SHAFAQNA – Muslims worldwide are currently celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. In Kashgar, in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Muslims have joined the first Jumah, the most important prayer session of the week, during Ramadan.
It’s the first Jumah during Ramadan in Kashgar. Many come to the Id Kah, one of the largest Mosques in China. They pray, and listen to interpretations of the Quran.
Jumah is the most important prayer of the week. But during Ramadan, Muslims need to pray five times daily without food or drink during daylight hours. A senior clergy in Id Kah said the purpose is to temper people’s minds, and give them a better understanding.
“Ramadan is supposed to let people feel the hardships of other people, like hunger and thirst. During this period, we encourage people not to quarrel, and not to engage in conflicts,” Abudoukadier Sawuti, deputy Khatib of ID Kah Mosque, said.
Kashgar and the entire southern Xinjiang region is experiencing some very hot weather this Ramadan. Temperatures are often surpassing 35 degree Celsius. It’s difficult to cope without food and water.
“Fasting is for every Muslim. But for those who are sick, the very old, the pregnant, and those on business trips, there is no must. Those people can do good deeds to achieve the same goal,” Sawuti said.
But the Khatib says Muslims are very happy to fast, and even practice increased prayer and recitation of Quran until the breaking of the fast.
In Kashgar, the sun rises at 6:30am, and sets at 10:30pm. For Muslims here, for over 16 hours, they refrain from eating and drinking, but their devotion to prayer never relents.