Written by: Aliza Khan
Ramadan is a month of fasting in which Muslims all over the world fast for thirty continuous days. During this fast, Muslims must not eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. The holy month of Ramadan falls under the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. We know what Ramadan is, however, let’s dig deeper into the origins of Ramadan and unfold the history behind this sacred month.
The name, Ramadan, stems from the Arabic root “ar-ramad,” which translates to scorching heat. Muslims believe that during this month, the angel Gabriel appeared to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and revealed to him the Qur’an: the Islamic holy book. After the Qur’an and the verses surrounding Ramadan were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), he established the beginning of Ramadan. Ramadan is a significant month for Muslims, as it is a month of worship that not only teaches Muslims patience but also sacrifice. In this month, Muslims become more compassionate to those in need and thank God for how fortunate they are. Ramadan is also a time of reflection as Muslims become closer to God and repent for their past sins.
The beginnings and endings of Ramadan are ruled by the lunar cycles, and so the beginning of this holy month typically falls a day or so after the new moon. At this time, many Muslims decorate their homes with lights, crescents, and stars. Ramadan is a significant month for Muslims as it is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed.
This month is dedicated to worshiping God and becoming closer to God through faith. Practicing self-control, sacrifice, thankfulness and empathy for those who are less fortunate encourages Muslims to donate to charitable causes.
Fasting is one of the five fundamental principles of Islam. It provides Muslims with a sense of gratitude, compassion, and patience, therefore Muslims fast as an act of worship, a chance to get closer to God, and a way to become more compassionate to those in need. Ramadan brings Muslims closer to God, allowing them to strengthen their faith and reform themselves as better Muslims and humans. This is an especially good time for Muslims to repent and reform themselves, as Satan is locked up during this time, providing Muslims with hope and a chance to self-reflect, while being free of the influences of Satan.
Eid al-Fitr is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims which marks the end of Ramadan. During Eid, families, and friends get together to celebrate Eid al-Fitr. Overall, Ramadan’s purpose is to bring Muslims closer to their faith, and change individuals for the better.