The word Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ramiḍa or ar-ramaḍ, which means scorching heat or dryness.
Ramadan, as a month name, is of Muslim origin. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims worldwide observe this as a month of fasting.
The predominant practice in Ramadan is fasting from dawn to sunset. The pre-dawn meal before the fast is called the suhoor, while the meal at sunset that breaks the fast is the iftar. Considering the high diversity of the global Muslim population, it is impossible to describe typical suhoor or iftar meals.
Fasting is fard ("obligatory") for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, pregnant,breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual bleeding.While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations. Food and drink is served daily, before sunrise and after sunset.
According to Islam, the thawab (rewards) of fasting are many, but in this month they are believed to be multiplied.
It has been suggested that fasting during Ramadan has numerous health benefits, including: improved brain function and alertness due to greater brain cell production, greatly reduced stress levels due to a reduction in cortisol, reduction of cholesterol and blood pressure.
Fasting for Muslims during Ramadan typically includes the increased offering of salat (prayers) and recitation of the Quran.
|Woman Prayer - Qassioun (Reuters)|
The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities. Ramadan also teaches Muslims how to better practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity.
|Cabul, Afeganistão AFP Photo-Armend Nimani|
We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:
And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah's permission,
on every errand:
Peace!...This until the rise of dawn!
~ Sura 97 (Al-Qadr), 1-5, Quran
Source: wikipedia, www.haqislam.org, internet
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