10 Interesting Facts About Ramadan
Observed by over a billion people from the Islam religion, Ramadan or Ramzan as it is called in the Asian sub-continent is an important event of the Islamic calendar.
The Hijri era is the basis of the calendar due to the prominence of Hijra event when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) migrated along with his followers from Mecca to Madinah in 622 AD.
Month-Long fasting by Muslims is observed across the world during the holy period of Ramadan, the ninth month of the calendar. The month lasts for 28 to 30 days based on the crescent moon sightings.
With the exception of those who are ill (including diabetic), pregnant, traveling or are elderly, fasting is mandatory for all adult Muslims across the globe who seek blessings
10 facts about Ramadan
Ramadan has its roots deep in history and is part of the Five Pillars of Islam. A few facts are as follows
- The start of Ramzan can vary by 10 to 12 days every year
- During the period, Muslims should carry out charity work
- There will be inflation in some countries during Ramadan as prices go up
- It is not mandatory for children to fast under 12 years.
- Sunni Muslims perform extra prayers at night called Tarawih.
- During the day-fast, food, drink, and sex are not allowed.
- It is believed that the first few verses of the Holy Quran were disclosed during Ramadan
- It is encouraged to read the Quran daily during Ramadan
- “Ramadan Mubarak “ means “Have a blessed Ramadan“
- Ramadan fasting is ended with a big festival called Eid-Ul-Fitr by having a huge hearty meal, exchanging gifts and wearing new clothes.
Those were the facts, now we’ll see some more fascinating history and details.
When is Ramadan?
Ramadan has no fixed date; it varies from year to year depending on the sighting of the new moon. In 2019, it began on May 6th and ended on June 5th.
During this period, two meals are served per day namely, Suhoor (served before dawn) and Iftar (served after sunset). Food served should be rich in energy like fruits, vegetables, meat, etc to last the entire day. No food is to be eaten during these two events including water.
Why are Ramadan laws, rules and regulations important?
As mentioned before, fasting is obligatory to all Muslims. Failing to do so is considered a crime and is punishable by law in a few countries.
The penalty could be imprisonment, a fine, flogging, deportation(for foreigners) or community service. Some countries ban alcohol during Ramadan; some also reduce the work schedules to five to six hours as part of their religious support.
Ramadan prayer times
This again varies from place to place depending on the time zone. In India, Ramadan 2019 will begin at sunset on May 6th.
For Ramadan Salat Ul Tasbeeh prayer also encouraged, Know more about Salat Ul Tasbeeh
Fasting for Ramadan varies from country to country. Here is a small chart that indicates fasting duration across the globe.
Historical events took place in Ramadan
Beginning of revelation of Quran
The most important event for Muslims took place in the month of Ramadan is the beginning of the revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Gabriel descended to the earth (with the permission of God) with the first verse of Quran “Iqra Bismi Rabbikal Lazi Khalaq” (Read! With the name who created the man with a blood clot).
This verse of the Quran has reveled on 17th of the Ramadan month in the cave of Hira in Makkah City.
Be informed Quran took 23 years to revel completely.
Battle of Badr
The Battle of Badr was the first battle which was fought between the Muslims and Mushrekeen e Makkah, this battle took place on 17th of the month of Ramadan.
This battle was fought by 315 Muslims with 2 horses and 70 camels against 1000 opponents with 100 horses and 170 camels.
Battle of Badr was won by the Muslim as Allah assisted the Muslims with thousands of angels.
Makkah was conquered
Makkah was conquered on the 18th of Ramadan.
This event took place on the 18th of the Ramadan month after 8th year of hijra, there was an army of 10000 Muslims when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) reached back to Makkah, this conquer of Makkah was the peaceful conquest, and it was the end of the idol worship in Arabian peninsula and return to the worship of the one god.
People of Taif accepted Islam
The thafeeq tribe of Taif came to accept Islam in the holy month of Ramadan, it was the 9th year of the hijra.
Crusaders were defeated by Salahundeen Ayyubi
In Ramadan of 1187 CE, Salahudeen Ayyubi defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin. This battle was the end of the Crusaders hopes to wage war against the Muslims even this was paved the way for Salahudeen to conquer Jerusalem.
Torah was revealed
Torah was revealed on 2nd of the Ramadan month to Prophet Moses (PBUH)
Bible was revealed
Bible (Injeel/Gospel) was revealed to Jesus (PBUH) on 12th of Ramadan month.
Psalms were revealed
The Psalms (Zabur) were bestowed to Prophet Daood A.S
India got freedom from British rule
On 27th of Ramadan month as per Islamic calendar India got freedom from British rule after 200 years.
There are many other prominent events took place in the month of Ramadan such as the death of fourth Islamic caliph Hazrat Ali, death of Hazrat Ayesha (R.A) the beloved wife of Prophet Muhammad and mother of all Muslims.
What is the purpose of Ramadan?
Fasting during the period is taken seriously and is compulsory. The reason for this fasting is to signify self-control, both of the body and mind. It is also a reminder of the fact that there are poor people in this world that cannot afford the basic needs of life. Ramadan is intended to cleanse the body of any immoral impurities.
Although Ramadan is celebrated across the globe, the below-mentioned chart shows the population of the few countries where Ramadan is a major occasion.
The Five Pillars of Islam
Ramadan is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam. They include
- Shahad (Declaring the belief in the oneness of God)
- Salat: Daily prayer
- Sawm: Period of fasting
- Zakat: charity to the poor (2.5% of the wealth)
- Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca
Fasting is a must for all eligible Muslims. The fast is meant to ask and earn forgiveness from the lord for the past sins thereby seeking atonement.
Mecca and Medina are considered the holiest grounds in Islam and a journey to these places is considered sacred and is encouraged.
Ramadan is concluded with a huge celebration known as Eid-ul-Fitr. This is where the month-long fast is broken and ended with a feast. Special prayers are offered and meals are shared among friends and families with gifts often exchanged. Gifts can be anything from the Quran itself to table lamps.
Fun-fact, in 1996 the then-first lady Hillary Clinton hosted Eid-ul-Fitr at the White House. This tradition continued with George W. Bush as well as Barack Obama.
Ramadan is one of the oldest and one of the most widespread festivals in the world and resembles an act of faith for all followers.