RAMADAN: Cambodian Muslims prepare to break their fast

MEMBERS of Cambodia’s 600,000-strong Cham Muslim community are set to celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan, which draws to a close today. During the entire month of Ramadan – which began on August 11 – Muslims are required to fast from dawn until sunset.

Sa Lesh, a Cham Muslim and hakim (elder) at the Nurunnaim Mosque in the city’s Russey Keo district, explained that Ramadan is the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar, and is intended to cleanse devoted Muslims of all sins.

“Allah has taught us through the Qur’an to make good commitments and to share food with the poorest of people,” he said. “Why did Allah teach us to do that? Because he wants us to understand about suffering and hunger… so we will distribute food and other belongings to the poor.”

He said that elders, the infirm and children under age 15 were not required to fast.

Photo 1
A Cham Muslim man prepares grapes for the evening meal at the Nurunnaim Mosque in Russey Keo district.

Photo 2
A Cham Muslim boy sets out plates of grapes and noodles for members of the community surrounding Nurunnaim Mosque.

Photo 3
Muslim men chat before the evening meal at the entrance of Nurunnaim Mosque.

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