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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

RAMADAN is a period of fasting and spiritual reflection

This is a collection of Ramadan topic from many web sites because of it’s specialty and to put the exact words of ISLAMIC CONCEPTS.

Each year, Muslims spend the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observing a community-wide fast. The annual fast of Ramadan is considered one of the five "pillars" of Islam. Muslims who are {Mature, Mentally fit, and physically} able are required to fast each day of the entire month, from sunrise to sunset. The evenings are spent enjoying family and community meals, engaging in prayer and spiritual reflection, and reading from the Qu'ran.

Ramadan - the holiest month of the Muslim lunar year- which is celebrated from beginning to end as holy - in fact, many regard it as the holiest time of the Muslim year. The principle outward characteristic of Ramadan is that Muslims are expected to fast all day, every day. Traditionally the times of fast are marked as whenever a white thread can be distinguished from a black thread. Once those threads can no longer told apart, eating is permitted.

Fasting during Ramadan is considered one of the Five Pillars, meaning it is one of the five most basic beliefs/acts which a Muslim has to do. However, it's not accurate to say that everyone simply goes without food or water - there are quite a few rules which apply to it. For one thing, a Muslim must consciously formulate the intention to fast as part of a rite. This is to prevent fasting from becoming an empty symbol which people don't give much thought to. The full formulation reads: "to fast tomorrow to acquit my duty towards God of fasting Ramadan this year."

Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with family and friends, do away with bad habits -- essentially to clean up our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings. The Arabic word for "fasting" (sawm) literally means "to refrain" - and it means not only refraining from food and drink, but from evil actions, thoughts, and words.

During Ramadan, every part of the body must be restrained!!!

. The tongue must be restrained from backbiting and gossip.
. The eyes must restrain themselves from looking at unlawful things.
. The hand must not touch or take anything that does not belong to it.
. The ears must refrain from listening to idle talk or obscene words.
. The feet must refrain from going to sinful places.
In such a way, every part of the body observes the fast.

Therefore, fasting is not merely physical, but is rather the total commitment of the person's body and soul to the spirit of the fast. Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint; a time to cleanse the body and soul from impurities and re-focus one's self on the worship of God "ALMIGHTY ALLAH".

Who have an exemption?

The fast of Ramadan is rigorous, particularly during long summer days when it may be required to resist all food and drink for as many as sixteen hours at a time. This strain may be too much for people with certain health conditions.

The Qur'an instructs Muslims to fast during the month of Ramadan, but also gives clear exemption special rules for those who may find it physically difficult and become ill as a result of participate in the fast.

Reading Qur'an During Ramadan:

The first verses of the Qu'ran Muslims regard the Qur'an as the literal word of God, as revealed by the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad were revealed during the month of Ramadan, and the very first word was: "Read!", as well as other times during the year, Muslims are encouraged to read and reflect on God's guidance

Praying During Ramadan:

When the month of Ramadan begins, Muslims enter into a period of discipline and worship: fasting during the day, and praying throughout the day and night. During Ramadan, special evening prayers are conducted during which long portions of the Qur'an are recited. These special prayers are known as taraweeh ("rest prayer").

The word taraweeh comes from an Arabic word which means to rest and relax. The prayer can be very long (well over an hour), during which one stands upright to read from the Qur'an and performs many cycles of movement (standing, bowing, prostrating, sitting). After each four cycles, one sits for a brief period of rest before continuing.

It is recommended that Muslims attend the taraweeh prayers in the mosque (after 'isha , the last evening prayer), to pray in congregation. This is true for both men and women. However, one may also perform the prayers individually at home. These prayers are voluntary, but are strongly recommended and widely practiced.

Celebrating Eid al-Fitr

At the end of the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world enjoy a 3-day holiday known as "Eid al-Fitr" (Festival of Fast-Breaking).

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