Friday, October 20, 2017 | ePaper

Celebrating Ramzan

  • Print


Life Desk :
Ramazan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. As the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the beginning and end of the month is marked by a new moon.
According to Islamic history, it was in this month that Allah passed wisdom to the prophet that was compiled in the first few verses of the Quran (Koran), the holy book of Islam, which contains the code of conduct all Muslims live by. Following is a way of celebrating and respecting the Prophet and focusing on spiritual growth.
Ramzan is a time for those following it to practise self-restraint. Refraining from food is just one of the aspects, which is why it's often only associated with fasting. One should refrain from all things earthly and 'impure' during daylight or fasting hours. Besides food and drink, sexual activity, negative thoughts, lies, unkindness, and all sorts of negativity fall under this category; it's quite open to interpretation.
This restraint is one of the five main pillars; one of the core principles of Islam. It is 'sawm' in Arabic; the word itself is often translated as fasting rather than restraint. The other five pillars are shahadah, a profession of faith; ?alat, ritual prayer; zakat, obligatory alms to benefit the poor and the needy, and hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca.
But it's not simply about restraint; it's also a time for spiritual reflection, prayer and devotion. People observing the fast are supposed to hold back from impure thoughts and actions and focus on positive and godly ones. Besides prayer and reflection, positive actions such as charity or volunteering are encouraged. One is advised to read the Quran(Koran) in entirety and reflect on its teachings.
During this month, from sunrise to sunset, one has to practice this self-restraint and attempt some spiritual growth. The day begins with Fajr, the first prayer and there are several other prayers during the day; after sunset is Iftar, the meal that breaks the fast. Traditionally Iftar starts with dates as Muhammad broke fast with three dates however, it's not necessary to follow the same. In many places Iftar parties are common, with food served plentifully in buffets and celebrations lasting late.
The last time to eat is right before dawn and this pre-dawn meal is called suhur. Suhur must stop before the sun rises and often those practising wake up early for it. It's followed by Fajr, post sunrise.
There are individual and cultural differences to the practise but basic traditions are quite common. Due to the low caloric and nutritional intake, normal day to day functions can get affected and many countries where the population is primarily Muslim have working hour allowances; though work is never entirely stopped for balance between worship and work is encouraged by Prophet Muhammad (m).
All Muslims must practice this post puberty though there are some exceptions. Those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating are exempted as are those too young, too old, unwell (physically or mentally) and even those travelling. All are expected to make up for the days they didn't fast after and some forgo fasting in favour of charity.
Ramazan ends with a three day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, the festival of breaking the fast. It's time for celebration with friends, family and other loved ones. Lavish meals and presents are often exchanged. Charity and arms are often given more on these days as well.
Courtesy- TNN

More News For this Category

Our hands, our future!

Our hands, our future!

Life Desk :Every year around 1.4 million child deaths and 15% infant deaths occur with either diarrhea, pneumonia or infectious diseases. Simple handwashing with soap just before and after

World Food Day: 'Change the Future of Migration'

World Food Day: 'Change the Future of Migration'

Life Desk :Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) celebrates World Food Day on 16th October every year to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030The aim is to create awareness and to

Unwarranted mindfulness and meditation practices may cause harm

Life Desk :Mindfulness or Meditation techniques should not be oversold to people without caution or condition-specific modifications. Studies of intervention such as mindfulness based stress reduction(MBSR)may not provide valid

Breathtaking concert hall with intricate algorithms

Breathtaking concert hall with intricate algorithms

Life Desk :The Hamburg's new concert hall that took over ten years and probably cost way more than its pre-decided budget, was surely worth the wait. According to the

48 hours in New York City: 10 things to do

48 hours in New York City: 10 things to do

Life Desk :If you've been to New York City, you may well understand that it is never possible to see every part of the city over a period of few

Dirty laundry allows bed bugs to thrive

Dirty laundry allows bed bugs to thrive

Life Desk :Bed bugs are attracted to dirty laundry, say scientists who warn that leaving worn clothes exposed in sleeping areas - especially while staying in hotels - can

Air pollution cuts growth of working memory in kids

Air pollution cuts growth of working memory in kids

Life Desk :Exposure to air pollution on the way to school can have damaging effects on growth of children's working memory, suggests new research. The study, published in the

Mental health of workers can be improved by training

Mental health of workers can be improved by training

Life Desk :Mental health of everyday workers can be greatly improved by training the managers in basic mental health programmes found a new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry

Caffeine in one cup of coffee reduces risk of death in diabetic women

Caffeine in one cup of coffee reduces risk of death in diabetic women

Life Desk :Women with diabetes who regularly drink caffeinated coffee or tea may live longer than those who don't consume caffeine at all.One regular cup of coffee which contains

Genes behind picky eating behaviors of preschoolers

Genes behind picky eating behaviors of preschoolers

Life Desk :Certain genes related to taste perception may be the reason for children to have picky eating habits.  "For most children, picky eating is a normal part of