Dec 5, 2011, 1:42 PM
As we enter the holy month of Ramadan, the President of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council, Alhagie Imam Muhammed Lamin Touray, has been speaking on the ethics and principles of Ramadan.
"Ramadan is a respectful and sacred month in the religion of Islam. It is the third fundamental pillar of Islam and, therefore, obligatory on all Muslims, both men and women," Imam Touray said.
According to Imam Touray, Ramadan teaches us to have patience and mercy for each other, as well as respect for humanity.
"Ramadan as a holy month teaches us to have patience, be respectful and merciful to each other and to serve humanity, especially those who are underprivileged.
"But it is not a month for causing trouble or anger. Every Muslim is expected to keep peace throughout, especially in this month," he further stated.
Imam Touray was speaking in an exclusive interview with this reporter yesterday.
He said in order to have an accepted fast one must follow all the ethics and principles of fasting.
"To have an accepted fast, you must follow all the ethics and principles of fasting, that is to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, marriage (sex), backbiting, stealing, or any form of unscrupulous behaviour.
"It is not just enough that you don't eat, drink or smoke and think that you are fasting, but it has gone beyond that. Our dress code also matters a lot. We must consider the type of dress we wear before we go out, in the course of this month," he said, adding that nakedness is forbidden for both men and women, especially in this month.
Nakedness, Imam Touray added, was the first form of punishment that Allah put on mankind when Adam and Eve were sent out of paradise, and their clothes were taken off from them.
"So we must not entertain it throughout, especially during the course of this month when all Muslims are devoted to the services of their Lord Allah," he added.
More importantly, he stated, keeping up the five daily prayers while keeping fast is a must and must, therefore, be maintained as an obligation.
Imam Touray also called on Muslims to be sharing and caring for each other, throughout this month. If one gives to a fellow Muslim to break his fast, no matter how small it is he/she gets the equal amount of reward of that person without anything reduced from that individual’s reward, he noted.
"Just imagine if you are able to feed ten people in a day and being paid a ten-day fast in one single day, and these being multiplied into thousands," he pointed out.
Imam Touray appealed to businessmen and women to reduce the prices of their commodities to enable the poor to be able to afford them.
He said this is not the month to make each other suffer, but rather to have mercy and forgive each other.
He finally prayed for peace, unity and development in not only The