Muslim PracticesThe Muslim way of life rests on the Five Pillars: 1. The creed—“There is no deity except Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”2. Prayer five times daily (at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and night)3. Fasting from dawn until sunset during the lunar month of Ramadan (no food, drink, or sexual relations)4. Almsgiving (generally reckoned at 2.5 percent of one’s savings)5. A one-time pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca (or Makkah), Islam’s holiest city, by all who are physically and financially able. Muslim Holy DaysThe Muslim day of communal worship is Friday, when Muslim men are required to gather at noon in the mosque (masjid) for prayer and a sermon by the imam or prayer leader. (Women may also attend but are not obliged to do so.) Friday is not a day of rest in the Jewish or Christian sense, but some Muslims may take the day off—or part of it—where possible. Eid al-Fitr [eed ul-FI-tur] (Festival of Fast-Breaking). The lesser of the two holidays, Eid al-Fitr occurs immediately after the Ramadan fast on the first day of the following month and is a time of feasting and gift giving.Eid al-Adha [eed ul-ad-HAA] (Festival of Sacrifice). Eid al-Adha occurs on the 10th day of the twelfth lunar month when pilgrimages are made to Mecca. Besides being a festive time, Eid al-Adha is a period of sacrifice commemorating the prophet Abraham’s willingness to offer up his son Ishmael. Because Allah provided Abraham a ram instead, Muslims sacrifice an animal as part of the rites of the Hajj (pilgrimage) and give away one-third to needy families and one-third to friends.Ashura [AA-shu-raah] (Martyrdom of Hussein). This holiday is celebrated by Shi’a Muslims on day tenth day of the first lunar month, and commemorates the defeat of Ali’s son Hussein at Karbala (modern-day Iraq) while defending his Shi’a followers.