Interesting Facts About Ramadan
With Ramadan 2022 around the corner, Muslims across the world are getting prepped to celebrate the revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad.
It was during the month of Ramadan when God revealed the holy scripture of the Qur’an. The book was given to Prophet Muhammad as ‘a guidance for the people.’ That being said, Ramadan is a lot more than just the sacred month of fasting in the Islamic tradition.
Ramadan is said to be the month of Sawm (fasting). It falls on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. In Islam, it is the most consecrated month of the year. The start of Ramadan is marked by the appearance of the crescent moon. And the same ends with Eid-ul Fitr. Religiously, the entire month of Ramadan is a period of communal prayer (in the mosque) and Qur’an (reading). In the UK, Ramadan 2022 will be observed from the evening of April 1, Saturday to the evening of May 1, Sunday. The end will mark the three days celebration of Eid.
Over 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide will observe Ramadan this year. So, there’s a high possibility of you coming across someone observing the fast and celebrating Ramadan. He could be your neighbour, friend, or acquaintance. Whatever the case, you might want to know the interesting facts about Ramadan. So, here we are!
What is Ramadan?
Islam has five pillars!
These pillars are the core beliefs (religious) and practises that establish the foundation of the religion. A Muslim is bound to practise these throughout his life. The five pillars of Islam are:
- Shahada (There’s only one God, Allah) Salat (Five prayers of the day)
- Salat (Prayer)
- Zakat (Sense of Charity)
- Sawm (Fasting of Ramadan)
- Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca)
Ramadan is one of these pillars. Occurring in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, it roughly lasts for 29-30 days. Starting with the appearance of a new moon, Ramadan ends on the night of the waning crescent moon. The same is followed by the Eid-ul Fitr.
During the month of Ramadan (also known as Ramazan, Ramzan, and Ramadhan), the Muslims observe a fast (one that lasts for the entire month). They are forbidden from eating or drinking during the daylight hours. They practise self-discipline while devoting themselves to their religion, Islam. Many people spend time with their family, while others come ahead to help the needy.
Interesting Facts About Sawm aka, Ramadan
Keep reading to discover some fascinatingly interesting facts about the month of Ramadan.
Obligation to Practise
Every Muslim is obligated to practise Ramadan, but several of them can be excused. They are children (below 14-years), elderly people, travellers, sick people, pregnant and breastfeeding women.
If someone is unable to fast or missed it for some reason, he or she can complete his fasting after Ramadan. When someone practising Ramadan dies without completing his fast, the person in charge of his affairs should complete his fast after completing his own.
Sawm: A founding pillar of Islam
Sawm (meaning fasting) is a crucial practice in Islam. Someone practicing Islam starts observing Sawm or fasting since they reach puberty and continue it until death. Dropping sawm (or the fasting in Ramadan) due to sickness or certain health conditions is an exception.
Laylat al-Qadr means the ‘Night of Power’. Qadr night is believed to be the night when the Quran was sent to the land of mortals. The holy book was revealed to Muhammad on this very night. In Islam, Laylat al-Qadr is believed to have occurred between the 23rd to 27th night of Ramadan.
God revealed the first verses of the Qur’an during Ramadan.
The month-long Ramadan emphasises the importance of self-control and the sufferings of the underprivileged. Muslims focus on praying, purity, spirituality, and generosity (sense of charity) during Ramadan. Several of them help the poor and read the Qur'an.
Despite practising Ramadan being a mandate, some Muslims are exempted from observing the fast. They are usually sick or elderly people, children, pregnant women, menstruating women, travellers, or people engaged in tedious labour.
While the Sawm is about fasting from dawn to dusk, Muslims have a pre-fast and post-fast meal every day during Ramadan. The pre-fast meal, also known as Suhoor, is eaten before dawn. After the sunset, people have an evening meal to end their fast. This meal is called Iftar. People usually break their fast with dates and juices.
It is believed that Muhammad ate three dates with water to end his fast.
During Ramadan, Muslims are required to stay away from impurities and pleasures. It involves avoiding sexual pleasures too.
Ramadan being the month of self-discipline and praying, several Muslims indulge themselves in reading Qur’an.
Month of Generosity
A key purpose of Ramadan is empathy. It is to understand the sufferings of the poor. Muslims across the world do charity and help the needy during Ramadan. Some even have Iftar with the poor people.
Eid, also known as Eid-ul Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan. It is an enormous festival celebrated to thank Allah for giving strength to practise month-long fasting. The people of Islam come together to celebrate Eid. They have large feasts, spend time with close-knits, and do charity.
To a non-Muslim, even the thoughts of fasting for an entire month is dreadful. But to someone practicing Islam, it is a matter of pride to observe Ramadan. To him, all that counts is his dedication and the support of his god, Allah. Because in Islam, Ramadan is everything that synonymizes a sacred religious occasion.
Everything about Ramadan roots to the origin of Islam and the Holy book of Qur’an. Had God not revealed Qur’an to guide his followers, Ramadan would not exist.