Celebrating Ramzan
Posted: Thursday, September 25th, 2008 | Views: 29679
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As the Prophet said, the holy month of Ramzan is a special period in the Islamic calendar, he called it "Allah's own month", when "roza" or fasting is obligatory for young and old. Days of fasting and abstinence that end at dusk with the `namaaz' call, opportunities for giving charity besides occasions for special prayers and discourses on the Koran conducted at different mosques and centres. For believing Muslims, the sighting of the Ramzan moon is among the most important religious events of the year. It was in the month of Ramzan that Holy Koran was revealed to the Prophet and hence special emphasis on Koran reading and discourses are followed all over the world.
This is an occasion to be close to the Almighty. To be aware of the agony and sufferings of the less privileged and provide them succour to the best of one's ability. The basis of the festival is `thakva' (temperance), love, and tolerance. During the month of Ramzan Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours in a complete fast. But Ramzan is much more than mere fasting. This is the time for a self introspection when Muslims are called upon to revaluate their lives.
Ramzan is a month oriented towards continuous contemplation of God and reflecting upon one's deeds. On the day of Eid, people visit the homes of friends and relatives, exchange greetings and good wishes and the celebrations are not complete without the lip-smacking sheer khorma. It is a traditional sweet prepared using milk, vermicelli, dry fruit, cardamom and cinnamon. Eid is the last day of the month-long fasting that involves physical and spiritual abstinence. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. The other four are Tauhid (belief in one God), Salat (prayers five times a day), Zakat (charity), and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca). The spiritual significance of Ramzan is the night of Qadr ("night of most virtues") it could be the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, or 29th night of the Ramzan month, and the best way to observe it is to be awake on all these nights for prayers.
On the day of Id, men and children go to mosques for the special Id prayers while women pray at home. Muslims invite relatives and friends, including those from other communities, to relish the special dishes especially cooked for this celebration.
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