Ramadan begins, no mass prayers in mosques

Kathmandu, April 25

The holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, began in Nepal today with the sighting of the crescent moon.

It is the most sacred festival of Muslims, who abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset and join mass prayers at mosques for the entire month. Fasting is meant to teach the Muslims patience, modesty and spirituality, said religious experts.

It is believed to be the month when Prophet Mohammad wrote the religious scripture Quran as enlightened by the Allah in this very month. However, there will be no mass prayers in mosques due to the nationwide lockdown imposed by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The government and National Muslim Commission have appealed to the devotees to perform Namaz at home and refrain from going to mosques for mass prayers.

All the mosques in Kathmandu valley have been shut down, following the government decision. 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.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on April 26, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.