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A peaceful, pious Ramadan observed in Xinjiang


16:46, July 19, 2013

URUMQI, July 19 (Xinhua) -- As the call to prayer rang out through Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, tens of thousands of people swarmed into mosques for the first prayer of the day.

Ramadan, which started on July 8 this year, is a month of fasting for Muslims. From sunrise to sunset each day, no adult Muslim is supposed to eat.

This year, Ramadan in Xinjiang is as peaceful and pious as ever.

"Fasting lets us experience the sufferings of hunger and poverty. It strengthens our compassion," said 73-year-old Dawut Parhat. "I stick to fasting and pray fives times a day."

Muslims wake up earlier than usual during Ramadan. Ma Xiufen, an Urumqi resident, got out of bed at 3 a.m. and ate around 4:20 a.m.

"During the day, I spend a lot of time talking about Islam with other Muslims on the Internet," Ma said. "I can learn more about my religion through discussion."

In Yengisar County, Kashgar, Kasenjan had finished his meal by 5 a.m. and after a short prayer, the farmer started to work.

During Ramadan, almost everyone in his village abstains from food throughout the day.

Batur runs a handicraft art store in Urumqi's international bazaar. He said Ramadan did not affect his business.

"Visitors flock to Xinjiang in summer. I'm fasting and my store is open, "Batur said.

Many Muslim-owned restaurants don't open their doors until after 9 p.m. during Ramadan.

"I offer guests bigger portions in Ramadan. I believe Allah will bless my business," said Kerim Aji, a kebab restaurant owner.

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