Posted 2 weeks ago on July 11, 2014, 3:32 p.m. EST by HalalDali
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which the Quran was revealed. June 28,2014 to July 28, 2014. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Every day during this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours in a complete fast.
During the blessed month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours. As a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice, Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking.
Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with family and friends, do away with bad habits -- essentially to clean up our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings. The Arabic word for "fasting" (sawm) literally means "to refrain" - and it means not only refraining from food and drink, but from evil actions, thoughts, and words.
During Ramadan, every part of the body must be restrained. The tongue must be restrained from backbiting and gossip. The eyes must restrain themselves from looking at unlawful things. The hand must not touch or take anything that does not belong to it. The ears must refrain from listening to idle talk or obscene words. The feet must refrain from going to sinful places. In such a way, every part of the body observes the fast.
Therefore, fasting is not merely physical, but is rather the total commitment of the person's body and soul to the spirit of the fast. Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint; a time to cleanse the body and soul from impurities and re-focus one's self on the worship of God.
Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset.The Quran was sent down to the lowest heaven during this month, thus being prepared for gradual revelation by Jibreel (Gabriel) to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Furthermore, Muhammad told his followers that the gates of Heaven would be open all the month and the gates of Hell (Jahannam) would be closed. The first day of the next month, Shawwal, is spent in celebration and is observed as the "Festival of Breaking Fast" or Eid al-Fitr.
Laylat al-Qadr is observed during one of the last ten days of the month (typically the odd nights). Muslims believe that this night which is also known as "The Night of Power" is better than a thousand months. This is often interpreted as praying throughout this night is rewarded equally with praying for a thousand months (just over 83 years i.e. a lifetime). Many Muslims spend the entire night in prayer.
Muslims believe the Quran to be the final revelation of God's word to man, and a completion and confirmation of previous scriptures.Islam speaks of respecting all the previous scriptures, and belief in all the revealed books is an article of faith in Islam. The four books considered to be revealed and mentioned by name in the Qur'an are the Torah (revealed to Moses), the Zabur (revealed to David), the Injil (Gospel) (revealed to Jesus), and the Qur'an itself.