31 Aug. 2008
PR# 2008-444

ISAF reminds forces of approaching Ramadan

KABUL, Afghanistan — ISAF has reminded all of its forces of the approaching Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to begin Sept. 2, depending on the sighting of the moon.

Ramadan, or the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is the time in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. The Holy Qur’an and Prophet Mohammed’s teachings establish specific customs for Muslims during the month to include fasting during daylight hours, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Muslims aim to emerge from the month in a better spiritual state and with positive habits developed for the rest of the year.

The ISAF message encouraged unit commanders to hold special iftar dinners with local tribal leaders and elders, to expect increased social evening activity, especially around mosques, and to allow, when possible, Afghan employees to leave early to join their families for evening meals. In addition to not offering or eating, drinking or smoking in front of Muslims during daylight hours, ISAF soldiers should trust the advice and assistance of local religious leaders in order to remain honourable and respectful of customs during this time. 

ISAF units have also been asked to practice charitable activities, if possible, during the three-day Eid al-Fitr celebration that follows Ramadan.

Some ISAF military dining facilities will also hold early morning sahari meals for those ISAF soldiers of the Islamic faith.

ISAF’s aim is to be respectful and mindful of our Afghan host’s religious customs and practices as its soldiers go about supporting the Government of Afghanistan in providing a safe and secure environment for the people of Afghanistan.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/