Muslims prisoners in Malawi have been urged to put aside their incarceration woes and observe the holy month ofas their religion commands.
Ramadan is observed by more than one billion Muslims around the world deemed as time for spiritual purification achieved through fasting, self-sacrifice and prayers.
This year it is on Friday July 20 when Muslims around the globe began their holiest month of the year by giving up food, drink, smoking and other physical needs from dawn till dusk each day.
Speaking during prayers at the Mzuzu prison Malawi president Joyce Banda observed that in whatever circumstances one is, it is imperative to follow the teachings of one’s religion because that is the only way one would prove his or her faith.
The Malawi leader pointed out that while life might be hard for the prisoners to observe the fasting period considering the life and situation they are in, the president was quick to mention that with faith and necessary support from people of good will, it is an achievable feat for prisoners to observe the month of fasting.
Mrs. Joyce Banda observed that the major challenge for the Muslim prisoners would be proper foods and timing of breaking the fast since in most Malawi prisons served once a day and it is during day time.
Celebrated during the ninth month of Islamic calendar, the fast is observed each day from sunrise to sunset.
But Joyce Banda had a solution: “That can be overcome. I thought about it and I have brought 10 bags of rice and 10 bales of sugar so that it should not stop you from meeting the obligation of your religion. “
She revealed that the donation was made possible with the kind gesture of one Samaritan by the name of Mrs. Ismail.
The president then asked other people of good will to consider donating foods to all the prisons so that those who want to fast can be able to make it out.
Although the capacity of Mzuzu prison is 200 there are about 447 inmates of which 35 to 40 are Muslims.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five Pillars of Islam. The Islamic belief requires that Muslims perform five central duties in order to strengthen their faith.
In many communities, large dinner gatherings are held each evening to break the fast. The month also marks a time for Muslims to reexamine their lives through the prism of Islamic teachings.
During the Sunday prayers which were organized by the Livingstonia CCAP synod a number of people including the president made donations of food and other materials.
The synod also ordered that the day’s offerings be donated to the prison to assist them in some of the burdens that they have.