What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is one of the most sacred months in the Islamic calendar during which Muslims across the world fast from sunrise to sunset. This month unifies Muslims and the fast is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are the five obligations that every Muslim bases their life around i.e. these are the foundational practices of our way of life.
What does Ramadan mean in Arabic?
The word ‘Ramadan’ (Arabic: رَمَضَان) comes from the Arabic root ‘ramida’ or ‘ar-ramad’ which means scorching heat or dryness.
When is Ramadan?
The fasting of Ramadan is observed during the ninth month of the Islamic (Hijri) calendar, which is a lunar calendar based on the cycles of the moon. The Islamic calendar is about 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar, so the month of Ramadan moves forward by about 11 days each year.
What is fasting?
During the time of fasting, Muslims are required to abstain from food, drink, and other physical pleasures from dawn until sunset. This includes not only abstaining from consuming anything by mouth, but also from engaging in idle talk, cursing and other activities that are related to lower desires. Fasting is seen as a way for Muslims to physically and spiritually purify themselves, increase (God-consciousness), and to demonstrate solidarity with those who are less fortunate and may not have enough to eat.
While the routine of a believer changes during this month i.e. eating at sunrise and not eating or drinking again until sunset, another change that comes is the offering of optional prayers. Tarawih prayers are special prayers that are performed by Muslims during the month of Ramadan. They are performed after the evening (isha) prayers and consist of 20 units (rakats) of prayer. Tarawih prayers are voluntary and are not considered to be one of the Five Pillars of Islam, but they are a common
practice among Muslims during the month of Ramadan.
Tarawih prayers are traditionally performed in the mosque, with a group of Muslims praying together behind an imam (prayer leader). The prayers are typically longer than the regular five daily prayers, and they include extended recitation of The Qur’ān. The purpose of the tarawih prayers is to allow Muslims to increase their worship to Allāh and to seek His blessings during the month of Ramadan. Tarawih prayers are an opportunity for Muslims to come together as a community and to focus on their faith. They are also a time for increased reflection and contemplation, as the extended recitation of the Quran allows Muslims to immerse themselves in the words of Allah and to gain a deeper understanding of His message. Some Muslims may also use the tarawih prayers as a time to seek forgiveness for their sins and to make amends with others.