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Religions: Islam
Moroccan Culture Series

Morocco, like the rest of the Middle East, is an Islamic country. Here is a brief introduction to Islam. For detailed information, please see the links at the bottom of the page.

Islam is based on five articles of faith

  1. Faith in a single god: Allah (this is the foundation of Islam)
  2. Faith in Allah's angels
  3. Faith in Allah's prophets (notably Muhammed)
  4. Faith in Allah's revealed books (especially the Qur'an / Koran)
  5. Belief in life after death

Followers of Islam are called Muslims (musulmans in French). They demonstrate their faith by acting in accordance with the five pillars of Islam, each of which has a purpose in line with the Islamic aim to improve the quality of life at all levels:

Shahada - Testimony of faith

Muslims must declare, in public, their belief that "There is no God but Allah, and Muhammed is His Prophet." This pillar is aimed at improving man's conduct in the world.

Salat - Prayer

Muslims are expected to pray facing Mecca five times per day. On Friday, the Muslim holy day, the mid-day prayer is especially important. This pillar provides a constant reminder of Muslims' relationship with Allah.

Zakat - Charity

Giving alms to the poor is a social obligation designed to reduce the gap between rich and poor.

Sawm - Fasting

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims must voluntarily abstain from indulging in physical desire. They cannot eat, drink, smoke, or have sex during daylight hours. This act of self-discipline is proof of Muslims' faith in Allah. In addition, it unifies Muslims from around the world and brings rich and poor closer together - poor Muslims may feel hungry quite often, but rich Muslims only know this feeling during Ramadan.

Hajj - Pilgrimage

Muslims who are financially able to make a trip to the holy land of Mecca (in Saudi Arabia) must do so once in their lifetimes. Muslim men and women who have made the pilgrimage to Mecca are called Hajj and Hajja, respectively. This pilgrimage is universal to Muslims and thus unites them from around the world.

Other Islamic rules

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  • Pre- and extra-marital sex are forbidden.
  • Alcohol is forbidden.
  • Pork is considered dirty and is forbidden.
  • Muslims have to be "covered" at all times: men are to be covered from navel to knee, while women are expected to reveal nothing but their eyes and hands.

Page 2 - Islam in Morocco

Index to Moroccan Culture Series

If you'd like to know more about Islam, please vist About's Islam site, guided by Christine Huda Dodge.


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