Ramadan is one of the holiest months of Islam. Occurring on the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan commemorates the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. During Ramadan Muslims fast, pray, and attempt to avoid immoral behavior and thoughts. The observance of this fast is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Read on to learn about this sacred month, observed by over one billion people worldwide.
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Sawm refers to fasting daily from sunup to sundown during Ramadan. Sawm is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The elderly and the sick are exempt from fasting but are encouraged to give to the poor instead.
Each day of Ramadan is bookended by two meals. The pre-dawn meal is known as suhoor. The fast is broken after sundown with a meal known as iftar. Traditionally a date is eaten during iftar. The Quran specifies that individuals should begin their fast when the white thread of dawn is distinguishable from the black thread of the night. Some Muslims take this command literally, and begin fasting when their eyes can discern a difference between a black and white thread.
NIGHT OF POWER
The Night of Power, also known as Laylat-ul-Qadr is the holiest night in the Islamic calendar. This night, typically falling within the last ten days of Ramadan, commemorates when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. During the Night of Power a single good deed will bring the blessings of 1,000 months.
Eid al-Fitr is the celebration that completes the month of Ramadan. The exact date of Eid varies, as it is based on the sighting of the Eid crescent moon. Individuals are encouraged to give each other small gifts and spend quality time together. Special prayers are recited in mosques on Eid, beginning with the Salaat ul-Fajr prayer before dawn.
The Tarawih is a nightly prayer performed only during Ramadan. The Tarawih is divided into units of prayers known as rak’at. A single ra’kah consists of standing, reciting from the Quran, bowing, standing again, and prostrating. Different traditions call for different numbers of rak’at to complete the Tarawih.
Quizbowl is about learning, not rote memorization, so we encourage you to use this as a springboard for further reading rather than as an endpoint. Here are a few things to check out:
Check out this website to learn more about iftar.
The Night of Power is the perfect opportunity to multiply the merit of your good works.
Find out why the dates of Ramadan vary across the world.
Islam is a worldwide religion; so it’s no surprise that iftar is different in different countries.
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