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Publish Date : 01 June 2019 - 23:58  ,  
News ID: 5757
TEHRAN (Basirat): Sunlight creeps through the windows of the Masjid e Umar, onto the makeshift cubicles where twenty men are living in the final days of Ramadan.


Behind one of the hung curtains, a man snores loudly. When we last caught up with Hanif Patel, he was giving us a tour of the Auckland mosque while hundreds of worshippers arrived at sunset to break their fast.

Now he and 19 fellow worshippers are immersed in Iʿtikaf, the practice of living at the Masjid in the final days of the holy month.

Iʿtikaf involves staying away from "worldly affairs" like business, and not leaving the mosque boundary. Groups of men are currently engaged in it at every mosque in the world, and are viewed as doing it on behalf of their communities as a kind of service.

Patel quietly shows us to his cubicle, where he keeps a blow-up mattress, reading lamp, Koran and food supply that gets topped up by visiting family members. The curtains either side of him stir with the movements of their occupants.

"You try to minimize everything," Patel says of their sojourn at the mosque. "You try not to talk too much, use your phone or joke with people. You repent and think about life."


Iʿtikaf Being Held at Auckland Mosque


The reason a man can be heard snoring at 10am in the morning is he has likely been up all night praying. It's believed this is a time to do as much prayer as possible.

One of the nights in the final 10 days of Ramadan is Laylat al-Qadr, or the "night of power." In Islamic belief, it's the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

Acts of worship done on this night are thought to be equivalent to 1000 months of worship, Patel says. If you're a Muslim practicing Iʿtikaf, you never know where on the calendar the night of power will fall; you better pray every night so you don't miss it.

Next week the country's Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the day of feasting that marks the end of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.

Eid will either fall on Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on when New Zealand's dedicated moon-sighting committee is able to verify a sighting of the new moon with the naked eye. Eid happens the day after the moon is sighted.

The committee asks that Muslims across the country make an effort to spot the new moon and report sightings to them. If nobody in New Zealand is able to see the moon, a sighting from the committee's Fijian counterpart will suffice.

Patel says Eid is a day when everyone is welcome to gather at his home and eat samosas, including non-Muslims. He gets excited at the thought of the coming festival, and doesn't notice that he's starting to follow us out of the mosque and into the car park.

"I'm not meant to be out here," he exclaims, and hurries back into the Masjid.


Iʿtikaf Being Held at Auckland Mosque


Source: IQNA

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