In separate congratulatory messages to heads of the Muslim states on the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for moderation and efforts to portray the true image of Islam in order to foil hostile attempts at fomenting Islamophobia.
In his message, released on Saturday morning, President Rouhani said all leaders, intellectuals, and religious clerics in the Muslim countries are bound to promote the goals of Islam and “exercise moderation in practice.”
He also asked the Muslim officials to try to portray a clear image of Islam, the religion of mercy and peace, in order to thwart the crises that enemies of Islam have fabricated incorrectly with the purpose of inciting Islamophobia.
The president also called for efforts to create a world free of violence and extremism by portraying the real image of moderate Islam to the international community.
President Rouhani also expressed the hope that Muslim cooperation, solidarity, and rapport would contribute to efforts at the establishment of peace, calm, and security, would raise Muslim people’s hopes for a better future, and reduce the woes and problems around the world.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, marks the most special of all occasions. It is a celebration of the descent of the Word of Allah, the Quran, from Heaven to the earth.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam. Abstaining from food and drink, and from other bodily pleasures, is a crucial element of the observation. To partake in the blessings of Ramadan, able-bodied women and men, also girls and boys who have reached the age of religious observance, are required to fast for the duration of this month.
At the end of each fasting day, Muslims break their day-long fast with an “Iftar” meal.
Ramadan is more than abstinence from food and drink during the hours of daylight. It is a time for contemplation, devotion and remembrance of God, especially through the reading or recitation of the Quran.
Tending to the welfare of the less fortunate members of the community, giving to the poor -especially at the end of the month- is also important.
Intensive self-reflection and increased God-consciousness during the month of Ramadan is meant to subdue and suppress familiar misdeeds, such as backbiting, holding grudges and telling lies.