MUSLIMS from all over the world today began the holy month of Ramadhan that will see them spend between 28 and 30 days fasting.
According to the Mufti, Sheikh Saleh Habimana, the month of Ramadhan is an opportunity for muslims to get closer to God.
“Ramadhan happens every year. It is one month taken out of the twelve to cleanse oneself, pray more and create a closer relationship with God,” he explained
Habimana also added that this was a chance for Rwandans to look up to God as they prepare themselves for the next seven years for which they have voted President Paul Kagame to lead.
“As Rwandans, this is our chance to come closer to God to help us reach our development targets, especially now that we have re-elected President Paul Kagame to lead us for another seven years. We should pray that what we achieved in the last seven years is multiplied seven fold during his second term,” he said
Muslims above the age of twelve or past the age of puberty, are expected to fast. However, Islam prohibits Muslims who are physically and mentally challenged, the aged, those making long distance travels, pregnant women and nursing mothers from fasting.
Ramadhan was the month in which the first verses of the Quaran were revealed to the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.
Purity of both thoughts and actions is important. The fast is intended to be an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised awareness of closeness to God.
The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm.
It also allows Muslims to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and charity.