Customs and Rituals

Are there distinctive forms of Islamic initiation ritual?

Teenagers can be welcomed formally into the adult community of believers with a simple ceremony during which the young man or woman pronounces the shahada before two male or eight female witnesses. Sometimes the occasion is combined with a regular congregational prayer service on Friday afternoon, but the ritual can also take place in the home. The young Muslims so initiated may also recite various prayers in Arabic as part of the ceremony. There is ordinarily no reception following the ritual. As a rite of passage, the ritual itself is roughly parallel to the Jewish bar and bat mitzvah.


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