History that spans over 1400 years first began in Mecca and was entrenched by the Prophet Muhammad himself. The ninth month marks the commencement of Ramadan and the pious month of fasting with appearance of the crescent moon. The holy festival of fasting begins ten or twelve days before each year, enable it to fall in every season throughout a 33 years cycle. For many, it is a period to feel closer to Allah, supplicate, spend time with near and dear ones, support Zakaat and remember back those less fortuitous while fasting. Ramadan is resounded each time by Muslims as it’s associated with the month in which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. The abidance of Ramadan is considered one of the ‘Five stanchions of Islam’.

            Over the centuries, Ramadan traditions have come culturally significant in the Islamic world, and the month is resounded with delicious feasts, zakaat and certain religious practices. The importance of Fasting during this holy period allows Muslim to dedicate themselves to their ideology, gravitates towards Allah and master forbearance and empathy. It’s about nourishing soul, rather than focusing on your physical body. It’s also one of the Five stanchions of Islam which are the foundation of how Muslims live their lives. Fasting is generally done by all except those who are sick, pregnant, lactating, old or travelling. The fast begins at sunrise and ends at evening. The first meal known as Suhoor is required to be consumed before dawn to provide strength for the next half of the day. The heritage shows that the Prophet Muhammad ate date at the end of each day to break the pious fast, a ritual that’s being practiced among numerous believers. Iftaar the last meal of the day is prepared for ending the fast.

            Good deeds and resolution performed during this period brings greater reward than at any other time of the year. Many believe that during this period the gates of heaven are unlocked while the gates of hell remains bolted. Long nocturnal prayers and lengthy chapters of the Quran known as taraweeh are intonated everyday throughout the whole month. Zakat also known as endowment is provided during this period to the individuals who are in need and are penurious with full zeal and enthusiasm, although it can be practiced at any time during the year. The last ten days is meant to go into seclusion also known as Itikaf. The prayers are offered in the search for Lailut ul-Qadar or the Night of Decree. The history reveal that this is the anniversary of the night wherein the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad. It is also believed by many that their fortune and destiny for the next year is decided on this particular night. The exact date of this night falls during this itikaf period and is uncertain.             The period of this holy festival generally extends to 29 or 30 days, depending on the appearance of the new moon’s crescent. Eid Al-Fitr also means ‘feast of breaking up the fast’ marks the end of this pious fasting and is one of the most important day for all. The day begins with an early visit to the mosque to perform “Salat Al Eid” also known as the morning prayer. It’s customary to wear new clothes and to eat a date and recite a short prayer called a takbeer. Before Eid prayers, every Muslim is obliged to make a contribution to charity called Zakat al- Fitr to support feed the penurious.

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