Azerbaijan celebrating end of Ramadan
Azerbaijan celebrates the holy month of Ramadan, which is the most sacred time of year for Muslims, today and tomorrow. It's a highly anticipated holiday that follows four weeks of fasting between dawn and sunset.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. The Night of Power, when the Quran, the holy book of the Islamic world, was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, falls in the final 10 days of Ramadan.
During the holy month, Muslims should not eat or drink anything, including water, while the sun is shining. While fasting, believers should also avoid all forms of sinful behavior.
The meals consumed during fasting in Ramadan are called Suhoor and Iftar. Suhoor is eaten before sunrise and Iftar is the meal to break the fast after sunset. However, fasting is not recommended to people who suffer from medical conditions or pregnant women.
Ramadan is a time when Muslims from all over the world come together. Fasting during Ramadan is the fourth of the Five Pillars of Islam.
These pillars include declaring belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as God's prophet (Shahadah), performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day (Salat), paying an alms or charity (Zakat), fasting during the month of Ramadan (Sawm), and pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj).
Celebrations start with the sighting of the new moon, which means the end of the holy month of fasting. The dates change annually as they’re determined by the sighting of a new moon.
During Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims usually visit a mosque and participate in prayer before sitting down with family and friends; money is paid to the poor and the needy. They also exchange gifts and decorate their homes for the celebration.
Delicious pastries are baked for the occasion of the great holiday, the graves of relatives are visited, and people pray in mosques.
Azerbaijan has been celebrating the Ramadan officially since 1993.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has congratulated the Azerbaijani people on the occasion of Ramadan.
"Ramadan, which calls for good, unity, spiritual perfection and renewal of the essence of human spirit, is the dearest month for Muslims around the world," the statement posted on the presidential website reads.
"The month of Ramadan, which gives believers the joy of spiritual and moral greatness, moral purity, feelings of mercy and solidarity thanks to fasting, is significant by the fact that the holy Quran, the treasury of divine wisdom, was sent during this month. On the days of Ramadan, our believers obtain the opportunity to adequately fulfill their duty of conscience to the Almighty and feel the advantages of spiritual wealth," Ilham Aliyev noted.
"Azerbaijan as an integral part of Islamic civilization has contributed to the cultural heritage of mankind and brought up great scientists and thinkers. Islam and the peace-lovingness, tolerance, equality, fraternity and other values arising from its essence have played a crucial role in creating an atmosphere of tolerance, unity and harmony in society, and asserting the ideas of multiculturalism and humanism," the head of state stressed.
Ilham Aliyev noted that "prayers for the peace and well-being of our people are offered everywhere" in Azerbaijan on these days, and "a tribute is paid to the immortal memory of our martyrs." "I believe that your prayers and wishes during the days of this sacred holiday will be accepted by the Lord and the Almighty will not spare his mercy for our people," the statement says.
The Azerbaijani leader once again congratulated you and all our compatriots living outside our the republic, wished their families happiness and homes - abundance and prosperity.
First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, first lady Mehriban Aliyeva also congratulated the people of Azerbaijan on the occasion of Ramadan.