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Ramadan - The Sacred Islamic Occassion

Celebrating Ramadan: A Closer Look at the Holy Month

Within the Islamic calendar, Ramadan, the ninth month, holds immense significance. It's a time for Muslims to deepen their connection with Allah, practice self-reflection, and recognize the struggles faced by those less fortunate. This spiritual journey involves abstaining from food, drink, and other physical needs from sunrise to sunset. This act of fasting, known as sawm, is one of the five pillars of Islam. Hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide observe Ramadan annually, enriching their lives through various practices like iftar (breaking the fast), suhoor (pre-dawn meal), imsak (fasting commencement), and tarawih (nightly prayers).

Navigating Ramadan in 2024:

This year, Ramadan will be observed differently due to COVID-19 precautions. Traditional iftar tents are absent, and authorities urge sharing meals only with immediate family. While the exact start date depends on the sighting of the crescent moon, it's expected to fall around April 12th or 13th. If you're new to Ramadan, here are some key terms you'll encounter:

Ramadan Kareem/Mubarak: Greetings wishing a blessed and generous Ramadan.

Sawm/Siyam: Arabic terms for "fasting."

Iftar: The meal signifying the end of the daily fast.

Madfa: The cannon signaling sunset and the start of iftar.

Suhoor: The pre-dawn meal eaten before the fast begins.

Imsak: The moment marking the start of the daily fast.

Mosaharaty: Individuals who traditionally wake residents for suhoor (a practice fading in modern times).

Qada: Making up for missed fasts due to valid reasons.

Kaffara: Required penalty for intentionally breaking a fast, involving additional fasting or feeding the underprivileged.

Salah: The five daily prayers Muslims perform. During Ramadan, tarawih prayers are encouraged but not mandatory.

Laylat Al Qadr: The holiest night within the final ten days of Ramadan, believed to be when the Quran's first verses were revealed.

Itikaf: Devoting oneself to worship and reflection, often practiced in mosques during the final ten days.

Eid Al Fitr: The joyous celebration marking the end of Ramadan, involving prayers and festivities.

Zakat/Zakat Al Fitr: One of Islam's five pillars, involving charitable donations. Zakat Al Fitr is specifically given before Eid Al Fitr prayers.

Understanding these terms and practices can help you appreciate the significance of Ramadan and its unique traditions.

Ramadan Mubarak
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