Ramadan in Madagascar
Though Malagasy religious beliefs mostly comprise of indigenous animistic worship (52%) and Christian (41%), 7% of the population claim Islam. As such, Ramadan is celebrated in Madagascar. August 1st marked the first day of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. This month, Muslims here in Madagascar as well as around the world are gathering together to “fast, pray, connect with family and friends, and re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. During the Holy Month of Ramadan, believers are expected to follow Sharia law, with fasting from sun up to sun down for 30 days. This fast is intended to help instill patience, self-sacrifice, spiritual cleansing, enlightenment and submissiveness to God” (taken from IBTraveler).
I can’t say that we have many close Muslim friends, perhaps only a handful, but as we live in one of the highest concentrations of Muslim community, we are witness to this yearly event. Many Arab, Indian, Comorian and Malagasy Muslims are dressed extra fancy this month and the prayers from the Mosques five times a day seem to be louder. Every time I hear the prayers from the Mosques, I’m reminded to pray for my brothers and sisters.