The Holy Month of Ramadan
By Dana Alblooshi, Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar and is observed by millions of Muslims around the world. During this month, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, abstaining from food, drinks, smoking, and sexual activity, as a way to purify the body and soul and strengthen their connection with Allah.
The month of Ramadan begins with the sighting of the new moon, and it lasts for 29 or 30 days, depending on the lunar cycle. The exact date of Ramadan varies each year according to the Islamic calendar, which is based on the lunar cycle. This year it is expected to run from March 22 to April 21.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five ‘Pillars of Islam’, which are the foundation of the Islamic faith. It is obligatory for all adult Muslims who are physically and mentally able to fast, with a few exceptions such as pregnant or breastfeeding women, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses.
The purpose of fasting during Ramadan is not just to abstain from food and drink, but also to practice self-discipline, patience, and empathy for those who are less fortunate. Muslims are encouraged to perform acts of charity and to be kind to others, especially during this month.
The fast begins at dawn, with a pre-dawn meal called ‘Suhoor’, and it ends at sunset with the evening meal called ‘Iftar’. Muslims usually break their fast with dates and water or laban, as this was the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and then have a meal with family and friends.
The month of Ramadan also involves increased prayer and recitation of the Quran, as Muslims strive to deepen their spiritual connection with Allah. Many mosques hold special prayer sessions called ‘Taraweeh’, which are held after the evening prayer and can last for up to two hours.
Ramadan is a time for reflection, self-improvement, and the strengthening of community ties. It is also a time for forgiveness and seeking forgiveness, as Muslims ask for Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for any sins they have committed.
The month of Ramadan culminates in the festival of Eid al-Fitr, which is celebrated with prayer, fasting, and giving gifts to family and friends. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the fast and the beginning of a new month in the Islamic calendar.
In conclusion, Ramadan is a time of spiritual renewal and self-reflection for Muslims around the world. It is a time to strengthen one’s relationship with Allah and to seek forgiveness for any wrongdoing. The act of fasting during this month is not just a physical discipline but also a spiritual one, reminding Muslims of the importance of gratitude, patience, and kindness toward others.
Leave a Reply