The month of RAMADAN in Italian: spirituality and rituals
The month of RAMADAN is the name of the ninth month of the year in the Muslim lunar calendar which is also called the Egyrian year. The Egyrian year consists of 12 months are;
- Muḥàrram محرم
- Ṣàfar صفر
- Rabīʿ al-àwwal ربيع أول
- Rabīʿ al-thānī ربيع التاني
- Jumādā al-àwwal جماد الاول
- Jumāda al-akhīra جماد الاخر
- Ràjab رجب
- Shaʿbān شعبان
- Ramaḍān رمضان
- Shawwāl شوال
- Dhū l-qaʿda ذو القعدة
- Dhū l-ḥijja ذى الحجة
How long is the fast?
Every year during Ramadan, all Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. So they abstain from food and drink, do not smoke and do not take any kind of substance (even non-compulsory drugs) by mouth.Children under the age of 12, people who are travelling, elderly people, pregnant women and others where it may affect their health are exempt. Those who can’t fast for any reason can offer to feed poor people for each day they miss during Ramadan.
Muslim customs during Ramadan:
With the advent of the month of RAMADAN, everyone, men and women, even children, rejoice, so we see all Muslims gathering at the time of breaking the fast, rejoicing at the completion of the fast and of course rejoicing at the end of the fast.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims follow certain customs and practices such as:
Fasting: As mentioned above, Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset. During this period, it is not allowed to eat, drink, smoke or have sexual intercourse.
Prayer: Muslims regularly pray five times a day, but during Ramadan the night prayers, called Tarawih, are intensified. These prayers are offered after the evening prayer and usually take place in congregation.
Charity: Ramadan is the month of generosity and charity. Muslims are encouraged to donate to charities to help those less fortunate. This is also a way to purify oneself and earn spiritual rewards.
Reading the Koran: Ramadan is a time to reflect on one’s faith and to deepen one’s knowledge of the Koran, the holy book of Islam. Muslims read the Quran regularly during this month and try to understand the meaning of the verses.
Ramadan is a time for Muslims to fast for the sake of God and to offer more prayer than usual. During Ramadan, Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds.
As compared to the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan vary, moving backwards about ten or 11 days each year as it is a moving holiday depending on the moon. Ramadan was the month in which the first verses of the Qur’an were said to be revealed to the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. That was during a night that Muslims call Laylat al-Qadr (the night of decree or measures.) The night is believed to be one of the 10 last days of the month.
The joy of Muslims during the month of Ramadan:
During Ramadan, Muslims feel joyful and happy for many reasons. First and foremost, Ramadan is considered a month of blessing and forgiveness, during which one seeks to obtain God’s mercy and purify one’s spirit. Also, breaking the fast at sunset is a time of great joy and celebration for Muslims, who gather with family and friends to share a meal together.
And the Prophet Muhammad said: “The person who fasts has two joys: joy when he breaks his fast and joy when he meets his Lord”
Furthermore, Ramadan decorations are an important custom that contributes to creating an atmosphere of celebration and joy. The decorations are usually hung on the windows and doors of houses, in mosques and on the streets. Among the most common decorations are colorful paper lanterns, called “fanous” in Arabic. Other types of decorations include paper streamers, colored lights, decorative rugs and traditionally patterned pillows.
In many Muslim countries, public celebrations, called “Iftar celebrations” or “Mawa’id al-Rahman”, are also organized during Ramadan at the end of the daily fast. These holidays are an occasion to socialize, eat together and share the joy of breaking the fast. Parties can be organized by mosques, social organizations or families themselves. And also to help the poor and passers-by
We see another beautiful custom in Nigeria, which is the willingness of every family to host one of the poor on a daily basis at the iftar table as a form of social solidarity during the month of Ramadan.