By N.S Hlophe
Over 1, 6 billion Muslims worldwide observe Ramadan each year.
The holiest month in the entire Islam calendar Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar which sees every muslim abstain from all physical indulgences such as food and sexual intimacy through a 30day dedicated fast period and fast to connect with God avoiding all thoughts and other behaviors contradictory to the tenets disciplines of islam.
Shabnum Muhammad 46-years-old who is Muslim and strongly believes in Ramadan, said that Ramadan is more like a Passover which every Christian observe.
“Ramadan lie in the life of Muhammad, who is the founding prophet of Islam, Muhammad first began to receive the divine relations that would then continue for remaining 23-years of his life and which would subsequently be compiled by his followers as the holy Quran or Koran, which Muslim reserve as the actual literal word of God.” Said Muhammad
The Muslims believes that spiritual rewards for good behavior are increased during the month of Ramadan. It is all about drawing nearer to God, developing powers of self-control so that throughout the year sinful desires and thoughts can be resisted.
She further added that the fast observes leniency towards the vulnerable in society such as the aged and ill and pardons them from the fast.
During this month we will decorate our homes with lamps, light, crescents and stars but that does not mean Ramadan is time for celebration but it is for our spiritual reflection.” Muhammad said
The final ten days of Ramadan are considered as the holiest ones. The 27th night is called the “NIGHT OF POWER”. This was the night that Muhammad received his first revelation and many Muslim spend this day praying and reciting Quran.
When the long 30 days of Ramadan has passed, Muslim will conclude their by a celebration called Eid-ul-Fitr where they will come together for prayers of thanks. As Muslim they will visit their friends and exchange gifts also different delicious meals get prepared. Just like the Christmas day for Christians.
Slindile Buthelezi 26-years said that; Every Friday Muslim shut down their shops from 12 to 13 pm for their prayer and that has bad impact to us as customers. For me per say my lunch is at 12 and when I want to get something to eat I will find that their shops have been closed, now I have to starve or go elsewhere which is very far from my work place.
“It’s their culture we have to respect it but I think they have to find another way of handling religions as well as their business.” She says