|▲ Holy Month of Ramadan. (Source : huffpost)|
There is a holy moon that is revered by a great world religion. Through an arduous religious journey, people say that they can gain religious maturity. This is an old tradition that has become a daily routine beyond one culture, and it is called Ramadan.
Ramadan is celebrated on the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. A commemoration of Muhammad's first revelation, the annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.
Fasting from sunrise to sunset is obligatory for all adult Muslims who are not acutely or chronically ill, travelling, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, or menstruating. The predawn meal is referred to as suhoor. Each day, before dawn, Muslims observe a pre-fast meal. After stopping a short time before dawn, Muslims begin the first prayer of the day. The nightly feast that breaks the fast is called iftar. At sunset, families break the fast with the iftar, traditionally opening the meal by eating dates to commemorate Muhammad's practice of breaking the fast with three dates.
The spiritual rewards of fasting are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan. Accordingly, Muslims refrain not only from food and drink, but also tobacco products, sexual relations, and sinful behavior, devoting themselves instead to prayer, recitation of the Quran, and the performance of charitable deeds as they strive for purity and heightened awareness of God.
Pavan (Korean name Kim Seo-jun) is a Muslim student majoring in accounting at HELP University in Malaysia. Pavan shares his opinions and experiences of Ramadan in an interview.
|▲ Pavan (Muslim, majoring in accounting at HELP University)|
Q : What does Ramadan mean for Muslims?
A : Ramadhan month is the month where the Muslim people fast for the whole month. They believe God has given them more than enough and they want to feel how the people who are in need feels. For example, in Africa there are a lot of poor people that go without food for weeks and months. How would they feel without food? So that is why Muslim people fast to empathise with the poor people. They also thank God for giving them enough food everyday. They also think that Ramadhan month is a month for them to learn their lessons from whatever mistakes or sins they have committed in their life. So they ask for forgiveness and pray. They also cannot do any immoral activity during the month, for example men cannot masturbate or have sex. Same goes for women. People also cannot talk back against their parents or elders. People are encouraged to always be thankful. As for me I think Ramadhan month is a good month where people have a chance to look over their bad deeds and ask for forgiveness and start life with new perspectives and goals. And after 6pm all the shops in Malaysia sell food as the sales rise really damn fast. It is a beautiful month with endless blessings. Wish Muslim colleagues ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ which means ‘Happy Ramadan’, or ‘Ramadan Kareem’ which means Abundant Ramadan’.”
This is a month of generosity, forgiveness, worship, and patience. Therefore, Muslims all over the world aim to better themselves, increase their faith, and to seek forgiveness from God. It is where rewards are tripled and the opportunity for all individuals to be the best human they can be and also give back to the world and those who are in dire need of help.
By Lee Yeon-ju,Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
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