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Muslims Need Strong Soup to Survive Fasting in Cold Russia

Muslims Need Strong Soup to Survive
Fasting in Cold Russia



Petersburg Mosque

Damir Ahmed, IOL Correspondent

MOSCOW, November 12 (IslamOnline) - Russian Muslims began observing the Muslims' holy fasting month of Ramadan on November 6.


On the eve of the eye-sighting of the crescent, necessary to determine the beginning of Ramadan, Muslims across Russia flocked to mosques for the night prayers and for Taraweeh.

Leaflets and books on when fasting begins and when it ends as well as a detailed calendar of prayer times for the whole month were circulated among worshippers.

Muslims in European Russia usually have their Sohour (the last meal before the beginning of the fast) at 3:10 a.m. and refrain from eating or drinking by 5:11 a.m. before the call for the Fajr (dawn) prayer is raised at 5:31 a.m.

The call for the Maghreb prayer (time to break the fast) is usually around 4:04 p.m, coming down a minute every day until it eventually reaches 3:13 p.m. by the end of Ramadan.

The most important meal at Muslims' banquets in Ramadan, whether Sohour or iftar, is soup cooked with meat, potatoes, onion and vegetables, with almost 30 other possible variations.

Non-Russians always wonder why Russian Muslims do not go for simple meals such as milk and jam.

The answer is rather very simple.

First, Russian Muslims wake up at 6:30 a.m for work.

They do not benefit from the lunch break granted by all institutions and work places at 12:00, because they are not to eat before the Maghreb prayer.

They finish work at 4:00 p.m. and rush home to fix the fast-breaking meal.

Second, in a country like Russia where temperatures are usually below zero, milk or jam would not give Muslims enough calories for a tough working day.

Only a strong meal would help them survive such temperatures and hard work conditions.

Russian Muslims usually break their fast with milked dates.

Every Muslim is keen on performing Taraweeh prayer with other fellow Muslims in mosques or courtyards.

This year, more than 15,000 young Muslims perform Taraweeh prayer in Al Nour mosque in Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan.

In a phone contact with IslamOnline, the media department in Bashkortostan said that there are some 500 courtyards and 490 mosques in the republic.

In Tatarstan, the Mufti Sheikh Isaac Othmanov said on the second day of the holy month that Muslims in the republic perform Taraweeh prayer in 357 courtyards and 1578 mosques.

In every mosque under the supervision of Tatarstan religious authorities, fast-breaking meals are offered to Muslims who fail to make it home before the Maghreb (time to break their fast).

According to the Russian Fatwa committee, there are 4093 courtyards and 10867 mosques where Muslims perform Taraweeh prayer.

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