Ramadan festival begins

Kathmandu, May 17

Ramadan, a month-long fasting festival of Muslims, began today after a crescent moon was sighted yesterday night.

“It has been declared that May 17 would be the first day of Ramadan,” Qazi-Mufti Abubakar Siddiq Qasmi a judge of Islamic Court of Darul Ifta Wal Qaza Nepali Jame Masjid told THT.

Ramadan is the ninth month of Islamic lunar calendar when Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset It is believed to be the month in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Mohammed.

During the month-long festival, Muslims ask for  forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance, ask for help in refraining  from everyday evils and try to purify themselves through self-restraint  and good deeds.

Ramadan is also a time of intensive  worship, reading of the Quran, giving charity and purifying one’s  behaviour by doing good deeds. For Muslims, Ramadan is an opportunity to  gain by giving up, to prosper by going without and to grow stronger by  enduring weakness.

Chairman of Nepal Muslim Association Salim Khan said, “It’s a time to abstain from pleasures and help others.” Khan also said that Nepal was a perfect example of religious harmony in the world.