Assalammualaikum and Hello to everyone!
yeah.. today is 1st Ramadan... I feel so happy today... and I am happy because Allah gave me a chance to celebrate Ramadan Al- Mubarak.. For those who want to know more about Ramadan.. you can read the article below..
Ramadan is the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar, which lasts 29 or 30 days according to the visual sightings of the crescent moon according to numerous biographical accounts compiled in hadiths. The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root “ramida” or “ar-ramad,” which means scorching heat or dryness. It is the Muslim month of fasting, in which Muslims refrain from dawn until sunset from eating, drinking, and sexual relations.
In Islam, the thawab or sawab (rewards) of fasting are many, but in this month, they are believed to be multiplied. Muslims fast in this month to offer more prayers and Quran recitations.
Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection and worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam and to avoid obscene and irreligious sights and sounds. Sexual intercourse among spouses is allowed after one has ended the daily fast. During fasting, intercourse is prohibited as well as eating and drinking, and resistance of all temptations is encouraged. Purity of both thoughts and actions is important. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the soul and free it from harmful impurities. Ramadan also teaches Muslims to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and charity (Zakat).
It becomes compulsory for Muslims to start fasting when they reach puberty, so long as they are healthy, sane and have no disabilities or illnesses. The elderly, the chronically ill, and the mentally ill are exempt from fasting, although the first two groups must endeavor to feed the poor in place of their missed fasting. Also exempt are pregnant women if they believe it would be harmful to them or the unborn baby, women during the period of their menstruation, and women nursing their newborns. A difference of opinion exists among Islamic scholars as to whether this last group must make up the days they miss at a later date, or feed poor people as a recompense for days missed. While fasting is not considered compulsory in childhood, many children endeavour to complete as many fasts as possible as practice for later life. Fasting is not necessary for women going through menstrual bleeding. Also, those traveling (musaafir) are exempt, but must make up the days they miss. More specifically, Twelver Shī‘ah define those who travel more than 14 mi (23 km) in a day are exempt.
Increased prayer and recitation of the Quran
In addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to read the entire Quran. Some Muslims perform the recitation of the entire Quran by means of special prayers, called Tarawih, which are held in the mosques every night of the month, during which a whole section of the Quran (Juz', which is 1/30 of the Quran) is recited. Therefore the entire Quran would be completed at the end of the month. However it is not required to read the whole Quran in the Salatul Tarawih.
Ramadan is also a time when Muslims are to slow down from worldly affairs and focus on self-reformation, spiritual cleansing and enlightenment; this is to establish a link between themselves and God through prayer, supplication, charity, good deeds, kindness and helping others. Since it is a festival of giving and sharing, Muslims prepare special foods and buy gifts for their family and friends and for giving to the poor and needy who cannot afford it; this can involve buying new clothes, shoes and other items of need. There is also a social aspect involving the preparation of special foods and inviting people for Iftar.
Muslims all around the world will abstain from food and drink, through fasting, from dawn to sunset. At sunset, the family will gather the fast-breaking meal known as Iftar. The meal starts with the eating of one or more (usually three) dates — just as Muhammad used to do. Then it's time for the Maghrib prayer, which is the fourth of the five daily prayers, after which the main meal is served.
Over time, Iftar has grown into banquet festivals. This is a time of fellowship with families, friends and surrounding communities, but may also occupy larger spaces at mosques or banquet halls, where a hundred or more may gather at a time.
Charity is very important in Islam, and even more so during Ramadan. Zakat, often translated as "the poor-rate", is obligatory as one of the pillars of Islam; a fixed percentage required to be given by those with savings. Sadaqa is voluntary charity in given above and beyond what is required from the obligation of zakat. Muslims believe that all good deeds are more handsomely rewarded in Ramadan than in any other month of the year. Consequently, many will choose this time to give a larger portion, if not all, of the zakat for which they are obligated to give. In addition, many will also use this time to give a larger portion of sadaqa in order to maximize the reward they believe will await them on the Day of Judgment.
In many Muslim countries, it is not uncommon to see people giving more food to the poor and the homeless, and even to see large public areas for the poor to come and break their fast. It is said that if a person helps a fasting person to break their fast, then they receive a reward for that fast, without diminishing the reward that the fasting person got for their fast.
Even in non-Muslim countries, no matter how small the Muslim population, a consistent increase in charitable donations to both fellows Muslims and non-Muslims occurs more so in this month. In the USA, for example, many Muslim communities dispersed throughout the country, participate in contributing food, clothes and non-perishable food items to local charities.
Sometimes referred to as "the night of decree or measures", Laylat al-Qadr is considered the most holy night of the year. Muslims believe that it is the night in which the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad, as stated in Chapter 97 of the Qu'ran. Also, generally, Laylat al-Qadr is believed to have occurred on an odd-numbered night during the last 10 days of Ramadan, ie-either the night of the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th.
End of Ramadan
The Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر, "festivity of breaking the fast"), sometimes spelled in English as Eid al-Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the next lunar month called Shawwal in Arabic. This first day of the following month is declared after another crescent new moon has been sighted or the completion of 30 days of fasting if no visual sighting is possible due to weather conditions. This first day of Shawwal is called Eid ul-Fitr. Eid Ul-Fitr may also be a reference towards the festive nature of having endured the month of fasting successfully and returning to the more natural disposition (fitra) of being able to eat, drink and resume intimacy with spouses during the day.
For the manner in which the Eid is celebrated, see Eid ul-Fitr and Salat al Eid.