Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Happy Ramadan! (Islam's holiest month)

Kamakshi Ayyar (time.com); Crystal Quintero, Ashley Wells (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly
Early math-savvy Muslims, under Islam, built India's magnificent Taj Mahal.
Ramadan Kareem (“Have a generous Ramadan”) and Nakba (“Catastrophe”) in Palestine!
We put our hope in peace, God-willing.
This week marks the start of Ramadan [Islam's "Lent," "Muslim Vassa"] for more than a billion Muslims around the world.

The month-long observance -- which starts on either May 15 or May 16 this year -- will see Muslims fasting from sunrise-to-sunset, reciting verses from the Quran, and attending prayer sessions.

For many of those observing Ramadan, it is a time to become closer to God [Allah]. It is also a time of joy and for spending time with one’s family and for giving to charity and those in need.
Here’s what’s good to know about Ramadan, which is known as the "holiest month in Islam."

When is Ramadan?
Muslims perform the first 'Tarawih' prayer on the eve of the Islamic Holy month of Ramadan at the Chicago Mosque in Chicago, United States on May 26, 2017.
Muslim males in prayer caps kneeling in a mosque doing obligatory prayers free of female contamination due to their ritual impurity (Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images).
Favorite Muslim Reza Aslan
Ramadan begins during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, when the new crescent moon is first sighted.

The exact start date of Ramadan will only be confirmed when the moon is spotted, and this year it is expected to be seen between Tuesday, May 15 and Wednesday, May 16, allowing for a day here and there depending on atmospheric conditions.
While many countries wait until they can see the moon before announcing the start of Ramadan, in some, like...
Killing animals for Allah All-Merciful?
The end of Ramadan is also marked with the sighting of the crescent moon, marking Eid-al-Fitr, which should be around the second or third week of June this year.
Muslims perform the first "Tarawih" prayer on the eve of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan at the Chicago Mosque in Illinois, United States on May 26, 2017.

What is Ramadan and how is it observed? 

Great butterfly-bee Muslim Muhammed Ali
Ramadan is observed by Muslims to commemorate when God revealed the first chapters of the Quran, Islam’s sacred text [the Qu'ran or Koran dictated by God and written down, word-for-word, by] the Prophet Muhammad [PBUH].

Muslims believe that during this period, the gates of heaven are open and the gates of hell are closed.
Breaking fast at iftar, UAE (Francois Nel)
Muslims mark the holy month by [daytime] fasting (sawm) -- considered to be one of the five pillars of Islam -- during sunlight hours.

The pre-dawn meal is called the suhoor, while the fast is broken at dusk with the iftar, starting with a few sips of clean water and some sweet dates.

No sex, please
Our favorite faux-Muslim, Mia Khalifa. ;)
Abstinence during Ramadan isn’t just restricted to food and water though. It extends to refraining from sexual activity, smoking, and even to jealousy, anger, and other negative thoughts.

Muslims believe that following these practices during Ramadan will lead to self-purification, self-control, and bring them closer to Allah. More

Enough already! Stop fighting, dear clerics.

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