President Peter Mutharika and the First Lady have said they are wishing all Muslims a peaceful fasting and unity in this holy Month of Ramadan – a period marked by intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting and good deeds.
In a statement made available to Nyasa Times by presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalilani, President Mutharika and the First Lady are wishing all Muslims in Malawi and the world at large “peace, joy and blessings” as they observe Ramadhan.
“As the auspicious month of Ramadan starts, the first couple is reminding all Malawians that this year’s Islamic holy month covers a special period in the country’s affairs as we are preparing for General Elections and we will be voting soon.
“Therefore, the first couple is calling upon all Malawians to use the holy month of Ramadhan to pray for peaceful elections in the country, love and continued unity among all Malawians,” reads the statement.
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 1 400 years ago.
Ramadan – 30 days of fasting – is time for all Muslims to practice self-discipline, sacrifice, and empathy for the less privileged.
As one of the five pillars of Islam, fasting is obligatory for all healthy Muslims – a test of patience and endurance whilst refraining from eating and drinking from dawn till sun-set.
There are exceptions to fasting for children, the elderly, the sick, women who are pregnant, nursing or menstruating and people travelling.
Many break their fast as the Prophet Muhammad did around 1 400 years ago, with a sip of water and some dates at sunset followed by prayer.