Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Month of Ramadan

Ramadan  is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which the Qur'an was revealed.
Ramadan is the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset. The name came from the time before the Islamic calendar, when the month of Ramadan fell in the summer. Fasting during this month is often thought figuratively to burn away all sins. Muslims believe that the Qur'an was sent down to the lowest heaven during this month thus being prepared for gradual revelation by angel Gibril (Gabriel) to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Furthermore, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)told his followers that the gates of Heaven would be open all the month and the gates of Hell would be closed.

The first day of the next month is spent in celebrations and is observed as the ‘Festival of Breaking Fast’ or `Eid ul-Fitr.

Events

  • Ramadan is observed by Muslims during the entire lunar month by the same name. The month of religious observances consists of fasting and extra prayers.
    • 10 Ramadan, death of Khadija – first wife of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
    • 12 Ramadan,
    • 15 Ramadan, birth of Hasan ibn Ali.
    • 17 Ramadan, the Battle of Badr was won by the Muslims.
    • 19 Ramadan, Ali bin Abi Talib was struck with a poison-coated sword, used by an assassin.
    • 21 Ramadan, Ali bin Abi Talib died due to the poison and injuries he sustained by the sword.
    • Laylat al-Qadr is observed during one of the last ten odd numbered days of the month. Muslims believe that this night which is also known as The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. This is often interpreted as praying throughout this night is rewarded equally with praying for a thousand months (just over 83 years i.e. a lifetime). Many Muslims spend the entire night in prayer.