9 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ramadan

Source: Huffington Post

By Antonia Blumberg

Associate Religion Editor, The Huffington Post

During the month of Ramadan, which begins on June 6, you may notice your Muslim friends and coworkers politely excusing themselves from lunch engagements and turning toward their spiritual communities. It’s a time of heightened spirituality for many Muslims, characterized by much more than just hunger pangs.

Scroll down to deepen your understanding of the holiday:

    • It’s a time of spiritual reflection, not just fasting.
      Juanmonino via Getty Images
Many Muslims experience Ramadan as a time of deep spiritual reflection and personal growth. Fasting from bad habits “affords the peace of mind that allows you to think clearly and rationally without being clouded by overwhelming emotions,” wrote Muslim Public Affairs Council fellow Marwa Abdelghani. “It allows you to be productive instead of spending time thinking about grievances in your life that can make you angry or depressed. Ramadan is an opportunity to forgive, let go, and focus on what is most important.”
    • Muslims fast from gossiping, lying and other bad habits during Ramadan.
      Pete Turner via Getty Images
Muslims don’t just fast from food, water and sex during Ramadan. They also abstain from lying, swearing, gossiping, arguing and otherwise engaging in bad habits. “The fast is not simply about denying your body food and water,” writes The National’s Saeed Saeed. “It also involves arguably the more taxing challenge of avoiding ill speech, arguments, loss of temper and malicious behavior. The whole point of the fast is to demonstrate submission to God and keep the mind focused on a spiritual plane.”
    • Ramadan celebrates the very origins of Islam.
      Ammar Awad / Reuters
Lailat ul Qadr falls toward the end of Ramadan and celebrates the night the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims believe that praying on this day is better than a thousand months of worship.
    • Ramadan is often called the “month of the Qur’an.”
      selimaksan via Getty Images
Ramadan is often referred to as the “month of the Qur’an” because during this time, Muslims attempt to recite as much of the Qur’an as they can. Mosques will frequently recite one thirtieth of the Qur’an each night.
    • Not all Muslims fast for Ramadan.
      boggy22 via Getty Images
Although fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, children and those who are ill, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, menstruating or traveling are not required to fast. Those who are able may choose to make up the fast at a later date or pay fidiya, meaning they will feed one person in need for each day they have missed.

1 reply

  1. One who observes the fast has frequent experience of visions in this month. The Salat (pray) purifies the spirit and the fast illumines the heart. The purification of the spirit means that one may be delivered from the passions of the self that incite to evil; and the illumination of the heart means that the gates of vision may be opened so that one may be able to behold God .

    (Malfoozat, by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad).

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