Muslims all over the world observe Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
Fasting from sunrise to sunset, praying, and performing deeds of kindness are all part of this month-long celebration. The purpose of observing Ramadan and the traditions related to it will be discussed in this blog.
Why is Ramadan celebrated?
Muslims have been observing Ramadan since the holy book of Islam, the Quran, commanded it. Islam holds that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) first received the Quran during the holy month of Ramadan in the year 610 CE.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) received the first verses of the Quran while he was meditating in a cave on Mount Hira in Mecca, which is now in contemporary Saudi Arabia. The Night of Power, also known as Laylat al-Qadr, is thought to have taken place during the final ten nights of Ramadan.
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) received the Quran over a 23-year period following the initial revelation. In addition to encouraging his companions to fast during Ramadan, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) himself would do so. Ramadan fasting has developed into a significant aspect of Islamic worship and is now one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the cornerstone of the Muslim faith.
Therefore, Muslims began celebrating Ramadan to honor the Quran's revelation, recognize the sacred month, and engage in spiritual reflection and worship. Ramadan has been an integral part of the Islamic religion for over 1400 years.
Fasting during Ramadan
One of the most important aspects of Ramadan is fasting. Muslims fast during daylight hours, which means they refrain from eating, drinking, and other physical needs from sunrise to sunset. This is a way of purifying the soul and focusing on spiritual matters.
Fasting is also considered a way of demonstrating self-discipline and devotion to God. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the foundation of the Islamic faith.
There are a few exceptions to fasting during Ramadan. Children who have not yet reached puberty, the elderly and those who are ill or pregnant are not required to fast. However, they can make up the missed fasts at a later time if they are able.
The Iftar meal
Muslims eat an iftar meal to break their fast at sunset. This is a crucial part of the Ramadan observance and a time for gatherings with family and the local community. Dates are typically consumed as a means of breaking the fast before the iftar meal. After a long day of fasting, Muslims also consume water or other liquids to rehydrate.
A full meal, which may include classic fares like biryani, samosas, and lentil soup, is served after the initial snack. The iftar meal is a time for bonding and fortifying relationships and is frequently shared with family, friends, and neighbors.
Prayer during Ramadan
Prayer is an important part of Ramadan. Muslims are encouraged to increase their prayers during this time, and many mosques offer special Ramadan prayers in the evening, known as Tarawih prayers.
The Tarawih prayer is performed after the Isha prayer and consists of 20 rakats, or units of prayer. This special prayer is only performed during Ramadan and is a way for Muslims to connect with God and seek forgiveness for their sins.
Charity during Ramadan
Another crucial component of Ramadan is charity. During this time, Muslims are urged to help those in need, whether it be by making donations to a charitable cause or by giving fasting people food.
Ramadan also sees the collection of zakat, which is a type of required almsgiving. Muslims can help the underprivileged and give back to the community by participating in zakat. It is estimated to be worth 2.5% of a person's wealth and is given to those in need.
The Night of Power
The Quran was initially revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during the Night of Power, also known as Laylat al-Qadr. Many Muslims spend the entire night in prayer and devotion as it is regarded as one of the most significant nights of the year.
Although the precise date is unknown, Islamic tradition states that the Night of Power occurs during the final 10 days of Ramadan. The Night of Power is a night of worship and prayer, and Muslims are urged to seek it out.
Eid al-Fitr is a holiday that commemorates the end of Ramadan. This is a moment for joy and celebration as Ramadan's month-long observance has come to an end. Muslims present themselves in their best attire, participate in prayer services, and send gifts and greetings to loved ones.
Depending on the nation and culture, Eid al-Fitr is observed for a day or three. Besides receiving gifts or cash from family members, children frequently receive traditional delicacies that are cooked and shared.
The month of Ramadan is a time for introspection, self-control, and devotion to God. Important components of Ramadan practices include fasting, prayer, almsgiving, and community. Muslims should use this time to purify their souls, strengthen their beliefs, and improve their ties to their loved ones, friends, and neighbors.
Ramadan fosters a sense of community and togetherness while imparting important lessons in self-control, empathy, and compassion. Muslims should use this opportunity to think back on their past behavior and resolve to behave better going forward.
Ramadan's month-long observance comes to an end on Eid al-Fitr, which is a time for joy and celebration. It serves as a reminder of the value placed on family, community, and faith in the lives of Muslims worldwide.