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    » 07/20/2012, 00.00

    ISLAM

    Ramadan begins for millions of Muslims



    The month of fasting only begins in some Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt due to the different position of the crescent moon. In the coming days it will start around the world. The month commemorates the revelation of the Koran to Muhammad from Allah. The end of Ramadan is scheduled for August 20, with the feast of Eid al-Fitr.

    Dubai (AsiaNews) - Millions of Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Yemen, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria are beginning the holy month of Ramadan, that with his fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. In Oman, Iran, Syria and Iraq, Ramadan will begin tomorrow. The period is calculated based on the sighting of the first crescent moon in the night sky and this will vary from area to area.

    With Ramadan, Muslims commemorate Allah's revelation of the first verses of the Koran to Muhammad, by his sending the angel Gabriel. Every person who has passed the age of puberty and is mentally and physically healthy is obligated to fast. Tradition has it that the daily fast begins when you can distinguish a white thread from a black thread. In villages and cities it is announced by the muezzin call to prayer of 'Al Fajr (morning prayer). Fasting ends at sunset with the Al - Magrib (sunset prayer) which announces the iftar dinner to be shared with the whole family.

    Fasting is one of the crucial aspects of Ramadan and is one of the five pillars (duties) of Islam. Its establishment dates from the second year of '"hijra" (622 AD). The period corresponds to the flight of Mohammed from Mecca to the oasis of Yathrib renamed Medina (Madinat al Nabi, the city of the prophet), to escape the hostility of the tribes who saw the leader and his followers a threat to their interests. He instituted the fast among his followers to nourish their spirit and morale, thus reminding them of those who have nothing to eat. For this reason, during Ramadan, in addition to fasting and prayer, the people carry out acts of charity towards the poor and the sick.

    Those exempted from fasting are: people with psychological problems, children under the age of puberty, the elderly, the sick, travelers, pregnant women, nursing mothers, or women who have just begun the menstrual cycle. Whoever does not pray and fast still must carry out a daily act of charity towards the poor. As an exercise, many parents make their children observe a mini-fast (half day).

    During the holy month, many Muslims go to Mecca for Umrah. Alongside the Haji it is one of the pilgrimages prescribed by the Koran.

    The last ten days of Ramadan are the most important, during which the Layalat al-Qadr, the night of power, during which Allah revealed the Koran to Muhammad, is commemorated.

    The period ends with the feast of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of fasting. For three days all the families organize banquets and feasts and exchange gifts.

     

     

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    See also

    28/07/2014 ISLAM
    Eid al-Fitr: Ramadan ends today (for Sunnis)
    For Shia Muslims, the festival of Eid begins tomorrow. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon (Sunnis) announce the end of Ramadan, which commemorates the period during which the Koran was revealed to Muhammad.

    17/02/2010 PHILIPPINES
    Lent: money saved by fasting to aid poor Filipinos
    The bishops urge the population to support during Lent the Hagap-Asa (Hope), to help more than 120 thousand poor children and their families. In 2008, three out of ten children have gone hungry. In some areas of the country's poverty rate reaches 30%.

    29/01/2008 VATICAN
    Pope: Lent, charity means giving oneself, not just giving "things"
    In his message for Lent, Benedict XVI writes that it is foreign to the Gospel perspective to do good deeds expecting a personal return, perhaps in terms of public image. The entire Gospel is summed up in the commandment of charity, and according to the example of Jesus, what gives value to all almsgiving is love, which inspires different forms of giving, according to the opportunities and conditions of each one.

    28/02/2009 PAKISTAN
    Church of Karachi begins Lenten preparation
    Each year, the local Catechetical Centre organizes meditations and gatherings with prayer and singing, to help the faithful to live Lent. An activity joined by more and more faithful.

    22/08/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
    Ramadan begins for many Arab countries and Iran
    It is the month of fasting and charity. Muslims must abstain from food, drink and sexual relations from sunrise to sunset. In Saudi Arabia there is a swine flu emergency, slowing down the arrival of pilgrims on the Omra. But there are hundreds of thousands of beggars, many of them children, organized by racketeers.



    Editor's choices

    CHINA – VATICAN
    Global Times: the pope should accept the independence of the Chinese Church



    After 24 hours of silence, China’s media today published excerpts, comments and editorials about Pope Francis’ interview with Asia Times. Although the pope did not address religious issues or Church problems, many saw the interview as an attempt to improve diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, and advised Francis to accept Mao Zedong’s "three principles of independence" (theology, administration, jurisdiction), which would leave the power to appoint bishops in the hands of the Party. The People's Daily’s Global Times publishes an editorial on the issue.


    INDIA – PHILIPPINES
    Archbishop of Guwahati: In Asia religion is not dying, the faithful take strength from the Eucharist



    Mgr Menamparampil is among the speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu, Philippines. He was also a conflict mediator between various ethnic groups. He told AsiaNews about the value of the Congress for the Catholic Church in Asia and how people can bear witness the Gospel today, even amid tensions and violence of those who "hate us." "with the same pain in our hearts that we descend to our depths during a Eucharistic adoration."


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