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09/18/2008

To know Ramadan Part #1: “Fasting”

080918_low The season of Ramadan of this year has begun.  Ramadan is the 9th month in the year of the Hijra, the Islamic calendar. During the season, Muslims deeply study the Koran and perform “The Five Pillars of the Muslim” or five duties deemed on every Muslim; Shahadah (profession of faith), Salat (ritual prayer), Zakat (almsgiving), Sawm (fasting during Ramadan), and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

Japanese are unfamiliar with Ramadan, which is one of the Islamic duties. Ramadan does not mean that Muslim eat nothing for a month. It means that Muslims refrain from eating from sunrise to sunset. It is prohibited to have not only food, but also water and smoking.

Every day, when we hear azan, reciting the Koran from the mosques, every Muslim begins to have Iftar (dinner after fasting).

In the afternoon, roads that are usually already crowded with many cars, become packed with event more cars to go home. In the evening, drivers get crazy because they are anxious to get home by sunset. Some of them violate the speed limit and drive violently, nearly getting crushed.

Then when the Muslims finish Iftar, they feel full of much appreciation for Allah. After Iftar, they meet their relatives and friends till late at night. We can see electric spectaculars like Christmas and nicely dressed people in the city.

September 18, 2008 in Iraq |