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Technology, Prayer, and Ramadan

Muslims can buy special watches or computer software to remind them of the exact times for their five daily prayers. Or they can arrange to have reminders sent to a cell phone or an email address.

“Qibla” is an Arabic word that refers to the direction Muslims must face while praying. Muhammad taught that Muslims must pray toward Mecca. Some hotels that serve Muslim customers have qibla markers in their guest rooms to show the correct direction to face. TV screens on Saudi Arabia Airlines planes show qibla compasses for passengers.

In countries where many Muslims live, sunset and sunrise times may appear on TV during Ramadan or be announced by a siren.

Source: Learning About Islam, a 60-page spiral bound book for readers ages 8 and up, available for free download on this site.


News from Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Interesting Fact
Though many Muslim men marry only one wife, Islam permits them to marry as many as four. In Saudi Arabia, a strict Muslim country, one man tried to settle an argument between his two wives by threatening to marry a third wife. The two women attacked him and took off part of his nose. He had to get stitches to get it sewn back on.

Christians in Saudi Arabia
Christians in Saudi Arabia do not have freedom of Religion. No church buildings are allowed, but some Christians meet quietly in homes.


Afghanistan: New Life Brings Risks

Afghanistan

New Drivers
Change comes slowly in Afghanistan, but new things are starting to happen in the Muslim nation.

For many years only Afghan men drove cars. Radical Taliban Muslims ruled Afghanistan until 2001, and the Taliban forced women to cover themselves from head to toe in long robes called “burqas.” (See the photo at left.) It is not possible to see well enough to drive safely in a burqa.

Delawar, an Afghan driving teacher, had only one woman student at his school in five years. But now many women are signing up for lessons. He has taught 60 women to drive in the past six months.

Afghan women drivers still have many struggles. Some men don’t think women should drive. The men sometimes stare or yell at women drivers or block them from moving by parking in front of them.(Source: Independent News, 1-15-05)

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Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

RESTRICTED

Capital
Riyadh

Size
Slightly more than one-fifth the size of the US.

Main Languages
Arabic

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 2:00 p.m. in Saudi Arabia.

History
Long ago, most of the people on the Arabian Peninsula were nomads. Isaiah 13:20 talks about Arabians pitching tents. Muhammad, the man who started Islam, lived on the Arabian Peninsula in the early 600s A.D. He and his followers united the Arabs as Muslims. The region became the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932, ruled by King Abdul Aziz. Today the country is rich from selling oil.

 

Religion
Muslim.

Persecution
Christians are not allowed to have church buildings in Saudi Arabia. Non-Muslims must worship in private. Even when they do, they may be bothered by the police and arrested for their faith. Sharing the gospel with Muslims is illegal. All women must dress according to strict Muslim rules.