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Ramadan Begins

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which consists of 12 months and lasts for about 354 days. The word “Ramadan” is derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground and shortness of food and drink. It is considered to be the most holy and blessed month.

The month of Ramadan traditionally begins with a new moon sighting, marking the start of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. Many Muslims (except children, the sick and the elderly or pregnant women) abstain from food, drink, and certain other activities during daylight hours in Ramadan. Some Muslims have slightly different variations and have broader definitions of practices during Ramadan. This is considered the Holiest season in the Islamic year and commemorates the time when the Qu’ran (Islamic holy book) is said to have been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. Ramadan ends when the first crescent of the new moon is sighted again, marking the new lunar month’s start. Eid-al-Fitr is the Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

So what do Muslims do during this time?Ramadan-Photo

Many Muslims in Canada fast during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars (fundamental religious duties) of Islam. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion. The fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar after sunset.

Many Muslims broaden their compassion for the hungry and less fortunate when they fast. Therefore, Ramadan is also a time for many Muslims to donate to charity by participating in food drives for the poor and other voluntary activities. Muslims are encouraged to be charitable during Ramadan.

How we can all celebrate similar beliefs

Donate clothes or Food. Take some time to go through closets with your children and root out clothes that haven’t been worn in a while and donate them. Discuss with your children how this will help others who don’t have as much. Perhaps they would even like to select toys they wish to donate.

“Change” to make a difference. Create a charity jar to be used by the family. Invite children to share some of their allowance with others through donating to the jar. As the jar fills, decide as a family where to contribute the contents. You may choose, for example, to buy gloves for needy children, or contribute to a cancer charity. Read about various charities on the Internet and share this information with your children to help them make an informed decision.

Virtue of Helpfulness

By implementing some of these ideas or others like them, you will be teaching your children that charity is not reserved only for emergencies. You will be helping them appreciate that reaching out to others in need is a way of life, rather than a moment in time when a catastrophic disaster occurs. Remember, while you are giving to others, you are giving your children important messages about your beliefs concerning the spirit of giving.

– See more at: http://childventures.ca/blog/2013/07/ramadan-begins/#sthash.OCkhl2Eu.dpuf

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