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11/08/2010 - In 2010 the Holy Month of Ramadan for Muslims begins on August 11 and it will continue until September 9. Print E-mail
Month of Ramadan (in Arabic "blessed") for Muslims is one of the most honorable and requires strict observance of fasting.
Adherents of Islam, within thirty days from the first lights of sun till sunset observe fasting, abstaining from eating, drinking and all worldly concerns, and focusing on serving the Creator.
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Muslim Lunar Calendar. It is in this month angel Jibril read the first Divine Revelation to the Prophet Muhammad. This significant event occurred when Muhammad retired to the cave in the Hira Mountain, nor far from Mecca. Revelations obtained by him in that day became the basis of the Koran - the holy book of Islam.
Ramadan is a part of the Lunar Calendar and its beginning is the appearance of the new moon. The Lunar Calendar is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian, so each year Ramadan begins 11 days earlier than in the previous year.
This period is marked for Muslims by a special service to the Creator: during the holy month, Muslims observe fasting prescribed by the Shariah (Divine Law). Fasting (Arabic Saum, pers. Roosa, Turkic Uraza) during Ramadan is obligatory for every Muslim, allowing him to strengthen his faith and self-discipline, following closely the orders of Allah.
From sunrise till sunset a fasting abstains from eating, drinking, smoking, sexual intimacy and tries to keep his tongue from profanity, and soul - from impure thoughts.
After sunset Muslims break their fast. Typically, the dish during the Iftar (breaking the fast after sunset) is a very small portion of food - according to the Sunnah is an odd number of dates. Then the evening prayer Maghrib is said, after which comes a turn for the full meal. In many countries, Iftar (meal, which breaks fast after sunset) is served in mosques and cooked by believers to enjoy food together.
Fasting in Ramadan may be not observed by only pregnant and lactating women, seriously ill people, children, people, who are engaged in heavy work or at the time on the road, soldiers who participate in military actions. However, these reasons do not exempt them completely from the observation of fasting - they will need to observe it at another time.
Muslims around the world prepare for Ramadan long before its occurrence: women buy food and products, men are busy buying clothes and gifts for the holiday meeting. Muslims honestly believe that Allah can absolve a man, if he spends time in reading prayers and commits acts of charity, for example, helps the needy, contributes money to charity. According to legend, Allah also frees a certain number of souls from the hell.
The 27th night of Ramadan is particularly important - "Laylat al-Qadr" ("Night of Power", or "Night of Predestination"), when Allah decides people's fates. During Ramadan, Muslims contribute most of the time to reading the Quran and remembrance of Allah (Dhikr). In addition to the five everyday prayers, every night of fasting Muslims make an additional prayer (tarawih) after the fifth prayer.
During Ramadan, many believers also make the pilgrimage to Mecca.
The first ten days of the month represents the reception of the grace of Allah, the second - the absolution from sins, and the third symbolizes the salvation from Hell.
The last ten days of Ramadan are the holiest of all, so Muslims are often more earnest in acts of worship.
The End of Ramadan and fasting is marked with the second most important of all Muslim holidays - Eid al-Fitr (translated from Arabic - the Festival of Fast-Breaking, in Turkic - Uraza Bairam), begining at sundown on the last day of Ramadan and the continuing first and second days of next month Shawal. It begins with a prayer led by Imam.
After prayers the imam asks Allah to accept the fasting, forgive sins and give prosperity. Then Muslims have a festive meal and give alms to the poor, and visit the graves of their ancestors. Joint prayers and sermons often followed by various festivities: children take part in games; sweets are distributed to all who wish; theatrical performances are shown in the streets; songs and cheers are heard everywhere. Muslims believe that if a believer fasted during Ramadan, Allah will grant him mercy above.
In Muslim countries during Ramadan business activity is markedly reduced, working hours are reduced, religious sentiment is increased, and everyday life is shifted to the evening and night.
Source: IA News-Kazakhstan






 
26.08.2010 - Religious leaders of Russia offers to establish conscience police in the country Print E-mail

 

The Police should deal with the moral evils and protect the poor.

Representatives of the leading religions of Russia pointed out the lack of a legal institution focused on crime prevention.

"We have overlooked morality police or police of conscience" chairman of the Congress of Jewish Religious Organizations and Communities in Russia rabbi Zinovy Kogan said Wednesday at a round table talks held in Interfax.

According to him, the conscience police are that part of police that prevents crimes and it should protect interests of the poor and weak members of society, fight immorality, greed and prostitution.

Rabbi complained that not enough women serve in law-enforcement agencies, and suggested that the institute proposed by him could be headed by a woman, who in this case would be the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs.

In his turn, Andrey Balzhirov, the representative of the Buddhist Traditional Sangha of Russia in Moscow, supported the establishment of the law of honour for policemen.

Priest Gevorg Vardanyan, a representative of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Russia, has favoured the initiative of Balzhirov and highlighted that the code should be based on "traditions and intrinsic mentality of people", and each policeman should believe in the law he defends.

Source: Interfax-Religion

   

 

 
24/08/2010 IA News-Kazakhstan - Presidium of the Interreligious Council of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will meet next November Print E-mail
Meeting of the Presidium of the Interreligious Council of the CIS will be held in November 2011 and it will focus, in particular, on the analysis of contemporary economic, political life and interethnic relations in the Eurasian region, said Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
Patriarch reminded that in April this year, the Presidium of the Inter-religious Council of the CIS met in Baku, prior to the interfaith summit, and took important decisions.
"We had the opportunity to develop all the decisions that were taken in Baku and scheduled the next meeting of the Presidium in November next year," - said Patriarch of Moscow following the results of a meeting of the Chairman of the Board of Muslims of the Caucasus, Sheikh-ul-Islam Haji Allahshukur Pashazade, and the Primate of the ROC heading the board, on Tuesday in Moscow.
According to the Primate of the ROC, the issues "how to organize the work of the executive committee formed in Baku, and how to support these work and what objectives should it have" were also discussed at the meeting with Sheikh.
"In particular, much has been said about the need to respond together to the events of modern life, and in the area of economy, policy and international relations, using a religious understanding of what is happening with the human race now" - said the Patriarch.
He believes that the Interreligious Council of the CIS will be "a very effective platform for multi-religious dialogue in our Eurasian space".
According to him, during the meeting the possibility of inviting religious leaders, not belonging to the former Soviet Union to participate in work as observers or "associate members" was also discussed. "We will further study this question. Such applications have been already provided" - assured the Patriarch.
According to him, "it is right and reasonable in today's globalizing world" and "there are no ... any essentially negative opinions on this issue".
The parties also discussed issues relating to the position of the Orthodox community in Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani-Muslim community in Russia. The meeting was attended by the Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Moscow.
In November 2009, Patriarch Kyrill visited Baku to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the birth of Allahshukur Pashazade, and in April this year Patriarch visited the World Summit of Religious Leaders organized by Allahshukur Pashazade in the capital of Azerbaijan. The summit brought together heads of Major Christian churches, Islamic, Jewish and Buddhist communities, as well as authoritative representatives of Hindu, Sikh and Shinto traditions from around the world.
The beginning of such meetings was put on interfaith irenic forums in Moscow attended by the chairman of the Board of Muslims of the Caucasus in 2000 and 2004. Then, in 2004, the Interreligious Council of the CIS was formed. Patriarch (at that time, Metropolitan), Kirill and Allahshukur Pashazade became to co-chair the Council.
 
June 29, 2010 - Media Advisory Print E-mail

Kassymzhomart Tokayev, the Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament - Head of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions met with Jorge Sampaio, UN Secretary General's High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, who is participating in the OSCE high-level Conference on tolerance and non-discrimination in Astana today.
The parties exchanged views on further development of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the Alliance of Civilizations, including implementation of the projects initiated by the Alliance in intercultural dialogue.
"Kazakhstan attaches great importance to partnership with the Alliance and supports its goals and objectives.

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29.06.2010 - "Alliance of Civilizations" the UN is ready to assist Kazakhstan in fulfilling the commitments at the local, national and regional level, said the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Jorge Sampaio on Tuesday. Print E-mail
    “Alliance of Civilizations is ready to cooperate with you in order to fully perform your obligations at the local, national and regional level”, said Sampaio, speaking at the High-Level OSCE Conference Panel on Tolerance and Nondiscrimination, held in Astana.
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