Although Ramadan is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year, since the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar. This difference means Ramadan moves in the Gregorian calendar approximately 11 days every year. The date of Ramadan may also vary from country to country depending on whether the moon has been sighted or not
As the fundamental aspect of Ramadan is fasting, it is believed the name 'Ramadan' may signify the burning desire for drinking water and food. It may also refer to the belief that fasting with a pure intention and with religious blessings burns away the earlier sins.
According to the Muslim faith, observing the fast with absolute faith and unpolluted intentions will confer remittance of all his sins. It is believed that fasting midst the holy spirit of Ramadan is thirty times more potent than fasting any other time of the year.
Constraints During Ramadan
During the time of fasting strict constraints are placed. Smoking, drinking, meat and sexual relations are forbidden during fasting. However, children,elderly, soldiers and the incurable sick are exempted. Telling of lies, slander, false oath, betrayal are considered most offensive during Ramadan and can destroy the goodness of fasting.
Significance of Ramadan
Throughout the world, Muslims observe the Ramadan month by fasting and through increased concentration for purification of soul to increase closeness with God. It is a period of worship and contemplation. On the 27th evening, Muslims celebrate the Laylat-al-Qadr (Night of Power) with the believe that on this day in 610 AD, the Holy Quran was revealed providing guidance, teaching, direction to all and also judging between wrong and right. Moreover this day is believed to have influenced the course of the year.
During Ramadan, it is common for Muslims to go to the Masjid (Mosque) and spend several hours praying and studying the Quran. In addition to the five daily prayers, during Ramadan Muslims recite a special prayer called the Taraweeh prayer (Night Prayer). The length of this prayer is usually 2-3 times as long as the daily prayers. Some Muslims spend the entire night in prayer.
On the evening of the 27th day of the month, Muslims celebrate the Laylat-al-Qadr.It is believed that on this night Muhammad first received the revelation of the Holy Quran. And according to the Quran, this is when God determines the course of the world for the following year.
When the fast ends it is celebrated for three days in a holiday called Id-al-Fitr. Friends and family gather to pray in congregation and for large meals. In some cities fairs are held to celebrate the end of the Fast of Ramadan. Gifts are exchanged between friends and relatives by just logging on to www.giftagift.com