Azerbaijani Pilgrims to Face improvement (Video)
Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. S.Agayeva / Azerbaijanis wishing to go to Hadji will experience a range of improvements in 2007, the Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Clerical Port (CMCP), Sheikh-ul-Islam Haji Allahshukur Pashazadeh, said during the press conference.
Airlines have been ordered in Great Britain for chartered flights to deliver Azerbaijani pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. "Azerbaijani citizens wishing to go to the Hadj make payment to the airline.
CMCP received $5mln credits for organization work. In 2007, the quota for Azerbaijanis made up 6,000 people. CMCP, jointly with the Shemakha Astrophysical Observatory, has developed a paying schedule for all people observing the holy Ramadan month. "Following the Muslim brothers from Iran, Iraq and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, representatives of Sunni and Shiite religious movement in Azerbaijan have encouraged Ramadan ceremonies for many years
Pashazadeh has stated that believers must fast during Ramadan from 13 September. CMCP has developed a book including prayers during the Ramadan month which will be distributed for followers, free of charge.
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Muslim calendar. The Month of Ramadan is also when it is believed the Holy Quran "was sent down from heaven, a guidance unto men, a declaration of direction, and a means of Salvation"
It is during this month that Muslims fast. It is called the Fast of Ramadan and lasts the entire month. Ramadan is a time when Muslims concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. It is a time of worship and contemplation
During the Fast of Ramadan strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Muslims. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. Smoking and sexual relations are also forbidden during fasting. At the end of the day the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is customary for Muslims to go out visiting family and friends. The fast is resumed the next morning
During Ramadan, it is common for Muslims to go to the Masjid (Mosque) and spend several hours praying and studying the Quran. In addition to the five daily prayers, during Ramadan Muslims recite a special prayer called the Taraweeh prayer (Night Prayer). The length of this prayer is usually 2-3 times longer than the daily prayers. Some Muslims spend the entire night in prayer
On the evening of the 27th day of the month, Muslims celebrate the Laylat-al-Qadr (the Night of Power). It is believed that on this night Muhammad first received the revelation of the Holy Quran. And according to the Quran, this is when God determines the course of the world for the following year.
When the fast ends (the first day of the month of Shawwal) it is celebrated for three days in a holiday called Id-al-Fitr (the Feast of Fast Breaking). Gifts are exchanged. Friends and family gather to pray in groups and have huge feasts. In some cities fairs are held to celebrate the end of the Fast of Ramadan.