Before starting this let me make it clear that I am not an Islamic scholar. This blog simply has a few things that I feel everyone must know as a general knowledge about Ramadan and fasting. I have compiled a list of 5 things below, so here goes,
1. Just like the Gregorian calendar there is an Islamic calendar which is based on the moon. Ramadan is the 9th of the 12 months in the Islamic calendar. It contains either 29 or 30 days. The reason of this variability is it being lunar calendar. If the moon is sighted on the 29th day, the following day is Eid ul-fitr. However, if the moon cannot be seen then there are 30 fasts and Eid comes next. So now you know the story behind the saying – “Eid ka chaand” 😜
2. There are five pillars of Islam, one of which is fasting. This elaborates the importance of Ramadan. Following are the five pillars,
- Shahadah – aka ‘Imaan’. It is the belief in one God and the Messenger (peace be upon him)
- Salah – aka ‘Namaz’. It is the prayer offered five times a day
- Zakāt – It is the practice of donating 2.5% of your wealth every year for the benefit of the needy
- Sawm (Siyam) – aka ‘Roza’. The fasting in the month of Ramadan
- Hajj – It is the pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia
3. Participating Muslims wake up before dawn (‘Fajr’ prayer) to eat a meal called ‘Sahoor’ or ‘Sehari’. They break their fast at sunset (‘Maghrib’ prayer) with a meal called ‘Iftar’.
4. Ramadan is not about simply staying hungry or thirsty. The message behind fasting is to practice patience, humility and spirituality. Fasting makes every Muslim realize that no matter how wealthy they are, there are people in the World that are deprived of food and water the entire day. And by practicing fasting, you will be more inclined towards helping the poor
5. Ramadan is the month in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Yet another point that extends the importance of this sacred month
The beauty of Mecca during the month of Ramadan cannot be expressed in words. Many Muslims reach Mecca just for the month of Ramadan. This is a lesser form of Hajj known as ‘Umrah’. Although, Umrah can be performed throughout the year and not just in this month..
Hope this blog was helpful. Peace.