Ramadan Mubarak 2017 - Celebrating the blessed month!

Ramadan is one of the most important festival of Muslims all over the world. Ramadan or Ramzan is celebrated during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. In this month Muslims all over the world observe fasting to mark the quranic revelation to their Prophet- Muhammad(pbuh). The onset of the Muslim calendar is based on the sightings of the moon and the onset of fasting is based on the sightings of the crescent moon.Fasting during this month is one of the five pillars of Islam that Muslims believe in along with five times prayer, performing Haj, giving charity and declaration of their faith. Fasting is obligatory for all Muslims except those travelling, sick and going through menstrual bleeding. While on fast Muslims refrain from consuming food, water, smoking and sexual relations from dawn until sunset. They also abstain from all sinful activities. They take part in increased spiritual activities all throughout the month to receive abundant blessings from their Almighty and to have all their sins forgiven.



WHY IS RAMADAN CELEBRATED?

Based on the history of Ramadan, It is believed that the Quran was first revealed to prophet Muhammad(pbuh) on laylat-al-qadr( the night of power) during the blessed month of Ramadan. This night is believed to be among the odd nights of the last ten days of the month. It is intended to bring the faithful Muslims closer to God and to also know about the sufferings of the less fortunate people. The rules on fasting was sent down as revelation during the month of sha’ban in the second Hijri. It is also believed that all the holy scriptures namely Torah to Prophet Musa, Injeel to prophet Jesus, Zabur to Prophet David and Quran to Prophet Muhammad were all sent down during the month of Ramadan. Hence this month of Ramadan is considered to be very blessed by the Muslims.

THE NIGHT OF DECREE

The Laylat-al-qadr is the most important night where all the sins will be wiped out and all their wishes will be granted as per Ramadan facts. The Ramadan month lasts thirty days based on the sightings of the moon. It is believed to be the night of power and the night of decree when Quran was first revealed by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh). It is believed to have occurred during the odd nights of the last 10 days of Ramadan. Few Muslims perform full reclusion and spend all their time in the mosque performing prayers and doing charity work. Eid-al-Fitr marks the last day of Ramadan and the beginning of the next lunar cycle.

RELIGIOUS PRACTICES

During Ramadan the most important practice followed is fasting from dawn to sunset. The pre dawn mean is known as suhr after which all the Muslim refrain from eating till sunset. Even one sip of water is considered to invalidate the fast. The meal at sunset which breaks the fast is known as iftar. Every Muslim engage in giving charity and perform increased prayers as they believe that the gates of paradise are opened during Ramadan and the gates of hell is closed while the Devils are put in chains. Muslims perform their five times of prayer on time with increases remembrance of God and his prophet during this blessed month. The prophet has said that whoever Fasts in the month of Ramadan and believes in Allah will have all his sins forgotten.

RITUALS AND PRACTICES - FASTING

Ramadan fasting is believed to be a month of spiritual reflection with increased devotion and worship. The fast begins at dawn and ends at sunset. They also abstain from eating and drinking, sexual relations and generally all sinful speech and behavior. Muslims are expected to put extra effort in following the teachings of their prophet during the month of Ramadan. Fasting is started at dawn with the intention to fast before Fajr obligatory prayers. Ramadan Fasting is said to divert the heart from all worldly activities and to cleanse the soul of all its impurities. If a person without his knowledge takes a sip or bite, fasting will still be valid and they can continue the fast. Ramadan teaches Muslim self-discipline and self -control. It also teaches Muslims to feel for the low fortunate people and encourages them to give compulsory generous charity known as zakat. Fasting becomes compulsory when you reach puberty as long as you are hale and healthy without any illness or disability. Compensation for missing a fast known as fidya is given in the form of food or money to the less fortunate people.

SUHR And IFTAR

It is recommended by the Prophet to observe suhr and iftar during the month of Ramadan.The pre dawn Meal during fasting is known as suhr. After suhr Muslims perform the first prayer of the day - Fajr. At sunset everyone hurry to break their fast with fast breaking meal known as iftar. They usually break their fast with dates after saying the prayer” Allahuma laka summna, wa’ala rizqika aftarna” , as it is believe that prophet Muhammad(pbuh) broke his fast with three dates and a sip of the Zamzam water after this prayer. Social gatherings are common during iftar. Nowadays iftar has grown into luxurious banquets with delicacies from all over the world. Dates,Juices, snacks made of mutton,fruits and various desserts fill the iftar table at sunset. Considering the global diversities, it is not possible to predict the suhr and iftar meals. All across the Muslim world, mosques and various organizations set up tents for people to eat free iftar meals during every night of Ramadan.

CHARITY

Charity also known as sadaqah is as important aspect of Ramadan, where a particular percentage of a person's savings is giving to the less fortunate. It is considered to be one of the pillars of Islam. Muslims give loads of charity and also give food to the needy. It is believed that all good deeds are rewarded immensely during the month of Ramadan. It helps to purify a person's soul. The zakat al fitr is given in the day of Eid Ul Fitr as a special contribution on the end of Ramadan.
NIGHT PRAYERS
Taraweeh, non obligatory prayers are prayed at night during the month of Ramadan. This prayer is neither fard or sunnah. It is believed to have been performed immensely by the prophet during the month of Ramadan before the tahajjud prayers. Islam followers abstain from gossiping, fighting and swearing during the whole month of Ramadan.

MODERN DAY CELEBRATION

All around the world, Muslims celebrate Ramadan with happiness and grandeur. The whole month is celebrated with so much light and festivities. Shopping malls, business centers and houses are decorated with lights and lanterns throughout the month. In Egypt a decorating lantern known as “fanoos” is quite popular. While in middle eastern countries, the Arabs set up tents called “Majilis” to entertain guests and friends for iftar.The common greeting during Ramadan is “Ramadan Mubarak” or “ Ramadan Kareem”.On the last day of Ramadan - Eid-Ul-fitr, people perform prayers together after the morning obligatory prayers to mark this day. After which people are treated to a lavish scrumptious meal. Children are given new clothes, gifts and cash. Women adorn their hands with henna. Adults exchange gifts with family and friends and treat them to lunch or dinner at their houses finishing the month of Ramadan with happiness and prosperity.

LETS ALL PRAY TO ALLAH TO GIVE US STRENGTH DURING THE WHOLE MONTH OF RAMADAN, ACCEPT ALL OUR PRAYERS, FORGIVE OUR SINS AND SAVE US FROM HELL FIRE. AMEEN!!

RAMADAN KAREEM TO ALL OF YOU!! 
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