Baku, Azerbaijan, July 17
Azerbaijan marks the Ramadan Holiday.
The holy month of Ramadan was sent down for the Muslims in the second year of Hegira. Ramadan teaches people to love Allah, to test their will and patience. It also teaches people to be wiser and honest.
The history of Ramadan (fasting) starts when the Prophet Muhammad determined the month Ramadan for this holiday in Medina on the second pilgrimage year. Koran was given to us on one of the third 10 days of this month. As said, this might happen either on the night from 23rd to 24th or on the night from 26th to 27th. This night is called 'Laylat alkadr'-meaning the great, powerful night. Koran says: 'We really create power and grandeur on that night, that night is more grandiose among thousand of months, the angels low down on the earth and wait for orders from Allah, peace is brought to the world on this night till the sun-birth' (97:1-5).
It is prohibited to eat, drink, and smoke and to engage marriage duties in daytime. Only children, sick people, the pregnant, warriors and travelers make exception. Fasting starts in Ramadan from the day when new moon is seen and continues 29-30 days. Quran says: 'Eat and drink till you may distinguish white and black thread, then fast till it gets dark' (2:187).
Fasting existed before Islam. The ancient Arabians fastened for the sake of their Gods. Koran says: 'Fasting ordered to you as it had been ordered to your predecessors.'
Fasting is completed with holiday of 'Eid al-Fitr'. All the wealthy Muslims on that day should help the poor.
Azerbaijan has officially celebrated holy Ramadan holiday since 1993.
July 17-18 are non-working days in Azerbaijan. Due to the fact that July 18 falls on Saturday, July 20, will also be a day off.