Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. During this month, Muslims observe a complete fast from dawn until sunset. The observance of the sawm Ramadan, considered to be the fourth pillar of Islam, is detailed in the Qur’an:
“Ramadan is the (month) in which was set down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind,
also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong).
So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it
in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up)
by days later.
Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties.
(He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided
you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.” (Surah 2:185, King Fahd trans.)
The fast of Ramadan encourages self-restraint, God-consciousness, compassion, and collective worship. During the daylight hours, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, and sexual activity, while striving to avoid all evil speech and any bad thoughts or actions. As the Bulletin of the Islamic Cultural Center of New York explained in their 1994 Ramadan issue, the fast must be understood as more than abstention from food and drink, “It also means abstention from the illegitimate use of our minds, our tongues, and our hearts.”
Meals are taken before dawn and after sunset, known respectively as suhoor and iftar. At dusk, many gather to break the fast by eating dates and drinking water, following the example of the Prophet Muhammad. The nights of Ramadan are a time for families and friends, often a festive occasion with special foods. Many mosques (masajid) offer a Qur’anic recitation nightly during Ramadan, such as the Islamic Society of Greater Houston’s Southwest Zone mosque. On Lailat al-Qadr, the “Night of Majesty” on which Muhammad received the first revelation, much of the community gathers in the mosque to listen to the recitation of the Qur’an; many others stay up all night praying and reading the Qur’an at home.
At the end of the month of fasting, Muslims gather in large groups to perform the prayers of Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Fast-breaking. In Atlanta, the imams of ten local masajid gather to coordinate the observance; in Houston, Muslims gather at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Downtown Houston at a celebration organized by the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH). Some Muslims, in addition to paying the obligatory zakat al-fitr, a special offering for the needy, perform acts of charity throughout the month, and especially on this day. Portland, Oregon’s Muslim Educational Trust coordinates an annual Eid Toy Drive, collecting toys for needy children. Eid al-Fitr is also a time to visit friends and relatives, and many Muslims celebrate with their families for two or three days. Children receive new clothes, jewelry, toys and other gifts, and parents teach the next generation the importance of following the Islamic obligations of fasting, prayer and reading the Qur’an.
Here is your Essay on Important Religious Festivals of Islam !
Islam is also a world religion with a following of nearly l/5th of the universal population. Youngest of three monotheistic religions, Islam is preached in every nation) race, and color.
Of Arabic origin, Islam means “submission of one’s will” to the only true god worthy of worship “Allah” and anyone who does so is a Muslim. Submission to Allah is necessarily with heart, soul and death. Islam also implies “peace’ which is the natural consequence of Allah. A Muslim should strictly avoid worship any other God except Allah. Salaam Alaykum (peace be with us) is the universal greeting among the Muslims.
Religious festivals of Islam and their social significance:
The religion advocates belief in one God (Allah) and has similar scriptural and historic roots to Judaism and Christianity. Today, Islam, which is believed to be closer to African traditions, seems to be making greater in-roads within the African Caribbean community in Birmingham and is now regarded as the second largest religion in the world, behind Christianity.
Miraj (The Ascent):
God honored Prophet Muhammad (pbuh – peace be upon him) by his unique night journey during which he saw with his own eyes the glory of Allah and the working of the universe.
Shaban is the eight-month of the Islamic Calendar. The month of preparation before Ramadan.
Night of Forgiveness:
On this night the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) stayed up all night in the graveyard asking for forgiveness for the entire human race.
1st Ramadan: Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which all adult Muslims are expected to observe fast from dawn to dusk and keep away from all bad actions. Believers take no food, drink or tobacco in between this time, and abstain from sexual relations.
Technically, the fast begins each day at dawn, which for Muslims comes nearly two hours before sunrise. Sunrise marks the end of the first period of prayer. Dawn is reckoned as the time when the sun’s first light is seen on the horizon, or, according to a Hadith, when a white cord may be distinguished from a black cord.
Traditionally, the fast is broken with a bowl of soup and a special salad (Fattoush) but the evening breakfast (‘Iftar) is often an opportunity for socialising and praying which may go on late into the night.
Battle of Badr:
The aggression of the unbelievers defended at a place called Badr, 80 miles from Madina.
The Last Friday:
The last Friday during the month of Ramadan, a day of farewell to the Holy month.
The Night of Power:
The Holy Quran was revealed during this night. “The angels and spirits come down by Allah’s permission with peace until the rise of the morning.”
Every Muslim celebrates Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of the month of Ramadan to mark a successful completion of the period of fasting. This festival is sometimes described as a ‘Muslim Christmas’. The early part of the day is spent offering prayers at a Mosque followed by hearty meals at home or with relatives. Children particularly enjoy this Eid and are given presents or money.
It is Sunnah (the practice of the Prophets) that everyone should wear new and beautiful clothes and rejoice with other Muslims. To this end it is obliged on each adult Muslim to give alms (Fitrana) to the poor and needy, before the Eid prayers, to enable everyone to enjoy the day.(Zakat)
Pilgrimage to the Holy city of Mecca and Arafat in Saudi Arabia.
All pilgrims must present themselves and stay at Mina, Arafat and Muzdallifah on this day with Ihram (during Hajj)
Eid-ul Adha celebrates the saving of the Prophet Ishmael by God when his father Abraham offered him as a sacrifice. It takes place a day after Hajj and marks the completion of the Hajj journey to the plain of Arafat.
This Eid is celebrated by special prayers at a Mosque and is followed by the sacrifice of a sheep, lamb or cow to commemorate the Abrahamic sacrifice. Just like Eid-ul-Fitr Muslim families spend a day visiting and entertaining guests. As it is celebrated over 3 days some children may take more than one day off school during this period.
The day Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was martyred.