Observing The Holy Month Of Ramadan
Ramadan or Ramzan marks the beginning of the Islamic month. The followers of Islam believe that good deeds are rewarded handsomely during this Holy month, than any other time of the year. Let’s study about Ramadan in detail.
Ramadan will commence in 2020 on Thursday, 23rd April ( as per Saudi Arabia timings) and will end on Saturday, 23rd April.
Ramadan 2020 Date
Based on the Islamic calendar, which follows the Lunar cycle, the holy month of Ramadan will begin on Thursday, 23rd April,2020, subject to the sighting of the moon and is expected to conclude on Saturday 23rd May,2020.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslim brethern all around the globe. It is a sacred month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. Ramadan was once part of the ancient Arabs’ calendar. The word ‘Ramadan’ has been derived from an Arabic word “Ar-ramad”, which means ‘scorching heat’. The history of Ramadan relates to Prophet Muhammad, before whom an angel appeared in the 610 A.D. on Laylat-al-Qadr night and revealed about the Holy Quran, the sacred Islamic book. Laylat-al- Qadr means one of the five-odd-numbered nights that fall during the last ten days of Ramadan. The angel was believed to be the messenger of God or Allah at whose command, people were asked to observe the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan 2020 India
Ramadan 2020 in India will begin on Friday evening on the 24th of April and will end in the evening of Sunday, 24th of May.
A Ramadan Story
The Holy Ramadan is celebrated as the month during which Prophet Muhammad received the initial revelations from God or Allah through an angel. These revelations were collected into a 114 chapter book known as the Holy Quran, which Muslims believe contains the exact words of God. The Muslim community considers Prophet Muhammad to be the last Prophet chosen by God to act as a messenger to teach mankind the importance of love and brotherhood. The Prophet reportedly quoted saying, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of Heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the Devils are chained.”
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Muslims around the world have successfully been observing fasts considered as spiritual cleansing during the month of Ramadan for more than thousand years now. Here are some health benefits that help people to sustain the month without food and water.
- Dates are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, sugar, and fiber. People who fast during these days consume a lot of dates which is considered to be perfect to boost energy levels. Dates also contain high levels of potassium, magnesium and Vitamin B that aids to improve digestion throughout Ramadan.
- Fasting has positive effects like increasing mental well being, spiritual focusing and boosting brain power. Mental focus is achieved during Ramadan causing the body to produce more brain cells, thus improving brain functioning.
- There is also distinct reduction in the amount of the Cortisol hormone produced by the adrenal gland which reduces stress levels.
- Abstaining from vices such as smoking, drinking and eating sugary foods gradually makes the body acclimatised to these vices until they are got rid off.
- People observing Ramadan enjoy positive effects on their lipid profile, which means reduction of cholesterol in the blood making them less exposed to the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart strokes or angina attacks.
- Ramadan acts as a fantastic detox for the body. It offers a chance to detoxify or burn away harmful toxins present in fat deposits of the digestive system.
- The month also helps to maintain a healthy eating pattern. The reduction of food consumed throughout fasting causes the stomach to gradually shrink meaning to eat less and to feel full. Appetite remains good but in control.
Why Is Ramadan Celebrated?
Ramadan is a sacred fasting period of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, great devotion and penance. Muslims are expected to put more efforts to follow the preachings of Prophet Muhammad and abide by the teachings of Islam. A commemoration of the annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as on of the Five Pillars of Islam which lasts for twenty- nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the other. It is believed that ‘Thawab’ or spiritual rewards of fasting are multiplied during Ramadan.
Fasting from sunrise to sunset is Fard (obligatory) for all adults except terminally ill patients, elderly, diabetic persons, menstruating or pregnant females, everybody is supposed to fast during the month of Ramadan. During this period people abstain from eating any kinds of food, drinking water, beverages, juices or any other liquids, they do not engage in any sexual activity. This also includes swallowing medicine without a drop of water. In addition, they get into the practice of reciting verses from the Quran and avoid indulgence in sinful speech and behaviour. The act of fasting is said to redirect one’s heart and mind from worldly activities and cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities. Anyone who is fasting is required to drink as much as water as possible at dawn to ward off the day’s thirst.
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Ramadan falls in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar but the date changes each year. A special three-day festival is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan which is called Eid-al-Fitr. It means the Festival of Breaking of the Fast. It begins with the first sighting of the moon in the sky.
During Ramadan, two main meals are served one is ‘Suhoor’ and the other is ‘Iftar’. Suhoor is served before dawn and is hearty and healthy enough to provide energy needed to survive the day while Iftar is served after sunset. Suhoor ends when the sun rises and the Fajr or morning prayers begin and is broken with Iftar. Many Muslims consume Dates before the Iftar meals. People can continue eating and drinking throughout the night until the next Suhoor. In Saudi Arabia traditional desserts such as Luqaimat, Baklava or Knafeh are prepared as a part of Iftar.
Ramadan Fasting Rules
During the entire month of Ramadan Muslims are obligated to fast. Some fasting rules according to the Sacred law are:
- Fasting requires abstinence from allowing anything into the body cavity.
- No engagement in sexual activities.
- Keeping away from immoral acts such as backbiting, ill intentions for others, sinful behavior, etc.
- Practice empathy for those who are less fortunate by encouraging generosity acts and Zakat( compulsory charity).
- Compulsory fasting can help people to learn to sacrifice their share of food for those who are hand to mouth. This makes them realize and understand the state of hungry and poor people who are deprived of a single meal for the day.
Here are some unknown Ramadan facts:
- The beginning of Ramadan can move as many as 11 or 12 days each year.
- In Egypt, it is prevalent to push clocks to shorten the days and increase nights, when fasting is not required.
- In Muslim countries, economy is adversely affected due to rise in inflation during Ramadan.
- The practice of charity during Ramadan is called Sadaqua (voluntary giving) and Zakat ( mandatory giving).
- The Five Pillars of Islam include- Sawm (fasting), Haj (pilgrimage), Zakat ( giving alms), Salat ( daily five times prayer facing the Holy Mecca, Shalada ( belief in one True God).
- Although fasting during Ramadan is beneficial, it could adversely affect the kidney functioning due to water restrictions.
Friday the 24th of April, 2020 is the 115th day of the 2020 calendar with -20 days until the start of the observance of Ramadan in 2020.
During Ramadan the world’s Muslim population is involved in the Holy month with fasting from sunrise to sunset. Several online websites develop effective ways to navigate and search catalogue collections to find special Ramadan offers from favourite shopping stores.
Studies show widespread Ramadan observance with a median of 93% across thirty-nine countries. Regions with high Ramadan observance rates are Southeast and South Asia, Middle East, North Africa and Sub- Saharan Africa. Percentages are lower in Central Asia and Southeast Europe.
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Have A Blessed Ramadan!
With Ganesha’s Grace,
The GaneshaSpeaks.com Team