BY MARY AFOLABI, MARCH 31, 2022 | 12:54 PM
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by the Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting (Sawm), prayer, alms giving (Zakat and Sadaqah), abstaining from all bad deeds, staying humble and also reading the Quran because Muslims believe that some of the first verses of the Islamic Holy Book, the Quran, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during the month of Ramadan.
It begins at the last night of the month of Shaban and ends at the last night of the month of Ramadan. It is considered as one of the holiest Islamic months and also one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts 29 or 30 days, depending on the sightings of the crescent moon.
Ramadan is a time when Muslims strengthen their spiritual growth,self discipline and also consider those less fortunate. Donate money and materials to charities. It is believed that good deeds done during Ramadan are rewarded many times over.
During the fast of Ramadan, strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Muslims. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. Smoking, sexual relations and sinful behavior are also forbidden. Muslims are expected to devote themselves to Salat (Prayers) and recitation of the Quran during the period.
The predawn meal eaten during the period of Ramadan is referred to as Suhur. The Suhur is taken by dawn inorder to strengthen the Muslims during the day because once the fast begins in the morning,they are not expects to take/eat anything except in the evening when they are expected to break their fast with prayer and a meal called the iftar.
The last ten days of Ramadan are seen by the Muslims as the most auspicious and is a time of intense worship, during which many will perform additional prayers. Some will also perform itikaf, when they stay in the mosque for at least one whole day.
Eid al-Fitr celebration, which means "festival of breaking the fast", marks the end of Ramadan and the start of the next lunar month, Shawwal. This day is declared when the crescent new moon has been sighted or if sighting of the moon is not possible due to the weather.
Eid al-Fitr marks the completion of 30 days of fasting and is celebrated across the Islamic world with public holidays lasting for several days.
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