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 The Greatest Month : Ramadan

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sacha
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PostSubject: The Greatest Month : Ramadan   Sun 31 Aug - 21:44

Ramadan is a Muslim religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, believed to be the month in which the Qur'an began to be revealed. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which Muslims don't eat or drink anything from dawn until sunset. Fasting is meant to teach the person patience and humility. Ramadan is a time to fast for the sake of God, and to offer even more prayer than usual. Also, asking forgiveness for the sins of the past, asking for guidance in the future, and asking for help with refraining from every day evils and try to purify oneself through self-restraint and good deeds is involved in Ramadan.


Name origin




The name "Ramadan" is the name of the ninth month; the word itself
derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground, and
shortness of rations. It is considered the most venerated and blessed
month of the Islamic year. Prayers, sawm (fasting), charity, and self-accountability are especially stressed at this time; religious observances associated with Ramadan are kept throughout the month.


Laylat al-Qadr,
which falls during an odd night in the last 10 days of Ramadan(so it
can be either the 21, 23, 25, 27, or the 29 of Ramadan), commemorates
the revelation of the first verses of the Qur'an and is considered the
most holy night of the year. Ramadan ends with the holiday Eid ul-Fitr, on which feasts are held. During the month following Ramadan, called Shawwal, Muslims are encouraged to fast for a further six days.



Practices during Ramadan

The most prominent event of this month is the fasting (sawm) practiced by observant Muslims. Every day during the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world get up before dawn to eat the Suhoor meal (the pre dawn meal) and perform their fajr prayer. They break their fast when the fourth prayer of the day, Maghrib (sunset), is du

During Ramadan, Muslims are expected to put more effort into
following the teachings of Islam and to avoid obscene and irreligious
sights and sounds. Sexual activities during fasting hours are also
forbidden.
Purity of both thought and action is important. The fast is intended to
be an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a
raised level of closeness to God Almighty. The act of fasting is said
to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being
to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. Properly observing the
fast is supposed to induce a comfortable feeling of peace and calm. It
also allows Muslims to practice self-discipline, sacrifice, and
sympathy for those who are less fortunate, intended to make Muslims
more generous and charitable. Muslims can eat after the sun has set.
Pregnant women, the elderly, the ill, travellers and children who have
not reached puberty are all exempt from fasting as lack of food and
liquid in these situations could be detrimental to health.


Prayer and reading of the Qur'an




In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Qur'an.


Sunni Muslims tend to perform the recitation of the entire Qur'an by means of special prayers, called Tarawih, which are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Qur'an (juz, which is 1/30 of the Qur'an) is recited, so that by the end of the month the entire Qur'an has been completed. Tarawih is an Arabic phrase referring to those extra prayers. This prayer is performed after salah of Isha'a, but before the witr rakat. Tarawih is not practiced by Shia Muslims, as they believe it was introduced into Islam by the second Caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab.


Muslims also pay Zakat (only applicable if one can afford it) during the month. For those who qualify to pay Zakaat, as per the Islamic Nisab
(that is those whose wealth exceeds their necessities), of the leftover
of their wealth earned in that Islamic calendar year. Although Zakat
can be paid any time of the year, it has to be calculated on a year to
year basis, and many Muslims use Ramadan as the month for calculation
and disbursement.


Ramadan is also a time when Muslims are to slow down from worldly
affairs and focus on self reformation, spiritual cleansing and
enlightenment, establishing a link between God Almighty and themselves
by prayer, supplication, charity, good deeds, kindness and helping
others.


Since it is a festival of giving and sharing, Muslims prepare
special foods and buy gifts for their family and friends and for giving
to the poor and needy who cannot afford it; this can involve buying new
clothes, shoes and other items of need. There is also a social aspect
involved – the preparing of special foods and inviting people for the Iftar meal (the meal to break the Fast).


In many Muslim and non-Muslim countries with large Muslim
populations, markets close down in the evening to enable people to
perform prayers and consume the Iftar meal (the meal to end the fast) –
these markets then re-open and stay open for a good part of the night.
Muslims can be seen shopping, eating, spending time with their friends
and family during the evening hours.



Events of Ramadan




Laylat al-Qadr (known as Shab-e Qadr
in Persian), literally the "Night of Decrees" or "Night of Measures",
is the anniversary of two very important dates in Islam that occurred
in the month of Ramadan.[citation needed]
Muslims believe that it was the night of the Laylat al-Qadr that the
Quran's first verse was revealed. The exact night of the Laylat al-Qadr
is only known to God. It has been told to Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) one
night, but on his way out to deliver the news he was disturbed by two
Muslims' argument and that resulted in him forgetting the exact date of
the night. The date was not revealed only to encourage Muslims to pray
and work hard on the last ten days and not only that night. That is why
Muhammad indicated that it was on one of the last ten nights of Ramadan.


The Islamic holiday of Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan and the first
day of the following month, after another new moon has been sighted.
The Eid falls after 29 or 30 days of fasting, as per the lunar
sighting. Eid ul-Fitr means the Festival of Breaking the Fast; a
special celebration is made. Food is donated to the poor (‘Zakat
al-Fitr’), everyone puts on their best, preferably new, clothes, and
communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting
and visiting relatives and friends. The prayer is two rakaahs only, and
it is an optional prayer as opposed to the compulsory five daily
prayers. According to one current school of thought (Ankaboot), it is
suggested that North American Muslims arrange their work schedule for
Eid by requesting the two most likely days of Eid as Holidays or simply
as days off from work. This allows for quality family time, and is akin
to the Christian/North American tradition of taking Christmas and
Christmas Eve off as holidays. This also allows for time off to
celebrate the Eid prayer at a mosque and with family. The fast always
ends after 29 or 30 days of fasting, and thus the request would be for
the 29th and 30th day after the start of the fast.


Muslims are encouraged to fast six days in Shawwal, the month following Ramadan that begins after Eid ul-Fitr; these days need not be consecutive. According to hadith, one who fasts the month of Ramadan and six days during Shawwal will be rewarded as though he fasted the entire year.
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samaria
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PostSubject: Re: The Greatest Month : Ramadan   Sun 31 Aug - 21:53

Thank you dear Sacha for this interesting topic
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Redouane
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PostSubject: Re: The Greatest Month : Ramadan   Sun 31 Aug - 22:33

Since tomorrow is Ramadan , I wish to all of you a month full of health and faith
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Mohamed
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PostSubject: Re: The Greatest Month : Ramadan   Mon 1 Sep - 14:12

Thank you sacha for the wide definition and simplified introduction you made
Thank you Mr. Redouane for the wish
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