Ramzan or often called as Ramadan signifies the month-long period of fasting for Muslims.
According to Mohammad Hassan Khalil, Director of the Muslim Studies Program at Michigan State University, “Ramzan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and lasts either 29 or 30 days, depending on when the new crescent moon is visible. The Arabic term Ramzan predicts intense heat. In the Islamic calendar, the timing of Ramzan varies from year to year.
1) Declaration of Faith -The Shahada
2) Obligatory Prayer – Salat
3) Compulsory Giving – Zakat
4) Fasting during Ramadan – Saum
5) Pilgrimage to Mecca – Hajj
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. An average day of fasting begins early when the person who is fasting have a meal called ‘suhoor’ (sehri) before dawn. No one is allowed to eat or drink (not even water) throughout the day and break the fast with a meal called ‘iftar’ after sundown. During the month of Ramzan only a person can realize that being hungry or thirsty for a day long, one must be grateful to the Almighty who bestowed his blessing on us so that we can eat and drink properly on the daily basis, which most of them don’t have or can’t afford. Ramzan also makes a person to learn patience and overcome the bad habits as they are prohibited during Ramzan. Every Muslim who is physically fit must have a fast during the month of Ramzan, only the elderly, or those who are ill, young children, or pregnant or nursing women are exempted from fasting during Ramzan. Even women who are menstruating are exempted from fasting.
The end of Ramzan begins with Eid ul-Fitr, the “festival of the breaking the fast.” On this day, Muslims, wear new clothes, pray in a mosque, visit relatives and friends, greet them and exchange gifts.