Ramadan, an Islamic observance

Fasting is primarily the act of willingly abstaining from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. In our indulgent, instant gratification society could we take a lesson from the Muslims and take some time off for spiritual enlightenment? Ramadan is an Islamic religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when the Quran was revealed. The name “Ramadan” is taken from the name of this month; the word itself derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground, and shortness of rations.

It is considered the most venerated and blessed month of the Islamic year. Prayers, saw (fasting), charity, and self-accountability are especially stressed at this time; religious observances associated with Ramadan are kept throughout the month.

This year Ramadan falls between Sept.13 and Oct. 13. It usually commences with Eid ul-Fitr a festival which celebrates the sighting of a new moon, the breaking of the fast, and donating food to the poor.

Ramadan is divided into three ten-day parts, or ashra (Arabic for ten). They are Rahmah (mercy of God), Maghfirah (forgiveness of God) Najah (salvation), respectively. Laylat al-Qadr, which falls during the last third, commemorates the revelation of the first verses of the Quran and is considered the most holy night of the year.

Ramadan ends with the holiday Eid ul-Fitr, on which feasts are held. During the month following Ramadan, called Shawaal, Muslims are encouraged to fast for a further six days.

Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam as well as refraining from anger, envy, greed, lust, sarcastic comments, and gossip.

Obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided; sexual intercourse during fasting hours is also forbidden.

The key to Ramadan is the daytime fasting or swam. Everyday during the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world get up before dawn to eat and perform their fajr prayer. They break their fast when the fourth prayer of the day, Maghrib (sunset), is due.

Ramadan is also a time when Muslims are supposed to slow down from their worldly affairs and focus on self reformation, spiritual cleansing and enlightenment and establish the link between the God almighty and themselves by prayer, supplication, charity and showing good deeds, and showing kindness by helping others. will make you healthier wealthier and wise.