Second Ashra (set of ten days) started and the above is the Dua/prayer for these ten days. I've been planning to write about Ramadan in general - what it is and why is it so important to us. I kept putting it off for one reason or another. Since I've nothing much to talk about today, I think I should just get it done. :)
Like every holiday and festivals, Ramadan has also become very commercialized. Especially in a Muslim country like UAE. You know Ramadan is coming up when you are bombarded with Iftar Buffet emails from restaurants and hoteliers. You start seeing 'Ramadan Sale' signs, up on every shopping mall. I understand that businesses have to do their thing to get enough sales and keep up with the market. However, one has to agree that this takes away the essence of Ramadan or any other festival for that matter.
The general idea we get about Ramadan from Dubai is quite wrong. It is not about starving to death and then wasting on excessive meals and expensive buffets. Not at all. Ramadan is about 'abstinence'. About supplication and remembrance of the Lord Almighty by abstaining from everything that is bad. It is about understanding what a poor man has to go through when hungry. During this month we learn about sharing and caring for others. Ofcourse we have to do all these things rest of the year too, but Ramadan is the month where we leave everything else and concentrate just on attaining nearness to Allah.
Few general facts about Ramadan:
- We Muslims have a calendar of our own - Lunar Calendar / Hijri Calendar / Islamic Calendar. This calendar consists of twelve months and Ramadan is the ninth month.
- Ramadan is also the month when few verses of the Holy Quran was first revealed to our beloved Holy Prophet (saw).
- The Holy Quran has prescribed fasting during the month of Ramadan. It is compulsory on every Muslim except those who are sick, traveling and pregnant.
- Fasting is also one of the five pillars of Islam. The other four being: Shahada (believing in the Unity of God), Salat (prayer), Zakat (giving alms) and Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca).
I think this is enough for today. I do not want to confuse you with loads of details and new words. If you have any doubts or questions regarding Ramadan and/or anything else related to Islam, feel free to leave a comment. I will try my best to answer them. I'am not a scholar in Islam. If I don't know something, I will ask around and find the answer for you.
Let me leave you with couple of photos from my twelth day of Ramadan.
|Aisha, as naughty as always|
|Talha pretending to bake and make a mess of everything|
|Watermelon pudding that I didn't like much :(|
Note: I would like to request you to be gentle and kind with your comments. The reason why I never discuss religion or politics here is because this is a space of peace and creativity for me. Whenever I read anything related to Islam on the web, I also get to read really childish and more than rude comments underneath the article. It puts all of us to shame - Muslims or non-Muslims.
I do not want that to happen here. If you are angry or upset with me, feel free to direct message me via twitter. I request you to take my readers' feelings as well as mine into consideration before you type anything in the comment box. Jazakumullah.