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Significance of Ramadan

Manisha Patnaik Thursday, April 8, 2021
Significance of Ramadan

Ramadan also spelled Ramazan, Ramzan, Ramadhan or Ramathan.The word Ramadan is derived from the Arabic word Ramidha or Ar-Ramad. It means intense scorching heat. It is also derived from the word Ramdha which means sun-baked sand. The Arabs used to call the land that is heated by the sun. Ramadan was named such because it burns the sins of the believers. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year, when Muslims observe strict fasting is from dawn to sunset. It is believed that God first revealed the words of the Quran to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) During Ramadan.

Ramadan is also a time of worship, reading of the Qur’an, giving charity, purifying one’s behaviour, and doing good deeds. Graish is the traditional pre-Ramadan feast when family members and even neighbors gather before the onset of the fasting month. Among Kuwaiti Ramadan traditions, Girgian is one that is the most popular, and the most evolved. Girgian is marked on the 13th, 14th and 15th days of Ramadan, when children go to collect candies and nuts from door to door. A ghabqa is a gathering of family and friends in the evenings of Ramadan. Qiyam al-layl is when thousands attend the nightly prayers daily, with worshippers gathering on Kuwait’s largest mosque on the night of 27th day of Ramadan. Fasting is a way of experiencing hunger and developing sympathy for the less fortunate, and learning to thankfulness and appreciation for all of God’s bounties. Fasting is also beneficial to the health and provides a break in overindulgence. For anyone who becomes ill during the month or for whom travel is required, extra fasting days may be substituted after Ramadan ends. Once the sun sets, families meet for big meals that may include stew, rice, dates, lentils, and more. People also have a morning meal before the sun rises. Pre-dawn breakfast, or Suhoor, usually occurs at 4:00 a.m. before the first prayer of the day, fajr. The evening meal, iftar, can begin once the sunset prayer, Maghreb, is finished—normally around 7:30 in the evening. Muslims fast for 30 consecutive days from sunrise to sunset. The last day of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day festival known as Eid al-Fitr.

Soups are very healthy options to start the Iftar as they replenish the body fluids and warm the stomach, hence preparing it to receive other foods. Refreshing juices are consumed either before or after the meal to replace fluids lost during the day.

Fresh vegetables are a must-have for Iftar as they are a very important source of fibers, vitamins and minerals needed after a long day without food. Fattoush is prepared with a rich combination of fresh vegetables and topped with fried bread. Olive oil is usually used for the dressing. Ramadan is renowned for the variety of Sweets prepared. However, Kellaj remain the star of Ramadan sweets as it is exclusively prepared during this time of the year. Dishes like Kibbe, Haleem, Kebabs, Fattoush, Kunafeh, Baklava, Umm Ali, and Machboos are prepared.

Since last fifteen years I have been residing in Kuwait with my family. I have seen Ramadan being celebrated with much devotion and happiness. Throughout the whole day people fast and only in the evening they break their fasting after prayer with dates and kahwa. The timings of offices change during Ramadan and work hours are made less. The shopping malls are open throughout the night whereas usually they close after midnight during the normal days. The people enjoy their meal with their families, friends etc during the evening and night. Rules and regulations are followed by all during the day. People do not eat or drink water in public places during the day. All restaurants remain closed during the daytime and open only after the evening prayer for Iftar. But in the years 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has affected the Ramadan and the Eid-Al- Fitr celebrations following it. We should all follow the rules and pray for the entire humanity and also make efforts towards eradicating the pandemic in the current year. I always greet my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters with “Ramadan Kareem” during the holy month of Ramadan. We should experience the culture of the country in which we are staying by joining in the celebrations.

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