It is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar. For Muslims, Ramadan is not like Christmas or any other holiday. This is because it does not fall on the same day every year. Muslims abstain not only from food but also from drinking as well.
However there is more to it than just not eating and drinking. During this month Muslims must also abstain from other things as well, which include bad-mouthing and lying, which are things we should all refrain from anyway. It is also suggested that good deeds should be performed during the month.
During this month, Muslims practice self-discipline on themselves and also learn to empathize. Some individuals seem to think it is a perfect way to lose weight, but that is not true, it is more than weight, more than just about us, it places all Muslims for on the same plane. However there are exceptions for children who are too young, pregnant women, elderly, and the travelers.
Tonight, June 5th, all Muslims will perform the first Taraweeh (or Tarawih) prayer. These are the extra prayers that we perform for the month of Ramadan.
The moon was sighted by religious authorities in most Middle Eastern countries announced the beginning of Ramadan on Sunday evening. Ramadan sometimes lasts thirty days, and sometimes 29, it depends on the moon. It has been averaged that Ramadan has begun eleven days earlier.
It is believed by Muslims that during this month some of the first verses of the Quran were revealed, more than a thousand-four-hundred years ago. Therefore it is suggested that Muslims should complete the Quran at least once during Ramadan.
Tomorrow, Muslims will wake up to suhoor (sehri) and eat their last meal of the day. Then later in the day they will be opening their first fast, which they suggested to first open with water and dates. Most will be opening it with their family and friends, and some at mosques with fellow Muslims.
To others it might seem like another religious tradition, for Mulims it is much more than that. Ramadan changes the lives of Muslims, it shows us how to look beyond our plates for a little bit, and for some the lessons learned stay for the rest of their lives. There are many distractions and temptations that are going to come into our lives, but we have to think about the bigger picture, re-evaluate, and think about how we will be rewarded at the end, like at the end of fasting every day.
It allows many to intensify their focus, and once engrossed in something, time flies by. With diligence and perseverance, an individual is able to get through the day. Helping us to realize that sometimes sacrificing our immediate desires is worth it.
Then, after Ramadan is over, it is celebrated through Eid-ul-Fitr. The celebrations can last up to three days. There is money given to the poor and children, everyone wears their best clothes, and special foods are prepared. But there is a month still left to go for that.
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