First of all, Ramadan Mubarak to any readers of mine who are Muslim and observant.
To the majority of my readers who may not be familiar with Ramadan, this may help you understand what Muslims do and why we do what we do.
1. What is Ramadan?
This may seem like a simple question but it actually is not. There are many facets to it and I shall attempt to explain it. Strictly speaking, Ramadan (also Ramzaan) is the 9th month in the Islamic calendar. There are twelve.
It is also the month during which the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and Muslims mark this event by fasting.
2. Fasting you say…so like you don’t eat for thirty days?
No, we’d die. O.O
We fast every day for thirty days. In the morning before the sun rises to the moment when the sun sets.We do not eat or drink anything in the hours between sunrise and sunset.
The morning meal is called suhoor (also saheri) and the afternoon meal is called Iftari (also Iftari). This year the first fast where I live starts from 3:22 am to 9:13 pm.
3. So why do you do it? I mean, seriously, you cray?
People will tell you different things concerning the purpose of fasting. It’s not easy to do so and I’m saying so from experience. I have been fasting since I was in Grade 4 but it never gets easier.
The purpose of fasting is to create piety, yes but more than that, it is to create an awareness in everyone about hunger. People who are without food not because they are fasting but because they have no food – it lets us experience that kind of feeling with the intention that once we feel what the poor must feel, we will be more willing to give to them.
4. What if you can’t fast?
If you can’t fast for legitimate reasons like illness etc, you have to feed a certain number of people. I am not sure about the details of this but you give food to a number of people every fast you miss.
5. What happens when the month is over?
Eid ul Fitr happens. It’s a festival that is mostly about food and socializing. The young get moneys, there are new clothes, people visit your house, you visit theirs, you eat, talk and catch up. It’s a fun week or month, depends on how lavishly people celebrate where you come from. It’s just fun.
And there you go, the very basic information about Ramadan. Don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any questions.