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Jamsheeda Jainudeen, Class-4, : New Gulf Indian School, Mahboula Tuesday, March 30, 2021

"Ramadan has come to you. It is a month of blessings , in which Allah covers you with blessings, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers."

Prophet Muhammad(PBUH)

Assalamu Alaikkum Wa Rahmathullahi Wa Barakathuhu. Ramadan, its the month, which all muslims around the world awaits for. Ramadan is the month of blessings and mercy that showers upon Muslims from the Almighty-Allah. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar, in which Muslims all over the world observe fasting (sawm), one of the five pillars of Islam[ Shahadha - Faith, Salah - Prayers, Zakat - Charity and Hajj - Pilgrimage to Holy Mecca ]. It lasts from 29 to 30 days, from one crescent moon sighting to the next sighting. This is a month of fasting, prayer, and reflection for Muslims. During this time, Muslims refrain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset, and strive to avoid thoughts and behavior which are considered to be impure under the tenets of Islam.

During this holy month, Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) received his revelations of the Holy Quran. Muhammad retreated to the caves in the surrounding mountains of Mecca for meditation. One night, when Muhammad was 40 years of age and was passing the month in meditation in Mount Hira, he had a vision of an angel, Jibril, revealed that Muhammad was the messenger of Allah and was born to be a Prophet to his people. Laylat al-Qadr, variously rendered in English as the Night of Decree or Night of Power , is, in islamic belief, the night when the Quran was first sent down to the heaven of the world and also the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad(PBUH).

Since then he started receiving revelations from Allah through Jibril. The revelations were collected into a 114 chapter holy book, Quran, which we Muslims believe the exact words of Allah.

"When the month of Ramadan starts the gates of Heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained."

Prophet Muhammad(PBUH)

In this holy month, Muslims fast from sunrise[ Suhoor ] to sunset[ Iftar ]. Muslims are expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam. People refrain from doing sins. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the soul by freeing it from harmful impurities. Muslims believe that Ramadan teaches them to practice self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice, and empathy for those who are less fortunate, thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity. Fasting is obligatory for all adult muslims except for ill, travelling, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating. Fasting helps a person to be more patient and unselfish. It helps them to realize the pain of poverty. The spiritual rewards of fasting are multiplied during Ramadan. People increase reading Quran, salat, remembering the creator of the world, asking for forgiveness and the performance of charitable deeds[zakat], along with fasting, as they strive for purity and heightened awareness of God. It develops brotherhood and equality in a person before God. Ramadan is a month of blessing, a month which we remember the poor and the situation they live in. So giving a lot of Sadaqah was the Sunnah. Tarawih are extra nightly prayers performed during the month of Ramadan.

We Muslims, are encouraged to read the entire Quran, which comprises thirty juz' (sections), over the thirty days of Ramadan. Some Muslims incorporate a recitation of one juz' into each of the thirty tarawih sessions observed during the month.

Zakat often translated as "the poor-rate", is the fixed percentage of income a believer is required to give to the poor; the practice is obligatory as one of the pillars of Islam. Muslims believe that good deeds are rewarded more handsomely during Ramadan than at any other time of the year; consequently, many donate a larger portion—or even all—of their yearly zakat during this month.

During this month eating, drinking, smoking etc., are not allowed in public, in most of the Arab countries, including Kuwait. Muslims work during Ramadan, but the working hours are reduced. Same goes for the schools too.

Lights and lanterns are hung in public squares and streets, to welcome the holy month. In Kuwait, Girgian, where children dress up in traditional or fancy dress, go to relatives or neighbourhood and sing songs in chorus. At the end of song, kids are rewarded with candies, sweets etc.

The fast is broken each day with a meal shared amongst family and friends. During Iftar, we muslims, break fast as our Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] said, with 3 dates. The food should be well balanced and contain items like vegetables, meat, dairy products and fresh fruits. More fluids is to be taken, water is the best choice, but juice and milk are also often available, as are soft drinks and caffeinated beverages.

The end of Ramadan is Eid-Al Fitr, Festival of breaking the fast, which indicates the start of the next lunar month in the Islamic Calendar, Shawwal, during which Muslims are not permitted to fast on that particular day.

Ramadan Mubarak to all.

Eid Mubarak!!!

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