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One of the holiest months for Muslims is Ramadan, which falls during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The Holy Qur’an is said to have descended from heaven this month “as a guidance for men and women, a declaration of direction, and a means of salvation.”

Muslims follow a severe fast from sunrise to sundown during this month. They are not permitted to consume any food or liquids during the day. Fasting is a kind of spiritual discipline, a way to become closer to God secretly and show compassion for less fortunate people. After the day, iftar, a joyous supper, and prayer break the fast. After the iftar, it is traditional to visit family and friends.

Many Muslims visit the mosque and spend several hours praying throughout Ramadan. Muslims do a unique prayer known as the Tarawih prayer in addition to the five daily prayers that make up the foundation of Islam.

Muslims observe a unique night known as Layat al-Qadr, the Night of Power, on the evening of the 27th day of Ramadan. It is thought that on this night, Muhammad received the Holy Qur’an for the first time.

Eid al-Fitr commemorates breaking the fast after Ramadan. Families and friends get together for joyous dinners and gift-giving. The impoverished also receive unique presents.

What is Ramadan, and when is it?

In the Islamic lunar calendar, the ninth month is the holy month of Ramadan. It is a month of social gatherings, devotion, fasting, and spiritual growth. One of Islam’s Five Pillars is fasting during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan “moves back” by roughly 11 days every solar year due to the 12 lunar months being overlaid over the 12 solar months.

March 11 is anticipated to be the first day of fasting in 2024; however, because Muslim groups have different interpretations of this date, some may declare the month to start a day earlier or later. Similarly, celebrating the breaking of the fast, known as Eid al-Fitr in the United States, might occur on multiple days based on cultural, familial, or personal preferences.

Around April 9 (dates may vary), the Eid celebration, which signifies the conclusion of fasting, is anticipated. It starts with a morning congregational prayer and ends with visiting relatives and friends. Many people would take the day off as Eid is a holiday that lasts the entire day, not just the morning prayers. According to the Academic Coursework and Religious Observance Policy, this makes it an excused absence. Some people could return to work or school on Eid and take tests. The two days after Eid are also observed as holidays in several cultures.

How Do Muslims Keep Their Ramadan Fasts and Prayers?

Generally speaking, fasting is giving up all food, liquids, and sexual activity from before sunrise till sundown. For Muslims, all 29 or 30 Ramadan must be spent fasting. You can donate or fast on non-Ramadan days if you cannot fast. Eating breakfast is customary and regarded as a very honorable custom. Sundown fasting is typically broken with dates, milk, and a larger meal after evening prayers. Apart from the five daily prayers, another highly significant optional ritual is to assemble for extra communal prayers every month after the evening prayer. Tarawih is the name of this prayer.

Why it’s so Important To Fast

Among the Five Pillars of Islam is fasting throughout the month of Ramadan. All capable Muslims (adults and in good health) are supposed to fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, as the Qur’an instructs.

Fasting at this time serves as a means of worship and a way for Muslims to have a more significant and profound connection with Allah (SWT), going beyond simple abstinence. Through fasting, one might develop compassion for the less fortunate, patience with oneself and the people around them, and understanding what it means to do without.

Diversity of Practice

As previously noted, opinions may differ on when to begin and end Ramadan, and some students, staff members, or faculty members may observe various dates. It is also usual for different interpretive schools to place other time limits on the beginning and end of the daily fast. For example, on a college campus, some Muslims may break their fast right after sundown, while others may wait for ten minutes or longer. It is often preferable not to inquire about someone’s fasting practices because some people may feel more at ease discussing their reasons for not fasting, which can be private and personal.

Although milk and dates are traditionally fast-breaking foods, there is a great deal of ethnic variation in the cuisines people eat throughout Ramadan. Certain cultural customs reserve the vast, hearty pre-dawn meal for fast-breaking meals, preferring light fare. While some cultural traditions practice massive fast-breaking meals, others may observe merely a light pre-dawn meal. In certain modern societies, eateries and cafes operate constantly, giving rise to a gastronomic “life.”

“amadan is observed differently depending on the culture, in addition to fasting and breaking fasts. While some may view fasting as their main ritual, others may view it as an opportunity to socialize, visit loved ones, and engage in more acts of worship, such as prayer or reciting the complete Qur’an during the month.

Both great varieties in the manner and degree of observance and unanimity exist.

  • Everybody experiences challenges differently.
  • Specific individuals are exempt from fasting, either temporarily or permanently.
  • For various reasons, asking someone if they are fasting can be awkward.
  • One may break their fast in case of an emergency.

Health and Fasting:

It is crucial to understand that Muslims are permitted to break their fast in the event of a medical emergency. Fasting shouldn’t be considered a risk to one’s own but rather a spiritual challenge. Adults who are sick, on the road, menstruating, having postpartum bleeding, or exempt from fasting because of a medical condition that makes fasting harmful are excused from fasting and can choose to either make up the missed fast at a later date or donate food to the less fortunate as a gesture of goodwill.

Conclusion

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims, full of fasting and prayer. It is a blessing, a period for introspection on purification, religion, prayer, and remembering those close to us. It teaches compassion and patience. Let us repent and learn to forgive, forget, and pardon others. Create a sizeable salaat and du’aas, and record the periods from the sunnah when our du’aas du’aas are likely to be answered, such as while breaking our fast, during sujood, and in the last part of the night before Fajr. May Allah grant us good health and a strong faith so we can observe Ramadan in a condition of grace and be among the wise people who strive to gain the most benefits. Ameen.