What is Ramadan ?
The word Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان) is derived from the Arabic root word Ramida or ar-ramad,, meaning intense heat and dryness of the ground.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Every day during this month, Muslims around the world spend the 30 days of Ramadan fasting the daylight hours and bettering themselves in principles of faith.
Muslims believe that the Holy book Quran was sent down from heaven to the universe in the month Ramadan as guidance for man salvation and also as a life and afterlife directions.
Fasting in Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, and one of the highest forms of Islamic worship. Pillars generally refer to the duties followed by a Muslim, here are the five pillars are:
1. Faith – Faith entails believing that ‘There is no God but Allah’ and ‘Muhammad is his prophet’.
2.Prayer – Established five times a day while facing towards the city of Mecca,, serving as a reminder throughout the day of our purpose in life: to worship our Creator.
3. Zakat – is an obligatory and voluntary charity given to the poor once a year by those who have the means.
4. Fasting – Abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations especially during the ‘holy’ month of Ramadan, thereby develops patience, characteristics, self-restraint, and God consciousness.
5. Hajj – Pilgrimage to the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia at least once in a lifetime is a spiritual quest of submission to God for those who are financially and physically able.
Why do Muslims Fast?
The date of the beginning of Ramadan change every year. Ramadan starts upon local sighting of the moon, which is largely determined by the crescent moon (hilal), all Muslims through this holy month fast daily, from dawn until dusk.
During the blessed month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs holding some of the most basic and carnal needs and desires, from dawn to sunset for a one-month period each year.
Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking, it is a way a Muslim can truly devote his soul to god, purify his soul, and practice self-sacrifice.
At the end of Ramadan, which begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky, Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr, the “Feast of Fast-Breaking,” after a long 30 days of fasting. Eid Al-Fitr is one of the two major religious festivals in Islam. On the day of the Eid, The entire community comes together in the morning for special prayers and to congratulate each other.
During the three days of Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims dress in their finest clothes, spending the rest of the day visiting friends and family. Children wear new clothes and are often rewarded with gifts, money, and sweets.
Pictures of Ramadan around the World: