Like billions of Muslims around the globe, Ahmed Al-Mahdi, a 22-year-old student, is getting ready to welcome the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
He has bought a new copy of the Noble Qur’an and a new set of cloths to wear for the tarawih prayers.
“I want to turn a new page in my relations with Allah,” he told IslamOnline.net.
“I’m planning to fill this new page with fasting, prayers, Qur’an recitation and all sorts of good deeds.”
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy fasting month to become closer to Allah through prayer, self-restraint and good deeds.
It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur'an.
Many men perform i`tikaf (spiritual retreat), spending the last 10 days of the month exclusively in the mosque.
“We all are readying to welcome Ramadan,” says an enthusiastic Zohor, a 36-year-old teacher.
“Ramadan is a great month that we must not miss.”
Many Moroccans started preparing for Ramadan, expected to start on August 22, by fasting days in Sha`aban.
“Fasting duing Sha`aban has become a habit for many men and women in Morocco,” notes Zohor.
Ali Mudan, a Justice Ministry employee, agrees.
“Some of my friends have rearranged their vacations in order to spend more time worshipping in Sha`aban to prepare for Ramadan,” he told IOL.
“Fasting in Sha`aban is like a training course one takes before the holy month of Ramadan.”
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast during Sha`ban more than he did in any other month, expect Ramadan.
“We love the Prophet and want to follow in his foot steps,” says Fatimah Deamash, an elder housewife.
Ramadan preparations are not only faith-oriented.
"I have cleaned up my house to be ready for Ramadan,” says Aisha Aroub, a civil servant.
Haleyah Benasi, a housewife, is also making special preparations for the Ramadan kitchen.
"I have bought many traditional food items to be served on our iftar banquests during Ramadan," she told IOL.
Iftar banquests are a good chance for many friends and families to come together and renewed their relations.
Mohammad Kamal, a young preacher, says all these different preparations speak of one fact.
“Muslims, and particularly Moroccans, are determined to renew their faith and turn a new leaf.”