Ramadan Begins in Central Georgia

7:08 PM, Jul 9, 2013   |    comments
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In Central Georgia and across the world, Muslims are beginning to observe the holy month of Ramadan.

Ramadan is the the biggest holiday of the Islamic calendar.  Because Islam uses a lunar calendar, Ramadan falls at different time each year, and this year began Monday at sundown.

The holiday marks the revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad. "It's very important to us," explains Imam Zarif Shamsid-Deen of the Masjid Warith-ud Deen Mohammed mosque on Bloomfield Rd. in Macon.

Muslims observe Ramadan by fasting every day for a month from sunrise to sunset.  During the day, they must abstain from sex, food, and water.  "The biggest struggle is the abstinence from water because it does get hot here in Georgia," says Leo Glover-Muhammad from Macon.

But they say fasting teaches them both discipline, and how to be compassionate towards others by making them feel what those less fortunate go through.

A 2010 study shows that Bibb and Houston counties have three Muslim congregations, with a total of 1,600 members.

Many of those in Central Georgia are African-Americans who converted to Islam.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims also read 1/30th of the Quran every day, so that by the end of the month, they'll have read the whole thing.

They also celebrate at the end of Ramadan with a feast and presents.

Follow Tom George on Twitter @thetomgeorge

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