Rohingya: Religion and Belief
Islam is the main religion of Rohingya people. As the followers, they follow five main pillars of Islam namely having faith on Oneness of God, performing five daily prayers, alms-giving to needy, self-purifying through fasting and performing pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able at least once in a life-time. Faith plays an important role for Rohingyas.
They are taught to have faith on Oneness of God and Prophet Muhammad as His last messenger. In early childhood, the noble Qur’an and the Hadiths (sayings of the Prophet) are taught at home or in madaras (religious school) and many specialise it becoming scholars. As well as Rohingya children are taught to perform the five-time daily prayers starting at the age of adolescence.
Men and boys go to nearby mosques; and women and girls perform at home. Almsgiving and fasting goes hands to hands, having fast a complete lunar month from sunrise till sunset daily. Like all Muslims around the world, Rohingyas too give special attention to this month as they believe that these make them abstain from committing sins; and feel and share with those unfortunate ones how they live, how they feel and how they cope. If someone is capable physically and financially, he or she is obliged to perform pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah once in a life-time. The Hajj is the Abrahamic origin, performed with many rites for several days to fulfil religious belief and feel all are equal before God.
Unfortunately, it has been extremely difficult for Rohingyas to practise freedom of Religion in the state of Arakan due to the numerous restrictions placed by Burmese government.