Top 9 Practices That Define Islamic Culture

Islamic culture is a set of historic cultural practices that developed among peoples living in the Muslim world. It combines aspects of Islam with pre-Islamic beliefs and practices in diverse ways.

The most significant influences on Islamic culture are the Quran and hadiths. These two texts define what true faith (iman) consists of: belief in the immaculate Divine Unity and submission to God’s will.

1. Fasting

The Islamic religious practice of fasting, known as Sawm, is abstinence from food and drink for health, spiritual, ritual or ethical reasons. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, along with daily prayer, recitation of the Qur’an and charitable giving.

Muslims who are able to fast observe the month of Ramadan, which is commemorated as the time in history when the Holy Qur’an was first revealed. During this time, Muslims will refrain from eating, drinking and engaging in sexual activity until sunset each day.

The month ends with the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which means “feast of breaking the fast,” and is a time for Muslims to feast and celebrate after a month of abstinence and devotion to Allah. This celebration is a time to strengthen family ties and bring people together. It also provides an opportunity to learn from one another.

2. Prayer

The first pillar is the profession of faith (shahada), which is a statement of belief that “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.” It underscores the monotheistic nature of Islam. It is also a common phrase in Arabic calligraphy and is featured on many manuscripts and religious buildings.

Prayers may be recited from memory or from a book of prayers and can be spoken, chanted or sung. They often include different body postures that convey specific meaning, such as respect and adoration.

According to the Pew Research Center, a majority of Muslims in most countries surveyed say they pray several times a day. They also believe in a variety of other beliefs, such as the existence of angels and that God revealed holy books or scriptures to prophets, including the Qur’an, the Torah, the Gospel, and the Psalms.

3. Alms

A central tenet of Islam is charity. Muslims are required to give a fixed percentage of their wealth to those in need. This is known as zakat. You can pay zakat uk here to help and empower people who are in need.

The Quran describes true righteousness as “those who believe and perform the prescribed prayers (salat), pay the obligatory zakat, help relatives and orphans, free those in bondage, assist travelers, the needy and the poor, and observe fasting during the month of Ramadan” (Quran 2:177).

As Islamic civilizations expanded, they integrated their religion with their political and economic institutions. For example, many rulers supported Islamic schools, scholars and artists. Many Islamic dynasties also promoted math and science. This helped connect the religious practice of Islam with the development of science and technology. They also promoted a sense of internationalism through their extensive trading networks. This allowed them to bring cultural elements of their homelands to the places they conquered.

4. Fasting during Ramadan

Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is a month-long period of abstinence from food and drink from dawn until sunset, during which Muslims are encouraged to increase their worship and recitation of the Qur’an.

According to Islamic tradition, it was during Ramadan that God revealed the first verses of the Qur’an to Muhammad. The holy month of Ramadan is also the time when Muslims focus on charitable giving and helping the needy.

Muslims are expected to fast, but exceptions are made for those in battle or travellers who cannot travel more than 50 miles away from home. In these cases, the person should make up the days missed by feeding a needy person for each day they miss. The fasting period ends with a celebration called Eid al-Fitr, where families gather for large meals and give to charity before attending prayers.

5. Belief in jinn

In many of the Muslim nations surveyed, at least seven-in-ten Muslims believe that jinn exist. In Arabic, the word jinn can mean anything that is hidden—snakes, veiled women, mountain tribes—and it can also refer to demons and devils.

The jinn are believed to inhabit parallel worlds with humans and can be either good or evil. They can resemble animals or humans, and can assume any shape or form. They can whisper temptation to a human’s lower nafs, or soul.

Some Muslims believe that jinn can possess people’s bodies, affect them with sickness and cause harm. They are a popular subject for religious scholars and thinkers, who write extensively on their effect on the Islamic community. The jinn are also frequently invoked as causative agents of mental illness. Many Muslims take preventative measures to protect themselves from jinn schemes, including wearing protective amulets, avoiding whistling at night and sleeping uncovered, and reciting certain prayers.


6. Belief in talismans

Every culture has ways of assuaging fear and anxiety. In the Islamic world, people turned to talismans for protection and healing in difficult circumstances.

Talismans, such as this large-scale chart covered with various designs and inscriptions, were believed to bring blessings (baraka) if displayed or held. In addition, high ranking warriors wore talismanic tunics under their armor to protect them in battle.

However, desires to channel supernatural forces through talismans could contradict Islam’s central belief in total submission to the will of an omnipotent God. Thus, throughout Islamic history both fervor and condemnation of the occult sciences coexisted.

7. Belief in piety

Islamic culture values piety, which is often associated with religious devotion. Pious Muslims follow the Quran, Hadiths, and other sacred texts. They also believe in a Day of Judgment and life after death.

Pious Muslims also give to orphans, travelers, beggars, and free those in bondage. They pray frequently and keep their pledges. They are steadfast in adversity and fear.

In addition, pious Muslims strive to be fair-minded and avoid falsehoods. They also respect women. They believe that Allah created men and women to be each other’s partners, and they are equal in all their duties. The Muslim community also honors the dead by washing their bodies and praying for them. Traditionally, they are buried as soon as possible. This is because Islam prohibits embalming and cremation. The Muslim community also believes that a good funeral can inspire the dead to piety and virtue.

8. Belief in sharia

In Islamic cultures around the world, belief in sharia is central to daily life. Muslims seek guidance from sharia scholars on issues as varied as family law, finance and business. Such guidance is known as a fatwa.

Some sharia rules, such as requiring modesty and prohibiting the mixing of men and women, have been controversial in modern times. Other sharia rules, such as permitting the use of coercive methods of punishment for certain crimes and affirming women’s rights, are considered progressive by many Muslims.

The most basic requirement of Islam is that believers profess that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger. This statement is known as the shahada, or declaration of faith. It is the first step to becoming a Muslim.

9. Belief in the prophets

Islam believes that God communicates with humanity through prophets. He sends these individuals to relay the message of the Creator, enabling humans to overcome their natural inadequacy by enlightening them.

Muslims believe that every nation has been sent a prophet, beginning with Adam and continuing through Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. The most important prophet is Muhammad, whose teachings have been preserved in the Quran.

The belief in the prophets is a fundamental part of Islamic culture. It is also a way to distinguish Islam from the exclusivist religious and materialistic worldviews of its Western counterparts.