Ailing Muluzi sends Ramadan greetings

By Judith Moyo, Nyasa Times

Malawi’s former president Bakili Muluzi, a Mosque-going Moslem, has sent greetings to Muslims in the country in observance Ramadan, the holiest month on the Islamic calendar.

In a statement monitored on Radio Islam, Muluzi who is receiving treatment in South Africa said he wished Muslim community “Ramadan Kareem”.

He reminded that Ramadan is a time for deep reflection and sacrifice, and that it also draws families and communities together for prayers and iftars – shared meals that break the daybreak-to-sunset fast.

Muluzi: Ramadan Kareem

In a statement Monday, the president said Ramadan is a time for deep reflection and sacrifice, and that it also draws families and communities together for prayers and iftars – shared meals that break the daybreak-to-sunset fast.

Muluzi reminded the Muslim community that “Ramadan is also a time to reach out to the poor and lends them a helping hand.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar when Archangel Gabriel revealed the Koran — Islam’s holy book – to the Prophet Mohammed in 610 AD.

Throughout the month devout Muslims must abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn until sunset when they break the fast with the “iftar” meal. The last meal before dawn is known as suhur.

The fast is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which able Muslims should do once in a lifetime, alms-giving, the profession of the faith, and the five daily prayers.

All post-puberty Muslim believers are expected to fast during Ramadan. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, the sick and travellers are exempted but they must fast again as soon as they are able.

The holy month ends with several days of feasting and gift-giving on Islam’s biggest festival, Eid al-Fitr.

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