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Five things to know about Ramadan

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A Muslim woman prays in a mosque, marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in Lagos July 28, 2014. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye (NIGERIA – Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

As Muslims across the world observed Ramadan here are the five things to know about the holy month.

What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when the holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).

In order to celebrate this holy month, Muslims wouldn’t eat or drink during the daylight for the next 30 days. This they consider as a means of learning self-control, gratitude, and compassion for those less fortunate.

Sahur and Iftar
You must have heard these words from your Muslim friends. Sahur is an Islamic term referring to the meal consumed early in the morning before fasting.

Sahur is regarded by Islamic traditions as a benefit of the blessings in that it allows the person fasting to avoid the crankiness or the weakness caused by the fast.

Iftar is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. Muslims break their fast at the time of the call to prayer for Maghrib – the evening prayer.

Extensive reading of the holy Quran
Ramadan is considered a month of intense spiritual rejuvenation with a heightened focus on devotion. During this holy month, Muslims spend extra time reading the Qur’an and performing special prayers.

People exempted from fasting
Although Muslims who have reached puberty are obliged to fast, however, some are exempted. This class includes the sick, travellers, pregnant women, nursing mothers, a woman menstruating and older people who are too weak or ill to fast.

Anyone who is exempted must make up the fast later, except for those who cannot fast due to age or chronic illness. They can as well feed a poor person for every day of fasting they miss.

Last ten days of Ramadan
The Night of Power known as Lailat al-Qadr is believed to fall on one of the odd night during the last ten days of Ramadan.

Muslims consider this night the most blessed night in Ramadan.The Qu’ran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad during this night. Mosques are open all night as Muslims hold vigils in prayer, Qur’anic recitation, and contemplation.


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