Whether you’re Muslim or non-Muslim, there are many ways someone can participate in Ramadan festivities – by gaining knowledge through a fellow Muslim friend during this month, or simply trying to find more ways to participate during Ramadan as a way to gain even more rewards.
What is ‘Ramadan’?
Ramadan is a time to gather and observe the ninth month of an Islmaic calendar year by abstaining from indulgence and praying to become closer to God. The month of Ramadan is a sacred month because it marks when Allah (SWT) gave the first chapters of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad. Let’s dive right into the conceptual of Ramadan.
What is ‘suhoor’?
Suhoor is the meal consumed before sunrise as the meal before the day of fasting begins. This meal is very important because those that fast need to make sure they have an intake of meals that will give them high energy, throughout the day. The day of fasting lasts from sunrise to sunset, which means participants need to ensure there is enough energy, especially if they are working, as well.
How many times do we pray?
In our daily lives as Muslims, we are asked to pray five times a day, whether it’s during Ramadan or not. The five prayers are named Fajr, Zuhur, Asr, Maghreb, and Isha. After suhoor takes place, it’s time to pray Fajr because Fajr also takes place prior to sunrise. The next prayer, Zuhr, takes place after noon. In the late afternoon, Asr takes place followed by Maghreb, which happens after sunset. Lastly, Isha prayer happens before going to sleep, as a way to remember God before heading into the night.
What is ‘taraweeh’?
During Ramadan, there is a voluntary prayer offered which is called, Taraweeh. Taraweeh is led by the congregation as a way to listen to the recitation of the Qur’an and as a way to pray voluntarily. This process, in itself, is extremely spiritually beneficial and is one of the gifts we are given by Allah (SWT) during the month of Ramadan. **Please note, that not all Muslims sectors partake in Taraweeh.
What is ‘iftar’?
As mentioned before, Maghreb takes place when the sun sets, as does iftar. A Muslims’ fast opens up when the sunset has taken place and Maghreb time has begun as well. Typically, you open your fast with something small such as a date or dried fruit before going and praying Maghreb. After praying Maghreb, Muslims continue to eat their larger meals as a way to give their body the fuel needed after fasting, since sunrise.
Who can fast?
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, which means we are all obligated to fast, but there are exemptions. People who are recognized as exempted from fasting include those who have health problems – being ill or having to take medications. Also, women who are nursing or pregnant – nursing and pregnancies, both, are times where your body needs continuous nourishment. Women who are menstruating are not allowed to fast, during this month, as well.
Why do Muslims fast?
The question is often asked – why do we fast? As Muslims, we’re granted this month by Allah (SWT) as a gift to become closer with Him. By praying and doing things like reading the Qur’an, we bring knowledge into our minds and remembrance into our hearts. Ramadan is a month of bringing our relationship closer to God and giving back, in small ways such as charity, donating to the local mosque, and many more – anything small counts.
We hope that this article was informative. Feel free to share this with your friends and inshAllah you can make the most out of the Holy Month. Ramadan Kareem!