By Laman Ismayilova
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is the most sacred time of year for Muslims. It's a highly anticipated holiday that follows four weeks of fasting between dawn and sunset.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. The Night of Power, when the Quran, the holy book of the Islamic world, was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, falls in the final 10 days of Ramadan.
During the holy month, Muslims should not eat or drink anything, including water, while the sun is shining. While fasting, believers should also avoid all forms of sinful behavior.
The meals consumed during fasting in Ramadan are called Suhoor and Iftar. Suhoor is eaten before sunrise and Iftar is the meal to break the fast after sunset. However, fasting is not recommended to people who suffer from medical conditions or pregnant women.
Ramadan is a time when Muslims from all over the world come together. Fasting during Ramadan is the fourth of the Five Pillars of Islam.
These pillars include declaring belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet (Shahadah), performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day (Salat), paying an alms or charity (Zakat), fasting during the month of Ramadan (Sawm), and pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj).
Every year millions of Muslims around the world celebrate Eid ul-Fitr, a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.
Celebrations start with the sighting of the new moon, which means the end of the holy month of fasting. The dates change annually as they’re determined by the sighting of a new moon.
During Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims usually visit a mosque and participate in prayer before sitting down with family and friends; money is paid to the poor and the needy. They also exchange gifts and decorate their homes for the celebration.
Delicious pastries are baked for the occasion of the great holiday, the graves of relatives are visited, and people pray in mosques.
Azerbaijan, a predominantly Muslim country, has been celebrating the Ramadan officially since 1993, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The country has always been one of the historical and cultural centers of the Islamic world.
For many centuries, people in Azerbaijan have been committed to their religious, national and moral values. The freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are fully ensured in accordance with local legislation and international law.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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