Ramadan: The meaning behind the month
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Starting tomorrow Muslims across the world will begin fasting during the month of Ramadan.
Being a British Muslim, I am often faced with questions like "Why do you fast?" or "What is Ramadan?"
I believe it is important for us all to be aware of different cultures and religions so I thought I'd share a little bit of Ramadan with you all.
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar and it was in this month that the Qur'an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. Muslims fast from Suhoor (before sunrise) to Iftar (after sunset). This year means that Muslims in the UK will be fasting for nearly 19 hours each day.
Muslims fast so that we can learn self-control, similar to how Christians give up something during Lent. The concept to resist the temptation of food, and more importantly, water can be very difficult. However, the satisfaction you feel once the fast ends, and you can finally eat again, is indescribable.
It also allows us to understand the feeling of hunger that many impoverished children and adults around the world face on a daily basis. This gives Muslims empathy for those in need around the world, and also makes us grateful for how fortunate we really are. And so, during the month of Ramadan, Muslims are especially encouraged to give charity, and help others.
Lastly, when fasting Muslims begin to feel closer to Allah as well as friends and family, because Ramadan is meant to be a time of religion, family and celebration.
I hope I've given you a little insight into Ramadan, and wishing you all a blessed and happy month. Ramadan Mubarak.