Kashmir Valley Muslims gear up to mark Ramadan

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Srinagar, Aug.23 (ANI): Muslims in the Kashmir Valley are gearing up to observe the fasting month of Ramadan that started on Sunday.

As Ramadan is aimed at promoting peace and spiritual strength, the fasts during this holy month is marked by abstention from cigarettes, alcohol, and thinking ill of anybody.

"In this holy month of Ramadan, I will pray for all troubles in the valley to end. May god bestow peace and harmony on our valley. I hope that all my prayers are heard," said Chuni Lal, a local.

During Ramadan, the people prepare in advance and shop for food and decorative items at least ten days earlier.

"We have to take extra food from tomorrow, so we buy lots of dates, semolina, and meat in this month," said Abdul Rehman, a local resident a day ahead of Ramadan.

Another local resident said that it is a belief that observing fasts during this month cleanses the soul and spreads peace, prosperity and happiness.

"This is not just a month of fasting and offering prayers but also the month of distributing alms to the needy. We also donate some percentage of our income to the poor. It is a belief that the God rewards us for performing this activity. We should follow the duty of giving alms to the poor whole year and not only in the month Ramadan," said Ghulam Jeelani, a localite.

Activity during Ramadan peaks between 'Iftar', the breaking of the fast at sunset, a 'suhur' the last meal of the day before sunrise. By Parvez Butt (ANI)

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