Everything You Need to Know About Ramadan
This article will cover important questions and information regarding Ramadan, like what Ramadan is, who celebrates Ramadan, why is Ramadan celebrated, the rules and traditions of Ramadan, and Ramadan recipes.
What Is Ramadan and Why Is It Celebrated
Ramadan is one of the most important holidays in Islam. It is a celebration of the prophet Muhammad’s first revelation, which occurred in a cave on Mount Hira when he saw the Angel Jibril. Observing Ramadan requires that Muslims be mindful of their faith and participate in specific rituals of fasting, prayer, and charity. The holiday has deep religious and cultural significance throughout the Muslim world.
When Is Ramadan?
Ramadan falls on the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, with the holiday starting at the beginning of the month and lasting until the end of the month. Dates may vary due to the differences between the Islamic calendar and the Gregorian calendar, but in 2022 Ramadan is predicted to start on Saturday, April 2nd and last until Monday, May 2nd. The end of the month marks that Ramadan is over and brings about Eid al-Fitr, which is an important Islamic festival celebrating the end of Ramadan.
Ramadan Rules and Traditions
There are many rules, rituals, and traditions that are observed during Ramadan. Here are some of the most well-known:
- Fasting - Fasting—also known as sawm—is perhaps the most recognized ritual during Ramadan. Sawm is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Ramadan fasting rules require Muslims to fast from dawn to sunset each day during the entire month. Fasting during this time allows Muslims to focus on sacrifice, discipline, and cleansing during the daylight hours. At sunset, when the fast is broken, many communities come together to feast and share each other’s company.
- Zakat - Zakat is another one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It means “purification,” and involves all Muslims with means donating some of their income or wealth to the poor. Zakat is a central part of the Islamic tradition and represents purifying oneself and making an appeal to God.
- Ramadan Greeting - Muslims often wish each other a happy Ramadan during the month. Two of the most common greetings you might use include:
- “Ramadan Mubarak,” which roughly translates to “Happy Ramadan”
- “Ramadan Kareem,” which roughly translates to “Have a generous Ramadan”
- Decorations - Ramadan decorations aren’t necessarily a standard part of the holiday, but they have become increasingly popular in recent years. These decorations usually involve two main elements: colorful fabric with red patterns and lanterns. These are used to create a wide variety of decorations to celebrate Ramadan.
As mentioned earlier, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset each day during the month of Ramadan. Then, when the fast is broken at sunset they often come together to feast—known as Iftar. The specific dishes that are prepared vary in different parts of the world, but here are some of the most popular Ramadan recipes and foods:
Dates - Many Muslims will ease back into eating after fasting all day by having a few dates. They usually consume an odd number and never eat too many, following the example of Muhammad.
Soups - Soups are another popular option during Ramadan to slowly introduce the body to food after fasting. These soups usually include lentil, chicken, vegetable, and vermicelli.
Fattoush - Fattoush is a salad made of fresh vegetables and served with either pita or crispy bread.
Tharid - Tharid is one of the most typical Ramadan dishes, especially in the Arab Gulf. It is a dish consisting of Arabian meat and a vegetable stew over crispy bread. There are many variations on the dish, like the Levantine fatteh, Moroccan trid, and Iranian dizi.
These are just a few of the many different dishes enjoyed by Muslims during the Ramadan celebration. There are also numerous traditional recipes that are used, like making kebabs, yellow rice, kafta, samosas, baklava, and more.
During the month of Ramadan and beyond, the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund is reliant on zakat and other forms of charitable giving. PCRF is not a political or religious organization. Our mission is to provide medical and humanitarian relief collectively and individually to Arab children throughout the Middle East, regardless of their nationality, politics, or religion.
We rely on charitable giving to provide medical treatment, surgeries, safety, shelter, and support to children and their families suffering from health conditions. Find out how you can get involved and help make a difference in children’s lives today!