As Muslims in Rwanda Thursday join their counterparts in the world to observe the Holy Month of Ramadhan, the Mufti of Rwanda Sheikh Salim Hitimana has urged them to strive for peaceful co-existence with neighbours and support the needy in the community.
Ramadhan is that time of the year when all Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset for 30 days as they reflect on their faith.
The period ends with Eid-al-fitr, when Muslims gather in different mosques to celebrate with special prayers, hold family get-togethers, among other feasts.
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and it is an obligation for all adult Muslims.
In his message, Mufti Hitimana called on Muslims to increase praying hours but importantly show kindness to their neighbours, avoid any activity that can interrupt their prayers, and take care of the needy families.
"It is the period of renewing our faith and the reward from one good deed is multiplied comparing to the ordinary time. Most importantly, in addition to prayers, the period is to be characterised by discipline, humility, visiting the sick and supporting the elderly and poor people," he said.
He noted that the sick are not allowed to fast.
Persons who fast are those above 16 years of age or anyone who shows maturity before attaining that age.