The history of adhan (call to prayer) began with a vision in a dream by one of Prophet Muhammad’s followers and a freed African slave serving as the first muezzin. Adhan calls Muslims around the world to pray five times a day. It can be broadcast around the neighborhood, recited from within the mosque building, or sounded from a sidewalk.... Read more about The Call To Prayer
Daily prayer (salat) is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Salat begins with ritual ablution (wudhu) as preparation for prayer. Muslims pray facing the qiblah (direction of Mecca), often indicated in mosques by a mihrab (niche in the wall). Fridays and holidays like Eid include performance of other types of salat.
Jum’ah, refers to when Muslims gather for congregational worship during Friday midday prayer time. Prayer is followed by a sermon (khutbah) from an imam. Friday prayer is required only for men, but women may attend. In the U.S., Friday prayer brings together Muslims of many diverse backgrounds under one community.... Read more about Jum’ah: The Friday Prayer
Masjid (plural: masajid) means mosque in Arabic. The interior of a masjid often includes a mihrab (prayer niche in the wall facing Mecca) and a minbar (leading staircase and pulpit for the imam to deliver his sermon, the khutbah). Exteriors often include a minaret (tower) from which the adhan, or call to prayer, is recited. In the U.S., mosques incorporate a variety of architectural designs and influences.... Read more about Mosque, Minaret and Mihrab
Islamic religious arts refrain from depicting symbols, images, and physical representations of God, prophets, and created beings. Islamic calligraphy, which goes back to the artistry of ‘Ali b. Ali Talib, grows with elaborate Arabic scripts and ornamentation. This religious art enhances the importance of Qur’anic verses, the Prophet’s statements, poetry, and other sacred sayings, and is used to adorn mosques, tombs, plates, and other objects.... Read more about Calligraphy and Islamic Design
Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown during the month of Ramadan. In addition to abstaining from eating and drinking, those who fast also restrain themselves from evil thoughts, speeches, and actions. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan and is one of the most anticipated Islamic holidays.... Read more about Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The Hajj occurs in the month ofDhu’l-Hijjah and symbolizes the unity of the Muslim ummah. During the time of the pilgrimage, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice.
For the first ten days in the month of Muharram, Shi’i Muslims mourn the martyrdom of Husayn (the grandson of Prophet Muhammad) and the other marytrs of Karbala. In places like Dearborn, Michigan, Shi’i Muslims recite or enact the martyrdom story (taziya) to commemorate the sacrifice. Wearing black, some women also gather on the seventh day for the “marriage of Kaseem” mourning procession.... Read more about Shi’i Remembrance of Husayn
To mark their commitment to embrace Islam, a new Muslim performs the cleansing of their entire body. They then recite the statements of shahadah in front of two witnesses, proclaiming that “there is no god but God and Muhammad is God’s Messenger.” Da'wah is the effort to present information about Islam to Muslims and non-Muslims.... Read more about Becoming a Muslim
Muslims treat their holy book, the Qur’an, with respect. To handle the Qur’an, Muslims must perform a ritual ablution, and they cannot put the Qur’an on the floor. Recitation of the Qur’an is encouraged, beginning in early childhood, through memorization at home, Islamic schools, and hifz classes. Professional reciters, or qaris, perform in major venues and act as imams for mosques around the world.
Sufism emphasizes the inner life of Islam and the practice of remembrance (dhikr) under the guidance of a spiritual master (shaykh or pir). Different Sufi orders have varying relationships to other Muslims, and the flexibility and accessibility of Sufism often provides an entry for Americans to embrace Islam.
Across the globe, including in the United States, Mawlid al-Nabi, the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, is celebrated on the twelfth day of the month Rabi’ al-Awwal. Celebrations include festivals, prayer services, recitations of poetry and litanies, as well as religious gatherings. Celebrations of the Mawlid in America and distinctly English forms of poetry, songs, and literature shows the increasing importance of Mawlid al-Nabi amongst American Muslims. ... Read more about Birthday of the Prophet: Mawlid al-Nabi
Technological advances have affected Muslims no less than the rest of the world. There are now Muslim talk radio shows, television shows that tell specifically Islamic stories, and online editions of the Qur’an and Hadith.... Read more about Muslim Media
Halal ("permitted" in Arabic) refers to Islamic dietary restrictions. Along with proscribing what not to eat (haram or “forbidden” in Arabic), halal requires minimal suffering and the pronouncement of the name of God during the slaughter of an animal. Though halal food items and restaurants were limited early on, today they have become a staple on the American culinary map. The variety of halal ethnic cuisines reflects the diversity of the American Muslim community. ... Read more about Halal Food