RamadanA month of fasting
Ramadan, a month of fasting
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Muslim lunar calendar. Muslims observe this sacred month of Ramadan to mark when Allah sent an Angel Jibrāīl to Prophet Muhammad with the first revelation of the Quran. This revelation is known as the “night of power” or ‘Laylat al-Qadar’ in Arabic.
The beginning and end of Ramadan changes every year as it’s based on the Islamic lunar calendar and the moon cycles. The start of Ramadan is determined by the sighting of the new crescent moon by religious scholars. Although Muslim’s wait for the new moon’s appearance before announcing the first day of Ramadan, they can estimate the arrival. The month of Ramadan usually lasts between 29 to 30 days, depending on when the new crescent moon is sighted.
During Ramadan, Muslims aim to grow spiritually and become closer to Allah and their loved ones. They do this by fasting and abstaining from pleasures like eating, drinking and intimacy with their spouses between sunrise and sunset each day. Ramadan is also a time for unity and spiritual reflection and Muslims spend time praying, reciting the Quran, and doing good deeds. They donate to charity, spend time with loved ones, and avoid lying, gossiping, and fighting.
Fasting is important during Ramadan as it allows Muslim to devote themselves to their faith, get closer to Allah, and learn patience and compassion. It’s about nourishing your soul, rather than only focusing on your physical body. It’s also one of the Five Pillars of Islam which are the foundation of how Muslims live their lives (the others are faith, prayer, charity and pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah). As a symbol of unity, Ramadan is a time when Muslims from all over the world come together to celebrate their faith.
Fasting is usually done by all Muslims except those who are sick, pregnant, lactating, menstruating, or travelling. If you miss any fasting day you can make up for them throughout the year.
A special three-day festival called Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast) marks the end of Ramadan. It begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky. It’s a joyous occasion, with Muslims celebrating the end of fasting and giving thanks to Allah. During these three days, Muslims attend prayers in the morning and visit loved ones and neighbors. Then they enjoy a delicious traditional feast with friends and family. Children are often given presents, and it’s custom to donate to those in need.
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