Muslims mark beginning of Ramadan
Today, millions of Muslims around the world started the holy month of Ramadan. For 30 days Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar and a moon-sighting methodology that can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramadan a day or two apart.
Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia, Turkey, Pakistan and Iran had yet to officially announce the June 6th as the first day of Ramadan. Traditionally, countries announce if their moon-sighting council spots the Ramadan crescent the evening before fasting begins.
Muslims believe Ramadan to be the month in which the first verses of the Quran, Islam's holy book, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than 1400 years ago (610 AD).
"This is the month of meaningful choice of a straight path, which we fully dedicate to a deep knowledge of God and His Words - the Holy Quran," the chairman of the Russian Muftis Council, Ravil Gaynutdin, said, noting that Ramadan is a "month of spiritual purification "and" overcoming of possible weaknesses".
The Mufti of Karachay-Cherkessia, the Chairman of the North Caucasus Muslim Coordination Center (NCMCC), Ismail Berdiyev, said that a number of young fasting people in the country is growing every year. "It is very encouraging to see that our young people are attached to the true values of traditional Islam," he stressed.
According to Ismail Berdiyev, "the holy fast is, above all, a spiritual cleansing." "It strengthens the faith and contributes to the attainment of new spiritual experience and inner harmony, gives the opportunity to rethink your lifestyle and determine the true values of life," the mufti noted.
Dagestan will begin the month of Ramadan on June 7. On the eve of the start of Ramadan all rural and urban mosques hold mavlids (an event which Muslims hold to express joy in the Prophet Muhammad). The majority of the republic's canteens are switching to night mode.
The Mufti of North Ossetia, Hadjimurat Gatsalov, said that on the eve of the feast 140 tons of food were distributed to poor people and veterans.
The acting head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, posted a video where he congratulated Muslims on Ramadan, calling on all believers to forgive each other and to practice fasting if health permits.
The team of Vestnik Kavkaza also congratulates all the faithful on the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.