Ramadan, also referred to as Ramzan, is celebrated by the people belonging to the Muslim community all over the world. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. This one month is an exercise in self-restraint and self-discipline and it is believed that it is a way by which people can come closer to Allah.
People observe fast and pray in this holy month and also engage in humanitarian activities like feeding the underprivileged and helping the poor or those in need.
The dates for Ramadan are determined on the basis of first sighting of the crescent moon as the Islamic calendar is based on the moon. This is the reason why the dates of this festival vary every year. This year Ramzan will begin on Monday, April 12 and will conclude after 30 days on Wednesday, May 12.
It is believed that Ramadan is the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s first revelation and lasts between one sighting of the crescent moon to the next. It is compulsory for all adult Muslims to hold fast during this festival. However, it can be avoided by people who are unwell, will be travelling, have their menstrual cycle, are pregnant, diabetic, or elderly.
Muslims all around the world observe a fast called Roza from sunrise to sunset during Ramzan in order to commemorate the month when the Holy Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammed. The pre-dawn meal eaten by the people who observe fast is referred to as ‘suhur’ or ‘sehri’ and the feast that is held after a fast is broken at night is called ‘iftar’.
The closure of Ramadan is known as Eid al-Fitr which means the festival of breaking the fast is celebrated for up to three days. People give gifts to children and spend time with their loved ones on this eve.