The holy month of Ramadan: Origin, significance and celebration

Published: May 07, 2019, 10:03 IST | mid-day online correspondent

The revelation of the Quran is believed to have occurred to Prophet Muhammad during the month of Ramadan. Hence Muslims fast during this month as a way to commemorate the revelation of the holy book, Quran

The holy month of Ramadan: Origin, significance and celebration
Representational image

Ramadan, the holiest month for Muslims began with the sighting of the new moon on May 6 and is expected to end in the first week of June. This is considered to be the most sacred occasion and is observed throughout the ninth month also known as Ramadan of the Islamic calendar. The holy event is observed by the Muslims by fasting, praying, practicing extreme self-restraint, doing charitable activities and all other actions recommended by Islam.

Origin

Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar was also a part of the Arab calendar. The name 'Ramadan' is derived from the Arabic word “ar-ramad” which means scorching heat. According to Islamic history, Gabriel, an angel appeared to Prophet Muhammad and revealed the Quran to him in 610 A.D. This revelation, Laylat Al-Qadar or the “Night of Power”, is believed to have occurred during the month of Ramadan. Hence Muslims fast during this month as a way to commemorate the revelation of the holy book, Quran.

The month of observance

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims aim to grow stronger spiritually to get closer to Allah. This is done by reciting the Quran, praying and making their actions selfless, and abstaining lying and fighting. 

Throughout the month, Muslims fast and refrain themselves from sexual intercourse between sunrise to sunset. Fasting during this month is obligatory for all Muslims, except for the pregnant, ill, traveling, elderly and menstruating.
The evening meals are opportunities for all the Muslims to gather with the community and open the fast together. The pre-dawn breakfast usually occurs early at 4:00 a.m. before the first prayer of the day and the evening meal called 'iftar' begins once the sunset prayer is offered. Since the Prophet Mohammad ended his fast with a glass of water and dates, Muslims start and end their fast with dates.

Celebrations

The last day of Ramadan is celebrated with zeal and joy where the Muslim community celebrates 'Eid al-Fitr' which is three days of festivities where they gather to pray, exchange gifts, eat and pay their respects to deceased relatives. 'Eid-al-Fitr' is a grand celebration as it is a day of recognizance of God for the Islamic community.

Though its a month observed by the Muslim community, it is celebrated by everyone. People of different communities come together to join the Muslims observing the fast to accompany them for the meals. It is a grand event where people from different cultures feast together at the same table. In Mumbai, Mohammed Ali Road is the hub of meals where people come to feast during Ramadan. This street witnesses people of different cultures coming together and celebrate this holy month.

So may this holy month of Ramadan bestow happiness and peace on everyone.

Also Read: Mumbai: Places around the city to enjoy biryani with a twist

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A walk through Mohammed Ali Road's Khau Galli

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