The ninth month on the Islamic calendar is known as Ramadan. Ramadan word originated from the Arabic word ramada or ar-ramad which means scorching heat. It is said that in this month the first verses of the Quran, the holy book of Islam were revealed to Prophet Muhammad by Allah. Muhammad learned the first verses of the Holy Quran with the help of Allah’s angel Gabriel. The holy night is known as ‘Laylat al-Qadr’ and it is said that the 27th night of the holy month is Laylat Al Qadr – the holy night.
People believe that during the month of Ramadan the devils are chained in hell and the hell gates are closed and the gates of heaven are opened. No one comes between the worshipper and the Almighty. Those who observe the holy month with fasting and prayer are forgiven of their sins by God. It is a month of self-introspection.
During this time the followers of Islam have to pray five times a day, every day, throughout the month from dawn till night. They are known as Fajr (dawn), Dhuhr(noon), Asr(afternoon), Maghrib (evening) and Isha (night).
The ritualistic fast is known as Roza, Several Muslims observe Roza. It is obligatory to do so. They abstain from all worldly pleasure. They observe fast with their family and friends. It shows their devotion to God. They keep Roza from sunrise to sunset. They wake up early to have Sehri – all filling food, and then they don’t eat anything till sunset not even a drop of water. After seeing the moon they break their fast by eating dates and water. It is believed that Prophet Muhammad used to have dates and water when he had to break his fast. They pray to be spiritually close to God. They offer prayer in a group in mosques and gather for sunset meals known as Iftar with a sumptuous meal. They do charity and provide food to the needy during this time.
Certain rules of fasting
All Muslims who are adults should observe fast, except those who are seriously ill, very old. Those who cannot fast due to some reason perform Lidiya – feeding a person for each missing fast.
One has to pray five times a day.
They should follow the austere life.
Do not swallow water while cleaning the mouth even.
These are to be followed for the entire month – one moon cycle.
Through prayers the Ramadan worshippers seek forgiveness, express prayers, help the needy, Fasting makes them stronger, united, they come closure to each other, together they go for prayer ( known as Tarahwi)after Iftar, they appreciate food, thank Allah for what they have.
The feast of fast-breaking is celebrated as Eid-ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan month – people wear new clothes, they visit mosques, graveyards offer prayer, prepare mouthwatering, sumptuous food like biryanis, kormas, sheer korma – a dessert made with vermicelli and saffron, phirni, shahitukda to name a few. People also host the Iftar party these days. This Eid is also known as the eid.
This year due to coronavirus pandemic many countries have restricted public gathering, along with all other religious places mosques are also shut down. So this year the world will witness Ramadan celebration of the followers in their homes.
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