|Ramzaan - the holy festival
||Ramzan is a holy month for
muslims all over the world. Its the ninth month of
the year in the lunar calendar. It comes at the end of
the Muslim month of Ramzan during which every devout
Muslim fasts by day and eats only at night. It is
celebrated on the day following the appearance of the New
Moon at the end of Ramzan and in the evening anxious
crowds are seen watching the fading light of the western
sky for a trace of the moon.
According to the Islamic society of North America it started on the 27th of November this year. The revelations from God to the Prophet Muhammad that would eventually be compiled as the Quran began during Ramadan in the year 610. Muslims fast during this month during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset. During the day even drinking water is prohibited but food is permitted to be eaten at night. Muslims spent the day in reading the Koran.
The most important part in Ramzan Id celebrations is the mass prayer, generally held in an open space is. Every Muslim is required by Koran to offer Id prayer with his breathern in full faith. A faithful muslim believes in giving alms to the poor and helping the one in need.
The last 10 days of Ramzaan are more important as the faithful watch for Lailathul Qadr (the Night of Power) during which the revelation of the book to the Prophet was completed. In a way it is considered the climax of Ramzaan and Muslims keep awake all night praying or listening to sermons by Ulema or the high priest.
Ramzan is derived from the Arabic word ramida or ar-ramad which translates to intense scorching heat and dryness, especially the ground. It is believed the word Ramzan is so called to indicate the heating sensation in the stomach because of thirst. This month is dedicated to the worship of God, inner reflection and self-control. People spend time listening to citations in the mosque. Speacial prayers called "taraweeh" are performed every night after the regular prayers. The word Sawm is used for fasting which literally translates to "to refrain". It is said that he who fasts in Ramadan with faith and seeks his reward from God will have his past sins forgiven. Eid Ul-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan.