August 1, 2011 by staff
Ramadan 2011, Monday, August 1 marks the first day of Ramadan, the ninth month of Islamic calendar. This month, Muslims in the Middle East and around the world will gather to fast, pray, connect with family and friends, and re-evaluate their lives in the light of Islamic guidance.
During the holy month of Ramadan, believers must follow Islamic law, by fasting from sunrise to sunset for 30 days. This fast is intended to help instill patience, devotion, spiritual cleansing, lighting and submission to God. Ramadan is a month especially important in the Islamic calendar, as is believed to be the month in which the first verses of the Koran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad, therefore giving the revelations of God to mankind.
Ramadan begins the Hilal (crescent), which usually falls the day after the new moon. As the Islamic calendar is lunar, Ramadan is not celebrated during the same time every year. The party will move back in the year so that within 36 years, to be held every day of the year. After sunrise the first day, practitioners use the light of day as an opportunity to purify the soul, focus on God and to practice humility and control. This control extends beyond fast-Muslims should refrain from spreading rumors or lies, to see things profane, visiting places obscene, irreligious thoughts and doing bad things to anyone. Sexual intercourse is also prohibited during the month, as is also seen as a way to resist temptation. The purpose of fasting is to redirect the mind and spirit away from worldly activities and focus on the cleansing of the soul, while honoring God.
Muslims usually start fasting at the time of puberty, although younger children often try to complete the fast with their parents. Once they have reached an acceptable age, everyone except the elderly, chronically ill, mentally ill, pregnant women and infants, and those traveling over 14 miles per day are expected to fulfill the holidays. Those who cannot participate should give charity to the poor or compensate for lost days later in the year. Like all the festival falls in August 2011 (traditionally the hottest month of the year), countries like Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq will of sodium in the long days without hot water in a test of Herculean religious fidelity.
In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Quran. During the month, Muslims often worship in the mosque every day, in addition to their five daily prayers. In the prayers of the mosque, called Tarawih are recited special, every sentence is a part of the Koran so that the end of fasting, reciting the entire Qur’an.
In Muslim-majority towns and cities, most shops and businesses close during the day but reopened after sunset. During this time, believers tend to buy special meals or gifts for family and friends. They also give to the poor and needy that cannot afford clothes, shoes, food and other necessities to teach empathy for the poor and generosity in giving. The Ramadan is a particularly beneficial as the spiritual reward of giving is 70 times greater than at any other time of year.
At sunset, families and friends gather to break their fast and enjoy Iftar. After Muhammad, the food starts by eating a date; the recitation of the prayer of the Maghreb, and the end of the meal is served. Over time, Iftar has become a great feast festival, where entire neighborhoods gather to celebrate Ramadan and the Islamic religion. Ramadan is the Eid ul-Fitr, the first day of the month following the religious calendar.
Communities around the world celebrate Ramadan this month. Some of the largest outside the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia include Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Russia and the United States, New York, Michigan and California (which have significant Muslim populations).
To the worshipers of technology savy, or those who can not attend services, Apple already has an iPhone app for Koran text may have with you at all times. You can download the Salah clock to make sure you look at the calls to prayer throughout the day.
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