Ramadan 2024: Celebration and Rituals

Ramadan, considered the most sacred month for Muslims, was on its doorstep. In India, it started from March 10 or 11, whereas in countries like Saudi Arabia and Dubai, it had already started from March 9. Throughout the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world fasted, prayed, and sought blessings from Allah.

What is done during Ramadan?

During that month, Muslims observed a strict fast from dawn until sunset. They were not allowed to eat or drink, including water, during daylight hours. Fasting served as a private act of worship, fostering a sense of closeness to God, while also serving as a form of spiritual discipline and a means to empathize with those less fortunate. At the end of each day, the fast was broken with prayer and a festive meal known as iftar. Following iftar, it was customary to visit family and friends.

Throughout Ramadan, many Muslims attended mosques and spent several hours in prayer. In addition to the five daily prayers integral to Islam, Muslims recited a special prayer known as the Tarawih prayer, also called the night prayer.

According to Islam, for whom fasting is necessary?

Both the Quran and Hadith state that fasting during the month of Ramadan is obligatory for every adult man and woman. However, certain exemptions exist for individuals who are ill, elderly, lack the physical strength to fast, or are mentally ill. Nevertheless, those who are unwell are expected to make up for missed fasts once they regain their health. If the illness persists, they are required to either fast when possible or provide food for 60 needy individuals on two separate occasions, or alternatively, give 2.25 kilograms of wheat per person. Similarly, individuals on a journey are permitted to postpone their fasts until after the journey is completed.

What happens differently in the month of Ramadan?

Taraweeh
Taraweeh is an integral aspect of Ramadan worship. This special prayer is exclusive to the month of Ramadan. During Taraweeh, Muslims perform 20 Rakats (units of prayer), pausing for rest after every 4 Rakats. The term “Taraweeh” translates to “long prayer,” highlighting the extended duration of this prayer ritual.

Sehri
The fast begins at Fajr, which is the pre-dawn time, and lasts until the Maghrib call to prayer in the evening. Sahar, meaning morning, marks the start of the fasting period. During Sahar, individuals eat a moderate meal with the intention of fasting. This pre-dawn meal is known as Sehri, and it can be consumed until the Fajr prayer begins.

Iftar
Iftar signifies the lifting of a restriction. Throughout Ramadan, there are restrictions on eating and drinking during the daylight hours. These restrictions come to an end as soon as the Maghrib call to prayer is heard in the evening, hence the term “Iftari.” Breaking the fast with dates is considered a priority in Islam.




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