The holy month of Ramadhan has started a few days ago. Muslims around the world observe the holy month of Ramadhan, the 9th in the Hijri calendar, at any one time every one Hijri year.
Ramadhan is eagerly awaited by Muslims, who look forward to receive it. Muslims stay enthusiastically and impatiently in a state of readiness and expectation, in advance of Ramadhan.
The rituals start with moon sighting, for which Muslims are at all times keen to make certain that the moon is sighted, acting in accordance with the instructions given by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), when he said “Fast upon seeing the moon and never cease fasting without sighting the moon”.
During Ramadhan, Muslims refrain themselves not only from eating food, drinking water and other fluids, but they should restrain from their driving and overmastering desires.
Fasting is practiced annually, Muslims practice this ritual not because of fear or obligation, nor are there someone who supervises the conduct.
Muslims fast during Ramadhan with profound reverence and awe towards Allah.
While Muslims, on the one hand, observe Ramadhan, proceeding from their own choice and consent, it is a moral obligation one is bound to do.
Muslims act and observe Ramadhan of their own will without legal obligation.
On the other hand, such rituals are not stone hard. For those travelling for any reason or who are not in good health during the month of Ramadhan, they can break the fast during those days and fast in lieu at any time during the year before the commencement of Ramadhan the next year.
Muslim clergymen, irrespective of their sect, exhort and urge strongly the followers to act in accordance with the Prophet's teachings, especially in honouring and respecting this holy month. In fact Muslims of different sects unite in their adherence to Ramadhan beliefs and practices.
While Ramadhan is glorified as of supreme worth, children as young as 12 are encouraged to start fasting during Ramadhan, so that fasting is kept and cultivated with care.
One of the greatest lessons one can take from this month is that people are absolute equal with one another. The length of time one has to abstain from eating and drinking applies to all, since fasting starts from the moment the light begins to grow as the sun rises until the apparent descent of the sun below the horizon.
Health is another advantage and benefit to those who fast in Ramadhan.
Fasting produces good and healthful results and effects as it promotes the well-being of people. It is beneficial to one’s physical, mental and emotional state. It is conducive to and associated with good health and reduces the risk of diseases.
Ramadhan is also a time when family members unite to break the fasting at the sunset. Families have good times during the days of Ramadhan and take pleasure and satisfaction when they sit together.
The end of Ramadhan, is crowned with Eid, which is bestowed as a mark of honour and recompense. The first day of the month of Shawwal, the 10th month in the Hijri calendar commemorates the beginning of Eid and is usually observed as a legal holiday by Muslim countries.