Eid ul-Fitr 2014: A celebration at the end of Ramadan (PHOTO ESSAY)

28 07 2014

CENTRAL-EUROPEAN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM INSTITUTE WISHES ‘EID MUBARAK’ TO ALL MUSLIM BELIEVERS

 

One of the most joyous days in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Fitr, also known as Eid ul-Fitr or Eid, is a celebration that marks the end of Ramadan (a holy month of fasting observed by Muslims). This year Eid al-Fitr will most likely be observed on Monday, July 28. It is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Traditionally, the observance begins with the sighting of the new moon.

To mark the beginning of Eid and in accordance with the Sunnah, or practices of the Prophet Muhammad, many Muslims wake up early in the morning and pray Salat ul-Fajr, or the pre-dawn prayer. After brushing their teeth, taking a bath and wearing perfume, they have breakfast before heading off to perform special congregational prayers known as Salaat al-Eid. Many Muslims recite the takbir, a declaration of faith, on the way to the prayer ground and give special charitable contributions known as Zakat al-Fitr.

Eid al-Fitr is a day of great merriment and thanksgiving. Muslims celebrate by gathering with friends and family, preparing sweet delicacies, wearing new clothes, giving each other gifts and putting up lights and other decorations in their homes. A common greeting during this holiday is Eid Mubarak, which means, “Have a blessed Eid!”  Here, we round up some of the best photos of Eid 2014 celebrations across the globe.

A Palestinian vendor offers balloons for sale at the market in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. During normal times, families in Gaza would be busy now with preparations for Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Traditionally, children get new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visit each other. In the outdoor market, vendors set up stands with clothes and shoes, but said business was slow. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

A Palestinian vendor offers balloons for sale at the market in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. During normal times, families in Gaza would be busy now with preparations for Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Traditionally, children get new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visit each other. In the outdoor market, vendors set up stands with clothes and shoes, but said business was slow. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

A Palestinian vendor plays with balloons at the market in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. During normal times, families in Gaza would be busy now with preparations for Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Traditionally, children get new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visit each other. In the outdoor market, vendors set up stands with clothes and shoes, but said business was slow. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

A Palestinian vendor plays with balloons at the market in the Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, July 27, 2014. During normal times, families in Gaza would be busy now with preparations for Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Traditionally, children get new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visit each other. In the outdoor market, vendors set up stands with clothes and shoes, but said business was slow. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

A Yemeni woman, center, shops in preparation for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr festival, at a market in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

A Yemeni woman, center, shops in preparation for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr festival, at a market in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

An Indonesian girl holds a balloon during Eid al-Fitr prayer that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Parang Kusumo Beach in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Slamet Riyadi)

An Indonesian girl holds a balloon during Eid al-Fitr prayer that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan on Parang Kusumo Beach in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Slamet Riyadi)

Muslims listen Eid al-Fitr sermons at the Lakemba Mosque in western Sydney on July 28, 2014. Thousands of Australian Muslims celebrated their religious Eid al-Fitr festival at the end of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO / Saeed Khan (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Muslims listen Eid al-Fitr sermons at the Lakemba Mosque in western Sydney on July 28, 2014. Thousands of Australian Muslims celebrated their religious Eid al-Fitr festival at the end of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO / Saeed Khan (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

An Egyptian child plays as Muslims pray Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at Al-Azhar mosque, the highest Islamic Sunni institution, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

An Egyptian child plays as Muslims pray Eid al-Fitr prayers, marking the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan at Al-Azhar mosque, the highest Islamic Sunni institution, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

 

Pakistani girls buy traditional bangles at a market ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Pakistani girls buy traditional bangles at a market ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

A Pakistani beautician paints the hands of customers with henna ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

A Pakistani beautician paints the hands of customers with henna ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

A Pakistani beautician paints hands of customers with henna ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

A Pakistani beautician paints hands of customers with henna ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

Kosovo Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside the Sultan Mehmet Fatih grand mosque during the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Pristina on Monday, July 28, 2014. The Eid al-Fitr, one of the holiest religious practices, is celebrated with prayers and family reunions and other festivities among Muslims all over the world. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

Kosovo Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside the Sultan Mehmet Fatih grand mosque during the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Pristina on Monday, July 28, 2014. The Eid al-Fitr, one of the holiest religious practices, is celebrated with prayers and family reunions and other festivities among Muslims all over the world. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

A Pakistani woman browses traditional bangles at a market ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

A Pakistani woman browses traditional bangles at a market ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, ending the fasting month of Ramadan, in Lahore, Pakistan, on Sunday, July 27, 2014. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Muslim worshippers pray during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, at the Al Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Muslim worshippers pray during the first day of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, at the Al Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Monday, July 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

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A Yemeni girl poses for a photograph as she attends the Eid al-Fitr prayer with her father, in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, July 28, 2014. Monday marked the beginning of the three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday, which caps the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Muslims usually start the day with dawn prayers and visiting cemeteries to pay their respects to the dead, with children getting new clothes, shoes and haircuts, and families visiting each other. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Bahraini fishermen look at the sky where a slim crescent moon should be visible to indicate the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in Malkiya village, Bahrain, Sunday, July 27, 2014. Bahrain and several other Gulf countries announced Eid will begin on Monday. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Bahraini fishermen look at the sky where a slim crescent moon should be visible to indicate the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, in Malkiya village, Bahrain, Sunday, July 27, 2014. Bahrain and several other Gulf countries announced Eid will begin on Monday. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

GRESIK, JAVA, INDONESIA - JULY 27: An Indonesian Muslims uses a telescope to hold a Rukyatul Hilal to see the new crescent moon that determines the end of Ramadan at Condro Dipo Hill on July 27, 2014 in Gresik, Java, Indonesia. There was confirmed sightings of the new moon, which ends the holy month of Ramadan with the Muslims holiday Eid ul-Fitr. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

GRESIK, JAVA, INDONESIA – JULY 27: An Indonesian Muslims uses a telescope to hold a Rukyatul Hilal to see the new crescent moon that determines the end of Ramadan at Condro Dipo Hill on July 27, 2014 in Gresik, Java, Indonesia. There was confirmed sightings of the new moon, which ends the holy month of Ramadan with the Muslims holiday Eid ul-Fitr. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

GRESIK, JAVA, INDONESIA - JULY 27: An Indonesian Muslims speaks during a Rukyatul Hilal, to see the new crescent moon, which determines the end of Ramadan at Condro Dipo Hill on July 27, 2014 in Gresik, Java, Indonesia. There was confirmed sightings of the new moon, which ends the holy month of Ramadan with the Muslims holiday Eid ul-Fitr. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

GRESIK, JAVA, INDONESIA – JULY 27: An Indonesian Muslims speaks during a Rukyatul Hilal, to see the new crescent moon, which determines the end of Ramadan at Condro Dipo Hill on July 27, 2014 in Gresik, Java, Indonesia. There was confirmed sightings of the new moon, which ends the holy month of Ramadan with the Muslims holiday Eid ul-Fitr. (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

 

 

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PHOTO ESSAY: Nasir al-Mulk ‘Pink Mosque’ Of Iran

16 03 2014

By  Yasmine Hafiz / The Huffington Post

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From the outside, the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran, seems like a fairly traditional house of worship — but it’s hiding a gorgeously colorful secret.

The multitude of stained glass windows turn the inside of the mosque into a riotous wonderland of color that is absolutely breathtaking.

Japanese photographer Koach was blown away by the mosque’s beauty which is best appreciated in the morning light, explaining:

You can only see the light through the stained glass in the early morning. It was built to catch the morning sun, so that if you visit at noon it will be too late to catch the light. The sight of the morning sunlight shining through the colorful stained glass, then falling over the tightly woven Persion carpet, is so bewitching that it seems to be from another world.Even if you are the world’s least religious person, you might feel your hands coming together in prayer naturally when you see the brilliance of this light. Perhaps the builders of this mosque wanted to show their “faith” through the morning light shining through this stained glass.

Not to mention the gorgeously painted, intricate arches and niches. It’s also known as the “Pink Mosque” for the rose-colored tiles that cover the interior. However, picking out just one color doesn’t do justice to the plethora of hues that decorate it.

Though Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem and Istanbul’s Blue Mosque both feature stained glass windows, on the whole they are fairly uncommon in mosque architecture. The rarity of architecture like this makes Nasir al-Mulk all the more precious.

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Nasīr al-Mulk Mosque aka "Pink Mosque" | Shiraz

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UK: Atheist Afghan man granted asylum to protect him from ‘religious’ persecution

15 01 2014

An Afghan asylum seeker who become an atheist has been granted leave to remain in Britain because he would face ‘religious’ persecution for abandoning Islam.

An Afghan man prays at the end of the day in Ghazni, Afghanistan Photo: AFP

An Afghan man prays at the end of the day in Ghazni, Afghanistan Photo: AFP

By John Bingham / The Telegraph

A young Afghan man who became an atheist after coming to Britain has been granted asylum on the grounds that the threat to his life for having no faith would amount to “religious” persecution.

In what is thought to be the first case of its kind in the UK, the Home Office accepted that sending the man back to his country of birth could put him in danger specifically because of his lack of religious beliefs.

The man, who is not being named for safety reasons, was born a Muslim but abandoned his faith after coming to the UK as a teenager around five years ago.

Apostasy – or abandoning the faith – can be punished with the death penalty under Afghan law.

Central to his case to the Home Office was the example of Abdul Rahman an Afghan man who was put on trial and faced death in 2006 for converting to Christianity.

He was released and given asylum in Italy only after the intervention of the Afghan President Hamid Karzi who had come under intense international pressure over the case.

In the latest case the man’s lawyers argued that as someone of no religious faith he could face even greater danger in Afghanistan than a member of a minority religion such as Christianity.

It comes just weeks after Supreme Court effectively recognised Scientology as a religion in a landmark judgment which established that it is not necessary to worship a god or gods to constitute a religion.

In the asylum case lawyers did not have to establish atheism as a “religion” because it was clear that any risk he faced would be of a religious nature.

But his solicitor, Sheona York, said it nonetheless underlined the significance of atheism as a distinct “philosophical position”.

The man’s case to the Home Office was prepared by Claire Splawn, a second year law student at the University of Kent, under the supervision of Ms York, through the Kent Law Clinic, a partnership between students, academics and solicitors and local lawyers.

She said: “We argued that an atheist should be entitled to protection from persecution on the grounds of their belief in the same way as a religious person is protected.”

Ms York added: “We believe that this is the first time that a person has been granted asylum in this country on the basis of their atheism

“The decision represents an important recognition that a lack of religious belief is in itself a thoughtful and seriously-held philosophical position.”

In the submission they explained that having lived in Britain for several years and adopted western customs and dress, the young man feared that even were he to disguise his atheism in Afghanistan it would quickly be discovered.

It says that the application was made on the basis that: “As an atheist, if returned to Afghanistan, he will face persecution for a Convention reason, namely (lack of) religion; or alternatively that he faces a substantial risk of serious harm on account of his lack of religious beliefs”

It adds: “Afghanistan is a Muslim dominated country where religion underpins every aspect of everyday life.

“Furthermore, in Afghanistan, and even in Kabul, life is lived in such a way that everyone is connected with everyone else.

“There is no sense of privacy and his lack of beliefs would become very quickly known. “It is clear hat the applicant fears for his life in Afghanistan where he is not only non-Muslim but does not in fact believe in any religion.”

It goes on to explain how the man had recently made a visit to another predominantly Muslim country, to visit friends, and had been “shocked” by how his lack of belief made him stand out.

“He was shocked by how everyone talked as if life meant nothing to them,” it says.

“People said ‘this is not the only world’ and that you have to believe. People said ‘you cannot sit and eat with people who are not Muslim’.

“He noticed that to the people he met, this life meant nothing to them and all their expectations were focused on the other world, life after death.”

A Home Office spokesman said: “The UK has a proud history of granting asylum to those who need it and we consider every application on a case by case basis.”





Bosnia’s ‘Euro-Islam’ on show during Ramadan

9 08 2013

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People walk in downtown Sarajevo main square after a sundown prayer. ©AFP

By Rusmir Smajilhodzic

In Bosnia, which prides itself as the home ground of “European Islam”, religious fervor and relaxed joie de vivre live easily side by side, even during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, AFP reports.

While many Sarajevans strictly observe the Ramadan fast, the cafes in the cobbled streets of the Bosnian capital’s Ottoman old town still abound with tourists and locals alike.

Young veiled women walk by, crossing others with hair blowing wildly in the wind, as Bosnians’ beloved beer flows freely — and not just for visitors.

“Bosnian Muslims have lived in a European context, politically and legally, for a century and a half,” since what is modern day Bosnia became part of the Austro-Hungarian empire at the end of the 19th century, said Dzevad Hodzic, a professor of ethics and philosophy at the Sarajevo Faculty of Islamic Studies.

Apart from a radical fringe, which emerged during the Balkans wars of the 1990s, Bosnian Muslims tend to keep religion a private matter, in line with what has become known as “European Islam” or “Euro-Islam”, he said.

The term, which emerged during the 1990s and is still the subject of debate, generally refers to an Islam where religious duties are held as compatible with so-called “European” values including human rights, rule of law and gender equality.

Some even call it a “made in Europe” Islam that fully embraces separation of church and state, unlike some North African, Middle Eastern or predominantly Muslim countries where Islam is the state religion.

The faith of Bosnian Muslims was forged by “a lay outlook on the world, one that is not opposed to religion but makes a distinction between religion as part of the moral, private, spiritual and family domain, and the state, which is separate from one’s faith,” explained Hodzic.

Islam was repressed here with all other religions during the 1945-1990 communist period. It was given a new impulse, however, during the devastating inter-ethnic war of 1992-95 that pitted Bosnia’s Muslims, majority Orthodox Christian Serbs and traditionally Roman Catholic Croats against each other.

‘Euro-Islam’

But even during the bloodletting, a cynical joke going around illustrated the relaxed attitude that underlies Bosnians’ approach towards religion.

“How do you recognise a Muslim?” it asked. “He’s the one who does not go to the mosque. Then how do you recognise a Serb? Well, he’s the one who doesn’t go to church”.

The end of communism and the horrors of war did see a “clear re-Islamisation” in Bosnia, noted a French Balkans specialist Xavier Bougarel.

The vast majority of Sarajevo’s residents, 80 percent according to various estimates, are today Muslim, a number far higher than before the 1992-95 conflict — and its demographic consequences — when the city was famously more mixed.

Overall, Muslims represent some 40 percent of the estimated 3.8 million inhabitants of Bosnia. They are mainly Sunnite and usually adhere to the kind of moderate Islam introduced by the Ottomans.

“The tradition of Islam in Bosnia is also strongly influenced by the Sufi brotherhoods, a mystical tradition in Islam known for its tolerance. Sufism holds that religion is a deeply personal experience for everyone,” Hodzic said.

While many Bosnian Muslims flocked to the nearest mosque in the morning for the first of prayer of the day during the fasting month, an equally large number stayed home to pray with their family.

On a typical morning during the holy month, believers gathered in the courtyard of the old Sumbulusa mosque on a hill overlooking Sarajevo.

Before taking off their shoes to enter the building as tradition requires, some turned towards the cemetery where former neighbourhood imams lie buried to recite a quick prayer for the dead, hands turned to the skies.

“This special month triggers wonderful emotions in the faithful, we say here that you should enjoy every Ramadan like it will be the last,” young imam Edin Spahic said.

Far from the contemplation at the Sumbulusa mosque, it was business as usual back at the outdoor cafes and restaurants in downtown Sarajevo.

Many Bosnian Muslims, even if they are not particularly religious, do abstain from drinking alcohol during Ramadan in line with religious precepts. But beer-loving Bosnians tend to catch up both on the Eid al-Fitr feast that marks the end of the fasting month … and the rest of the year.

For more information see: http://en.tengrinews.kz/religion/Bosnias-Euro-Islam-on-show-during-Ramadan–4151/





PHOTO ESSAY: Eid Al-Fitr – a celebration at the end of Ramadan

6 08 2013

One of the most joyous days in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Fitr, also known as Eid ul-Fitr or Eid, is a celebration that marks the end of Ramadan (a holy month of fasting observed by Muslims). This year Eid al-Fitr will most likely be observed on Thursday, August 8, 2013. It is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Traditionally, the observance begins with the sighting of the new moon.

To mark the beginning of Eid and in accordance with the Sunnah, or practices of the Prophet Muhammad, many Muslims wake up early in the morning and pray Salat ul-Fajr, or the pre-dawn prayer. After brushing their teeth, taking a bath and wearing perfume, they have breakfast before heading off to perform special congregational prayers known as Salaat al-Eid. Many Muslims recite the takbir, a declaration of faith, on the way to the prayer ground and give special charitable contributions known as Zakat al-Fitr.

Eid al-Fitr is a day of great merriment and thanksgiving. Muslims celebrate by gathering with friends and family, preparing sweet delicacies, wearing new clothes, giving each other gifts and putting up lights and other decorations in their homes. A common greeting during this holiday is Eid Mubarak, which means, “Have a blessed Eid!”

Here, we round up some of the best photos of Eid 2012 celebrations across the globe.

Pakistani Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Badshahi Masjid Mosque in Lahore on August 20, 2012. Millions of Muslims across Asia began celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday on August 19, with a month of fasting giving way to feasting, family reunions and raucous festivities. (Arif Ali - AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistani Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Badshahi Masjid Mosque in Lahore on August 20, 2012. Millions of Muslims across Asia began celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday on August 19, with a month of fasting giving way to feasting, family reunions and raucous festivities.
(Arif Ali – AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistani Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Badshahi Masjid Mosque on August 20, 2012. (Arif Ali - AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistani Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the Badshahi Masjid Mosque on August 20, 2012.
(Arif Ali – AFP/Getty Images)

Kashmiri Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar on August 20,2012. (Rouf Bhat - AFP/Getty Images)

Kashmiri Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar on August 20,2012.
(Rouf Bhat – AFP/Getty Images)

An Indian Muslim caretaker removes carpet after Eid-al-Fitr prayers at the Shahi Jama Masjid Mosque in the Walled City of Ahmedabad on August 20, 2012. (Sam Panthaky - AFP/Getty Images)

An Indian Muslim caretaker removes carpet after Eid-al-Fitr prayers at the Shahi Jama Masjid Mosque in the Walled City of Ahmedabad on August 20, 2012.
(Sam Panthaky – AFP/Getty Images)

Indian Muslim devotees offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the historic Taj Mahal in Agra on August 20, 2012. (Strdel - AFP/Getty Images)

Indian Muslim devotees offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the historic Taj Mahal in Agra on August 20, 2012. (Strdel – AFP/Getty Images)

An Indian street vendor sells food to Muslim faithful after Eid al-Fitr prayers near the Jama Masjid Mosque in the old quarters of New Delhi on August 20, 2012. (Roberto Schmidt - AFP/Getty Images)

An Indian street vendor sells food to Muslim faithful after Eid al-Fitr prayers near the Jama Masjid Mosque in the old quarters of New Delhi on August 20, 2012.
(Roberto Schmidt – AFP/Getty Images)

A Muslim family prays on the first day of Eid al-Fitr at Niu Jie Mosque to celebrate Eid al-Fitr on August 19, 2012 in Beijing, China. (Lintao Zhang - AFP/Getty Images)

A Muslim family prays on the first day of Eid al-Fitr at Niu Jie Mosque to celebrate Eid al-Fitr on August 19, 2012 in Beijing, China.
(Lintao Zhang – AFP/Getty Images)

Indian Muslims stop to enjoy traditional sweets after offering Eid al-Fitr prayers in Kolkata on August 20, 2012. (Dibyangshu Sarkar - AFP/Getty Images)

Indian Muslims stop to enjoy traditional sweets after offering Eid al-Fitr prayers in Kolkata on August 20, 2012.
(Dibyangshu Sarkar – AFP/Getty Images)

Indian Muslims stop to enjoy traditional sweets after offering Eid al-Fitr prayers in Kolkata on August 20, 2012. (Dibyangshu Sarkar - AFP/Getty Images)

Indian Muslims stop to enjoy traditional sweets after offering Eid al-Fitr prayers in Kolkata on August 20, 2012.
(Dibyangshu Sarkar – AFP/Getty Images)

Bangladeshi Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the National Mosque of Bangladesh, Baitul Mukarram in Dhaka on August 20, 2012. (Munir Uz Zaman - AFP/Getty Images)

Bangladeshi Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers at the National Mosque of Bangladesh, Baitul Mukarram in Dhaka on August 20, 2012.
(Munir Uz Zaman – AFP/Getty Images)

Young Muslim girls show their hands decorated with henna after attending prayers on Eid Al-Fitr at the Regent's Park Mosque in London on August 19, 2012. (Adek Berry - AFP/Getty Images)

Young Muslim girls show their hands decorated with henna after attending prayers on Eid Al-Fitr at the Regent’s Park Mosque in London on August 19, 2012.
(Adek Berry – AFP/Getty Images)

Filipino Muslim women gather to pray celebrating the start of Eid al-Fitr in Manila on August 19, 2012. (Noel Celis - AFP/Getty Images)

Filipino Muslim women gather to pray celebrating the start of Eid al-Fitr in Manila on August 19, 2012.
(Noel Celis – AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lankan Muslims wash before prayers during Eid al-Fitr celebrations at the Galle Face esplanade in Colombo on August 19, 2012. (Ishara S. Kodikara - AFP/Getty Images)

Sri Lankan Muslims wash before prayers during Eid al-Fitr celebrations at the Galle Face esplanade in Colombo on August 19, 2012.
(Ishara S. Kodikara – AFP/Getty Images)

A Muslim boy prays at the start of Eid al-Fitr at the Peace and Friendship stadium in Piraeus near Athens on August 19, 2012. (Louisa Gouliamaki - AFP/Getty Images)

A Muslim boy prays at the start of Eid al-Fitr at the Peace and Friendship stadium in Piraeus near Athens on August 19, 2012.
(Louisa Gouliamaki – AFP/Getty Images)





Ramadan: Muslim month of fasting and prayer

9 07 2013

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Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and a time when Muslims across the world will fast during the hours of daylight.

Ramadan is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam.

The Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this month. The actual night that the Qur’an was revealed is a night known as Lailut ul-Qadr (‘The Night of Power’).

How do Muslims keep Ramadan?

Almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan, and some will try to become better Muslims by praying more or reading the Qur’an.

Many Muslims will attempt to read the whole of the Qur’an at least once during the Ramadan period. Many will also attend special services in Mosques during which the Qur’an is read.

Fasting is intended to help teach Muslims self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity. It also reminds them of the suffering of the poor, who may rarely get to eat well.

It is common to have one meal (known as the suhoor), just before sunrise and another (known as the iftar), directly after sunset.

Because Ramadan is a time to spend with friends and family, the fast will often be broken by different Muslim families coming together to share in an evening meal.

Eid ul Fitr

The end of Ramadan is marked by a big celebration called ‘Eid-ul-Fitr’, the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.

Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting, but thanking Allah for the help and strength that he gave them throughout the previous month to help them practise self-control.

The festival begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky.

There are special services out of doors and in Mosques, processions through the streets, and of course, a special celebratory meal – eaten during daytime, the first daytime meal Muslims will have had in a month.

Eid is also a time of forgiveness, and making amends.

During Eid-ul-Fitr Muslims dress in their finest clothes, give gifts to children and spend time with their friends and family.

At Eid it is obligatory to give a set amount of money to charity to be used to help poor people buy new clothes and food so they too can celebrate.

In the name of Central-European Religious Freedom Institute, I wish Ramadan Mubarak to all Muslim believers.

Jura Nanuk,
Founder & President

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Lailat Al Miraj: The Prophet’s Night Journey

4 06 2013
Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem

Al Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem

Lailat al Miraj is a Muslim holiday that commemorates the Prophet Muhammad’s nighttime journey from Mecca to the ‘Farthest Mosque’ in Jerusalem where he ascended to heaven, was purified, and given the instruction for Muslims to pray five times daily.

On the Islamic calendar, Lailat al Miraj (also known as Isra and Mi’raj, Al Isra’wal Miraj or Laylat al Miraj) is generally observed on the 27th day of the month of Rajab. This year Lailat al Miraj falls on June 5, although the observance begins at sundown on June 4.

The story of Lailat al Miraj consists of two major parts. The first part of the story begins with the Prophet Muhammad at the Kabaa in Mecca. He is visited by two archangels who provide him with a mythical winged steed called Buraq. Buraq carries the Prophet to the ‘Farthest Mosque,’ believed by Muslims to be the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, where Muhammad joins past prophets in prayer.

The Prophet then ascends to heaven where he is told by God of the duty for Muslims to pray five times daily (Salat). This second part of the journey is commonly referred to as the Miraj, an Arabic word meaning “ladder.”

The events of Lailat al Miraj are described briefly in chapter 17 of the Quran, which is named “Sura Al-Isra” after the Prophet’s ascension to heaven. Many of the details of the story are filled in by hadith, supplemental writings about the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

Today Lailat al Miraj is observed by Muslims as one of the most important events in the history of Islam. Muslims may attend special prayer services at a mosque, or they may commemorate the holiday privately at home by telling the story to children or reciting special nighttime prayers.

Source: Huffington Post








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