Venkat Raman –
Muslims living in various parts of the world will observe daylight fasting as the Holy Month of Ramadan commences on May 25, 2017 (estimated).
To more than 1.5 billion people who belong to the world’s fastest growing religion, Ramadan marks a period of piety, abstinence and self-denial.
This is also a period during which every Muslim is urged to realise the plight of the poor and the needy and understand the sufferings of those who go without the basic needs of life throughout the year.
Thousands of Muslims in New Zealand would observe the tenets of the Holy Month and participate in prayers, Iftar and other Ramadan related gatherings.
An Islamic scholar said the blessings of Ramadan were not limited to fasting because the performance of all sorts of worship and good deeds during this month is also a source of great Divine favour.
“The revelation of the Holy Quran commenced during this month and it is therefore the duty of every Muslim to read and try to understand the meaning of the Holy Book and thereby gain an insight into the Divine secrets enshrined therein. It brings peace and illumination to the mind and imparts purity to the soul,” he said.
Islamic countries in general and Arab Gulf States in particular would undergo a transformation during the Holy Month, with nighttime utilised for lectures, Holy Quran reading or family and social get-together.
Iftar ‘dinner’ is common in most countries with people of other religious faiths invited to join Muslims after dusk.
These gatherings also serve to foster goodwill and friendship which is central to Islam.