Saturday, August 22, 2009

china muslims welcome Ramadhan

China Muslims Welcome Ramadan
22/08/2009 05:00:49 PM GMT

YINCHUAN — Ma Guoxing woke up very early on Saturday, August 22, and went to a local mosque in Tuanjie village in China’s northwestern city of Wuzhong for the first Fajr (dawn) prayers in the holy fasting month of Ramadan. "It is a very important month for us," Ma, a 48-year-old farmer, told the Xinhua news agency.

He joined thousands of fellow Muslims in performing the prayers behind the imam.

"If we do a good deed in Ramadan, it will mean we do 1,000 good deeds in other periods of time,” he said.

"In a whole of a year, we are expecting this month to come to do more good deeds and accumulate merits."

Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, started in China on Saturday.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

Most dedicate their time during the holy month to become closer to Allah through self-restraint, good deeds and prayer.

"Ramadan can strengthen our mind, restrain our selfish desires and teach us to lead a life in a healthy way," said Jianming, a young Muslim of Hui ethnic group.

China has now 20 million Muslims, about half of them being from the Hui ethnic group.


For many Chinese Muslims, Ramadan is a chance for strengthening family and community ties.

"The country is so prosperous today that few people cannot eat his fill, but we Muslims still keep to the tradition of offering food to others and carry forward the fine virtue Allah taught us," Abdul'ahat Kurban, 43, from the Xinjiang regional capital of Urumqi, said.

Abdul'ahat has prepared huge amount of food to send for poor people, relatives and friends.

The holy fasting month started in China one month after more than 190 people were killed in Xinjiang province in a deadly crackdown by Chinese troops on Uighur Muslims protesting discrimination and religious and cultural controls in their area.

"We went through unprecedented agony more than a month ago," said Mila, a Muslim of Uzbek ethnic group in Urumqi.

"May all the deceased rest in peace and the injured recover soon."

Xinjiang and its Uighur Muslims, a Turkish-speaking minority of more than eight million, continue to be the subject of massive security crackdowns.

"I wish all people chastened by Ramadan will become more kind to others and achieve a tranquil and harmonious state of mind," Mila said.

"I also wish people of all ethnic groups in the country are united as one forever."from (