Grandmother’s Ritual

Informant Information:

Alex, 19,  is a student at the University of Southern California studying Interactive Media and Game Design. He lived in Cincinnati, OH  for most of his life until moving to Los Angeles, CA for college. He comes from a Persian(Iranian) background.


“There are so many  things we do but if I’m just thinking of one in particular then… Okay I got it. We have this circle of fabric with Farsi written all over it. Before we make any big decisions or go on any trips, my grandmother makes us kiss the Koran and step through the fabric three times. She also speaks in Farsi while it’s happening.”

Q: Did your grandmother ever tell you what it meant?

“No… No I don’t think so. But I like to think it means that I have God’s grace and protection so I’ll be safe wherever I go.”


It was difficult to find references of the exact tradition the informant provided (there were no references of the fabric, and I checked both Persian/Islamic sources but couldn’t find anything) but I was able to find several sources that spoke of “kissing the Koran”. The sources said that kissing the Koran is not mentioned in the actual Koran itself, or in the teachings of the prophet Muhammad. They encouraged believers to abstain from doing so because of that fact. Because of this, I came to the conclusion that this tradition is more of a “good luck” charm specific to his family, as the informant mentioned that he only did this before any trips/major decisions.