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What is Ramadan and why is it important?

What is Ramadan and why is it important?

April 30, 2019 4 min read

Every year for a month, over a billion Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink until sundown. Ramadan, as this time in the Islamic calendar is called, commemorates the month in which the first revelations of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, were received by the prophet Muhammad.

But, what is the meaning of the month of Ramadan for Islam? And why is the founding of the Quran celebrated through fasting? We’ll try to answer these and other questions here.

What is the month of Ramadan?

The month of Ramadan is the most sacred month for Islamic culture. Ramadan is considered a time of reflection, worship, and self-restraint by the Muslim world. Time is dedicated to self-improving, praying, and fasting – one of the Five Pillars of Islam (more on this later).

When is Ramadan celebrated? 

The month of Ramadan follows the Islamic calendar, and as such its first and last dates coincide with the coming and going of the crescent moon. This means that the actual dates fluctuate, and, as a result, Ramadan starts on a different day each year. There’s also the fact that the Islamic calendar is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian. In 2019, for instance, fasting began on May 5th and ended on June 4th. 

Ramadan lasts between 29 and 30 days. The first sight of the new crescent moon marks the end of the month of Ramadan and the beginning of the month of Shawwal, which is the lunar month that follows Ramadan. If the moon cannot be seen, then the completion of the 30 days of fasting marks its ending.  

Ramadan’s place within Islam

According to Muslim belief, it all began when the angel Gabriel appeared before Muhammad. The archangel delivered revelations sent from Allah (God), which Muhammad then used to write the Quran.

At its core, the Quran details key ideals, from prayer to fasting, every Muslim should uphold. These are known as the Five Pillars of Islam and also include shadada (a declaration of faith), zakat (charity) and pilgrimage (to Muhammad’s native city of Mecca).

Ramadan is not only about self-restraint, reflection, and spiritual growth: it also about family and unity. At dusk, family and community members come together to break their fast. The meal offers a valuable opportunity for participants to discuss what they’ve learned through abstinence.

The most important dates in Ramadan are the beginning, being established with the viewing of crescent moon; the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr), considered to be the night when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad and the world; and the Eid al-Fitr, a three-day festival with which Ramadan ends, where fasting is officially broken, and when communities organize celebrations. During this time, Muslims may wear new clothes or visit the graves of relatives.

“Ramadan Mubarak”, which can be translated as “blessed Ramadan” or “have a blessed celebration”, is a greeting to mark its ending, as well as the conclusion of the fasting period. The common response to Ramadan Mubarak is “Khair Mubarak”, returning the blessed greeting to the person who first emitted it. Another response that is sometimes used is “Ramadan Kareem”, meaning “generous Ramadan”, further wishing blessings during the celebration of Ramadan.

As Ramadan approaches its end and Eid al-Fitr arrives, it is usual to greet others with “Eid Mubarak”, which can be translated as “Blessed Festival”.

What Ramadan means to our customers

The largest Muslim populations are located in Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey, which are all countries with high levels of immigration.

For this reason, many Muslims end up celebrating Ramadan far from their loved ones.

Our services offer a way to connect with those far away, to fund charity work and contribute to the preparations for Eid al-Fitr.

We are also active participants of Ramadan, preparing different initiatives all over the world. The activities may vary from sponsoring breakfast at local mosques to raffling prayer rugs and Tasbihs (rosaries) at our stores. 

At Ria Money Transfer, we’re always looking forward to Ramadan season because it is another great opportunity to connect with our loyal Muslim customers. Through getting involved in the festivities, we learn more about their wants and needs and are able to foster a stronger kinship with our Muslim family.

Ramadan is a time for coming together, and we take that responsibility very seriously.

Need to send money? We’ve got you covered. Transfer money safely, easily and almost instantly with the Ria Money Transfer app – download it for iOS or Android today to get started.

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