Muslims in the country and the world over have today started fasting in observance of the holy month of Ramadan, a period marked by intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting and good deeds.
Muslims believe Ramadan to be the month in which the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s Holy Book, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than 1 400 years ago.
Spokesperson for the Muslims Association of Malawi (MAM), Sheikh Dinala Chabulika, urged all Muslims to unite in praying for the nation.
“I urge them to pray hard for themselves and for the nation as a whole so that God relieves us from some of the challenges we are facing including hunger,” said Chabulika.
He described Ramadan as time for all Muslims to practice self-discipline, sacrifice, and empathy for the less privileged.
The 30 days of fasting are expected to end on July 6 upon the sighting of the moon.
As one of the five pillars of Islam, fasting is obligatory for all healthy Muslims – a test of patience and endurance whilst refraining from eating and drinking from dawn till sun-set.
There are exceptions to fasting for children, the elderly, the sick, women who are pregnant, nursing or menstruating and people travelling.
Many break their fast as the Prophet Muhammad did around 1 400 years ago, with a sip of water and some dates at sunset followed by prayer.