So many people think there is so much to know about Ramadan and are afraid to research it. But here is a short but informative guide to what Ramadan is:
- Fasting in Ramadan is the 3rd of the 5 pillars of Islam.
- Ramadan takes place in the 9th Month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
- Ramadan begins 10 days earlier each year in the Gregorian calendar taking around 33 years to move through the times from January to December.
- Presently, the month of Ramadan falls in April in the UK and therefore includes some of the longest days of fasting.
- Fasting describes avoiding the intake of food, beverage, smoking cigarettes, and sexual relations during the hours of daytime, from dawn until sundown.
- Muslims also aim to avoid all bad behavior and increase in ‘excellent deeds’ such as checking out the Quran, extra prayers, and giving up charity as the benefits are manifold in this month.
- Fasting is obligatory for all males and women once they obtain puberty.
- Exemptions are given to the sick, the tourist, and menstruation females, although missed fasts require to be paid back at a later date.
- The Quran was exposed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the month of Ramadan, so it is a month of spiritual, moral, and social significance.
- The last ten nights of Ramadan are deemed particularly sacred, and Muslims frequently use this time to more increase in acts of praise and disengage from any interruptions, consisting of spending some time in seclusion (Itikaf).
- Lailat ul qadr (‘ the night of power’) is the night in which the Quran was exposed to the most affordable paradise. It falls on one of the odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan and praise throughout this night is higher than worship in a thousand months.
Muslims are required to participate in Ramadan (fasting) according to their faith, Muslims generally begin fasting for the very first time at 10 to 12-years-old, all Muslims are obliged to fast with the exception of the sick, the elderly, pregnant females, and travelers.
Ramadan is a time for fasting, naturally, however also, and equally essential, a time for deep reflection and observation, in addition to traditions and gatherings. Yet, Ramadan, besides being a deeply spiritual month, where individuals pray more than typical and attend religious study circles, is generally a festive time too, one loaded with pleasing reunions with enjoyed ones. To break the fast, which lasts from sunrise up until sunset, Muslims collect and consume iftar (breaking of the fast) together as a neighborhood, whether it be with household, buddies, or with fellow believers in a mosque.
It is likewise a time for congregational night-time prayers and other religious practices done as a community. This year, nevertheless, with the unfortunate outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, mosques’ capacities are limited, and events banned. These crucial common activities will be absent (and sorely missed out on) for the second year.
It is also essential to understand and be thankful, emphasize our devotion to all the blessings we have been presented, and thank God for them, as gratefulness is a vital part of the Islamic faith and a source of barakah (true blessings) and abundance.
Throughout this month, making an intention and taking the time to reflect on every aspect of one’s life in order to see how it can be better and improve on principles of knowledge is vital. While fasting is observed by a lot of Muslims, self-evaluation, and self-questioning form a key practice of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and a spiritual component of Ramadan, which is typically forgotten.
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Fasting during Ramadan, i.e. avoiding food, beverage, smoking cigarettes, and sexual relations from dusk to dawn entirely completes self-reflection as it assists us to concentrate deeply and does amazing things for our physical health. Western learnings have just about caught up with the understanding and knowledge of the Islamic institution, which has actually delegated fasting for over 1,400 years. Western medicine now acknowledges that fasting supplies many advantages, consisting of increased durability, cell regeneration, and repair, increased nerve cell production, more well-balanced insulin levels, and improved brain plasticity, to name a few things.
What breaks your fast?
- Deliberate consuming food, drinking, or sexual relations.
- Self-caused vomiting.
- A female beginning her menstruation while fasting.
- Injections for nourishment.
What does not break your fast?
- Accidental eating or drinking.
- Utilizing an inhaler for health reasons e.g. asthma.
- Small bleeding from a minor mishap.
- Giving a little amount of blood for testing.
- Utilizing eye drops or applying kohl (Surma) to the eyes.
- Tasting food while cooking, out of requirement, so long as it does not exceed the throat (i.e. not consuming, however merely checking for taste).
- Swallowing one’s own saliva.
The celebration to commemorate the end of Ramadan is called Eid al-Fitr.
As soon as the fasting has ended, Muslims around the world commemorate according to their traditions with special meals, where friends and families get together and kids are typically given presents and brand-new clothes. Muslims on this day also go to the mosque in the morning to pray. Before the Eid Salah Zakat ul Fitr is compulsory to pay.
Zakat ul Fitr is a charity levied upon each family that should be given prior to the start of the Eid prayers so that it may reach the one entitled and in time for Eid events. The aim of the Zakat ul Fitr is to act as an apology and filtration of any incorrect behavior during Ramadan, along with making available food to the less fortunate. In the UK the expense of Zakat ul Fitr exercises to approximately ₤ 5 per individual. You can donate to this Kashmir Orphan Relief Trust (KORT) who takes full responsibility to make sure the donation is distributed to the people that are entitled.