MUSLIMS across the world including Zambia have today embarked on a month-long ritual of fasting in which they will avoid food and drink from dusk till dawn.
Married couples will also have to suspend day-time intimacy sessions until the end of the fasting period.
This is in observance of the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth on the Islamic lunar calendar.
Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam along with testifying that there is only one true God, praying five times a day, giving charity and traveling to Mecca to offer prayers in a mosque believed to have been constructed by the Biblical prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael.
During the month of Ramadan, all healthy adult Muslims are expected to avoid food, drink while married couples avoid intimacy during day time.
For unmarried Muslims, their fast from intimacy will continue way after the end of Ramdhan until they get married.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as those on menstruation are exempted from the fast too.
Also excused from fasting are children, the sick and those on a journey.
During this month, believers are expected to increase their supplication and recitation of the Quran, give regular charity, avoid confrontations and strive to assume good neighborliness.
According to Kitwe-based preacher Sheikh Siddique Kaputula, the demeanour a Muslim assumes during the month of Ramadan reflects the true teachings of Islam and should continue even after the fasting month.
Sheikh Siddique explained that besides bringing believers closer to their Lord, fasting also teaches Muslims consistency and self-restraint which are vital for success in life.
He encouraged Muslims to take advantage of the holy month to pour out all their supplications and make use of the mosques having observed the last month of Ramadan under strict observations which had places of worship closed.
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Kalemba April 13, 2021