The Islamic religion includes specific customs and traditions that all devout Muslims follow. The customs are practiced in all aspects of Muslim life and include prayer, fashion, diet, war and so on. The Five Pillars of Islam lay out the fundamental customs for every Muslim.
The Five Pillars of Islam
Muslims must follow the Five Pillars of Islam, in order to live good lives and prove their devotion to their religion. The Five Pillars are: the sincere declaration of Muslim faith (Shahadah), praying properly five times a day (Salah), giving a donation to help those in need (Zakat), going on a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once (Hajj), and fasting during the holy month of Ramadan (Sawm). Marking the end of Ramadan and the fasting is the Eid el Fitr festival.
The Islamic Diet
Similar to Judaism, Islam also has dietary customs derived from the commandments in the Qur'an in which Muslims must follow. Certain foods are considered lawful, or "halal" and certain foods are considered unlawful, or "haram." Those foods that are unlawful include pork meat, animals that die by themselves and blood. Muslims are forbidden to drink blood and the meat must be drained of blood completely before it can be eaten. All meat that is lawful must come from an herbivorous animal and must be slaughtered in the name of God. The animal must be slaughtered by a Muslim, Christian or a Jew. Seafood is also considered halal.
As the Sixth Pillar of Islam, Jihad is considered an important part of a Muslim's life. Jihad translates to "striving or struggling" (in the way of God). There are different categories of Jihad defined and the two common ones can be referred to a militaristic custom and striving to attain religious perfection. In the militaristic sense, Jihad means to exert forces against non-Muslim enemies in order to protect the Ummah. Jihad is considered to be the only type of warfare acceptable to Islamic law. The actual goal of Jihad, however, continues to be debated.
Other Muslim Customs
Other notable Muslim customs include baby rites. When a child is born, the first thing he or she should hear is the Muslim call to prayer. As in Hinduism, seven days after birth Islam requires the child's head be shaved as a sign that the child serves God.