Decorations and Festivities are part of Ramadan
THE MEANING OF RAMADAN
It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. Muslims think of it as a kind
of tune-up for their spiritual lives. There are as many meanings of Ramadan as there are Muslims.
The third "pillar" or religious obligation of Islam, fasting has many special benefits. Among these,
the most important is as a means of learning self-control. Due to the lack of preoccupation with the
satisfaction of bodily appetites during the daylight hours of fasting, a measure of ascendancy is given
to one's spiritual nature, which becomes a means of coming closer to God.
Ramadan is also a time of intensive worship, reading of the Qur'an, giving charity, purifying
one's behavior, and doing good deeds. As a secondary goal, fasting is a way of experiencing
hunger and developing sympathy for the less fortunate, and learning thankfulness and appreciation
for all of God's bounties. Fasting is also beneficial to the health and provides a break in the cycle of
rigid habits or overindulgence
Ramadan is a time for family
While voluntary fasting is recommended for Muslims, during Ramadan fasting becomes obligatory.
Sick people, travelers, and women in certain conditions are exempted from the fast but must
make it up as they are able. Perhaps fasting in Ramadan is the most widely practiced of all
the Muslim forms of worship.
FROM DAWN TO SUNSET.
The daily period of fasting starts at the breaking of dawn and ends at the setting of the sun.
During the daylight hours -- Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking, and marital sex.
The usual practice is to have suhoor (prefast meal) before dawn and break the fast with iftar after sunset.
FOOD DURING RAMADAN.
Since Ramadan is a special time Muslims in many parts of the world prepare certain favorite foods
during this month. It is a common practice for Muslims to follow the custom of the Prophet Mohammed(pbuh)
by breaking their fast at sunset with iftar(dates). This is followed by the sunset prayer, which is followed
by dinner. Since Ramadan emphasizes community aspects and since everyone eats dinner at the same
time Muslims often invite one another to share in the Ramadan evening meal.
Some Muslims find that they eat less for dinner during Ramadan than at other times due to stomach
contraction. However, as a rule, most Muslims experience little fatigue during the day since the body
becomes used to the altered routine during the first week of Ramadan.
with the increase of sweets many people also find they gain weight during Ramadan.
I did last year!
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is also believed to be the month when
the Holy Quran was sent down from Heaven as a "guidance unto men, a declaration of direction,
and a means of Salvation."
Ramadan may fall during any month of the Gregorian calendar. It takes approximately 35 years for
Ramadan to cycle through the entire solar/Gregorian calendar.
Muslims traditionally break their fast with dates(iftar), since that is what the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh)
is believed to have done.
Iftar for sale at the market
shopping for fanous
the Crescent Moon - symbol of the Holy Month