Ramadan, also known as the holy month of fasting, is a time of spiritual reflection and renewal for Muslims around the world. It is a time when Muslims abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs from dawn also known as Sehri until sunset known as Iftar, and devote themselves to prayer, charity, and acts of kindness.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and it is considered the holiest month of the year for Muslims. It is believed that the first revelation of the Quran was sent down during this month, and fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.
When is Ramadan celebrated?
The exact dates of Ramadan vary each year as it is based on the Islamic lunar calendar. Ramadan is celebrated for one lunar month, which is approximately 29-30 days, and it typically falls between mid-April to mid-May.
Ramadan, the holy month of fasting observed by Muslims worldwide, will be celebrated from Wednesday, March 22, 2023, until Saturday, April 20, 2023. The beginning and end of Ramadan are determined by the sighting of the new crescent moon, which marks the start of the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
The final evening of Ramadan is celebrated with a feast called Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month-long fast and is expected to be on Saturday, April 22, 2023. It’s worth noting that the dates may vary slightly depending on the country or region, so it’s always best to check with local Islamic authorities for exact timings.
How is Ramadan celebrated?
Ramadan is a time of spiritual growth and self-discipline. Muslims are required to fast from dawn until sunset, which means they cannot eat or drink anything during the daylight hours. They also abstain from smoking and engaging in any sexual activity during the fasting period.
In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to spend more time in prayer, reciting the Quran, and performing acts of charity. Many Muslims also spend time with their families and friends during Ramadan, breaking their fast together at sunset and attending communal prayers.
What is Sehri?
Sehri, also known as suhoor, is the meal that Muslims eat before the dawn prayer, which marks the beginning of the fasting period for the day. Sehri is an important meal as it provides the necessary energy and nutrients to sustain the body throughout the day.
What is Iftar?
Iftar is the meal that Muslims eat at sunset to break their fast for the day. It is typically a festive meal shared with family and friends and is often accompanied by dates, a traditional food to break the fast. Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad also broke his fast with dates and water.
How do Muslims break their fast?
Muslims traditionally break their fast with dates and water, as mentioned above. After this, they usually perform their Maghrib prayer, which is the fourth prayer of the day. Then, they proceed to eat their main meal of the day. You can check the Ramadan timings here.
Dua for Sehri and Iftar
Muslims often recite a special prayer before beginning their sehri and iftar meals. The dua for sehri is:
“Wa bisawmi ghadinn nawaiytu min shahri Ramadan” (I intend to keep the fast for tomorrow in the month of Ramadan)
The dua for iftar is:
“Allahumma inni laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa alayka tawakkaltu wa ala rizq-ika-aftartu” (O Allah! I fasted for You and I believe in You and I put my trust in You and I break my fast with Your sustenance)
What is Taraweeh?
Taraweeh is a special prayer that Muslims perform during Ramadan. It is an optional prayer that is performed after the Isha prayer and consists of 20 units of prayer, or rakats.
How do Muslims pray Taraweeh?
Muslims usually gather in mosques to perform Taraweeh prayers together, although it can also be performed individually at home. The prayer is usually recited in sets of two rakats, with a short break in between each set. The Imam (leader of prayer) recites a portion of the Quran during each set, and the prayer typically lasts for about an hour or more.
When is Eid ul Fitr celebrated?
Eid ul Fitr is the celebration that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the month that follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. The exact date of Eid ul Fitr depends on the sighting of the new moon, and it usually falls within the first few days of the month of Shawwal.
Eid ul Fitr is a joyous occasion that is celebrated with family and friends. Muslims attend special Eid prayers in the morning and then spend the day visiting family and friends, exchanging gifts, and enjoying delicious food.
In conclusion, Ramadan is a month of spiritual growth, self-discipline, and reflection for Muslims around the world. Through fasting, prayer, and acts of charity, Muslims seek to purify their hearts and draw closer to Allah. It is a time of renewal and rejuvenation, a time to strengthen relationships with family and friends, and a time to reconnect with the community. As Muslims, we should strive to make the most of this blessed month and take advantage of the many opportunities it offers for spiritual growth and self-improvement. Ramadan Kareem!