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An update from Evaneos

A section on Islam in Jordan

In a country where Islam is the number one religion, it might be useful to hide prejudices, a few a priori or worse a few false ideas. Try to learn a little bit more before going on your trip to Jordan.

The five pillars of Islam

Before your trip to Jordan, you should be aware that all Muslims of the whole world must must respect certain fundamental principles. Islam is ruled by 5 main pillars which must be scrupulously respected.

It starts with the chahada, the profession of faith. "There is no other God than Allah and Muhammad is his prophet" is recited like this every day during prayer. This sacred phrase must also be recited to be converted into Islam and to open the door hereafter upon death.

Salah, the prayer, takes place 5 times a day (at dawn, when the sun is at its zenith, in the afternoon, at dusk and when stars appear) and worshipers must face Mecca when praying.

Zakat, the alms, is a voluntary donation given to the most disadvantaged people. There is no control over this, each person giving what they want and can.

The fast of Ramadan isthe most important period of the year. Apart from a few exceptions, it is obligatory from puberty. During the day, believers must avoid drinking, eating or having sexual relations. At dusk, fasting is broken by meals which are often sumptuous and enormous. Ramadan lasts for a month and at when it has finished there are large festivities.

Hajj is a pilgrimage to Mecca. Every Muslim must, at least once in their life, go there to turn around the Kaaba 7 times. Every person that fulfils this pillar earns a huge amount of respect from their fellows and is given the very important name of Hajj.

On the Dead Sea

Other important practices

In addition to these 5 fundamental pillars of the religion, there are also other very important practices for all Muslims.

The Eid al-Adha ("Festival of the Sacrifice") is the celebration during which a mutton is sacrificed. It takes place every years 2 months and 10 days after the end of Ramadan. It commemorates Abraham who sacrificed a sheep rather than his son.

The abstinence concerns certain nutrients. It's well known that Muslims don't eat pork. Also note that they aren't allowed blood, horse, mule or elephant meat, or reptile meat.

The ablutions are obligatory and vitalbefore praying or reading and touching the Quran. To do these ablutions, you must wash your face, hands and feet. Without water, it's possible to cleanse yourself with sand.

Without being compulsory, circumcision is a big celebration. It brings a young boy into the world of adherents. The practice is also considered as an act of hygiene.

David Debrincat
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