End of Ramadan celebrated in Azerbaijan without mass prayer
Frontpage photo: Rachid Oucharia
Azerbaijan celebrates Eid al-Fitr on May 24, which marks the end of the month-long Ramadan fast.
Usually, believers gather in mosques on this day to celebrate and pray together. But because of the quarantine, all mosques in the country are closed and spiritual leaders are urging believers to pray at home. They also recommend that they do not host guests for the holiday, but rather celebrate it at home with the family.
Unlike in the North Caucasus, the ban on praying in mosques did not cause any particular objections or indignation among the population in Azerbaijan.
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Ramadan is a mandatory month-long fast in Islam. During this period, faithful Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn until dusk.
Eating and drinking is permitted only before dawn and after dark. The evening meal is called Iftar, and the fast should be broken with water and dates. Usually, during fasting, many restaurants offer a special iftar menu, but this year all food establishments in Azerbaijan were closed under quarantine.
The purpose of fasting is to purify the soul, prove the strength of your faith and earn the approval of Allah.
Both men and women, and even children after a certain age can fast, if their health allows it.
Ramadan is based off of the lunar calendar, so the dates it is celebrated move forward several days every year.
The fasting ends with a holiday which is also known as Ramadan in Azerbaijan, but in other places is called Eid al-Fitr. It has been celebrated in Azerbaijan at the state level since 1993.