RAMADAN is an Islamic festival that takes place every year, and is a time of spiritual reflection, self-improvement, and heightened devotion and worship for Muslims. Ramadan is also widely known as Ramazan in Nepal.
What happens during Ramadan?
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims won’t eat or drink between dawn and sunset. This is called fasting. Fasting is important during Ramadan as it allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith and come closer to Allah, or God. Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which forms the basis of how Muslims live their lives. The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity, and making the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. It is believed that one must visit the holy city of Mecca at least once in their lifetime.
Fasting in Ramadan.
Observant Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk for the entire month of Ramadan, with a single sip of water or a puff of a cigarette considered enough to invalidate the fast.
Muslim scholars say it’s not enough to just avoid food and drinks during the day, though. Spouses must abstain from sexual intercourse during the day, and Muslims should not engage in road rage, cursing, fighting, or gossiping.
Ramadan is also a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds, and spending time with family and friends. It is common to have a meal, known as the suhoor, just before dawn and another, known as the iftar, directly after sunset. At the end of the fast – once the sun has gone down – families and friends will get together for iftar to break their fast.
Not everybody has to fast for Ramadan with there being exceptions for children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those who are ill or who are traveling.
How does Ramadan end?
Traditionally Muslims rely on an authority to sight the new moon to determine the beginning and the end of Ramadan.
For example, some Sunni Muslims wait for the Saudi Arabian religious authorities to declare the end of Ramadan. In Nigeria, where more than 80 million Muslims live, the Sultan of Sokoto – a hereditary religious authority – formally asks Nigeria’s Muslims to look for the moon so that the beginning and end of the holy month can be determined.
Muslims mark the end of Ramadan with a celebration and feasting known as Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Breaking the Fast.
The end of Ramadan is called Eid-ul-Fitr which is celebrated by performing early morning Eid prayers. The day of Eid falls on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal (10th month of the Islamic calendar). In general Eid ul Fitr is celebrated when the first moon is visible on the month of Shawwal (In some countries it last for up to three days) and after that Muslims come together with their families, prepare great feasts, exchange gifts, continue to give to charity and forgive and forget any rifts.