Muslims welcome start of the holy month of ‘Ramadan’

New Delhi/ Srinagar/Mumbai, Sept. 14: Muslims in different parts of the country marked the beginning of their holy fasting month of Ramadan with prayers on Friday following the sighting of the new moon.

During Ramadan Muslims do not take food or water from dawn to dusk. They also devote their time to worship and the studying of the Quran. They eat a pre-dawn meal, called Sehri and at the end of the day called Iftar (break of fast).

Scores of devotees thronged the Jama Masjid in New Delhi at dawn to offer their prayers.
"We will offer Taravih (midnight prayers), we will observe a fast, we will have Sehri and Iftar during the whole month. These fasts are observed for Allah. We will not eat or drink anything for him. We will not see and hear anything wrong during this month" said Ahmed, a devout.

In Mumbai too, devotees thronged markets and mosques to mark the first day of Ramadan.
Meanwhile, Muslims in Kashmir prayed for the return of peace and prosperity to the region.

Markets in Srinagar were abuzz with activity, as hordes of people thronged shops selling dry fruits and nuts, which are consumed during the fasting period.

Khursheed Ahmed, a devotee said: "I have come here for the preparations of Ramadan, to buy dates and do some other shopping. This is a month of barkat. We pray to god for peace and prosperity of Kashmir."
People buy supplies of meat and vegetables to make huge feasts traditionally prepared to break each day's fast at sunset.

Shopkeepers say the month brings good business to them.

"We have lots of expectation from this month as this is a month of rehmat and barkat. We have good business in this month, demand of dates rise during this month,” said Noor U-ddin, a shopkeeper.
The new moon, which ushers in the month of Shawal that follows Ramadan, marks the end of these activities.

Meanwhile, shops in Karachi, Pakistan were busy stocking up meat and vegetables to make the huge feasts. Confectioners were busy preparing oriental delicacies such as "Khajla" and "Pheni", small pancakes and vermicelli soaked in milk with sugar.

More than one billion Muslims across the world are expected to observe the holy month, which ends with the festival of Idul Fitr.

Muslims are also required to refrain from indecent acts and improper thoughts, nor may they make offensive gestures or unkind words during the period.

They seek the blessing of Almighty for peace and prosperity of the Islamic Ummah (the nation of the believers) on the occasion and give alms to the needy. (With Inputs from ANI)