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 what is ramadhan
Ramadan
Ramadan 2010 (the year 1431 AH, according to the Muslim reckoning) runs from approximately August 11 to September 9. The exact dates depend on one's geographical location.
A blessed month has arrived. Observing it in fasting is mandated on you. During this month, the gates of Paradise will be opened and the gates of Hellfire will be closed. (Abu Hureirah)
Ramadan mubarak! (a blessed Ramadan!)
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the most sacred of the twelve months. The name Ramadan derives from the Arabic word for intense heat and sun-scorched ground. A number of reasons have been advanced to explain the linguistic connection:
Fasting
The Koran mandates fasting during the month of Ramadan:
The month of Ramadan is that in which the Koran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction; therefore whoever of you is present in the month, he shall fast therein, and whoever is sick or upon a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days... (sura 2.185, known as The Cow)
Fasting, or sawm, during the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Sunni Islam.
Why fast?
There are, then, three levels of the Ramadan fast:
Special meals are eaten before and after each day of fasting: suhoor before the dawn prayers, and iftar, the evening meal often eaten communally and often including dates.
I swore by the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the breath of the faster is sweeter to Allah on the Day of Judgment than the scent of musk. (Abu Hureirah)
In addition, Ramadan is a time for increased devotion, reading of the Koran, self-improvement, community involvement, charity and good deeds.
He who does not desist from obscene language and acting obscenely, Allah has no need that he did not eat or drink. (Bukhari)
Ramadan and the new moon
When does Ramadan begin and end? This question is complicated by a number of factors. One, the Islamic calendar (hijrah) is based on the moon, and does not compensate for the extra days the solar calendar has over the lunar one. Thus, while the fast of Ramadan always begins on 1 Ramadan according to the Islamic calendar, the Gregorian date changes every year. So whatever date Ramadan starts on a given year, it'll start about 11-12 days earlier next year, and so on. This means the holy month can fall in any season of the year; it takes about 35 years for Ramadan to complete a whole cycle through the seasons.
Second, the beginning of Ramadan (as with all months of the Islamic calendar) is traditionally based on a sighting of the hilal — the crescent, or new, moon. If it is reported by a witness in front of a committee of elders by the evening of the 29th day of the previous month, Sha'aban, then Ramadan starts on day 30. If not — because the sky is cloudy or the moon set before the sky grew dark enough to see it — then Sha'aban lasts 30 days and Ramadan starts the next day. Western countries are more likely to begin Ramadan a day earlier than eastern countries, since moonset occurs later farther west and there's more chance of the moon being seen on the 29th of Sha'aban.
Some Islamic legal opinions rule that the date of Ramadan can be determined by astronomical calculations and does not require the sighting of a new moon.
The same procedure applies at the end of Ramadan.
The night of power
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months,
The angels and the Spirit descend in it by the permission of their Lord for every affair,
Peace, it is, until the break of the dawn. (Sura 97)
Laylat al-Qadr (lit., the night of destiny) is the night of revelation and the night of judgment. This night lends Ramadan its special character. On this night, Muhammad, alone in the wilderness near Mecca, was first taught Koranic verses by the angel Jibril, and the teaching continued for 10 days. Also on this night, Allah determines the course of the world for the coming year. Thus, pious Muslims spend the night (when possible, the entire 10-day period) in their mosques and devote themselves to extra prayers and study. Children are taught to watch for the opening of the sky on Laylat al-Qadr and make a wish.
There is no consensus which night of Ramadan is Laylat al-Qadr. It could be any odd-numbered night from the 19th to the 29th. Sunni Muslims tend to celebrate this night on the 23rd, while many Shias believe it falls on the 27th.
Breaking the fast
When Ramadan is over, on the first day of the next month, Shawwal, Muslims celebrate Id al-Fitr (lit., feast of the breaking of the fast).
Id al-fitr is a day of joy, thankfulness, piety, forgiveness, peace and brotherhood. Worshipers dress in their finest clothes, preferably new ones, and, after special early-morning prayers held in large mosques or other venues, visit each other to exchange greetings and good wishes. Special alms, zakat, are given; children receive gifts; and feuds and disputes are settled. Together with the sadness at the end of Ramadan comes the joy at having been granted by Allah the strength to perform the fast.
Eid mubarak!
See also:
Basic Muslim Beliefs
Pillars of Islam (Sunni)
Branches of Religion (Shia)
List of battles fought during Ramadan by Muslims


Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/ramadan#ixzz1UK1zsceb
"what is ramadhan" was Posted On: Sunday, August 7, 2011 @2:30 PM | 0 lovely comments

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