Ramadan 2020: History, significance and fasting rules of the pious month

Ramadan, the holy month will start from April 23 and millions of Muslims around the world are gearing for the same. Throughout the month, several Muslims, will observe fast or Roza. here's everything you need to know.
Ramadan 2020: History, significance and fasting rules of the pious monthRamadan 2020: History, significance and fasting rules of the pious month

Ramadan, the holy month will start from April 25 and millions of Muslims around the world are gearing for the same. Throughout the month, several Muslims, will observe fast or Roza. During the fasting time, i.e. between fajr and maghrib prayers (at dawn and sunset), you are not allowed to consume even a drop of water. They break their fast in the evening after offering prayers. The hearty post-sunset meal is known as Iftar and it is enjoyed with family and friends. And the pre-sunrise meal which is known as Sheri is eaten before observing the fast. Most people break their fast with few dates and water. Also, during this month, group tarawih prayers are offered at a mosque. 

People are encouraged to provide meals and do charity for the needy. These practices will be followed for one moon cycle and celebrate  Eid Al-Fitr on the 30th day.  The spiritual intention of fasting is to understand the pain of hunger and thirst and seek spiritual closeness to God.

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Also, this is the time for self-reflection as we are not occupied by distractions. Due to Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown, this year the Ramadan celebrations will be totally different as peop observing the same from their homes. It will be drastically unique Ramadan as public spaces, markets and even the religious places are shut. 

Dates Of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr 2020:

1. This year the month of Ramadan will start on 25th April 2020 and will end on 25th May 2020.

2. Eid-Al Fitr would be celebrated on 25th May 2020 (dates may vary as per the lunar movement).

Significance and history of Ramadan:

For the unversed, Islamic calender's ninth month is known as Ramadan. The word Ramadan is derived from the Arabic word ramida or ar-ramad and it means scorching heat. It is regarded as a special month as the first verses of the Quran, the holy book of Islam were first revealed to Prophet Muhammad by Allah during this month. With the help of Allah's angel Gabriel, Mohammad learned the first verses of the Holy Quran. The holy night when the event took place is known as ‘Laylat al-Qadr'. Muslims increase their holiness and piety during the last 10 nights of the month as one of the nights is Laylat Al Qadr.  It is believed that the 27th night of Ramadan is Laylat Al Qadr, however, the exact date is not known. 

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It is also believed that the rewards for acts of worship that done on this day are equal to the rewards of 1,000 months of worship. As per folklore, throughout this month, the devils are locked up in chains in hell and no one can come in the way of true prayers and the almighty. After Eid-ul-Fitr, Shawwal, the next month is celebrated with a lot of fervor and zeal. People buy new clothes, visit their friends and relatives. Delicacies such as Biryani, kebabs, sheer khurma and sevaiyan among others are prepared. 

What are the rules of fasting?

1. All adult Muslims should observe fast, except those who are seriously ill, very old, pregnant or menstruating.
2. If you are very old or sick and all others who cannot fast, then you should perform fidiya, i.e. feeding a person for each day of missing the fast.
3. If you are traveling at the time of Ramadan, then you should not fast. However, you should compensate later.
4. After seeing the moon in the evening and after offering prayers, people who had observed fasting, break their fast by consuming dates. 
5. One has to offer prayers five times daily from dawn till night. They are called as Fajr (dawn), Dhuhr (noon), Asr (afternoon), Maghrib (evening), and Isha (night).
6. One has to abstain from worldly pleasures, sinful behaviors and follow austere living.
7. Intentionally eating, drinking, vomiting and indulging in sex invalidates the Ramadan fast.
8. Do not swallow water while cleaning the mouth. Ideally use Miswaak. 

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