Ramzan(Ramadan) and Eid Al Fitr in Karnataka

This article gives the details of Ramzan (Ramadan) and Eid Al Fitr. This festival is of one month duration. Ramzan is a very important festival of Muslims all over the world. Since this festival begins and ends with the sighting of the new moon the dates may vary slightly in different parts of the world and in India itself. Ramadan is celebrated in Karnataka during 2nd to 31st August, 2011.

Ramzan – Ramadan Rituals

Ramzan Greetings

Ramzan is a very important festival of the Muslims of all over the world. Ramzan is observed in two parts. The first part is kind of renunciation in the sense no food during day time, no sensual pleasures during the entire Ramzan month. The second part at the culmination of the first part is the feast and gaiety. The Ramadan month is considered as a holy and auspicious month because it is in this month the prophet Muhammad Nabi got the first few Ayah or Ayah (verses) of the first few Suras (chapters) of the holy Quran from the divine Allah. Quran is the most sacred written book or literature to the Muslims throughout the world. Quran is the beacon, light in the darkness of ignorance, guide, orientation or the path of salvation for Muslims. The prophet revealed this knowledge in the form of the verses to his followers. The rituals of the whole month consist mainly of true worship with deep, sincere and constant dwelling on the Allah, reading of the Quran verses, purging oneself from the bad thoughts and actions, being kind and charitable to others. In short a pursuit virtuous acts, thoughts and deeds. They will be spending more time than the usual with prayers, thinking and doing of good things. During daytime (Sunrise to Sunset) they will fast. In short a kid of submission to their god. Normally the Muslims all over do 5 time Salah (formal prayer) as per the prescribed procedures. The timing may slightly vary according to the position of the sun in the sky. The timings are (fair) near dawn, (dhuhr) after noon, (asr) afternoon (maghrib) after sunset and (isha'q) around nightfall. But during Ramzan there will be an extra Salah known as the Tarawih (a special prayer held in the mosques in the night.

Last ten days of RamzanProphet Receiving Revelations

The last 10 days of Ramzan are more important than the first 20 days. During this period the prophet started being aware of a divine influence on him, in the process of his being aware of the path of salvation through Allah. During these 10 days all the rigors of life imposed like the fast, prayers, abstinence etc are extremely strict. Out of this period of 10 days the night of the 27th of the Ramzan month is extremely important time for the Muslims. It is during this time that the Muhammad Nabi got the revelation of the first portion of the Quran. He called the night Laylat AL-Qadr (Saab-e-Qadr), as the night of power because it is at this time he realized the knowledge of the way to salvation. This time of the anniversary day that is on the 27th night of Ramzan is considered as auspicious and is observed by Tilawat (reading the Quran) by Muslims. All those Muslims who are in a position to spare their time will spend the entire last 10 days of Ramzan in the mosques doing extra prayers, reading Quran and listening to religious discourses arranged in the mosques for this purposes by knowledgeable religious leaders.

Meaning of Ramzan

Ramadan is known by different names in different languages, regions and countries as Ramadhan, Ramadaan, Ramazan, Romjan and Ramzan. It is the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar year of 12 months. Ramzan is followed by preceded by the sighting the new moon after the month of Shaban. Ramzan starts after 30 days of Shaban if the moon is not sighted. The period of Ramzan may be 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the moon. That is to say that if the moon is sighted in the night, on the 29th day of fast, then Ramzan is over and the month of Shawwal starts (so also Eid or Eid-ul-fitr) on the next day. The word ‘Ramzan’ has come from the Arabic words ‘ramida’ or ‘arramad’. Ramida means scorching heat and dryness of the ground -land. This is referred as the parched condition of the land. It is interpreted variously by the religious and spiritual circles as (a) just as the condition of the land during the hot month of Ramzan is parched because of the hot sun, the intensity of the rituals of the month burns the sins of the followers (b) just as the sand and stone absorbs the heat of the hot sun in Ramzan month, the mind by the rigors will easily remembers the Allah, easily understand, easily understand the essence of Islamism, easily remember the warnings against fault and guilt, the god easily come to the mind (c) some others feels that the condition of the land represents the thirst and hunger condition of the stomach during Ramzan day times, the condition of the land of Arabia. Ramzan period corresponds to the English calendar months of August – September normally. This year -2011 Ramzan starts on 2ndAugust and ends on 31st of August in Karnataka. As mentioned the fast is of the duration of one full month (during the holy month of Ramzan or Ramadan). During this month the Muslims (followers of the Islamic religion) are to follow some strict procedures or observations. Let us see what they are. During this holy month most of the Muslims will bear white dress symbolizing purity and the nights of Ramadan will be bright and joyous after the daylong fasts.

Ramzan Fast

About the fast Quran quote is "O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you many learn piety and righteousness". As per the guidelines of Quran during the month the followers of the prophet are not to take any food during the daytime that is during the period of sunrise to sunset during the entire month. During the entire month they are not to indulge in the sensual pleasures like sexual acts, smoking and any such other acts or thoughts and are to engage themselves in pious activities like to be in peace, love, compassion and spiritual thoughts. They can take food only during the nights that is between the Sunset and Sunrise (during the period of moon). Before breaking the fast of the day they clean themselves and do Tarawih prayer and then only take the food. The taking of the food after the fast is called the iftar. After the iftr Muslims normally pay visits to their family members, relatives and friends and in the morning they observe the fast again. The Fast is observed (a) to thank and appreciate god – Allah for all the good, plenty and bounties given by him; (b) to purify the soul; (c) to develop compassion towards the unfortunates; (d) and last but not the least to improve or rejuvenate the health by breaking the cycles of the rigid (e) habits to experience hunger so that the difficulties of the poor and have nots are understood. Fasting need not be followed by those who are sick, those who are on travel where the rituals cannot be observed, children before the age of puberty and pregnant women. When the people come out of the conditions they are supposed to compensate for the omission. During the fasting duration the Muslims are not even to swallow saliva.

Ramzan Restrictions

The restrictions apply to all the sensory organs and not only the stomach. During this month in addition to avoiding the sensual pleasures fasting the Muslims is to avoid (a) using tongue for foul and cruel languages, slandering telling lies and backbiting others etc; (b) using of eyes for seeing forbidden things (c) using ears to hear listen to talk, songs or words which are not in tune with the spirit for which the fast is undertaken (d) using heart and mind to indulge in fancies other than to meditate on Allah (Zikr) and (e) using hands and feet to hurt others. They are to think about the starving and poor who are hungry for want of food and water and are to indulge in maximum charity to the needy.

Ramzan Ritual's Benefits

There were some researches done to find out whether the observations of the Ramazan rituals have any beneficial effects to the followers and the conclusions of the study are positive. According to them the benefits are (a) the psychological effects are the tranquility and peace of the mid; (b) The negative emotions like the jealousy, antagonism and hostility etc are at the lowest level; (c) the extra prayers at night before breaking the fast will bring additional beneficial effects (d) the recitation and meditation of Quran keeps the mind tranquil, peace and improve the memory power; (e) helps to learn self control; (f) helps to reach near to the god because of the restraining of the appetite (g) the extra prayers help to better utilization of the food taken as the calories are found to increase; (h) the diseases and sickness are reduced and the consequent sufferings and expenses to the persons and family are relief; (i) lowers the diabetes (blood sugar), the cholesterol and blood pressure; (j) checks obesity and tension; (k) the mild movements of the prayers helps o absorb the extra calories produced; (l) the movements during the prayer acts like exercise and keeps the joints in the body are in a better condition; (m) the society is benefited by the lowering of the crime rate and (n) helps to increase the feelings of brother / sisterhood and reduces the tension in the society to that extent.

Sadaqa Al-Fitr - Zakatul-Fitr (charity of breaking fast)

During the Ramzan month each family has to give a predetermined part of their income / earnings as charity or donation or gift to the needy and deserving and under privileged section of the community. This has to be chiefly eatable items like the grains of the local areas (rice, wheat, barley, dates, fruits etc), pulses; vegetables etc so that the poor can have food and help them in taking part in the Ramzan – Eid celebrations.

Charity and the Ramzan Month

The Quran prescribes the minimum quantity of charity to be given by each of the family member. It is 2.5% of their yearly income / balances. Some persons interpret this provision as 2.5 kg (5 pounds) of edible items for each member of the family. That is, for a family of 6 members including children the charity to be given is 2.5X 6 (15 kgs) of edible items. Those who are not in a position to earn like the sick or the children, the charity are to be provided by the elders in the family. It is emphasized that the charity is to be given to the poor and needy in the form of non perishable staple edible items. But in some cases where it is absolutely impossible o give as items, it is permitted to give by currency. The charity given during the Ramzan is supposed to earn 70 times of the credit in the books of Allah as per the prophet. A smile, kind words, consolation and any other possible help can be given in place of the edible items by those who cannot afford to give anything.

Eid Al Fitr – Festival of Eid Fast breaking

Breaking Fast

Meaning of the word Eid is joy, festivity, happiness and fitr means restoration or going back to the normal condition. It means going back to the usual life and attending to the normal routine life. Eid is celebrated with maximum enthusiasm like the celebrations of other religions as the Deepawali of Hindus, and Christmas of Christians etc. As in all the religions one of the main items of celebration is to wear new dress sets. Feast is another one. One more is social greetings to family members, relations, neighbors and friends. Those who can afford will celebrate Eid Al Fitr upto 3 days by feast and visits of family members and relatives In Muslim majority nations 3 days holidays are declared. Eating of sumptuous and tasty food is the main items as the name itself suggests.

The next morning immediately after sighting of the new moon after the Ramzan month is the start Eid Al Fitr. On the first morning of the next month – the Shawwal month is the start. People attire in best possible new dresses with a liberal applying of Attar or scent will gather at the mosque for prayer from all strata of life to attend the Salatul Eid (Eid prayers). There will be sermons by priests followed by mass prayer (congregational prayers). Thereafter they will be exchanging the greetings of ‘Eid Mubarak’ (happy Eid). Charity will be given by those who could not give earlier. This will mostly in the form of ready to eat food items. It is unislamic to fasting on this day. It is a common tenet of all religions to consider giving food to the needy as the most sacred gift. It is a common feature to organize community meals. Eid Al Fitr is also spelt as Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr in different part of the world in different languages.

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