Festival of Ramadan
Ramadan is the name of the ninth month of Islamic calendar i.e. Lunar calendar. The people who celebrate Ramadan are the Muslim people in the world. It is estimated that 2.5 million Muslims live here. In the world, there are more than 1.6 billion Muslims.
This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon, The Muslim calendar is a lunar calendar, whereas the Julian Calendar is not. Also, the Muslim calendar is composed of 29 or 30 days in each month, while the Julian calendar has 30 or 31. The Julian calendar and Muslim calendar are based independent of each other. The Muslim calendar came about approximately 1400 years ago during the time of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W, whereas the Julian calendar came about approx. 2000 y/o ago, near the reign of Julius Caesar, whom the calendar is named after.
All the months in the Julian calendar similar to those that we use today: Ianuarius, Februarius, Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Iunius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, November, and December. the Quran was revealed on this month.
The Purpose of Ramadan
Ramadan is taken from the Arabic language. The meaning is scorching. In 610 CE, the Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. Then the holy month for Muslims was established during Ramadan.
Ramadan isn’t about only feasting. It’s a month of Mercy, Forgiveness and Salvation. Fasting (Roza) is do not let in anything inside your tummy (yes not even water). On this month people offer worship (Ibadat) more than the ordinary days. Because in Ramadan, Muslim get 70 times more reward (Sawab) for Ibadat than ordinary days. Apart from keeping ourselves away from food and drink. Muslim also avoid to involve in those activities which divert our mind like lighting music or watching movie or any other entertainment activities.
As the practice goes Taraweeh prayers are performed every night. These prayers are long and offered by standing upright, to listen Quran, which is recited by Hafiz, and perform it in units (standing, bowing, prostration, sitting) and it is prayed in 8, 20 or 36 units. The Hafiz recites the Quran and the Namazis listen to its verses with rapt attention.
Since it is believed that the last 10 days of Ramadan are the days of revelation of the Quran, the 10-day period is called ‘lailat-ul-qadr’— ‘night of power, night of destiny, night of salvation’. Odd nights of the last 10 days could possibly be the day when the Quran was revealed and 27th day is considered most likely because that is mentioned in the ahaadeeth (sayings of prophet). Hence this 27th day is celebrated as the night of‘lailat-ul-qadr’. But this celebration isn’t to merry-making and feasting.
Every Masjid performs the Taraweeh prayers with special supplementation. Namazis go from Masjid to Masjid to hear the holy sermons and that is what keeps people awake and on the roads all night.
Zakat often translated as “the poor-rate”, a fixed percentage (2.5%)of the person’s savings is required to be given to the poor.
Festival of Breaking Fast - Eid-ul-Fitr
The first day of the next month, Shawwal, is spent in celebration and is observed as the “Festival of Breaking Fast” or Eid-ul-Fitr. Muslims attend early morning Eid prayers, make and distribute special celebratory dishes such as ‘Sheer Khurma’. Gifts are frequently given — new clothes are part of the tradition — and it is also common for children to be given small sums of money (Eidi) by their elders.