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Before this very particular month begins, we thought of making a very small summary of some of the basic concepts of Ramadan. We hope it will be useful to those who have never experienced it before.
The month of abstention
Ramadan is the 9th month of the lunar calendar and the one during which the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad. During this entire period of time, Muslims around the world are prescribed fasting, the 4th pillar of Islam. The faithful are forbidden to eat, drink, smoke or have sexual relations from sunrise to sunset, except for the sick, travelers and, in general, those who would struggle to bear it. However, they will have to make up for lost days as soon as possible or, if not possible, feeding the poor and hungry.
It is very important to underline how during this month, more than a mere separation from water and food, we are witnessing a real abstention from the world and, in particular, from any bad behavior. The Muslim, in order for his efforts to be valid, must make a 360 ° change, trying as far as possible to avoid any bad habit, in the hope of eliminating it forever.
Understanding from absence
As in everyday life, it is much easier to understand the value of things when we are missing them. Ramadan in a certain sense tries to make us experience the same sensations, putting those who follow him in the condition of truly understanding the value of what they have. In this month we are stripped of everything and, precisely for this reason, we are more sensitive to the sufferings of the poor, placed at the same level as the rich for most of the day.
Basic goods such as water, kisses and bread become a small luxury, leading us to truly understand what our life would be like without these little joys. If you want to see it in these terms, you are “lowered” in the physical to “get up” spiritually.
In addition to abstinence, Ramadan also brings with it a whole series of practices, mandatory or otherwise, which are considered “meritorious” and, therefore, particularly attractive during this month. According to tradition, in fact, the good deeds carried out during these 29/30 days will have a greater value than those carried out at any other time of the year, pushing even more to pious behavior.
One of the best known practices from this point of view is tarawih, an optional optional Ramadan prayer. The latter is carried out by the faithful once the sun has set and can be more or less long depending on the choice of imams and mosques. Other typical initiatives of this month are the numerous public and non-public iftar / dinners that are organized, a way to share with others the efforts of the day and the pleasure of a fresh drink.
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