Supreme Mufti Sheikh Kasule Ndirangwa has spoken about the special significance of fasting in the Islamic faith as Muslims in Uganda prepare to begin Ramadan tomorrow, Thursday on May 17.
Ndirangwa told The Observer recently that when Muslims fast, they get closer to God and also become more compassionate to those in need. He said Ramadan is a special month since Allah made al-Qadr (the night of power) in this month.
“On the night of Al-Qadr, people pray the whole night asking God for rewards and forgiveness of their sins,” Ndirangwa said.
“This month Allah opens the gates of paradise and closes the gates of hell, and also chains up the devils. And every night Allah has people whom he redeems from fire or hell.”
During this period Muslims are expected to learn patience, repentance, discipline and sacrifice. This year’s 30-day fasting period will end with Eid al Fitr on or about June 16, depending on the sighting of the moon.
Hajji Nsereko Mutumba, public relations officer at Uganda Muslim Supreme Council appealed to fellow Muslims to repent, pay sadaq, read the Qur’an, help the poor and widows during this Ramadan.
“I advise women also to dress well during this month for rewards from Allah,” he said.
Ahmad Sentamu , the head communications Hear Uganda said, they are going to donate about 1,500 packages of food worth about Shs 100m to the poor in different parts of the country since donation is the best worship during Ramadan.
“It’s our responsibility as Muslims to rescue others during Ramadan. This is why as part of our relief aid operation; we distribute food packs as fitar meals throughout the month of Ramadan,” he said.
Sentamu said, they donate food items to mostly desperate people which include widows, orphans, people with disabilities, the poor, old people, refugees and helpless.
The food packages they donate include 10kgs of maize flour, 5kgs of rice, 2 litres of cooking oil, 2kgs of wheat flour, 10kgs of sugar and salt.
Among the beneficiaries is Sheikh Jamil Bukenya of Mengo Kisenyi in Kampala, says the food package will save them from buying expensive food during Ramadan and they fast with one heart.
“I thank Allah for this food package since I was scared of how to feed my family during this holy month. May Allah reward the people donated to us,” he said.
Hajji Jaffer Senganda, the president Muslim Center for Justice and Law, advised Muslims to donate food to others during Ramadan especially those in villages who are very poor.
“Let’s help people in villages with food because they fast but have nothing eat while breaking the fast. People should also avoid zina (adultery) during Ramadan,” he said.