For the millions of Muslims in the world, Ramadan is considered to be one of the most important happenings in their lives. It is the ninth (9th) month of the Muslim Hijrah calendar which lasts 20-30 days. For the Muslims, it is the Holy Month of fasting. They refrain themselves from eating and drinking even swallowing their own saliva during daylight hours (from dawn till dusk). This thing is said to be done to teach them the value of patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to Allah (God).
Ramadan starts differently from the common Gregorian Calendar as it is based on the cycle of the moon. Sightings of the crescent moon would mark its official start. This year it falls in the 1st day of August. However, some countries would start it on the sighting of the crescent moon. The announcement of the start and end of the Holy Month of Fasting is made by the Darul Ifta (organization of Islamic scholars).
Aside from refraining oneself from eating and drinking, a fasting Muslim would also keep his thoughts pure, his actions desired and his words nice, kind and gentle. It should be observed in the fixed the number of days (29-30). However, in cases of sickness or the person is a journey, the number of days skipped should be made up in the succeeding days. For those Muslims who are ill or those old people who can’t sustain the long days of fasting, they have the choice of having the ‘fidyah’ which means “feeding the needy”. They have the option to feed at least two needy persons for one month.
Ramadan is also the time in the lives of the Muslims which would provide them with spiritual overhaul which would include moderation of worldly and carnal desires. It would also provide an intense whole month training of offering purification for the body and soul.
This year’s Ramadan has been more challenging to a lot of Muslims in the world because of the current crisis happening in the Islam countries like Syria, Yemen and Libya. They are all praying for their brothers and sisters to surpass their difficult times.