Monday, June 30, 2014

Ramadan

Howdy
There are a lot of things I know.  I know that every day I learn something new, which means I don't know very much.  One topic on which I am not well educated is Ramadan.  I didn't know anyone who celebrated Ramadan growing up.  In fact my knowledge on this topic is limited to a few points. I know that it is a Muslim holiday.  I know that part of the celebration is fasting. And...? ok that was all I knew. 

Here are some basics:
Ramadan is an Islamic holy month when Muslims may not eat or drink from morning until night. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic year. Because the Islamic calendar is lunar, Ramadan falls at different times of the year. Muslims celebrate Ramadan as the month during which the prophet Muhammad received the first of the revelations that make up the Qur'ān, the holy book of Islam.

Fasting during Ramadan is the fourth of the five Pillars of Faith, the chief religious duties of a Muslim. All Muslims must fast if they have reached puberty and are of sound mind. Exceptions are made for some groups, such as the sick, the elderly, pregnant women, and travelers. Those who are able, however, must make up the missed fast days at a later time. A Muslim who deliberately breaks the fast must atone by fasting for two continuous months or feeding the poor.

Fasting begins at dawn and lasts until sunset. During this time, Muslims cannot take food or drink, inhale tobacco smoke, or engage in sexual activity. The daily fast is broken by a light meal called the iftar, followed by the evening prayer. The preferred food for the iftar is dates and water. 

Ramadan is also a time for other religious activities. The nights are often devoted to special prayers and to recitations from the Qur'ān. During the last 10 days, some Muslims seclude themselves in a mosque to give full time to religious contemplation. The end of Ramadan is celebrated by a great festival called Īd al-Fitr. (Ramadan) 
There is oodles more to learn about Ramadan but since there is a whole month dedicated to Ramadan I think we can save some for tomorrow.  

Laura


"Ramadan." World Book Online Reference Center. World Book, 2014. Web. 30 June 2014.


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