Better understanding Islam to build understanding among us

Our world is very complicated and confusing. In today's world, Islam hits the headlines practically every day, but so many in the West have little understanding of this faith belonging to about one billion people. The unknown creates uncertainty, anxiety and often fear. This place of learning is meant to make the unknown known, resulting in less confusion and fear. Welcome to LUNIS--Learning to Understand Islam.

Friday Gathering

Friday Prayer -- The Community Gathers This post recognizes the tragic events which took place in Québec City on Sunday January 29, 2017, where six Muslim worshippers lost their lives when fired upon during prayer time. A funeral service was held today, Feb 3, 2017, to remember the lives of...


The Call to Prayer

The Call to PrayerFive times a day, throughout the Muslim world, life is interrupted, aurally and often physically, by the call to prayer. As a reminder to Muslims beckoning them to gather to pray, the call is almost uniform throughout the Muslim world. This call is heard, originally by a voice...


Shahāda: The testimony of belief

Shahāda “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” This is the shahāda (testimony or confession of faith) of Muslims and is what most Muslims would say makes them Muslim. This is considered to be the first of five “pillars” of Islam. There are several important...



That's a scary word, for many people. The word jihad can conjure up images of swords, beheadings, violence and mayhem. I'd like to take a moment to explore the idea of jihad in Islam. Let me remind you of what I've already introduced: Islam is the faith of many, many different people. And those...


In the name of Islam

In my last post I discussed the idea of "Whose Islam?"--Islam is not a homogenous, monolithic religious faith, followed in the same way by all of those who claim to be adherents. There are, in Islam, just as in other religious faiths, arguments among its adherents that purport that those of a...


Learning to Understand Islam

Whose Islam? I remember when I first talked to a former professor of mine about discussing Islam as a whole. One of his questions to me was, "Whose Islam?" Islam, as a faith tradition, is not monolithic. What I mean is, not all Muslims are exactly the same, nor do they all believe exactly...