Muslim men


  • Shahada (Declaration of Faith): The Shahada states that “There is no God but God, and the Prophet Muhammad was his messenger.”
  • Salat (Prayer): Muslims are required to pray five times a day - at dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset and nightfall.
  • Soum (Fasting): During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are required to refrain from food and drink during daylight hours. Exceptions are made for the elderly, the ill, those traveling and for pregnant women.
  • Zakat (Charity): Muslims are required to give a minimum of 2.2-2.5% of their wealth to the less fortunate each year. However, charity in all forms is encouraged throughout the year.
  • Hajj (Pilgrimage): The Hajj is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, and every Muslim who is both physically and financially able is obligated to perform the journey once during his or her lifetime.

    Muslim holidays follow the lunar calendar, which has 354 days -11 days less than the 365-day Gregorian calendar used by most of the world. Therefore, Muslim holidays fall on the same day according to the lunar calendar but occur 11 days earlier each year on the Gregorian calendar. The major Muslim holidays are:

  • Ramadan: Considered the holiest month in Islam, Muslims abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. This holy month recalls the period when the Prophet Muhammad began receiving his first revelations from God.
  • Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Sagger (the Small Holiday): Three days at the end of Ramadan.
  • Eid al-Adha or Eid al-Kabeer (Holiday of the Sacrifice or the Big Holiday): Marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage. Muslims celebrate this holiday by sacrificing a lamb and giving it to the needy, remembering the Prophet Abraham’s attempt to sacrifice his son for God.
  • Ashura: A 10-day mourning period during the month of Muharram, for remembering the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussein. Shi’a Muslims believe he was the rightful leader of the Muslim people after Muhammad.