I had a friend to ask me about Ramadan. I wasn’t sure of the answer. Being the person that I am that peaked my curiosity and interest.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan ( the ninth month of the Muslim calendar) is the holy month of worship study of the Quran, prayer and fasting. Muslims engage in strict fasting observed from sunrise to sunset.
The exact starting day is not known each year until a new crescent moon is spotted, which occurs Friday over Saudi Arabia. This year the celebration is from April 2 to Sunday, May 1. (April 2 first fast)
The Prophet Muhammad Life Events & Ramadan
The man who made Islam possible. The prophet Muhammad’s father died When he was born very young he was raised by his grandfather and then his uncle. They were of the Quaraysh tribe. They were very well respected but poor family.
The Prophet Muhammad workEd as a merchant and married a rich woman Khadija.Then over time he became a very wealthy and well respected. (of course he did marry several other women) He had 6 children with her 2 son that didn’t live up too adulthood and 4 daughters.
Eventually people became jealous and he had to flee Mecca. By the time he reach 40 he started to have revelations. It is said that the angel Gabriel came down to him and revealed to him the Quran, The Islamic holy book. It is said it occurred during Ramadan.
I may bounce around a little but I want to give the readers a brief idea of the Prophet who he was ,his life, teaching, and beliefs. When he fled to Medina he was excepted and respected by Christians and Jews because of Abrahams faith. His roots traces back from Ishmael the son of Abraham. He had to flee Mecca because he was very determined to spread the word of God therefore he became disliked. This time became known as Hijrah it took place in the year of 622.
When he left Mecca and came too Medina,the Jews and Christians excepted the Prophet Muhammad but with all the beliefs there are some differences. The profit starts to be the first mosque or Islamic temple to separate Islam from Judaism and Christianity. Because of the difference the followers prayed while facing toward Jerusalem. Allah revealed to the private to face Mecca when he made his prayer. He continued to receive revelations for the basis of the Quran. Which contains the fundamentals ideas of Islam.
Once the prophet Muhammad decided to go back to Mecca this became one of the most well-known battles of Badr. This is smart on the 17th of Ramadan the battle date is said to be 13 March 624. The Profit returned to Mecca with an army of over 1000 men it was bloody but there he found his victory and he removed all idols and made Mecca the center focus of Islam. Mecca was declared the holiest site in Islam ordaining it as the center of Muslim pilgrimage.
There are five pillars ( Shahadah ) faith, Prayer (Salah), Zakah (giving to the needy), fasting of Ramadan, Pilgrimage (Hajj)
Muslims abstain from eating any type of food, drinking any type of liquids, no smoking cigarettes,alcohol, no engaging in sexual activities, from dusk till dawn. That also includes taking medication!
If you do anything of that nature it makes your fast invalidate at for that day. I read that you can make up for days for anything that you’ve done that will invalidate your fast. You can do it later that year, all at once, or provide a meal to a needy person for each day you’ve missed.
Muslims are supposed to avoid negative thoughts and emotions like jealousy ,gossiping,swearing, and even complaining.
Muslims wake up before and have Suhoor ( which is the final meal before sunrise). From what I’ve studied its high protein foods and plenty of water up until Iftar (the meal to break the fast).
At dawn a morning prayer is performed. ( the five daily prayers are still expected)When evening comes a prayer is made that break the days fast which is called lftar (break fast). This after the evening prayer a lot of Muslims go to the Mosque For evening prayer. Which is followed by a special prayer that’s only recited during Ramadan.This is called the Tarawih Prayer (night prayer).
From my studies its believed that there a lite meal or snack before evening prayer is allowed. ( personal I’m not sure Muslim readers and friends correct me if I’m wrong ) Which is because Muslims prayer has a lot of movement.
This is usually followed by a larger meal later on that evening. Which is shared with family and friends in one’s home throughout the month. And again this is called Iftar.
Ramadan occurs during the month in which Muslims believe the Quran began to reveal to the Prophet Muhammad . Also know as ,”The night of Power” This is a very joyous celebration for Muslims.
Healthy adults participate in the fast. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. During this holy month it is believed that the fast purifies your heart ,renews your faith,seek forgiveness ,and increase self-discipline. This is a month that prayer increase, charity, and generosity.
The ending of the holiday of Ramadan. This is a festival Muslim celebrate when they breaking the fast. This begins with communal EID prayer. This year the holy month end on May 1,2022.
Non Muslims with Muslim Friends
If you have Muslim friend wish them a Happy Ramadan by saying:
Ramadan Mubarak Happy Ramadan
Ramadan Kareem Have a generous Ramadan
And always with anything respect their holiday. And remember they are observing a fast so please be careful how you handle things in their presents.
Show respect watch your conversation in their presents.
As a Christian I have a lot of respect for the celebration of Ramadan as I learn more about it. Christians give up something during Lent. Their way of demonstration their devotion to they religion. Fasting during Ramadan is very spiritual, special practice for Muslim. This is a beautiful Holy month. To all my Muslim friends I will be observing Ramadan as well. Studying the Quran , praying, and fasting. I have a lot to be thankful for, but at the same time I need a lot of forgiveness.