Ramadan 2018 is a crucial season for the Muslim community. It is a time of the year when the Muslim believers fast as a religious observance and use the time to reflect on their lives as well as carry out good deeds for the poor. With the significance of this season, comes a lot of rules and regulations as well as guidelines. Knowing exactly what is expected of a Muslim believer in the season is therefore crucial.
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History of Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and it is considered as the most religious time of the year for the Muslim people throughout the world. It is the month that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad, which to date is seen as a guidance for mankind. It is a guidance for mankind and it is a clear proof of guidance in determining what is right or wrong. It is believed Muhammad was the first one to be revealed with the Quran during the month of Ramadan and it was considered as the “best of “. It is also believed that all the holy scriptures were sent to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan. On 1st, 6th, 12th, 13th, the tablets of the Torah, the Gospel, the Psalms, the Quran and Ibrahim were sent down. Ramadan represents the month in which the holy test of Islam also understood as Quran was revealed to Muhammad. It is the month of fasting, reflection for Muslims, and prayer. During this period, the Muslims are expected to refrain from drinking and eating from sunrise to sunset. They are also expected to avoid behavior and thoughts that are considered impure under the Islamic tenets. The Muslims believe that one receives spiritual reward for his or her good behavior during the month of Ramadan. The fast is broken every day whereby meals are shared among friends and family and at the end of the Ramadan there is a three-day festival understood as Eid al-Fitr. Therefore, Ramadan lies in the life of Muhammad, who is the founding prophet of Islam.
Muslims all over the world were eagerly waiting for this month because they consider it as a time when there is an increased well-being and inner peace. The Muslims are expected to fast during this month. An adult Muslim; female or male who has reached puberty, who is not sick or insane is expected to fast during Ramadan since the Ramadan meaning is symbolic and important. A person is not expected to fast if he or she is sick but he or she is expected to fast after the Ramadan in order to complete the missed days. Sickness can be temporary in which the person will be cured soon. If the person is cured during Ramadan, he or she will fast after the Ramadan to compensate the days lost.
During the Ramadan 2018, people who are sick with an illness that is incurable and he or she expects no better health is not allowed to fast but he or she should pay the fidyah, which involves giving meals for the days he or she has fasted to the poor. Another option is that he or she can decide to give an equivalent amount of money to the poor people. In addition, women who are at their menses including post-natal bleeding are not expected to fast, but they should make up the fast after the Ramadan. Pregnant women and mothers breastfeeding their babies can postpone their fasting to a time when they can fast.
The Ramadan rules defines traveling as a journey that makes you to move away from your city of residence, which is a minimum of 80 kilometers or 48 miles. The journey should be of good cause and if possible one is expected to change their plans of traveling during Ramadan in order to have time to fast and he or she should not travel unless it is necessary. In case one decides to travel and misses to fast he or she should make up for the days later after the Ramadan.
Fasting according to the Sunnah
One is expected to take sahur which is a pre-dawn meal. This is Sunnah and is believed that there is blessing and great reward for a person taking sahur. The time that is considered best for one to take Sahur is the last hour before or during the time for Fajr prayer. In addition, one should take iftar, which is break-fast immediately after the sunsets. The sunset according to Shariah is when the sun disk sinks below the horizon and it completely disappears.
During Ramadan the Muslims are expected to avoid false deeds and talks. They are not expected to quarrel, indulge in arguments, have disputes, do anything that is forbidden, or use bad words. They are expected to discipline themselves ethically and morally, besides gaining discipline and physical training during this time. The Muslims are also not expected to make a show of their fasting by showing dry lips or hungry stomach, talking too much about the fasting or displaying a bad temper. The person fasting should be pleasant with good cheer and good spirits.
During Ramadan, the Muslims are expected to do the acts of goodness and charity to others and at the same time increase their reading and worship of Quran. They should even try to read the whole Quran during the month of Ramadan.
Things that make the fast invalid
There are things that make the fast invalid and require qadaa. First, if one eats, drinks or smokes deliberately, including consuming non-nourished substances through the nose or mouth. Second, if one deliberately causes himself or herself to vomit. Third, if one experiences the menstrual cycle or post-childbirth bleeding. Fourth, if one engages in sexual intercourse or has a sexual contact such as masturbation that leads to discharge of sexual fluid through the male organ or vaginal secretion. Fifth, if one eats, smokes, drinks or has sexual intercourse after dawn (Fajr) on the assumption that it is not yet Fajr time. In addition, engaging in the acts before sunset (Maghrib) by assuming that it is already Maghrib time.
Taking part in sexual intercourse is forbidden during fasting. Individuals who engage in sexual intercourse during fasting are expected to make qadda’ which means making up for the fast. They are also expected to make kaffarah which means expiation by fasting for 60 days after the Ramadan or they can feed 60 poor people for the days they have broken the fast.
Things that make fasting valid
During fasting, there are things that are permissible. First, people engaging in fasting should take a shower or bath. If one swallows water involuntarily during bath it will not make the fast invalid. Swimming is also allowed during the fast, but individuals should avoid diving because it will cause water to go from the nose or mouth into the stomach. Second, people can use perfumes, use eye drops or wear contact lenses. Third, one can have a blood test or injection. Fourth, one can use toothbrush or tooth-stick and rinse the nostrils or mouth with water, provided he or she does not overdo it. Fifth, if one eats, drinks, or smokes unintentionally, that is, if he or she forgets that he or she was fasting. He is expected to immediately stop as soon as he or she remembers. Sixth, if one sleeps during the day and experiences wet-dream, it will not break the fast. Also, if one engages in sexual intercourse at night and is not able to take a bath before dawn, he or she can bath later after the fast. Women who their menstrual cycle stops during the night can start fasting even if they have not taken a bath.
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When is Ramadan 2018
Ramadan in Ghana starts in the evening of Wednesday, 17th May and ends in the evening of Thursday, 15th June. This is because the Ramadan Timings 2018 in Ghana are specific and they are verified according to lunar calendar. The first 10 days of Ramadan is for seeking mercy of Allah Almighty.
Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak
Ramadan Mubarak is a phrase used to mean happy Ramadan or blessed Ramadan, while Ramadan Kareem means that “may Ramadan be generous to you”. Having a timetable will guide believers into knowing when the end of Ramadan arrives. Knowing the Ramadan dates is important as you will know when Ramadan ends apart from knowing when Ramadan starts officially.