Ramadan, is the holiest month in the Islamic year and muslims around the world practice sawm/siyam, or fasting, for the entire month of Ramadan. Fasting during Ramdan is one of the five pillars of Islam and one of the highest forms of Islamic worship.
WHEN IS RAMADAN CELEBRATED?
Ramadan (also known as Ramadhan or Ramzan) is a period of prayer, fasting and charity. Traditionally the month of Ramadan begins with a new moon sighting, that marks the beginning of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. Mostly all adults (except the the sick and the elderly) refrain from food and drink and the fast is observed each day from sunrise to sunset. This means that they should not eat or drink anything, including water, when the sun rises.
WHY IS RAMADAN CELEBRATED?
Ramadan is an auspicious time to practice self-restraint and a time to purify your body, mind and soul from all the impurities and re-focus on the worship of God. This day also commemorates the time when the Islamic holy book is said to have been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Ramadan ends at the sighting of the first crescent of the new moon, marking the start of a new lunar month. Ramadan concludes with a 3-day festivity known as “Eid” or “Eid ul-Fitr,” which literally means “the feast or a celebration to break the fast.”
HOW IS RAMADAN CELEBRATED?
As stated earlier fasting is not merely physical, but it is the total purification of a person’s body and soul. For instance – the tongue must be restrained from all sorts of gossip and just recite the name of god. Eyes must restrain themselves from looking at bad things, and just see God almighty.
Hands must be in control and no wrong doing in the holy month, just use them for praying. Ears must refrain from listening to bad talk and hear the name of God. Feet must refrain themselves from going to wrong places and visit the mosque. This way it is an opportunity to practice self-control and to purify and clean the whole body and mind.
Families get up early in the morning before sunrise and eat a meal called suhoor or suhur. After the sun sets, fast is broken with a meal known as Iftar. Iftar usually features the dates or dates dishes as a first course.
Families spend entire day preparing for the evening feast – Iftar. Nowadays, many restaurants offer Iftar specials and dinner buffet at night time to feed the fasting people. Iftar menu is very grand ranging from vegetarian dishes to non – vegetarian meals, followed by variety of juices, sherbets and desserts to fuel the families up for the next day fast.
WISHING ALL OUR FRIENDS A HAPPY RAMADAN AND HAPPY FASTING!!
RECIPES OF RAMADAN – IFTAR
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