27 February, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 07/20/2012
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.

 

 


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
07/28/2014 ISLAM
Eid al-Fitr: Ramadan ends today (for Sunnis)
02/17/2010 PHILIPPINES
Lent: money saved by fasting to aid poor Filipinos
by Santosh Digal
01/29/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Lent, charity means giving oneself, not just giving "things"
02/28/2009 PAKISTAN
Church of Karachi begins Lenten preparation
by Qaiser Felix
08/22/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
Ramadan begins for many Arab countries and Iran

Editor's choices
EGYPT - ISLAM
What Tayeb and Sisi said is big step towards a revolution in Islam
by Samir Khalil SamirThe grand imam of Al-Azhar slammed literalist interpretations of the Qur'an and the Sunnah, as fundamentalists and Islamic terrorists do. He supports the urgent need for Islam's reform, especially in terms of teaching lay people and clerics. He also calls for an end to mutual excommunication (takfir) between Sunnis and Shias. Egyptian President al-Sisi chose to fight the Islamic state group after it beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, whom he called "Egyptian citizens" with full rights.
SAUDI ARABIA - ISLAM
For head of Al-Azhar, religious education reform is needed to stop Islamic extremismFor Ahmed al-Tayeb, it is urgent to come up with new educational programmes to avoid "corrupt interpretations" of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islamic terrorism undermines the unity of the Muslim world. He blames Mideast tensions on a "new global colonialism allied to world Zionism". a speech by the Saudi king is read at the conference.
HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
It looks like someone is trying to shout us down
by Card. Joseph Zen Ze-kiunThe widespread optimism concerning the dialogue between the Holy See and China is largely groundless. Some Chinese bishops unable to speak freely are asked "leading" questions. The key issues remain unresolved, namely episcopal appointments and the fate of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association. Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, also cited by Pope Francis, provides guidelines. No agreement is better than a bad agreement. What happened to Msgr. Cosma Shi Enxiang and Msgr. James Su Zhimin? Hong Kong's bishop emeritus, champion of religious freedom in China, delivers a vibrant reflection.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.