Examining the spirit of Ramadan

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Ramadan is a spiritual month for Muslims and fasting during this month is one of the five pillars of Islam. “It is an opportunity for spiritual growth and closeness to our creator.” Fasting during Ramadan is a commitment of the body and soul to a purification process, and people who are fasting will not eat or drink for approximately 17 to 18 hours during the day

This year Ramadan should commence on Wednesday 22 March and conclude on Friday 21 April. From the beginning to the end of Ramadan, a fasting day will start before sunrise which will be between 2.50 am and 4.30 am and end at sunset between 7.30pm and 8.30pm. Muslims will be expected to wake up and eat and drink before sunrise, although this is not mandatory.

The spirit of Ramadan inspires Muslims to be charitable. Coming together to donate to local mosques and community centres for the less privileged. Fasting aims to establish equality between the rich and poor. It is believed that through the experience of hunger and thirst individuals will learn to be grateful and be charitable to the less fortunate. The spirit of Ramadan also encourages Muslims to be sociable within the limits of their religion. Praying together and sharing meals at the time of iftar (the breaking of the fast), to create a sense of community and social bonding.

Enhancing and maintaining spirituality is vital to the person who is fasting. Like the new year Muslims take the opportunity to begin new resolutions. Engaging in the five daily prayers on time and with the utmost concentration is important to the spiritual growth of a Muslim. Muslims intensify their prayers during the last ten days of Ramadan seeking the night of Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Decree or Night of Power. It is one of the most sacred nights in the Islamic calendar.

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