Every Muslim looks forward to the holy month of Ramadan. Even though it is a tasking period due to fasting, Muslims greet themselves, Ramadan Kareem, to remind themselves of the blessing they receive during this time of the year. Continue reading to learn more about the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islāmic calendar. The Islāmic calendar is also known as the Hijri calendar. It consists of twelve months and 354 or 355 days in a year. This calendar is used by Muslims to calculate the exact dates of Islāmic holidays and rituals. It is also used to decide the time for the pilgrimage to Mecca known as Hajj. The month of Ramadan has twenty-nine to thirty days depending on the appearance of the crescent moon.
Muslims believe that the Quran was firstly given to the Prophet Mohammed during the month of Ramadan. For this reason, the month of Ramadan is known as the “best of times”. According to the Quran, fasting is a means of attaining the fear of God. The instruction to make the month of Ramadan a fasting period was given to Mohammed in the second year of Hijra. It is known as the event which led to the establishment of the first Muslim community.
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Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. So, fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the many things a Muslim must always practice once he or she passes puberty. In the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from daybreak till sunset. They are allowed to eat only before sunrise and after sunset. The meal eaten before sunrise, is known as the Suhur while the meal used to break the fast after sunset is called the Iftar.
It is a period of spiritual reflection and improvement. A time for Muslims to increase their devotion and worship. They are expected to spend more time praying and reciting the Quran. They are to show their generosity by charity giving and good deeds. Muslims also try to be more self-disciplined in the month of Ramadan. During the hours of fasting, he or she must refrain from food, sexual relationships, smoking, and alcohol consumption. These practices help Muslims to cleanse their souls and to draw closer to Allah.
Fasting during Ramadan is compulsory for adult Muslims. Adults who are sick, traveling, pregnant, chronically ill, diabetic or very old people can choose not to fast. Women going through menstrual bleeding are also exempted from fasting. However, these people are to take food to the poor and homeless or give money to them so they can provide for themselves for the whole month.
During the month of Ramadan, a Muslim must abstain from sinful practices that will prevent him or her from receiving the reward of fasting.
Ramadan Kareem is the one the Ramadan greetings. It means Generous Ramadan or Generous Month. This expression means that in this holy month most of the Muslims intensify their prayers and do their fasting to obey Allah. They experience the feeling of hunger so they know how poor people who have no food feel and that will motivate them to help poor people. The generosity of the month refers to the rewards that Allah will grant blessings to Muslims who makes faithful and intense worship during Ramadan.
Some people believe it is more proper to say, Ramadan Mubarak because it is Allah who is both generous and good, not the month itself. Ramadan Mubarak is wishing the recipient of the greeting a blessed Ramadan.
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