Quick facts about Ramadan
Islam is one of the major religions practised by billions of individuals around the world. Ramadan is an essential part of the religion observed by Muslims during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is the holy month of fasting (sawm), prayer, reflection, and community.
Ramadan gets its name from the Arabic root “ar-ramad,” which means “scorching heat.” Muslims believe that the angel Gabriel appeared to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in A.D. 610 and revealed the Quran, the Islamic holy book.
Here are some facts about the holy month:
1. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the five Islamic pillars, along with prayer, profession of faith, charity, and pilgrimage. Except for those who are elderly, ill, pregnant, nursing, or menstruating – all Muslims starting from the age of 9 for female and 14 for male – are required to fast during Ramadan.
2. Many workplaces and education institutions observe reduced working hours during Ramadan, in consideration of those who are fasting.
3. Ramadan begins at different times in different places because people rely on moon sighting with the bare eyes. The start date varies from year to year because it follows the Hijri lunar calendar, which is shorter than the secular world’s solar calendar.
4. Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power) falls within Ramadan’s final 10 days. It is considered the Holiest eve in the Islamic calendar.
5. It is believed that the first scriptures of the Qur’an was revealed during the eve of the 23rd or 27th of Ramadan. Muslim Scholars say that the first revelation from Jibreel to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) occurred on laylat-al-qadr.
6. At the end of the holy month, the Zakat al-Fitr – the special obligatory alms or charity by all Muslims at the end of fasting – is made and given to the poor and needy.