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Egypt clamps down on religious ritual

The Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf has imposed a series of strict conditions on religious retreats held in mosques during Ramadan.
A Muslim man reads the Koran during the holy month of Ramadan inside Al-Refaie mosque in the old Islamic area of Cairo, Egypt, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1I4SC

CAIRO — A popular religious ritual is receiving extra scrutiny from officials in Egypt this Ramadan.

The practice of itikaf, a period of retreat in a mosque where Muslims can distance themselves from worldly affairs and concentrate on religious activities, is most commonly observed during the last 10 days of Ramadan, in keeping with the example set by the Prophet Muhammad.

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