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FACTS OF RAMADAN

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The Ramadan



Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. The Month of Ramadan is also when it is believed the Holy Quran "was sent down from heaven, a guidance unto men, a declaration of direction, and a means of Salvation"
It is during this month that Muslims fast. It is called the Fast of Ramadan and lasts the entire month. Ramadan is a time when Muslims concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. It is a time of worship and contemplation

During the Fast of Ramadan strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Muslims. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. Smoking and sexual relations are also forbidden during fasting. At the end of the day the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is customary for Muslims to go out visiting family and friends. The fast is resumed the next morning

According to the Holy Quran:


One may eat and drink at any time during the night "until you can plainly distinguish a white thread from a black thread by the daylight: then keep the fast until night"

The good that is acquired through the fast can be destroyed by five things -

the telling of a lie
slander
denouncing someone behind his back
a false oath
greed or covetousness

These are considered offensive at all times, but are most offensive during the Fast of Ramadan

During Ramadan, it is common for Muslims to go to the Masjid (Mosque) and spend several hours praying and studying the Quran. In addition to the five daily prayers, during Ramadan Muslims recite a special prayer called the Taraweeh prayer (Night Prayer). The length of this prayer is usually 2-3 times as long as the daily prayers. Some Muslims spend the entire night in prayer

On the evening of the 27th day of the month, Muslims celebrate the Laylat-al-Qadr (the Night of Power). It is believed that on this night Muhammad first received the revelation of the Holy Quran. And according to the Quran, this is when God determines the course of the world for the following year

When the fast ends (the first day of the month of Shawwal) it is celebrated for three days in a holiday called Id-al-Fitr (the Feast of Fast Breaking). Gifts are exchanged. Friends and family gather to pray in congregation and for large meals. In some cities fairs are held to celebrate the end of the Fast of Ramadan.



 

 

 


Special Characteristics of Ramadan

1. Observing the fourth pillar of Islam has been prescribed during this month, and it is one of the best means by which a person attains piety and forgiveness of sins.

2. The first revelation of the Qur'an as guidance for humanity was given to the Prophet (pbuh) during this month.

3. The sunnah of performing the tarawih prayer is observed during this month.

4. Ramadan contains Laylatul-Qadr, which is better than a thousand months.

5. The great battle of Badr between the Muslims and the unbelievers took place during Ramadan in the second year of the Hijrah.

6. The Muslims re-entered Makkah victorious during Ramadan in the eighth year of the Hijrah. After this conquest people began to enter the fold of Islam in multitudes, and Makkah became free of polytheism and evil.

Benefits from Ramadan

1. It strengthens one's ties with Allah and trains the soul to observe duties of devotion in accordance with the teachings of the Qur'an and Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).

2. It enforces patience and determination in the Muslim individual.

3. It promotes the principle of sincerity by keeping the Muslim away from arrogance and showing off, since it is an act between the individual and his Creator.

4. It promotes good character, particularly truthfulness and trust-worthiness.

5. It encourages the Muslim to do away with bad habits and change his/her circumstances for the better.

6. It enhances generosity, hospitality, and spending on charitable causes.

7. It reinforces feelings of unity and brotherhood among Muslims.

8. It instills orderliness and close observance of the value of time.

9. It serves as an opportunity for children to perform acts of obedience and to practice Islamic acts of worship.

10. It offers a chance to balance one's attention to both physical and spiritual needs.

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Moiz Kidwai