Ramadan season is just around the corner, and the festivities can be seen everywhere, be it in markets, malls or your own house. No matter whether it is an adult or a child, everyone is equally excited about the occasion and are busy preparing for it in their own unique way. If you are the one who celebrates this occasion, then you must be familiar with all the traditions that are observed during this month. But for those who have only witnessed this festival in the neighborhood or a friend’s house, there are certain questions that are raised in their mind regarding this holy month.
Well, if you haven’t been able to clear your doubts till now, we have answers to all your queries. Take a look:
It is a month for charity
Charity and donations are considered significant during the month of Ramadan and see a great rise as many Muslims help poor and needy at this time of the year. Mosques and various religious organizations offer free meals called as iftar to others every evening. Also, wealthier people donate baskets or bags containing eatables, such as oil, rice, sugar, etc.
It is not celebrated on the same day annually
Ramadan is celebrated according to the lunar calendar, and Muslims have to wait for hilal, i.e., the Arabic word for new moon, of the ninth month every year. As lunar cycle moves backward, Ramadan falls a few days earlier than the previous year. This affects the length of the fasting too because summers have longer days as compared to winters. At the end of this holy month, Laylat al-Qadr, also known as Night of Power, is celebrated which is considered as the anniversary of the night when Allah introduced the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. Traditionally this night falls in the last ten days of Ramadan; the grand night is on the 27th day which is widely observed across the world.
Muslims wake up before sunrise to eat
This morning meal that they have before sunrise is known as Suhoor. There are usually three kinds of people you can witness during Suhoor. First, who eat breakfast items, like cereal. Second, who prefer complete dinner. And last, who sleep throughout this particular time. This is the perfect opportunity for the families to share a meal who hardly get any time in a year to have breakfast together.
Fasting predates Islam
The concept of fasting has been popular even before the establishment of the Islamic religion. The New Testament and the Hebrew Bible (both predate the Prophet Muhammad) already mention abstention from food and drink. Of course, the general fasting is different as compared to Ramadan because Muslims are forbidden to consume anything during daylight.
It’s not only about fasting from food
It also includes fasting from drinking too. Muslims cannot drink even a drop of water during daylight, i.e., from dusk to dawn. Apart from eating and drinking, the Quran also prohibits them from swearing, lying, arguing, gossiping and other ill habits, like smoking. The main motive is to show complete submission to God and focus only on a spiritual plane. Also, families and friends visit each other after sunset and celebrate every day of the month with laughter and positivity.
There can be some exceptions
Fasting is considered as one of the five pillars of Islamic religion and an unbreakable rule, but there are some exceptions where people can leave this tradition. Children, pregnant women, elders, and sick people can forgo it so that it doesn’t affect their health negatively. Those who are not able to fast due to some reason can choose to pay fidiya which means to donate a meal to one needy person for each day they miss the fast. They can also make up by fasting at a later date. Ramadan represents spiritual reflection and doesn’t mean to enforce hardship on people who are unable to fast.
Fasts are opened with dates
At sunset when observers break their fast, dates are the traditional choice for doing so which is followed by juice and variety of food spread depending on the culture. This meal is known as Iftar.
It is good for business and TV opportunities
There are various mini-series on television that are created for 30 episodes, on for each night of the holy month. The motive is to attract viewers and advertisements to gain maximum profit. People also prefer shopping for luxury items, that is why it is also a favorable season for various business sectors.
The holy month ends with Eid celebrations
After these thirty days are over, Muslims across the world celebrate Eid which starts off by morning prayers. The festivities continue with friends, families, food, and people exchange gifts. Traditional food can vary according to culture, but dessert is primarily included in the meal.
Hopefully, by now you must have realized the significance of Ramadan and various rituals related to this month. We wish that this holy time brings you all the good luck and joy. Happy festivities.
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