Ramadan Mubarak from Indian Spice

Ramadan in 2018 will start on Thursday, the 17th of May and will continue for 30 days until June 15th Friday.

The actual night that the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad is called Lailat ul Qadr, and to stand in prayer on this one night is said to be better than a thousand months of worship.

Ramadan is often called ‘month of the Qur’an’ because of this, and Muslims attempt to recite as much of the Qur’an as they can during the month. Most mosques will recite one thirtieth of the Qur’an each night during the Taraweeh prayers.  No one knows on which particular night the Qur’an was first revealed, but it is said to be one of the last ten nights of Ramadan.

One of the most celebrated and one of the most holiest Islamic month. Ramadan falls during the ninth month of the lunar calendar, also called the month of Ramadan. For Muslims, Ramadan is virtuous and significant for many reasons A time when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) first received the revelations from Allah (SWT). Ramadan. The purpose of Ramadan is to cleanse oneself of all the inner ills and to purify oneself to gain piety from Allah SWT.

Accordingly,  every day during the month of Ramadan, observant Muslims around the world get up before dawn to eat the Suhur meal (the pre-dawn meal) and perform the fajr prayer. The daily fasts end at sunset when the fourth prayer of the day, Maghrib (sunset), is due. Many Muslims break fast with a meal, known as iftar.

Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity and pilgrimage to Makkah) is one of the “five pillars” of Islam”. Because Ramadan is a lunar month, it begins about eleven days earlier each year. The end of Ramadan will be marked by communal prayers called Eid -ul-Fitr or feast of the Fast-Breaking.

This blessed month emphasises the importance of increasing spiritual devotion and sense of community, particularly in the last ten days.  In this month the Qur’an was revealed, and Muslims use this opportunity to connect to the holy book, starting and completing during the entire month.

Many Muslims tend to perform the recitation of the entire Qur’an by means of special prayers, called the Tarawih, which are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Qur’an (known as juz) is recited every night until the entire Qur’an has been completed.

A time to remember the needy: At this time Muslims are encouraged to increase their acts of charity, at the end of the month, many Muslims also complete the other pillar of Islam, Zakat where Muslims give a proportion of their wealth to the needy.

What is the history of Ramadan?

Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. The term Ramadan literally means scorching in Arabic. It was established as a Holy Month for Muslims after the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in 610 CE on the occasion known as Laylat al-Qadr, frequently translated as “the Night of Power.”

Observance of Ramadan is mandated in the Quran, Surah 2, Ayah 185:

“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” 

What are the daily fasting requirements?

During the month of Ramadan, most Muslims fast from dawn to sunset with no food or water. Before sunrise many Muslims have the Suhur or predawn meal. At sunset families and friends gather for Iftar which is the meal eaten by Muslims to break the fast. Many Muslims begin the meal by eating dates as the Prophet used to do.

This ritual fast known as, Sawm, is one of the five pillars of Islam, and requires that individuals abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse.

To find the specific times for Ramadan fasting, click over to this helpful tool provided by IslamiCity that allows you to calculate prayer schedules — including sunrise and sunset — by entering your city or zip code.

What are the expectations towards charity?

Charity is an important part of Ramadan. The fast emphasizes self-sacrifice and using the experience of hunger to grow in empathy with the hungry. During Ramadan, Muslim communities work together to raise money for the poor, donate clothes and food, and hold iftar dinners for the less fortunate.

What scriptural study do Muslims take part in?

Many Muslims use Ramadan to read the entire Quran or read the Quran daily. Many communities divide the Quran into daily reading segments that conclude on Eid ul-Fitr at the end of Ramadan.

Can non-Muslims participate?

Non-Muslims are free to participate in Ramadam. Many non-Muslims fast and even pray with their Muslim friends or family members. Non-Muslims are often invited to attend prayer and iftar dinners.

Those wishing to be polite to someone who is fasting for Ramadan may greet them with Ramadan Mubarak or Ramadan Kareem, which mean Have a Blessed or Generous Ramadan.

Should Muslims with diabetes fast?

Fasting during Ramadan is discouraged for patients with diabetes by the American Diabetes Association.

“In keeping with this, a large epidemiological study conducted in 13 Islamic countries on 12,243 individuals with diabetes who fasted during Ramadan showed a high rate of acute complications.”

However, the study says this was not conclusive. Many diabetic patients fasted with no complications. Patients with diabetes should work with their doctors to figure out a strategy if they choose to fast.

What is the ‘goal’ of Ramadan?

In general, the practices of Ramadan are meant to purify oneself from thoughts and deeds which are counter to Islam. By removing material desires, one is able to focus fully on devotion and service to God. Many Muslims go beyond the physical ritual of fasting and attempt to purge themselves of impure thoughts and motivations such as anger, cursing, and greed.

Do all Muslims take part in Ramadan fasting?

Most Muslims believe Ramadan fasting is mandatory, but there are some groups that do not. Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, people who are seriously sick, travelers, or those at health risk should not fast. Children that have not gone through puberty are also not required to fast during the month Ramadan.

Eid Al-Fitr

Eid ul-Fitr or Id-Ul-Fitr, often abbreviated to Eid, is the Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”, while Fitr means “to break the fast” (and can also mean “nature”, from the word “fitrah”) and so symbolises the breaking of the fasting period.

Eid ul-Fitr starts the day after Ramadan ends, and is verified by the sighting of the new moon. Muslims give money to the poor and wear their best clothes. Eid ul-Fitr lasts three days and is called “The Smaller Eid” compared with the Eid ul-Adha that lasts four days and is called “The Greater Eid”

Even though Muslims observing Ramadan wouldn’t eat or drink during the day time hours, but are recommended to have two special meals during the day: Suhoor and Iftar.

Ramadan Related Content

  1. Ramadan Articles >> http://www.nestle-family.com/my-ramadan/ramadan-articles/english/
  2. Recipes for Ramadan >> http://www.nestle-family.com/my-ramadan/english/recipes.aspx

About Indianspice Staff Reporter

Report and write stories for Indianspice.co.za. It is our ambitious goal to cover issues/events/news concerning South Africa and the diaspora.

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