Baku, Azerbaijan, June 15
Azerbaijan marks the Ramadan Holiday on June 15 and June 16.
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. Quran was given to the people 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.
Quran says: ‘Verily! We revealed The Quran on the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months! Gabriel and the angels descend therein, by Permission of their Lord. Peace it is, until the emergence of dawn!' (97:1-5).
It is prohibited to eat, drink, and smoke and to engage in sexual intercourse from dawn until sunset.
Fasting starts in Ramadan from the day when new moon is seen and continues for 29-30 days.
Quran says: “Eat and drink till the white streak is distinct from the dark streak” (2:187).
Fasting existed before Islam. The ancient Arabs fasted for the sake of their gods. Quran says: “Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.” (2:183).
Fasting is completed with holiday of 'Eid al-Fitr'. All the wealthy Muslims on that day should help the poor.
Azerbaijan has been officially celebrating the Ramadan holiday since 1993.