5 things you should know about Ramadan

5 things to know about Ramadan - motherhooddiaries

Ramadan is coming up at the end of this month and millions of Muslims will be observing this holy month. But, if you are like me and you are not part of this faith or you don’t have any real idea of what Ramadan means, then here are five things you should know about this holy annual event.

It’s one of the five pillars of Islam

Ramadan, five pillars of Islam - motherhooddiaries

As one of the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan is hugely important to Muslims around the world. It marks the month during which the Qur’an was said to have first been shown to the Prophet Muhammad. The specific night when this holy book was revealed is called the Lailut ul-Qadr, which means ‘The Night of Power’.

It is a time to do good deeds

Ramadan - good deeds - motherhooddiaries

Many Muslims attempt to give up bad habits during this month and many spend more time praying or reading the Qur’an. It is also common for people to put extra focus on doing good deeds during this period, and this often involves giving to charity. For example, many Muslims choose to pay their Zakat during Ramadan. As the charity Human Appeal notes, Zakat is a religious duty that requires Muslims who have reached a certain minimum level of wealth to give a calculated proportion of this (usually 2.5 percent) to those in need.

It’s a period of fasting

Ramadan fasting - motherhooddiaries

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. It’s typical for people to have one meal, called the suhoor before the sun comes up at the start of the day and another, called iftar when darkness falls.

However, it’s important to note that for health reasons, pregnant women, the sick, the elderly, children and travellers aren’t required to fast.

It doesn’t have a fixed date in the Western calendar

Ramadan is always marked in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, but because this is a lunar calendar, it doesn’t map directly onto the Western solar calendar. This means that each year, the holy month starts 11 days earlier in the Western calendar.

It ends with the festival of Eid

Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan with a big festival known as Eid-ul-Fitr. As well as marking the end of the fast, this event is intended to thank Allah for the strength he gave people to practice self-control over the previous month. It involves a celebratory meal (eaten during the daytime), special religious services and processions through the streets. Eid is also considered to be a time of making amends and forgiving.

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Leyla Preston (494 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 5, and Aidan, 4. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/

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