Why is Ramadan important to Muslims? 

By: Micah Sophia C. Marcellones May 06,2019 - 02:13 PM

A muslim boy is in deep prayer at the Cebu Green Mosque at the start of Ramadan on May 6, 2019. CDN Digital photo | Tonee Despojo

Cebu City, Philippines—May 6, 2019, Monday, is the start of Ramadan for Muslims worldwide.

Ramdan is a period of deep spiritual reflection, prayer, and renewal of faith for the Muslim community.

Here are some things you need to know about Ramadan and why it is important for Muslims.

What is Ramadan all about?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims believe that during Ramadan, Quran, the holy book of Islam, was revealed to Prophet Muhammad in the year 610 A.D.

Ramadan’s date changes every year as Muslims wait for the new month’s moon to appear before they announce the first day of Ramadan. It lasts for 29 to 30 days depending on the appearance of new moon. 

This year, Ramadan ends on June 4, 2019.

The Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. It is a three-day festival also called the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.

Why Muslims fast during Ramadan?

During this Holy Month, the Muslim community fast from dawn to sunset, abstaining totally from food, drink, smoking and other sensual pleasures to complete one of the five pillars of Islam. The other pillars are Profession of Faith, Prayer, Almsgiving and Pilgrimage.

It is also done to achieve greater self-discipline, self-purification, and compassion for those less fortunate.

Fasting is also important during Ramadan so Muslims can devote themselves to be closer to Allah. 

But fasting is only prescribed to healthy Muslims, who are mature and healthy. Children, pregnant women, elderly and those who are ill don’t have to fast.

When the sun goes down, families and friends get together to break the fast. This is called iftar.

Prayer, reading of Quran, and charity, are also encouraged during Ramadan. 

How to greet “Happy Ramadan”?

Non-Muslim may greet a “Happy Ramadan”, but Muslims greet each other “Ramadan Mubarak,” which means “a blessed Ramadan” or “Ramadan Kareem,” which means “have a generous Ramadan.” /bmjo

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