Muslims in Liberia join millions of their counterparts around the world in observing Holy Ramadam, a month-long period of fast and prayers with a message for sustainable peace and security in Liberia.
Speaking to the New Dawn on Thursday, 17 May Imam Abdu Dukuly says Ramadan is a holy month of fasting, introspections and prayers, noting that fasting is one of the five fundamental principles of Islam during which Muslims are required by the Qoran to abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset.
He says Muslims during this period are also supposed to avoid impure thoughts and bad behaviors, and break fast daily by sharing meals with family and friends.
The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a day festival known as Id al-Fitr, which is considered one of Islam’s major holidays.
“We are happy for this region because Islam is the world’s second largest religion, after Christianity, with more than 1 billion followers. Islam originated in Arabia, but has spread all over the world”, he explains.
A according to him, Muslims believe there is one, all-known God, from whom people can achieve salvation by following his commandments. In Arabic, Islam means “submission” or “surrender” (to God).
Imam Dukuly continues that Islam also teaches series of formal acts of worship, known as the Five Pillars of Islam which are fundamental to the lives of Muslims, adding that Ramadan is the ninth month of the 12-month Islamic calendar, which is lunar and based on the phases of the moon. The lunar calendar falls short of the solar calendar by 11 days.
“As a result, Ramadan doesn’t start on the same date each year, but passes through all the seasons. Ramadan is celebrated as the month during which Muhammad received the initial revelations of what became the Quran.”
He maintains that Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint and self-reflection, and fasting is seen as a way to cleanse the soul and have empathy for those who are hungry and less fortunate. The world’s Muslims population to date is reportedly 1.8 billion.
By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne