3454425607-ae45b1abb4-b-jpgRamadan is the ninth month in the Islamic usual lunar calendar, and it is believed by the Muslims as the month in which the holy Quran was revealed to the Muslim’s Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) by angel Gabriel. The name Ramadan is imitative from the Arabic word ramida, designating concentrated blazing heat and dryness, especially the ground. From the same word there is ramdaa, meaning ‘sunbaked sand’. The belief is that it is so called because Ramadan scorches out the sins with good deeds, as the sun burns the ground.
Being one of the five pillars of Islam, this period is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset. Likewise, the belief is that Muhammad told his followers that the gates of Heaven would be opened throughout this month and the gates of Hell (Jahannam) would be closed.
The first day of the next month, is always disbursed in festivity and is perceived as the “Commemoration of Breaking Fast” or Eid al-Fitr.
As a fan and follower of the above dogma, I have been performing and observing this throughout my life history. Although it is regarded principally as a method of spiritual self-purification by cutting oneself off from worldly comforts, even though for a short time, a fasting person gains true sympathy with those who go hungry, as well as growth in his or her spiritual life. Conversely, the fasting is beneficial to health too as it reduces ones bodily weight in most cases.
Now the end of fast is here and this is called the festival of Eid-al-Fitr. Eid meaning ‘happiness’ in Arabic and it explains that for the last month I have been fasting: each day I woken up early, before the sun rises, to eat something and drink some water or juice, and then i do not eat or drink again until it is dark. Imagine what it would be like. Looking hard to do but very easy and holy as it helps one to come closer to God (who we call Allah) and to think about people who do not have enough to eat and drink every day of their lives. The festival of Eid-al-Fitr shows that Ramadan has finished and as the old moon begins to disappear i know that the fast of Ramadan is coming to an end and that it will soon be Eid-al-Fitr.
During the month I have been always asking my family how they will celebrate this special event this time without me in the house. What do they say (eat special food, meet with friends and other Muslim families, go somewhere and take pictures, send card to me, and watch celebrations around the world on television)? The day is always full of all those stuffs.
Eid-al-Fitr is a great time of celebration and happiness and it’s also a time to be thoughtful. For Muslims it is a special time to be thankful to God for helping you through the fast of Ramadan and for helping you to lead good lives.
When I was at home I use to invite my children to sit quietly and maybe to close their eyes if it helps them to concentrate. Ask them to think about the good things in their own lives. Think about the things that they want to give thanks for. Think about the things that make them happy.
Asalam malekum!

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