A month of self-purification begins
Ramadan, a time when Muslims celebrate Allah's revelation of the first verses of the Koran, began Wednesday, Oct. 5. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, but because Islam uses the lunar calendar, the holiday begins on a different day each year. This year, Ramadan will last until Nov. 4.
The Koran is the holy book of Islam; therefore, its origins are the underlying reason behind the Ramadan celebration. According to Fact Monster, around 610 C.E., the prophet Muhammad was walking in the desert near Mecca when the voice of angel Gabriel called out to him. Gabriel told Muhammad that he was the chosen one who would receive the word of Allah. In the following days, Muhammad began transcribing verses that are now found in the Koran.
During Ramadan, Muslims pray, contribute to charity and fast. Fasting is an important part of this holiday because it is believed to cleanse the body and mind and enable many to feel inner peace and connect with Allah. It also helps people practice self-control and most importantly, provides a perspective of the suffering that the poor face.
The daily routine for a faster is quite rigorous. Fasters are not permitted to eat or drink anything after sunrise in order to give people time to reflect on their religion and their life. However, those who are sick, elderly, pregnant, nursing a child or traveling are not permitted to fast. Nonetheless, they can still express their gratitude and appreciation to Allah by visiting mosques and praying. For those who are fasting, a fast is broken after sunset by a prayer and a meal called iftar. While it is customary for Muslims to visit family and friends after the iftar, in today's world with hectic schedules and excessive work, not many are able to do this.
The following passage from the Holy Koran provides an explanation of the importance of fasting: "O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who came before you that you may keep your duty to your Lord (having taqwa)," (2:185). The Koran states that by fasting, one fulfills their duty of thanking and acknowledging Allah for his help and protection.
The religion of Islam teaches followers to appreciate life, help people and love one another. Therefore, as part of the Islamic religion, Ramadan is meant to be a time of celebration. People let go of their everyday worries, such as the burden of eating and drinking, and find time to help others around them.
At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the holiday Id-al-Fitr (the Feast of Fast Breaking), and for three days they exchange gifts, gather for prayer and large meals.
Ramadan is a time of replacing sins with good deeds, celebrating the existence of Allah, giving to charity and coming together.
Hokuma Karimova. Hokuma is a fun and happy person, who has been described by some as crazy and eccentric. She is ecstatic to be part of the Silver Chips Online staff and hopes to someday fulfill the legacy that her older sister left behind. One thing that … More »