Thursday, May 17, 2018 3.30PM / Bukola Akinyele
As Muslims across the globe this week mark the “Ramadan Mubarak” season (May 17 - June 15, 2018) for the year 2018, we bring you some insight into the season and its significance for Muslims.
Ramadan is the holy month in which Muslims fast and refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.
Between sunrise and sunset, Muslims abstain from food and drink, the physical ritual allows them to understand the suffering of others.
Fasting during Ramadan is the fourth of the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the basis of how Muslims live their lives.
Ramadan is also a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, good deeds and spending time with family and friends.
During the festival, Muslims exchanges Ramadan greetings by saying “Ramadan Kareem” which is translated as “Have a generous Ramadan.”
The Month of Ramadan lasts for 29 to 30 days each year depending on the sighting of the moon.
Muslims will eat just two meals per day during Ramadan: ‘Suhoor’, the meal before dawn at the beginning of the fast and ‘Iftar’, the meal at sunset to mark the end of the fast.
Fasting is obligatory for all Muslims, however there are some exemptions, including children, the elderly, those who are sick, pregnant, breastfeeding and menstruating women and those who are travelling long distances.
For those who are too ill during Ramadan, they are expected to make up for every day of missed fasting at a later day.
Muslims must also refrain from smoking and engaging in sexual activities, as well as gossip, fighting and lying.
Fasting during Ramadan is a time for Muslims to commit their faith more to God.
At the end of the fast, when the sun has gone down, families and friends will get together for Iftar to break their fast. Many Muslims also go to the mosque to pray.
At the end of Ramadan, which is the end of the Holy month the Eid al-Fitr- or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast is celebrated. This begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky.
During Eid al-Fitr, it is customary to donate to the poor and disadvantaged and families and friends gather together to thank Allah for the help and strength he gave throughout the previous month to help them practice self-control.