What Ramadan Means to Me

This year, the month of Ramadan started on May 15. Ramadan is based on the lunar calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims fast, read the Quran, give to charity, visit each other and pray late at night.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast throughout the day. This means they can’t eat or drink from sunrise to sunset for approximately 30 days. However, you don’t have to fast on some conditions (pregnancy, illness, etc.). Muslims wake up early in the morning before sunrise, and they have a meal called Suhoor. They fast from this time all the way until right before Maghrib, our prayer at sunset. This is the time when they break the fast with dates, water, fruit, etc.. It is called Iftaar. 

Throughout Ramadan, Muslims also read the Quran. They read it in the night prayer or at home by themselves. They try to finish the whole Quran by the end of the month of Ramadan.

During the month, Muslims also give charity called Zakat. This is when they give money and goods to the needy. They believe that the joy of Ramadan should be shared with everybody. Some people even share the joy by giving goods to their neighbors. There are many ways to share the happiness of Ramadan with others. 

People visit each other during Ramadan, too. People have Iftaar at other people’s houses. Some Muslim families invite non-Muslims to Iftaar too.

At the end of each day people go to the mosque, or sometimes stay at home and pray. This is a non-obligatory nighttime prayer called Taraweeh. It is a special prayer for the month of Ramadan. 

Ramadan ends when we see the new moon. Muslims get together at the mosque on the last day and they pray in the morning. This day is called Eid-ul-Fitr. This holiday lasts for three days. Muslims celebrate this day with gatherings, feasts, and gifts. 

This year, I will try to fast each day of the month. With fasting, I learn how the less fortunate feel when they do not have food. Fasting helps me to have discipline to control my hunger. Muslims do good deeds during Ramadan to prepare for the rest of the year. 

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