Muslims in the German Armed Forces: Observing Ramadan in Uniform

There are around 1,000 Muslims among Germany’s 250,000 soldiers. During Ramadan, they have the extra pressure of finding a compromise between their job and their daily religious fast. Ulrike Hummel reports

Chaouki Aakil is a sergeant in a logistics battalion. He also carries the responsibility for the soldiers during transport operations. A loss of concentration in a risky situation would be unforgivable, the 30-year-old says.

But that is a real threat during Ramadan, which this year began on July 9, and which requires practicing Muslims to fast between sunrise and sunset. If Ramadan comes during the summer – as it does this year – doing without food and water can be a real problem.

Halfway Home: 15 Mosques In 15 Days (PHOTOS)

During Ramadan last year, we traveled to 30 Mosques in 30 Days, and this year we are doing it again. I am typing this in Atlanta as Aman sleeps. I am running on less than two hours of sleep. We have traveled across America in the past 15 days, and we are only half way through our trip. This calls for a look back at some of our favorite moments.

Dutch Mail Service Regulates Mealtime During Ramadan

August 19 2010

The mail sorting center in Niewegein has posted rules which bar prayer during work and enforcing breaks at set times, Telegraaf reports. The rules pose a problem for Muslims who are fasting during Ramadan, as the evening shift break comes an hour before the end of fasting. While a worker reported that his employer felt that “fasting is your choice, your problem”, the mail service says the rules are a misunderstanding and that is it possible for employees to consult with management on whether it is possible to go eat.

Smartphones Assist Muslims During Ramadan

News Agencies – August 12, 2010
The most ancient traditions of Islam are going high-tech, with a slew of modern offerings for those observing the holy month of Ramadan. Cellphone applications such as “iPray” or “iQuran” offer a beeping reminder of requisite prayer times, while the “Find Mecca” and “Mosque Finder” programs help the Muslim traveller in an unfamiliar city find the nearest place to pray. Another application called Find Mecca, is a compass-like program with an electronic indicator that changes from red to green when you’ve reached the requisite prayer angle of 58-degrees, Northeast, to ensure you’re facing Mecca from any location — a requirement of all Muslims when praying.
The programs aren’t just offered by Apple; Nokia has a Ramadan suite for its cellphones that consolidates everything worshippers need to know to observe Islam’s holiest month.

Community marks end of Ramadan

Community leaders, families and worshippers came together this afternoon to mark the end of Ramadan. An Eid day gathering was held at the Bellingdon Road youth club, Chesham, giving religious leaders, councillors and Muslims from the area a chance to bring a close to the holy month of fasting. During Ramadan Muslims do not eat or drink anything and offer more prayers than usual.

It is an important period for the Islamic faith, where followers ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance do good deeds. Businessmen Teahir Mahmood, of Deans Way, Chesham, was one of the event organisers. He said: “It’s like Christmas, which comes every year in December, Eid day comes after the Roza in the Ramadan month. “All the people in the community come together in one place, you could say it’s a celebration. It’s a special day.”

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Muslims warned about bogus beggers

A London Council is warning the Muslim community not to give money to beggars following reports that they are deliberately being targeted during the holy month of Ramadan. The religious festival, with its tradition of giving alms, is believed to have become a target for unscrupulous people, some of whom have even resorted to posing as Muslims by wearing prayer shawls and using prayer mats in the street. Westminster Council has put its network of City Guardians and City Inspectors on alert, particularly in the Edgware Road area and near mosques, after reports came through of the practice.

Cllr Daniel Astaire, cabinet member for community protection, said: “We’re extremely concerned that Muslims may be exploited during the holy month of Ramadan. It is both immoral and unacceptable for people to prey on the generosity and benevolence of the Muslim community at this or any time, and we would advise never to give money to beggars in the street, apart from begging being illegal, you can never be sure the funds are going to those genuinely in need. “For those who are genuinely homeless or in need of assistance the council, along with a number of charitable organisations, offers a wide network of services. There is absolutely no need for anybody to beg on our streets.” During Ramadan Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during daylight hours, and use it as a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practise self-sacrifice. Although the Muslim community has a strong tradition of giving to charity, the giving of alms is even more significant during Ramadan with its focus on improving family bonds and friendships. Dr Abdulkarim Khalil, Director of Al Manaar, the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, said: “It is sad that anybody would seek to take advantage in this way and I strongly urge Muslims to give directly to recognised charities or their mosque so they can be absolutely certain their money is going to a good cause.

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Homeless man Beaten Up For Drinking Beer During Ramadan

Serge, a forty-year old homeless man was nearly killed after being beaten up by a Muslim father and son in Brussels, because he had been drinking beer in public during Ramadan. Serge was beaten with an iron bar with nails while waiting for a doctor’s appointment. He opened a can of beer to pass the time while waiting, when a man who lives above the clinic came down and objected to the imbibing of alcohol in public during the holy month. After an escalation, the Muslim man and his son began attacking Serge, during which about 2 liters of blood had been lost. The son has been arrested for the violent attack.

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The Center of Islamic Culture Organizes Concerts and Debates During Ramadan

The Centre de préfiguration des cultures d’islam has organized a variety of evening concerts and debates every evening during Ramadan at the Institute of Islamic Culture (Institut des cultures d’islam) in the 18th district in Paris.

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French Muslim Charity Busy During Ramadan

The French Muslim Charity “Muslim Hands” will feel thousands of poor people and orphans in France during the month of Ramadan. The charity’s spokesperson Kamal Al-Zein stated, “We hope our Ramadan campaign will be the real launch for the Muslim Hands charity in France.”

Muslim Hands was established in Britain in 2003 and opened its office in Faubourg Saint Denis last year. The month of Ramadan will see the group’s first real charity activity in France.

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