Ramadan has started from April 12th and approximately 1.6 billion Muslims will observe it amidst the pandemic. Do you know what that means? It means that someone from your friends, coworkers, and neighbors is fasting today and celebrating the Holy month of Ramadan. The activities celebrated during this month are unique and hold a sense of curiosity amongst non-Muslims.
Are you someone who is intrigued by this Holy month? Do you ever wonder how this fasting is going to be like? Are there any rules that you need to be vigilant about while fasting? And lastly, do you want to learn more about it so you can be considerate about your fasting friends?
If you want to learn about Ramadan, continue to read below!
What is Ramadan about?
To start with, Ramadan is a Holy and sacred month for Muslims all over the world. Muslims believe that the gates of heaven open for the devoted Muslims in the month of Ramadan, whereas the gates of hell shutdown and the devil gets chained.
Muslims also believe that during this month, God revealed the first few verses of the Holy Quran. Normally, fasting is done from dawn to sunset. Muslims are disciplined and extend their prayers and increase charity as well as generosity.
Ramadan is not actually the time to celebrate and enjoy - it’s the time to repent and pray for your sins to be forgiven. When the Holy month ends, Muslims get to have a three-day celebration known as Eid-ul-Fitr. You can compare this celebratory event with Christmas, because it’s the time when everyone comes together and exchanges gifts and tokens of love and positivity.
How does fasting work?
Fasting is one of the five pillars for Muslims, also known as duties of Muslims. It includes testimony of faith, prayer, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims that are pregnant, nursing, menstruating, traveling, or have younger children and sometimes even the elderly can get special dispensations for fasting.
The purpose of fasting is to remind yourself of your duty and learn the importance of patience. You get to think about the poor and the less fortunate people than you by reducing distractions in life.
While fasting, you are supposed to abstain from eating food or drinking any liquid. You can also not smoke cigarettes or engage in any kind of sexual behavior. All of this goes on from dawn to sunset.
What is a typical day like during Ramadan?
Ramadan is almost the same as any other month, but you get to spend more time indulging in religious activities. You have your first meal before dawn and your last is usually at sunset, try to consume high-fiber and high-protein food, and lots of liquids so you can stay hydrated throughout the day.
You offer prayers and try to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle. You go about your regular work and school work. Many Muslims enjoy having a cup of tea right after they break their fast with “iftari”.
Can you lose weight during Ramadan?
Many people assume that since people don’t eat anything from dawn to sunset, you can lose weight during this month. This is actually not true. In fact, this can be incredibly difficult for your metabolism, especially when it’s not used to such disturbance. Besides, everybody overcompensates and ends up eating more, thinking that they’d get hungry or feel weak later on.
However, there are some people who do end up losing weight and shed extra pounds by following a strict and healthy diet.
Why do the dates of Ramadan change every year?
The date of Ramadan is decided according to the lunar calendar and the phases of the moon. And so, 12 months add up to 354 days, which makes it 11 days shorter than the 365 days that is in the standard Gregorian calendar.
Why is there always confusion about exactly what day Ramadan starts on?
Every year, the Ramadan date is on a different day, and it’s one of the most searched phases of the year. Honestly, a lot of people are under the assumption that Muslims around the world aren’t sure of the exact date of Ramadan, and so when they even Google it they discover that it regularly varies.
In all honesty, the sight of the new moon is the sole indicator of Ramadan. But this is quite messy; even within the same country, the moon can be sighted at different days and time.
How Many days is Ramadan observed?
Ramadan is normally celebrated for 30 days. However, there are times when it’s quite controversial, but some people
end up observing Ramadan for 29 and sometimes only 28 days as conflicts related to moon sighting arise.
Are there differences between how Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims observe Ramadan?
There are only two main differences between the two: the Shia community breaks the fast when the redness of the sun completely disappears, whereas the Sunni community breaks the fast right as the sun sets. Furthermore, the Shia community have one additional holiday, whereas the Sunni community doesn’t.
How can one be respectful of Muslims during Ramadan?
You don’t really need to do much. Just be kind, patient, and helpful. You just need to extend emotional support and not add pressure on them at work or school. Try not to make fun of them or make them feel bad about anything that they do while fasting.
What are the foods that Muslim consume during Ramadan?
Muslims try to consume high protein and high fiber food. As per the norm, they open their fast with dates and water.
Just make sure that you’re respectful of everyone as well as kind and empathetic. Also, like our page for more information!