The 6th of June started the Holy Month of Ramadan in the UAE. During this lunar month Muslims around the world celebrate the first revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is time to fast, to reflect and to spend time with the family and friends… but there is much more to Ramadan. Want to know more? Keep on reading.
What is Ramadan?
The word Ramadan comes from Ramida which means extreme heat or dryness. This year summer is starting at the same time of Ramadan, but as it is based on lunar months, dates keep on moving. In some years Ramadan will be during winter time.
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic Calendar. It takes place every 12 moons and it lasts 29-30 days. It starts with the sighting of the crescent moon. It is considered a Holy month and the best of times for millions of Muslims. Ramadan observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Fasting from dawn to sunset is compulsory for adults, but there are exceptions:
- If you are ill or diabetic
- If you are travelling
- If you are a child, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating.
You might be thinking and what happens if you are Muslim but live up North where there are “polar nights” and daylight might be 22 hours? Well, then you have the option of using the timetable of Mecca or somewhere else closer to your location that don’t have this phenomenon.
It is not only fasting from food, you also avoid water or any liquids, smoking, sexual relationships and any sinful speech or behavior. There are prayers or salats and Quran recitations during the night called tarawih.
Fasting is meant to redirect your heart away from worldly activities, focus on the spiritual, clean your body from impurities and help you connect and empathize with the ones that are less fortunate than you. It is a sacrifice that shows you self-control and self-discipline.
Islam is a religion of love and charity is one of the other pillars of Islam. During Ramadan there are always a lot of charity and volunteering activities to help your neighbors or fellow men. In Dubai it is common to donate to Labour Camps or other social projects that are in need of books, clothes, food and hands to help.
Please note that in UAE all Charity activities need to be done through one of the government appointed NGO’s. StoneHill Education helped just recently collect goods to send a full container to Syria with clothes, medicines, food etc together with Red Crescent. As a company and as an employee it is really touching to see the love and dedication everyone puts when collaborating with causes that are bigger than us.
Here you have some pictures of the collection and delivery to the Red Crescent Headquarters. To wrap the post we want to wish you all to have a blessed Ramadan.