Turkish women waiting outside a mosque for friends before going in to pray, 1920

Mosques of Their Own

The long, little-known history of Muslim women in communal religious life.

Muslim Women and the Politics of the Headscarf

For many women, wearing the hijab was—and is—an element of piety, but it's been coopted into a political symbol.

The Nation of Islam’s Role in US Prisons

The Nation of Islam is controversial. Its practical purposes for incarcerated people transcend both politics and religion.
A 19th-century engraving depicting an Arab slave-trading caravan transporting black African slaves across the Sahara.

What Was the Zanj Rebellion?

A remarkable episode of Medieval Islamic history that often goes untold.
Children push a fishing boat to shore in Zanzibar

An Islamic Approach to Environmentalism

A number of contemporary Muslim environmentalist groups have been inspired by Koranic verses that stress the conservation of nature.

A Book of Divination for the End of the World

The Falnama, or Book of Omens, combined apocalyptic representations from many sources. Say a prayer, ask your question, and flip to a random page.
Iskander Miscellany

The Ultimate Bespoke Manuscript

In The Miscellany of Iskandar Sultan, sections of text stack on top of one another, interlaced like fretwork. Bursts of flowers and tangles of vines fill the empty spaces.
Nation of Islam prison reform

What the Prisoners’ Rights Movement Owes to the Black Muslims of the 1960s

Black Muslims have been an influential force in the prisoners' rights movement and criminal justice reform as early as the World War II era.
Isolated shot of a cup of coffee on white background

How Coffee Went from a Mystical Sacrament to an Everyday Drink

The history of coffee starts in Ethiopia, where it grew wild. Locals used it as a sacrament in communal ceremonies and to keep up energy.
Book of Curiosities

Ancient Maps Are Mirrors for the Ancient Psyche

The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences, and Marvels for the Eyes, an eleventh-century Arabic geography, is still a wonder.