Ramazan: the ninth month of the Islamic calendar

Ramazan:  the ninth month of the Islamic calendar

Ramzan also spelt as Ramadan, Ramadhan, Ramazan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by the Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. A commemoration of Muhammad's first revelation the annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the another.

Fasting from dawn to sunset is obligatory for all adult Muslims who aren't acutely or chronically ill, travelling, elderly, diabetic or menstruating. The predawn meal is referred to as Suhur and the night feast that breaks the fast is called iftar.

The spiritual rewards of fasting are believed to be multiplied during Ramadan. They refrain not only from food and drink but also sinful activities, tobacco products and prevent lustful thoughts from entering their minds.

The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). 

Muslims continue to work during Ramadan however, in some Islamic countries, such as Oman and Lebanon, working hours are shortened. It is often recommended that working Muslims inform their employers if they are fasting, given the potential for the observance to impact performance at work. The extent to which Ramadan observers are protected by religious accomodation varies by country. Policies putting them at a disadvantage compared to other employees have been met with discrimination claims in the United Kingdom and the United States. An Arab News article reported that Saudi Arabian businesses were unhappy with shorter working hours during Ramadan, some reporting a decline in productivity of 35 to 50%. The Saudi businesses proposed awarding salary bonuses in order to incentivize longer hours. Despite the reduction in productivity, merchants can enjoy higher profit margins in Ramadan due to increase in demand.

Religious Practices

The common practice is to fast from dawn to sunset. The pre-dawn meal before the fast is called the suhur, while the meal at sunset that breaks the fast iscalled iftar.

Muslims devote more time to prayer and acts of charity, striving to improve their self discipline.

People dress in colorful clothes and exchange greetings with their loved ones. It's a time to forget the enemity and forgive and seek forgiveness. They prepare a sweet dish called sheer korma and pray to the Almighty.

Let\"s hope that peace and prosperity prevails this Ramzan.

Wish you all a happy Ramzan and Eid Ul Fitr

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