The Quran states that it is during this month that Prophet Muhammad started receiving some sort of revelations and the new moon paves the way for the beginning of a new month. The estimates of the month can be easily ascertained by the Muslims.
The most holy festival of the Muslims is about to start from tomorrow. We can see people coming back to their homes to observe fasting during this month. The shops selling dates, dry fruits and other food beverages consumed during this month, have decorated their shops to celebrate this holy month. Ramadan, which begins from tomorrow for Muslims, is the holiest period on the Islamic calendar. It calls for daytime fasting for 29 days. Traditionally, followers of Islam wait for the first sighting of the crescent moon to declare the start of Ramadan, but many major mosques in Southern California now declare the start according to calculations of the phases of the moon.
In the Islamic calendar, Ramzan is the ninth month. The community of Muslims fast during this holy month. The word has derived its meaning from the traditional Arabic word Al- Ramad which implies scorching heat as well as dryness. It is often termed as the fourth month of Islam. Muslims in this month are supposed to fast from the wee hours of the morning till dawn and abstain themselves from smoking, drinking as well as sexual relations. The offering of prayers is multiplied during this month along with it the recitation of Quran is also advocated.
Practices during the month of Ramzan
During this holy month, the Muslims are expected to focus more on the teachings of Islam. There is a strong devotion as well as spiritual connection with the almighty. The purpose of fasting is to purify the soul and restrain from any sort of untoward actions. On a more profound level Ramzan also teaches the feelings of sympathy as well as care towards the fellow mates. In addition to this it encourages the philosophy of self-discipline as well as empathy.
Muslims once they reach the stage of puberty have to fast. Though some exceptions on the health front are observed. Though fasting is not compulsory in case of children, it has been observed that most kids resort to it as a journey towards the future life. People who are travelling can abstain themselves from fasting but they need to compensate in the later days. In the overall scheme of things, they are no sort of effects to the individuals.
The pre – feast meal which is had before the sun rising is known as suhoor and the fast is broken with iftar. Though there is no specific nature of the meals as it could be anything from halal to the left overs of the previous day. Traditionally a cup of milk and dates are considered the best way to break a fast. As time as evolved the iftars have turned out to be a festival like atmosphere. This is the time when all the family members, relatives along with friends come on a common platform. Charity is a common phenomenon which is very common during the month of Ramzan. It is a common sight that in certain Muslim countries people are observed giving out food to the poor people.
Ending of Ramzan
The end of Ramzan coincides with Eid-ul- Fitr and paves make for the next lunar month. This calls for celebration and states the fact that the new moon has been observed unless there is some sort of turbulence on the weather front. People resort to new clothes and celebrations galore all over the community. Several cultural connotations are also linked to this festival.
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