Muslims celebrate end of Ramadan
Over the last month, Muslims celebrated Ramadan which started on April 3 (Sehri) and ended on Tuesday (Iftaar) when Eid al-Fitr was observed.
A member of the Muslim community in the city, Solly Hassen, explained that in Polokwane, Muslims fasted every day from sunrise until around 17:30, depending on their location and the fasting ends with Eid al-Fitr, which means the ‘ending of the fast’, that is celebrated for three days.
During Ramadan, the men went to the mosque where chapters of the Holy Quran were recited by the Moulana (spiritual leader) every evening. In Polokwane the Moulana recited the entire Quran in Arabic without any notes and translations in Afrikaans and English were available in order for everyone to follow the proceedings.
When celebrating Eid al-Fitr on Tuesday, the Muslim men went to the local mosques or the cricket stadium in the city for early morning prayers and thereafter visited the cemetery to pay respects to the deceased, as well as visited elderly people.
“Then we go home where family and friends gather for the celebration. Everyone is welcome and we dress in our best clothes and enjoy specially prepared delicatessen, but still in moderation. Children receive small gifts and we reach out to the underprivileged residents in our community, regardless of their race, creed or spiritual beliefs,” Hassen added.
He observed Eid al-Fitr with his family and explained that during Ramadan, Muslims are at peace with the world and with themselves. “It is a time for devotion and it allows us to do introspection and to make ourselves better human beings,” he explained.
According to Hassen, Muslims just eat what they usually have after the break of the fast every day. “We believe in moderation and do not take anything to eat or drink in excess,” Hassen explains and adds that people with healthrelated challenges and children do not have to fast.
One of the interesting facts about Ramadan is that the event moves forward approximately 10 days every year, depending on the position of the moon. “That means it takes about 36 years for the event to rotate and allows Muslims to experience Ramadan during winter with a shorter fasting time and then again during summer when the days are longer,” Hassen said.