UPF | A non-profit foundation | Working for Peace through the Media    








Practices of Worship

Charity and Purification


Belief in the need to worship God is common to all religions. The most basic form of worship is prayer. Each tradition prescribes specific words and requirements for prayer, which takes place at appointed times of day.
Public prayer in houses of worship is common to all three faiths: for Jews on Saturday, for Christians on Sunday, and for Muslims on Friday, and during celebrations throughout the year.

All Abrahamic faiths recognize personal and private prayer of each believer. What's more, the desire to speak with God is common among people everywhere, whether they follow a particular religious tradition or not.

According to most adherents of the Abrahamic faiths, prayers marking the times of day and the yearly cycle are among the most important signs of obedience to God. Such rituals are also the source of scientific efforts to achieve accurate timekeeping and calendars. The work of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim astronomers reflects this common and shared effort.


Fasting -- going without food or certain kinds of foods -- for a period of time is a common form of worship in the Abrahamic tradition. Fasts are often related to holy days in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Fasting is also found in many other spiritual traditions in the world.

Charity and Purification

Another common practice in the Abrahamic tradition is giving charity as an act of kindness, to help the poor, or as a way to make up for bad deeds. The idea that wealth is purified through giving is also common to the three traditions.

Water also has a spiritual significance in the Abrahamic faiths. Purification of the body before prayer and in connection with other rituals is a common theme.


The three faiths also share similar concepts of a pilgrimage. Adherents of these faiths journey in search of knowledge to holy sites. There, they seek forgiveness and strengthen their connection with God.

However, each pilgrimage involves different destinations. Muslims make a pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in a lifetime, as one of Islam's five pillars of faith. Christians celebrate a long tradition of visiting the holy land and other shrines. Meanwhile, Jews travel to the site of the temple in Jerusalem as a pilgrimage destination.

Back to Top

Copyright 2007 Unity Productions Foundation, All rights reserved.


DISCLAIMER: This purpose of this website is to provide supplemental information to the Cities of Light film and is not intended as a scholarly or academic resource. For scholars' sources, see the Recommended Readings section on this site. Articles reprinted from other sources reflect the views and opinions of the authors, and may not necessarily mirror those of UPF.