Holy Month of Ramadan & its Significance
Ramadan is one of the most important religious events for Muslims. The span of Ramadan festivities lasting 29–30 days is ultimately decided on the basis of visual sightings of the crescent moon. Ramadan days are spent in great spiritual fervour by way of fasting and reflection.
Significance of Ramadan Festival
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and originated from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad meaning heat or dryness. It is believed that the first verses of the Quran had been revealed to the Prophet during the month of Ramadan in which the first word was –Read.
Ramadan places a special emphasis on Muslims to read the scripture as many times as possible and reflect on God’s guidance.
Fasting is considered one of the five pillars of Islamic belief systems. The decree is that Muslims must fast from sunrise to sunset and spend the evenings spent in prayer and spiritual reflection with family. The community meals and deep reading of the Quran are important duties of the Ramadan period.
The spiritual growth coupled with the physical and mental purification from fasting makes the Ramadan phase a very divine experience for the believers. The fasting is exempted only for the physically challenged and pregnant women.
Purpose of fasting during Ramadan?
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is a holy obligation (wājib) and is symbolic of Sha’aban the month when Muslims migrated to Medina from Mecca.
During the fasting from dawn to dusk Muslims abstain from food, drinks, smoking and all forms of pleasure.
The believers can have meals before sunrise and after sunset. Islam mandates that the thawab (rewards) of fasting are many and in Ramadan it gets multiplied.
During Ramadan, many special dishes and drinks are prepared. Jellab, Amar al-Deen and Tamar Hindi are specially made during the holy month.
Fasting people prefer food with sauces to refill their body’s water levels after long hours of fasting. Breaking the fast is mostly followed by a popular dessert such as Kunafa, Luqaimat and Atayef.
End of Ramadan
The conclusion of the month of Ramadan is marked by a 3-day holiday known as Eid al-Fitr or the Festival of Fast-Breaking. People visit their family and friends and celebrate the festival together.