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Holidays and Cultural Observances: Islamic Holidays and Observances

Alphabetical listing of major observances

Descriptions taken from

Islamic Holidays and Observances

Halal restrictions apply: Islamic dietary laws which apply throughout the year. These restrictions include alcohol and pork.

Note that all holidays begin at sundown on the evening before the date given.

Ashura -- An Islamic optional one day fast. The Shia observance is based on the martyrdom of Prophet Muhammad's Grandson, Hussein,  martyred on this date in 683/684 AD at the battle of Kerbala.  Sunni observance is a recognition of Moses fasting in gratitude to Allah/God for liberation from oppression.

Eid ul-Adha — Ritual of Sacrifice. The day after Arafat, the most important day in Hajj ritural.  A three-day festival recalling Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to Allah. 

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines on these days. Employees may ask to take a vacation day.

Eid ul-Fitr  — event marking the close of Ramadan. It is a festival of thanksgiving to Allah for enjoying the month of Ramadan. It involves wearing finest clothing, saying prayers, and fostering understanding with other religions.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities on the first day.

Milad un Nabi -- Celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. Celebrations, communal meals and discussions on Islam usually take place on this day.

1st of Muharram -- The first day of the first month of the Muslim year.

Ramadan — 9th month on Islamic calendar, devoted to the commemoration of Muhammad's reception of the divine revelation recorded in the Qur'an. The event begins when authorities in Saudi Arabia sight the new moon of the 9th month. It is the holiest period of the Islamic Year. There is strict fasting from sunrise to sunset.

Avoid scheduling important academic deadlines, events and activities, if possible, on the first day of Ramadan. Be aware that students and employees will be fasting during the day for 30 days.

For more information


This guide is produced in partnership with the ASU Committee for Campus Inclusion (CCI), and The Council of Religious Advisors  (CORA).  The Committee for Campus Inclusion is an advisory group to the provost, promoting a positive, harmonious campus environment that celebrates individual and group diversity, promotes individualism, provides information to the campus community, and resolves issues in such a manner as to respect all persons and their dignity. For more information, please visit our website at Questions or additions to this resource can be submitted at

The Council of Religious Advisors is comprised of campus ministries and faith-based organizations that represent a diverse variety of faiths, traditions, and beliefs. Despite the differences in faiths that exist between them, the group works peacefully and diligently on behalf of the university community to provide religious services, spiritual counseling, education, support, and opportunities for involvement.

This page owes a great thanks to: 

Holly Hubenschmidt

Director, Library Instruction & Research Services

Webster University Libraries

Ms.  Hubenschmidt created the original LibGuide and template on which this guide is based. 


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