Ramadan is a ‘Month of blessing’ which falls on the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, marked by prayer, fasting (Roza), and charity (Zakaat). It is believed that during the month of Ramadan, Allah revealed the first verses of the Quran, the holy book of Islam.
The Quran states that it is during this month that Prophet Muhammad started receiving some sort of revelation and the new moon paves the way for the beginning of a new month. The estimates of the month can be easily ascertained by the Muslims.
Lailat-ul-Qadr, which is also known as the Night of Power also comes in the very month of Ramadan. It is said that this night is more significant than a thousand months, which is why Muslim pray extensively on this night. Doing so can lead to salvation on the Day of Judgment.
Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. At many mosques during Ramadan, about one-thirtieth of the Quran is recited each night in prayers known as ‘Tarawih’. In this way, by the end of the month the complete scripture will have been recited.
Ramadan also teaches Muslims how to better practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate and thus encouraging the actions of generosity and charity. 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.
Fasting serves many purposes. While they are hungry and thirsty, Muslims are reminded of the suffering of the poor. The pre-feast meal which is had before the sun is known as Sehri (Suhoor) and the fast is broken with Iftar. As time has evolved, the Iftars have turned out to be the festive-like atmosphere. This is the time when all the family members, relatives along with friends come on the common platform.
The conclusion of Ramadan is marked with a major celebration known as Eid ul-Fitr, the Feast of Fast-Breaking. It starts the day after Ramadan ends and lasts for three days.
To commemorate this blessed month of Ramadan, Libya issued a 1000 Dirham postage stamp.
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