What is Ramadan or Ramazan?
Ramadan is the name of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar which is lunar i.e. each month begins with the new astronomical moon. This year it started on 23rd April 2020 and is expected to last till 23rd May 2020. This month is considered as a month of fasting for all the adult Muslims except for those who are traveling, sick, pregnant women, women in their menstruation and old citizens. The opening of this month can be confirmed directly by visual observation of the crescent.
The month is divided into three parts, and these parts are referred to as “Ashra” :
- First ten days are meant for Rehmat.
- Next ten days are meant for Magfirat.
- And the last ten days meant for Jahnnum Ki Aag Se Nijat.
Though the divisions, rituals remain the same for the entire month. During this month, worshippers recite Sunnat in Namaze Isha which is known as Taravi. Also, the last friday before Eid is reserved for performing Alvida ki Namaz(on this day thousands of people visit mosques simultaneously to recite prayers and ask Allah for the well-being of all).
Importance of Ramadan:
In this month the first revelation of the Quran was witnessed, a guidance to humankind and the criterion of what was wrong or right.
This month is regarded as a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and connection with Allah. During this time people take fast from sunrise to sunset, restrained from eating and drinking the whole day for the next 29 or 30 days, that depend on lunar activities. Moreover, it is more about the cleansing of the human soul. Being the month of hardships though not, the month of Ramazan teaches people to be kind and humble.
- Fasting – All the Muslim people except for some specifics, take fast called Roza from sunrise to sunset for the next 29 or 30 days. This act of fasting allows them to stay hungry so that poor people can get food and they could know about the pains of empty stomach.
- Suhoor – This is the pre-fast meal taken before dawn. After stopping for a while before dawn they perform their first prayer, Fajr.
- Iftaar – This is the fast-breaking sunset meal. People open the meal by eating dates to commemorate Muhammad’s practice of breaking the fast with three dates, followed by performing the fourth prayer called Maghrib, the final meal is served.
- Charity – It is of high importance to give Zakat (obligatory tax donation, equivalent 2.5% of wealth) and Sadaqah (voluntary charity).
- Recitation of Quran – Muslims are encouraged to read the whole Quran within the thirty days of the month.
In the month of Ramazan, some countries with the majority of the Muslim community stay on holiday for the twenty-nine or thirty days while others reduce the working hours of the staff to relieve them in the fasting period. People are refined morally and physically by continuous practice of rituals for the one month’s period. It brings harmony in the community and self-reflection of an individual. Charity is an important activity trying to fill the gap between the rich and poor.The beliefs are more profound than any of the materialistic desires of the human. This is the real virtue of this month, it brings people together, teaching them self-discipline, sacrifice, empathy, and self-control.