Ramadan Explained

ramadan bunting, ramadan balloons

What is Ramadan?

Have you heard of Ramadan, what is it? It is the name of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. Do you know what Muslims do during the month of Ramadan? We stop eating and drinking during the day to learn to control ourselves, this is called fasting. The word for fasting in Arabic is sawm. Sawm is a gift for people from Allah. Have you ever fasted before? Do you know anyone who has fasted in Ramadan?

Why do Muslims fast?

Allah said in the Quran that we must fast in Ramadan. The ayahs, or sentences in the Quran about fasting are from Surah al Baqarah. This is chapter 2. Allah said “You people who believe! I am giving you the job to fast, just like I told people before you to do it. Fasting is so you can learn good behaviour.” So if someone asks you why you fast the answer is to learn good behaviour.

When does Ramadan Start?

Ramadan starts when we see the new moon. The moon takes about 30 days to go around the world. As it goes around the shadow of our planet makes it look like it is being sliced into smaller and smaller pieces until it disappears and then comes out again. The new moon is called the hilal.

How long do we fast?

Everyday in Ramadan we get up very early, before the light of morning we have to eat an early breakfast because one of the rules of Ramadan is that we can’t eat again until the sun goes down at Maghrib time. This early breakfast is called sahoor. Prophet Muhammad (saw) told us to eat sahoor because it is good for us.When the time for Fajr salah comes we have to stop eating and drinking everything. Little children don’t have to fast yet but they can practice fasting so they will be good at it when they are older. Do you know anyone who does practice fasting or half fast?

How should we behave when we fast?

Prophet Muhammad (saw) also said that a person who is fasting cannot tell a lie or fight with anyone. Do you remember what the lesson of fasting is? What are we supposed to learn? Good behaviour! So we have to be good in the way we act as well.

How do we open our fast?

Do you remember when we can start eating and drinking again? Yes, when the time for Maghrib salah comes we can sit with our family and say a dua thanking Allah for the food.When we end our fasting everyday we should first start with something simple like water, dates, fruit and milk. That is what the Prophet (saw) used to do. After we eat this small snack that is called Iftar, we can pray our salah and then sit together with our family or other Muslims and eat the main meal. Alhumdulillah! Allah says He will give lots of reward to you if you share food with other fasting people. Does your family give food to your neighbors during Ramadan?

How can we help poort people in Ramadan?

They are many lessons we can learn from fasting. The first one is what? Yes, good behaviour. But there is more. When we stop eating all day we get hungry.Are there people in the world who are hungry all the time? Yes, they are called poor people. We can eat at Iftar time, but many people have nothing to eat. Even some small children are hungry every day.

 

When we learn what it means to be hungry then we learn to feel sorry for the poor. We can then help them. Allah showed us a way to do this. He said we should give money to the poor every year so they can eat. This is called giving zakah.Many Muslims give zakah money to the poor during Ramadan. That is because Allah said He will give us more good deeds on our record in this month. He told us that zakah is our duty and we must give it. Our parents give zakah every year. When we are older and have a job we will give zakah too Inshallah!Ask your parents how much zakah money they gave this year to help the poor. Have you ever helped your parents give the zakah money?

What do Muslims do in Ramadan?

Every night in Ramadan many Muslims go to the Masjid for special prayers. They are called taraweeh prayers Prophet Muhammad (saw) used to do them. The imam will read one part of the Quran everyday until the entire Quran is finished. The people will be lined up in rows behind him and will listen quietly.

What is Eid ul Fitr?

When Ramadan is finally over, after about 30 days then we have our holiday. Hooray! This is called Eid ul fitr. On Eid morning our parents and grandparents will give us presents and take us to the Masjid for the special Eid salah. Remember to dress in your nicest clothes!For the next three days we have parties to go to and lots of gift. What are some gifts you got from your family and relatives? Did you give a gift to anyone? What is your favourite part of Eid? Don’t forget to tell people “Eid Mubarak!” that means a blessed Eid to you.

 

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