Ramadan about putting yourself in shoes of poor

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As Muslims across the world celebrate Ramadan, Jalal Kasi, of Alexandra, explains to News reporter Simon Henderson the meaning of the month-long fast.

Ramadan is the name of the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, and officially begins when the moon is sighted.

The most well-known aspect of Ramadan is abstaining from food during daylight hours.

Fasting was a way to understand what less fortunate people experienced, Mr Kasi said.

“There are people who can only afford one meal a day.”

It was a way to gain an experience of the “hardships some people go through”.

Ramadan was a month of giving, and ended with a festival called Eid al-Fitr.

“Eid means the day of happiness, and fitr is a word for charity.”

Before celebrating Eid al-Fitr, Muslims would give to the poor and less fortunate.

“It starts with your own family basically, if you have a brother or sister or cousin.”

Giving was like a “circle” spreading out – it started with helping your family, then extended to neighbours or close friends, depending on who was in need.

Ramadan was a time for “coming close to your creator, your god, and coming close to your religion”, Mr Kasi said.

The month included extra prayers, and reading of the Koran.

Ramadan was a time of thinking of others, “because poverty is still everywhere in the world”.