Holy Days, Festivals and Rituals
Like most religions, Islam observes some of the major events in a persons life:
- Akikah. An informal birth ceremony. This ceremony is not practiced widely.
- Shadada. The marking of a young Muslim’s formal entry into Islam. There is no set age for this rite, though it is most commonly celebrated during the teenage years.
- Marriage Ritual. Witnesses observe the groom’s formal offer of marriage and the brides acceptance of it. There is no elaborate ceremony. The waleemah is the reception which includes music and dancing.
- Funerals and Mourning. This includes the recitation of the janazah (prayers for the dead) at the gravesite and may include a service at the funeral home. Muslims do not condone cremation and burial of the dead takes place within 24 hours of death. The official mourning period for a family member is 40 days.
- Ramadan. This Holy Festival takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is a time of fasting and daily repentance.
- Lailat ul-Qadr – The final 10 days of Ramadan. Muslims celebrate Muhammad’s first revelation.
- Id al-Fitr – The feast period just after the month long fast of Ramadan. It lasts for three days.
- Id ul-Adha. Two to three months after Ramadan, animals are slaughtered to benefit the poor. The purpose of the the Id ul-Adha is to celebrate the faithfulness and obedience of Abraham.
- Al-Isra Wal Miraj. Celebrated on the 27th Day of the 7th month in the Islamic Calendar. It marks Muhammad’s journey from Mecca.
- Maulid al-Nabi. Celebrates the birth of Muhammad.
LATEST BOOK REVIEWS – check out the following
Islam for Dummies by Malcolm Clark
Pointing the Finger: Islam and Muslims in the British Media by Julian Petley
Islam – An Introduction: Teach Yourself by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood