You probably have noticed that in the commencing mid this months the words Ramadan, Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak are the most used words let alone the most googled. This is because we are in the holy month according to the Muslim calendar. I know not many understand what this words and phrase mean. That is why this article is meant for you. It will assist you connect with the environment, understand the reason behind the mood change among your Muslim friends and what they need at these moments.
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Ramadan is the holy month when Muslims fast and try to perform (good deeds rewarded by Allah). It is the ninth month in the Muslim calendar. It celebrates the first time the Koran was revealed to Muhammad, according to Islamic belief. During this period, Fasting is only obligatory for healthy adult Muslims. Anyone who is suffering from an illness, travelling, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, chronically ill or menstruating are exempted from the practice. The person fasting is not supposed to eat before (breaking the fast with dates), or lie, speak wrong about anyone behind their backs or do anything that is morally incorrect. Any wrongdoing will break the fast, which is a big sin. Among Muslims each person can see the difference in his personality as the days pass in the month of Ramadan.
Brief history of Ramadan
A lot is said in history concerning Ramadan meaning but to be brief, it is believed that the Quran was first revealed to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan which has been referred to as the "best of times". The first revelation was sent down on Laylat al-Qadr (The night of Power) which is one of the five odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan. According to hadith, all Holy Scriptures were sent down during Ramadan. It is further believed that the tablets of Ibrahim, the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel and the Quran were sent down on 1st, 6th, 12th, 13th and 24th Ramadan respectively.
Significance of Ramadan
Ramadan is a time to get close to Allah and grow spiritually and physically. As Islam puts it, a person attains taqwa by fasting. When one develops the fear of Allah, then they can guard their hearts and minds against evil or anything that inhibits the attainment of righteousness. Also, believers can tame any earthly desires including greed, anger, and lust. In the process, one becomes informed on moral and physical elements of Islam.
Ramadan Mubarak and Ramadan Kareem
Many are wondering, Ramadan Mubarak what does it mean and what’s Ramadan Kareem? Let’s look at their mean to help a brother.
Ramadan Mubarak translates to mean either "blessed Ramadan" or "happy Ramadan"
And the Ramadan Kareem meaning is "may Ramadan be generous to you" however, that said I should also mention that there is some debate as to if it should be used during Ramadan.
Are the greetings different and when are they used?
The greetings are different as Ramadan Mubarak offers a blessed or happy Ramadan to the person it is exchanged with.
Whereas Ramadan Kareem has debate around its use as it asks Ramadan to be generous to the other person.
There is some disagreement over its use as some people believe that asking Ramadan to be generous to you goes against the teachings of Islam, because Ramadan itself cannot be generous to an individual.
Saudi Arabian scholar Sheikh Al-Uthaymeen told the Express: “It should be said ‘Ramadan Mubarak’, or whatever is similar to it, because it is not Ramadan itself that gives so that it can be Kareem (generous), in fact it is Allah who placed the grace in it, and made it a special month, and a time to perform one of the pillars of Islam.”
Ramadan Mubarak is the most commonly used of the two as it was originally used by the prophet Muhammad.
However, others believe using Ramadan Kareem is fine because they say the phrase represents the blessings that Allah gives his followers during the month.
Jordan’s Iftaa’ Department, which is responsible for religious decrees, last year ruled: “Describing Ramadan to be honorable does not in fact attribute the quality to the month.
“Rather, the word comes from the fact that God gives his worshippers blessings during the month.
“It’s thus acceptable to call the thing by the name of its reason or cause."
Some Muslims view Ramadan Kareem as a more respectful way of referring to Ramadan.
Both greetings can be used throughout the whole month of Ramadan but Ramadan Mubarak tends to be the more commonly used of the two
Did you know that Ramadan rules exists? Yes they do. The Quran has provisions about fasting and Ramadan.
Muslims can refer to the Ramadan rules and regulations during the Holy season. So, what can you or cannot do?
Ramadan rules on eating
At the time of fasting, Muslims have to forego food from sunrise to sunset. After breaking the fast, you are free to eat anything you want.
Ramadan fasting rules water
Like food, your intake of water has to be after the fasting period is over. But, you can rinse your mouth with a little water as long as you do not swallow the water as you risk invalidating your fast.
Ramadan rules on sexual intercourse
Between sunrise and sunset, you cannot engage in any sexual activity including entertaining sexual thoughts. You will have broken the fast if your sexual thoughts lead to release of sexual emission.
Ramadan rules on kissing
Yes! You can kiss or embrace your spouse during the fasting period. However, you should be cautious not to arouse any sexual activity.
Ramadan rules on water- bathing
You can take as many showers as you want as long as you do not drink water during the time designated for fasting.
Ramadan rules on injections
If the injections are necessary or for medicinal purposes, then it is okay to have them.
Ramadan rules on accidental consumption
If you eat or drink something accidentally while fasting is ongoing, your fast will not be void. Such scenarios include swallowing dust, your saliva which cannot be avoided, or anything in the air.
Ramadan rules on brushing teeth
You can clean your teeth but make sure you do not swallow the water.
Ramadan rules on working
Ramadan occurs during regular working days. As such, Muslims can still work provided they observe the fasting and pray as recommended.
Ramadan rules on dressing
The recommended dressing is modest and conservative. Therefore, avoid any tight or revealing clothes during Ramadan.
Ramadan thoughts and behavior
Only pure thoughts and good behavior count during the holy month. Therefore, make it a habit of doing and thinking what is right even before Ramadan. Swearing, fighting, and backbiting are some of the things you should avoid.
Ramadan rules forgetful eating
If you drink or eat something by mistake, your fast will not become void if you stop doing it immediately you realize.
Ramadan rules applying eyeliner
You can use Kohl or eyeliner as long as you do not swallow it, or it does not enter your body.
Ramadan rules taking medicine
If you are on medication at the time of fasting, then you can continue with your dosage during Ramadan.
Ramadan rules for music
Listening to music is okay during Ramadan. But, the music should not be too loud to the extent of disrupting or offending other people while they are fasting.
Ramadan rules for people who cannot fast
If you are not fasting for the reasons stated above, you should eat or drink in designated areas or indoors. You should not tempt others with your food.
Ramadan in Ghana
The days of Ramadan in Ghana begin early in the morning. Around 4.00 am drummers walk round the village from house to house playing their drums and singing to wake everyone up. Then people begin preparing the Sohoor (pre-dawn) meal - everyone's favorite is soup with "tuo zafi", a soft meal made from maize flour. The fast begins from dawn till sunset.
Just before sunset people gather in Mosques and read the Qur'an as they wait for the the Athaan (call to prayer) to mark the end of the fast. People bring fruit and water to the Mosque to share with each other. In Ramadan they like to invite friends and relatives to their houses where they share a meal after sunset. The days continue like this until thirty days have passed
At the end of Ramadan like in the rest of the world, they celebrate 'Eed. The 'Eed prayer is held in an open field where Muslims from the nearby villages and towns gather. After the prayers, the chiefs ride majestically on horseback while the people follow them, playing drums and singing Muslim songs through the streets until they reach the chief Imam’s house. Everyone gathers at the Imam’s house to make supplication and share some food and drink together.
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Before leaving for home, people visit the poor and sick and give them food and money so that everyone can enjoy the day of 'Eed - rich and poor.
Ramadan dates 2018
Ramadan takes thirty days or an entire month.
This year, the dates of Ramadan will be from 15th May to 14th June 2018.