Kids for Positive Change believes a healthy and balanced world includes learning about and better understanding different traditions, beliefs and cultures. Although Kids for Positive Change takes no official position on religion or religious beliefs, but we do follow the truth that we are all ONE. We share this beautiful planet and together, we can create a bright future!
This week’s blog features information about the holy month of Ramadan. Our very own beautiful KPC Team member, Khadijah, celebrates Ramadan each year. Below, learn more about Ramadan and expressing gratitude from Khadijah!
by: Khadijah Rahim
The holy month of Ramadan just ended for Muslims! It’s a month where every healthy Muslim fasts from sunrise to sunset. It’s a month of prayer, remembrance of God, and charity. It is a month that reminds every Muslim why they walk the path of Islam. The month concludes with Eid ul Fitr, the festival that celebrates the end of the fasting month.
Each year Ramadan falls on a different time than the standard calendar. The Islamic calendar is lunar, meaning each month begins with the new astronomical moon. Since lunar months are shorter than solar, the Islamic calendar does not correspond with the standard calendar and means Ramadan occurs around 11 days earlier every year.
Every healthy, able-bodied Muslim is required to fast in Ramadan. But why? Muslims believe fasting allows us to get closer to God as in Ramadan we engage in many acts of worship seeing it’s the most sacred month. Aside from that, fasting is meant to remind Muslims of the less fortunate and to reinforce the need to be thankful and express gratitude. Fasting lasts from sunrise to sunset varying depending on your location. For some it’s 12 hour fasts while for others it’s 18 hours! A pre dawn meal, known as suhoor, is eaten before sunrise. Following the morning call to prayer, all eating and drinking halts – even water! The day’s fast ends at sunset when the fast is opened, typically with a date and water before engaging in the dinner meal known as iftar.
Aside from fasting, many other acts of worship are done during this month. Year round, Muslims pray five times a day. During Ramadan, many make it a priority to pray! Extra prayers in the night and morning known as taraweeh and tahajjud are offered as well. Many Muslims will even finish reading the Quran, the holy book for Muslims, in this sacred month. It is encouraged to give charity and give back to those in need as the rewards are multiplied.
The month concludes by the sighting of the crescent moon on the 29th day of Ramadan. This determines the celebration of Eid will follow the next day. On Eid, there is a special prayer, the Eid prayer. Muslims gather in the mosque to offer this prayer and wish each other Eid Mubarak, Happy Eid. Following the Eid prayer, the day is celebrated with family and friends over large meals and gatherings. Gifts are exchanged, money is given, and the month of fasting is celebrating. After the celebration of Eid, the new month of Shawwal starts. However, Muslims are encouraged to keep the great habits of Ramadan. Continuing prayer, offering charity, and above all – express gratitude.