South Woodford imam speaks of purity and God’s message as Ramadan begins
The holiest month in the Islamic calendar begins today with Muslims around the borough starting their fast for Ramadan.
Muslims believe the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this month and it is marked by fasting during daylight hours.
Completing the fast is the fourth of five pillars in Islam with the others being reciting the declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving to charity and going on a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Dr Mohammed Fahim, imam of South Woodford Mosque, Mulberry Way, South Woodford, said: “Fasting during the day is a matter of controlling your feelings and desires for one month out of the year. It purifies you and cleanses your soul and body.”
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and many Muslims try to read the whole Quran within the four weeks.
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The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic ramida or ar-ramad which means scorching heat or dryness in Arabic.
Fasting throughout Ramadan is obligatory, known as fardh, unless you are a pregnant, on medication, have a chronic disease or are too frail.
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“Ramadan is the message God sent to the world and we fast during the day and pray during the night,” Dr Fahim added.
A celebration called Eid-ul-fitr marks the end of Ramadan and begins at the first sight of the new moon.
It is the festival of breaking the fast and it celebrates thanking God for the strength to complete it.
It is also a time of forgiveness and making amends.
Dr Fahim added: “At the end of the month, we celebrate our achievement and we celebrate God for helping us to fast as we have shared the feelings of those who cannot eat and we feel lucky.”