Ramadan 2019: All you need to know

Here’s everything you need to know about this month.

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Ramadan

Ramadan is an as the best month of the year for Muslims as it was the month in which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) on the night of Laylat Al Qadr, one of the last ten nights of Ramadan.

”The month of Ramadan (is that) in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and the clear proof for guidance and criterion. So whoever sights (the new moon of) the month, let him fast it; and whoever Is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and doesn’t intend for you hardship and wants for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that (to) which He has guided you : and perhaps you will be grateful.”

Surah Al-Baqarah 2:185

The annual observance of Ramadan is considered one of the ‘Five Pillars of Islam’.

How long does it last?

Ramadan lasts for one complete moon cycle, which is usually 29 or 30 days. The moon sighting determines the duration. Nowadays, astronomical calculations have started taking precedence over the age-old tradition of moon sighting by the naked eye to determine the dates.

How do you greet each other?

Greet people by saying “Ramadan Kareem”. This roughly translates into “Happy Ramadan”.

How do Muslims observe Ramadan?

Adult Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk every day throughout Ramadan. Those who are ill, elderly, diabetic, pregnant, menstruating, or breastfeeding are not required to fast. Those who travel or are unwell during the period of Ramadan may fast on Different days at a later point. Children are not required to fast unless they have reached puberty, although many still do out of choice.

In addition to abstaining from eating, drinking, and smoking, Muslims also refrain from sexual relations as well as sinful speech and behaviour.

During Ramadan, Muslims pray every night for 30 days, reciting different chapters each day until the Quran is completed by Eid Al Fitr. This is called the Taraweeh prayer, which is recited after Isha prayers mid-evening.

Why a fast?

Fasting redirects the heart away from distractions, with its purpose being to cleanse the soul by freeing it from impurities. Ramadan is also a time for Muslims to practice self-discipline, sacrifice, and empathy for those less fortunate. It encourages generosity and charity.

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