|Ukraine's Spiritual Ramadan|
|Thursday, 28 August 2008 07:39|
Muslim organizations in Ukraine are racing time to prepare for the fast-approaching holy fasting month of Ramadan with plans for religious lectures to re-charge people's spirituality and brochures to introduce Islam to non-Muslims.
"The Federation of Social Organizations in Ukraine (Arraid) is sponsoring programs to raise religious awareness among Muslims during Ramadan," Ismail Al-Kadi, its chairman, told IslamOnline.net.
The federation will be organizing session for Muslims to study the Noble Qur'an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
It will also host iftar banquets for the poor and needy during the holy fasting month.
"In Ramadan, Arraid sends nearly 800 food packages every day to poor families and orphans," said Kadi.
Ramadan, the ninth month on the Islamic lunar calendar, will fall this year in early September.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to become closer to Allah through prayer and self-restraint.
Many spend part of the day studying the Qur'an.
Ramadan is a special time for Ukraine's two million Muslims, who make up nearly five percent of the population.
"Ramadan brings a special joy for Ukrainian Muslims," Seran Arifof, director of the Radwan center for memorization of the Qur'an, told IOL.
"During the holy fasting month, Muslims become more active in joining awareness programs, not to mention paying zakah for the poor and orphans."
Arifof said many children show increasing interest in memorizing the Qur'an and learning more about their faith during Ramadan.
"We have seen many Ukrainian Muslims compete in international competitions for Qur'an memorization in recent years."
There are up to 200 mosques and 20 Islamic centers nationwide, which experience no restrictions by the Ukrainian authorities.
Ukrainian Muslims are also planning to seize on the holy fasting month to introduce their faith to non-Muslim compatriots.
"We are doing our utmost efforts to educate both Muslims and non-Muslims about Ramadan," said Kadi.
His organization has been distributing brochures and pamphlets about Islam and the holy fasting month.
"It is amazing the kind of reaction with which the brochures have been received by many non-Muslim Ukrainians and we have seen many of them embracing Islam during Ramadan."
HEYET Net- IOL