muslim parents are treated mercifully, with the same kindness and selflessness.

In Islam, serving one’s parents is a duty second only to prayer, and it is their right to expect it. It is considered despicable to express any irritation when, through no fault of their own, the old become difficult.
  The Qur’an says:
Your lord has commanded that you worship none but him, and be kind to parents if either or both of them reach old age with you, do not say ‘uff’ to them or chide them, but speak to them in terms of honor and kindness. Treat them with humility, and say, ‘my lord! Have mercy on them, for they did care for me when I was little’. [17:23-4]
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