- Ramadan: A festival of self discipline
Courtesy: KS. Raman, Kalakad
Ramadan is expected to begin on or around August 1, 2011 and will finish on or around August 29, 2011.The Muslim world has started celebrating its holy month of Ramadan this August. We have heard of Ramadan, but what actually happens is not known to everyone. Here's what you should know about one of the most widely celebrated religious festivals in the wo.
RAMADAN IS a holy month observed by people following Islam around the world. The ninth month of the Muslim calendar is considered holy and Muslims across the world refrain from many pleasures of the world. Normally lasting for 29-30 days, Ramadan is one of the noblest months for Muslims as this month teaches them values of abstinence, discipline and spirituality, humility and submissiveness. Apart from intense fasting they also offer prayers to Allah. They believe this month to be the time when God revealed their holy book Quran to Mohammad Prophet.
In Quran God proclaims that, “"fasting has been written down (as obligatory) upon you, as it was upon those before you.” Eating, drinking, sexual intercourse is prohibited from sunrise to sunset. A person is allowed to give in to their urges only after they break the daily fast. For the entire month it is advisable for people to refrain from impure thoughts as well.
A person following Islam needs to observe Ramadan as soon as they reach puberty. In case of bad health then this ritual can be waived. Old people, pregnant women are also not required to keep the fast but these people really feel bad that they are not able to observe the month, which is the direct order of their Allah. Along with fasting the Quran is read by people.
Every night one section of the Quran is recited in the mosque so that at the end of the month the entire Quran is read out aloud. The same kind of prayer is offered by many Muslims around the world and this special prayer offering is called Tarawih.
Ramadan is the festival of giving and sharing apart from self-cleaning. Reading the Quran, abstaining from many a things helps a person to clean the soul. But apart from that the people observing Ramadan also gather together, exchange gifts and have food together. In the evening, Muslims gather for the fast breaking food known as Iftar. It is customary to break the fast with dates as Prophet Mohammad used to do it. It is followed by Maghrib prayer, after which the main course is served.
Ramadan is observed in all the Muslim dominated countries of the world. Apart from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh there is also Germany, and Arab countries where this festival is observed with a lot of festivities. The festival or the fasting ends with Eid ul-Fitr, after a new moon has been sighted. New clothes, a lot of food and some charity work marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
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