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Different Ramadan in Afghanistan

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Ramadan Around the World
By Fazal Rahman Muzhary
Freelance Writer- Afghanistan
15765
Iftar meals gather Muslims
Afghan
As young as 11 years old boys are preaching to a community of several hundreds of people in a mosque in central Kabul as worshippers take pause during the crowded Tarawih prayers of Ramadan nights.

"We want to train these youngsters to study and know Islam and then preach it to people, seizing opportunity of the spiritual environment in Ramadan," said Mulvi Ashabuddin, Imam of Abu Zar Ghafari mosque, in Karta-e-Mamorin locality of the Afghan capital.

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The short preaching that lasts for two to five minutes is part of the religious contest in which over 40 youths, most of them school and university students, are participating.

Such contests and various other programs mostly aimed at promoting understanding of Islam and enhancing spirituality are common these days across Afghanistan in Ramadan.

The ambience of celebration of Ramadan is quiet noticeable in streets, mosques and homes in one of the world's poorest country.

 

Abdul Salam Abid, the renowned religious scholar, prays at the end the Qur'anic class at Saad Bin Maaz mosque in Khoshal Khan Locality west of Kabul.
Women in Tarawih Prayer

While walking in streets, especially at evening people can be seen happily walking towards homes from their shops, offices and work places with fresh fruits, beverages, melons, pickles, confections, dates and vegetables so as to break their fasts with family members at Iftar.

Some boys take orangeades to provide it for people walking on roads after the evening prayer call. Others bring the homemade snacks to mosques in order to obtain rewards by preparing Iftar at the mosques in which everyone including the poor and rich people can break their fast.

Participation of women in Tarawih is also considerably doubled this year. The rapidly raising of women and youths going to mosques is amazing, because there had been less participation of women folks in Tarawih during last years.

A large number of school and university students including boys and girls also go to religious seminaries or the big mosques to attend special classes of Hadith and Qur'an sciences exclusive to the holy month of Ramadan.

In the eastern province of Nangarhar, men and women also attend the weeklong Qur'anic classes.

At the end of each class the organizers who are mostly university professors or religious scholars ask participants for their financial help in order to increase such educational programs, in remote districts and other rural areas.

"There is a clear raise in number of attendees in religious programs this year in Ramadan. People are increasingly showing interest in learning the holy Qur'an and other Islamic subjects," Abdul Salam Abid, a renowned religious scholar in Kabul said.

Abid who just ended a weeklong class of Tafseer (explaining the meaning of the Qur'an) on Thursday, they also have special class of Tafseer before the start of Tarawih everyday.

"We have special classes of teaching Arabic language to our students at Fakhri institute" he continued.

When asked about the future programs he said they would invite a large number of youths who would be mostly students, to Hazrat Osman Ghani Mosque in Karta-e-Parwan locality in order to spend 17th, 21st, 23rd and 25th nights of Ramadan at the mosque to take part in Tahjud  prayer and have Iftar in groups.

 

Participation of women in Tarawih is also considerably doubled this year. The rapidly raising of women and youths going to mosques is amazing, because there had been less participation of women folks in Tarawih during last years.
Media Coverage

The media outlets including Tv channels, Radio shows, websites and the printing media have been considerably covering the massive Tarawih.

The Tv and radio organize special programs for their viewers and listeners in Afghanistan. Some websites launched special pages for sharing Ramadan with youths.

When I asked head of an Islamic radio 'Eslah' about their programs in Ramadan he said: "We had a program for welcoming Ramadan before it begun. There are also live sessions for youths to ask various questions about their daily live during the blessing month."

Abdul Zahir Hamidi said at Sahoor time (midnight meal) they have a special program promoting spirituality and another one for women under the title of "Reforming the Family", during the day. 

The only Islamic Radio that does not play any kind of music for audience has been widely welcomed in Kabul by only passing a year.

Eslah radio had four hour broadcasting at the beginning, but it rapidly increased its programs to 14 hours due to the considerably interest of audiences, he continued.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs recently said that the number of women attending Tarawih prayers have doubled compared to last years in capital city of the central Asian country and that special religious programs have also increased.

 

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