Most Madurese are at least nominally Sunni Muslims of the Shafi school (though a small number have converted to Christianity). They pray five times daily, pay their zakat (tithe), fast during the month of Ramadan, and celebrate the Islamic holidays of Maulud and Id al-fitr (during the latter of which they visit the graves of their dead relatives). Making the pilgrimage to Mecca brings an increase in social status. The modern reform movement, Muhammadiya, which strives for adherence to the Quran and the cessation of ancestor worship, has few, if any, supporters outside the capital cities.
Madurese religion, however, is also highly syncretistic. Communal sacred meals ( kenduri ) are used when changes in life occur, for good luck. Madurese people are also known for their bullfights and bull races, during which contestants use sorcery and magic to gain an advantage over their rivals.