Ramadan aka Ramzaan or Roza is a holy month in the religion of Islam that falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which is believed to be the month when Prophet Muhammad (PBOH) received a series of revelations from God which combined to form Holy Quran.
For 1.8 billion Muslims across the globe, including Britain's 3.1 million Muslim community, this annual event represents a period to fast, reading Quran and devote more focus to prayer, purification, and charitable acts.
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam besides Shahada: Faith, Zakat: Charity, Sawm: Fasting, and Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca.
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As we mentioned earlier, Ramadan is the month when the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. It is believed to be the holiest month of the year within Islam and has even been referred to as the "best of times".
Muslims also believes that in this month, the gates to heaven open and the gates to hell close. Muslims are instructed to fast in the Surat Al-Baqarah, which is the second and longest chapter of the Quran.
Depending on the sighting of the moon, the month of Ramadan lasts for 29 to 30 days each year. Fasting during Ramadan helps Muslims to commit their faith more to Allah/God.
During the festival, Muslims greets by saying “Ramadan Mubarak,” which translates to mean “Happy Ramadan” and says “Ramadan Kareem,” which means “Have a generous Ramadan.”
Ramadan is done through the practice of sawm and one can only eat or drink before dawn and after dusk.
Observing the holy month, Muslims break the daily fast with an evening meal that is called Iftar, often beginning with water or something sweet. Many Muslims also go to the mosque to pray.
Ramadan is honored with abstinence from food and water, cigarettes, and sexual activity during daylight hours.
Muslims also need to refrain from impure speech and those who are not physically able to participate must have to serve the poor.
Well, all “healthy” Muslims are expected to fast during Ramadan but there are a number of exceptions given in Quran.
Children, elderly people, and pregnant; post-natal, breastfeeding or menstruating women in addition to travelers and physically or mentally ill people are exempt to fast.
Non-fasters can compensate it by fasting at a later date or feeding and helping a person in need.
In the first day of the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims celebrate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, which is called Eid-ul-Fitr;"Festival of Breaking Fast".
This is the biggest festival of Muslims when they pray, exchange of gifts and enjoy the fest full of joy. The Eid prayer is performed in congregation in mosques.
Don't get confused between Eid-al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, "Festival of Sacrifice". Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha - which is also called Bakra Eid - to mark the occasion when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son Ishmael to prove his devotion to the Almighty God.