The most important month in a year for Muslims, as it does not differentiate between rich and poor people because all Muslims are equal, they do the same worship. It is the month of fasting called Ramadan; it is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. In Ramadan, all Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. Fasting means not only preventing yourself from eating and drinking but also teaching yourself how to become more patient, humble and spiritual.
Ramadan has a close relationship with the Quran, as the Quran was sent down to the Prophet Muhammed in Ramadan. In Ramadan, Muslims do worship like prayer and charity, than usual. During Ramadan, Muslims do more things for the sake of Allah, especially in Ramadan, to have forgiveness for their past and present sins. Moreover, they pray for guidance and evil things they do and try to purify themselves by self-control and good deeds.
The last 10 days of Ramadan are called the “night of power”; the Quran was set down during these days. All Muslims do their best in worship during these days because of the special rewards related to these days. As Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever fasted the month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith (i.e. belief) and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his past sins will be forgiven, and whoever stood for the prayers in the night of Qadr out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” Muslims do most of the deeds to reward with Paradise. Not all Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan as there are cases of exemption.
Not all Muslims will refrain from eating and drinking during the daylight hours of Ramadan. As those who are ill, young (under 15 years), old, or travelling are excused. But there is an extreme example about the worship of Fasting, in Saudi Arabia, they forbid the swallowing of saliva as they see that will invalidate their fast.
Rituals during the month of Ramadan
Muslims will often eat a meal before dawn that is called “suhoor”; some of them go to their beds after it, but others wait to perform the Dawn Prayer. They refrain from eating, drinking, sexual activity, and any other immoral behaviour from dawn to dusk. Because bad deeds can also invalidate their fast. Many Muslims perform the five Prayers in mosques with people.
After the Sunset Prayer, Muslims gather with their families, friends or relatives in their homes to break their fast with a small meal called “Iftar”. Following the model of Muhammad; Muslims begin their Iftar with eating dates and a glass of water.
During Ramadan, Muslims perform additional prayers that are performed at night called “Tarawih prayers”. They can recite all the Quran during these prayers over the month of Ramadan. As every evening, they can recite one-thirtieth of the Quran, so that they will read the Holy Quran with the conclusion of the month. Many Muslims strive for the whole Quran at least once during the month of Ramadan.
All Muslims wait all the month of Ramadan to celebrate the Night of Power or Laylat-ul-Qadr. This occurs within the last ten days of Ramadan. They celebrate with Laylat-ul-Qadr by spending the entire night in mosques, often reading the Quran or praying. During Ramadan, Muslims greet each other with, “Ramadan Kareem” or “Ramadan Mubarak”, which means to be happy and feeling good.
Ramadan ends with the Feast called “Eid-ul-Fitr”. It is also a special day for Muslims.
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