Daily practices

What is the dress code for Muslims?

Islam emphasises modesty. No person should be perceived as a sex object. There are certain guidelines both for men and women that their dress should not reveal body forms. Men must cover at least the area from the knee to the navel and for women should cover all areas except the hands and face. The veil is not essential.

What are the dietary prohibitions in Islam?

Muslim eat and drink 'halal' (permissible) products. They must avoid 'haram' (unlawful or prohibited) items. Halal and haram are universal terms that apply to all facets of life, but they are commonly used in relation to food and drinks.

In general, every food is considered to be halal as long as it's been slaughtered according to Islamic rules, is slaughtered in the name of Allah alone (and nobody else) and is not prohibited in the Qur'an and Hadith.

Some examples of haram (i.e. prohibited) items include:

  • Pork or pig-related products (e.g. bacon and ham)
  • Alcohol or intoxicants
  • Meat of the animals that died before being slaughtered
  • Carnivorous animals, birds of prey and certain other animals
  • Illicit drugs

Muslims are also advised to be balanced in their intake of foods and beverages. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) advised that one should fill one-third of his stomach with food, one-third with water, and the last third should be empty.

What are the major Islamic festivals?

There are officially two Islamic festivals: Eid-ul Fitr and Eid-ul Adha.

'Eid-ul Fitr' marks the end of fasting in the month of Ramadan and is celebrated with congregational prayers, feasting, spending time celebrating with family, friends and neighbours, and donation to the poor and needy. It is the biggest and most important festival in the Islamic calendar and Muslims are not permitted to fast on that day. In Muslim countries, Eid-ul Fitr is a national holiday.

'Eid-ul Adha' marks the end of the Hajj or the annual pilgrimage to Makkah. After congregational prayers, those who can afford, sacrifice an allowed animal such as lamb, goat, or cow to signify Prophet Abraham's obedience to God, shown by his readiness to sacrifice his son Ishmael.

Both of the festivals follow the Islamic calendar, which is lunar. The normal Gregorian calendar (i.e. January - December), that is popular universally, is solar based. Therefore the Islamic calendar year is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year, as such the festival falls on different days every year in the Gregorian calendar (e.g. one year the Eid-ul Fitr may fall in February, the next year in January).

Throughout the world the Muslim community will celebrate the eid in different ways, reflecting their culture. But they remain within the confines of the Islamic moral code and dietary regulations.

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