Q:

What are the Islamic rites of passage?

A:

The major rites of passage in the Islamic religion are birth and marriage. Some of the practices in these rites of passage are similar if not identical to the other religions stemming from Abraham, Christianity and Judaism. In Islam there are four rituals to perform when a child enters into the living world. Marriage is the rite of passage that signifies a child becoming an adult in the Islamic world.

For a newborn child, the Islamic religion has four rituals: Adhan, Tasmiyah, Aqeeqah and Khitan. Adhan is a prayer that Muslims whisper into a child’s ear soon after childbirth. Tasmiyah is the naming ceremony that traditionally happens no more than seven days after childbirth. The Aqeeqah ritual is an act in which the parents give livestock and the weight of the child’s hair in gold to a charity. Khitan is a circumcision ceremony that occurs before a male turns 15 years of age.

Marriage is a important event in the Islamic religion and are similar to weddings in the other monotheistic religions in that special attire is worn and a feast is held to mark the occasion. In the Islamic religion, women experience a change in lifestyle after a wedding, with more or less freedoms as a wife than as a daughter.

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