The month of Ramadan is approaching! It is an Islamic month of fasting that commemorates the first revelation of the Qu’ran, Islam’s sacred text, to the prophet Muhammed. You might have seen sales at grocery store surrounding the month, but if you’re not Muslim or you don’t know a lot about its practice, you might find this list interesting. Here 5 things you didn’t know about Ramadan.
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from, sexual intercourse, food and drink from dawn until dusk. That includes water. That means fasters cannot do things like strenuous physical activity, being out in the sun too long, or anything else that might put the undernourished body at risk and endanger health. It is a form of discipline, as forgoing the basic necessities in favour of a spiritual meditative or reflective state is what this month is all about. Muslims don’t think of this as a disappointment or a deprivation; it is the means to achieving clarity and a deeper connection with Allah.
2. Deaths during Ramadan are considered blessed
3. Five Pillars of Islam
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. The five pillars and guidelines are ways of life for Muslim’s and are the principles by which one must abide by according to the Qu’ran.
The five pillars or beliefs of Islam are as follows:
Shahadah: Affirmation and understanding that there is no deity but God and Muhammed is his messenger.
Salat: Praying five times daily. The five prayers are Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib, and Isha.
Zakat: Giving to charity.
Sawm: Fasting during the month of Ramadan.
Hajj: Making a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime.
4. Ramadan is a time of reflection
As Muslims forgo, food, water, sexual activity, and other luxuries of life, there is time to reflect on yourself with very little distract or preoccupations. In the face of this mild deprivation, there is time to reflect on what you do have. In this way, you can become thankful and practice gratitude towards the basic things you have in life that you might take for granted. Some might choose to use this month to hit the reset button on their life and start anew. Some make resolutions to be kinder, and some make more an effort to learn and practice their faith. It’s all about being the best you possible!
Eid-al-Fitr is the celebration of the end of Ramadan which means no fasting! There’s often great food and lots of family time to give thanks and indulge a bit in the tastiness of life. It usually happens on the last day of the month. It begins when the new moon is first spotted, so it’s different depending on geographic location. This holiday lasts around three days, during which time you’ll hear Muslim’s greeting each other by saying, “Eid Mubarak!”
Whether you are Muslim or not, there are lots of reasons to enjoy and appreciate about this time of year. The warm weather, peaceful times, and great good are all reasons to give thanks and reflect on all life has to offer us. Practising gratitude is a humbling experience and helps to bring people together and make life just a little bit more joyful.