President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has identified with the Islamic community as Liberian Muslims begin the Holy Month of fast and prayer, Ramadan.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf called on all those of the Islamic faith to pray for the nation as they go through their long month of fast and prayer.
The Ramadan fast is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and must be observed by all adult Muslims. President Sirleaf called on Muslim leaders to uphold the ideals of peace and respect as dictated by Islam.
Ramadan started on Saturday, and all Muslims are expected to fast and pray from sunrise to sunset. The President said the whole nation identifies with the Islamic community as they embark on this journey.
Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims — the Prophet Mohammed said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
Muslims believe it was during this month that God revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s sacred text, to Mohammed on a night known as “The Night of Power” (or Laylat al-Qadr in Arabic).
During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. It is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline — of deep contemplation of one’s relationship with God, extra prayer, increased charity and generosity, and intense study of the Quran.