Facts about this religion By:Nate

common beliefs

Islam is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qumran, a religious text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of this religions God (Allah), and, for the vast majority of adherents, by the teachings and normative

Islam Holidays

Muharram (1 Muharram): The Islamic New Year

The month of Muharram marks the beginning of the Islamic liturgical year. The Islamic year begins on the first day of Muharram, and is counted from the year of the Hegira (anno Hegirae) the year in which Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina (A.D. July 16, 622).

The Islamic new year is celebrated relatively quietly, with prayers and readings and reflection upon the hegira.

Mawlid al-Nabi (12 Rabi 1): Prophet Muhammad's Birthday

This holiday celebrates the birthday of Muhammad, the founder of Islam. It is fixed as the 12th day of the month of Rabi I in the Islamic calendar.Mawlid means birthday of a holy figure and al-Nabi means prophet.

The day is commemorated with recollections of Muhammad's life and significance. Fundamentalist Muslims, such as the Wahhabi sect, do not celebrate it.

Eid al-Fitr (1 Shawwal): The Celebration concluding Ramadan

Ramadan, the month of fasting, ends with the festival of Eid al-Fitr. Literally the "Festival of Breaking the Fast," Eid al-Fitr is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations (Eid al-Adha is the other). At Eid al-Fitr people dress in their finest clothes, adorn their homes with lights and decorations, give treats to children, and enjoy visits with friends and family.

A sense of generosity and gratitude colors these festivities. Although charity and good deeds are always important in Islam, they have special significance at the end of Ramadan. As the month draws to a close, Muslims are obligated to share their blessings by feeding the poor and making contributions to mosques.

Eid al-Adha (10 Dhu'l-Hijjah): The celebration concluding the Hajj

Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, commemorates the prophet Abraham's willingness to obey Allah by sacrificing his son Ishmael. According to the Qu'ran, just before Abraham sacrificed his son, Allah replaced Ishmael with a ram, thus sparing his life.

One of the two most important Islamic festivals, Eid al-Adha begins on the 10 day of Dhu'l-Hijja, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Lasting for three days, it occurs at the conclusion of the annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims all over the world celebrate, not simply those undertaking the hajj, which for most Muslims is a once-a-lifetime occurrence.

The festival is celebrated by sacrificing a lamb or other animal and distributing the meat to relatives, friends, and the poor. The sacrifice symbolizes obedience to Allah and its distribution to others is an expression of generosity, one of the five pillars of Islam.


1. Abraham

2. Monotheism


The five pillars of Islam

  • 1) Shahada: Testifying to God's One-ness:

    • The declaration "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet."

  • 2) Salat: Prayer.

      • General Features of Islamic Prayer

        • Five prayer times each day:
          • early morning
          • noon
          • mid-afternoon
          • sunset
          • evening
        • Raq'ah: Bowing and prostration. Represents submission to God.

        • Ablutions, symbolic purification by washing hands, feet, etc. with water (or sand).

        • Qiblah, direction for prayer towards Mecca. Designated by Mihrab, niche in the wall.

        • Du'a
    • Elements of Public prayer:

      • Masjid (Mosque):

      • Minaret (Tower for Muadhdhin to announce services).

      • Imam leads prayers. Worshippers stand behind in straight lines.
      • Imam or other scholar delivers a sermon (khutba ) from the pulpit (minbar).
      • Women are not required to attend prayers. When they do, they usually stand behind the men men.

      • Friday, Yawm al-Jum'ah (Day of Assembly), main day of public prayer.

  • 3) Zakat: Giving charity.

    • Originally a free-will donation (what is no called Sadaqah).
    • Now largely compulsory.
    • General rate: 2 1/2% of income annually.
    • Given only to needy Muslims, or for religious purposes, etc.

  • 4) Sawm: Fast

    • In memory of the revelation of the Qur'an.

    • During month of Ramadan, daylight hours.

    • Those who have medical exemptions etc. should fast at another time.

    • 'Id al-Fitr, Feast of Fast-breaking: at beginning of next month.

  • 5) Hajj: Pilgrimage.

    • Every Muslim man and woman (if physically and economically able) should try to make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life-time.
    • Egalitarian atmosphere, Ihram:
      • donning of simple white garments.

      • Refraining from sex, haircuts, jewelry, arguing, etc.
    • Importance of the Ka'ba, associations with Abraham, Hagar Ishmael and Muhammad.

    • Symbolic reenactments of past events:
      • Tawaf: Circling Ka'ba counterclockwise seven times, emphasizing its centrality.

      • Touching black stone of Ka'bah

      • Sa'y: Running seven times between hills and drinking from Zamam spring (recalling Hagar's running for water)

      • Throwing 49 stones at stone "Satan"s (recalling the resistance to Satan's attempts to prevent Abraham from sacrificing Ishmael).

      • On eighth day pilgrims move to the desert and live in tents. Rituals performed there include:
        • Wuquf: Standing in prayer at the Plain of Arafat and Mount of Mercy.

        • 'Id al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice): Head or household slaughters animal for feast. Meat is also distributed to the poor.
      • Return to Mecca for second circling of Ka'bah.
      • Most pilgrims also visit Medinah.