| Ramadan

In photos: Kazakhstan celebrates the holy month of Ramadan

By Aydar Ashimov

The central mosque in Taraz can be seen in this photo taken May 16. [Aydar Ashimov]

Muslims pray outside the walls of the central mosque in Taraz on May 17. [Aydar Ashimov]

Believers from all over Zhambyl Province come to the central mosque in Taraz for Friday prayers on May 17. [Aydar Ashimov]

The central mosque in Taraz has a clock displaying times for prayer readings, as seen in this photo taken May 17. [Aydar Ashimov]

Muslims observing the Ramadan fast pray outside the Taraz mosque May 17. [Aydar Ashimov]

A man gives money to a beggar in Taraz on May 17. [Aydar Ashimov]

A man performs iftar at sunset in Taraz on May 16. [Aydar Ashimov]

The central mosque in Taraz can be seen May 16. [Aydar Ashimov]

TARAZ, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan began celebrating Ramadan this year with religious leaders encouraging good deeds.

"Ramadan is the month when you need to constantly perform good deeds. During the fast, a reward for every good deed is multiplied," Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan (DUMK) Chairman Supreme Mufti Serikbay kazhy Oraz said in an address published May 4.

Oraz called on Muslims to participate in charitable activities and to help mothers with large families and other vulnerable groups. He urged businesses not to raise prices on food and consumer goods during the holy month.


The central mosque in Taraz, built in 2007, is one of the main attractions of the city. Seen here in this photo taken May 16, it is especially beautiful in the evening and at night. [Aydar Ashimov]

The central mosque in Taraz, built in 2007, is one of the main attractions of the city. Seen here in this photo taken May 16, it is especially beautiful in the evening and at night. [Aydar Ashimov]

Oraz recalled when the Prophet Muhammad said, "The best of you is the one who is useful to his society and country."

Many observers say this type of encouragement helps foster ethnic and religious tolerance, which is key in Kazakhstan's efforts to grapple with attempts by militants such as "Islamic State" (IS) to radicalise citizens.

Muslim leaders from Central Asian countries this year agreed to start Ramadan on the same day.

The holy month of Ramadan will end on June 5 with the celebration of Eid ul Fitr.

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