Muslims world-wide have celebrated the Holy month of Ramadan for the month of August.
In Egypt, as a Muslim country, we have celebrated Ramadan through 29 or 30 days (depending on the Arabian – moon calendar) after which we celebrate our breaking fast Feast.
Ramadan is the name of the Holy month during which we believe God has instructed all Muslims to fast from Fajer (day break) to Maghreb (sunset). You may be excused from fasting if you are sick, traveling or still under adult age. In the first 2 cases the individual must compensate for the days missed without fasting once he is well or back home.
Fasting is known to be quitting eating and drinking, but in fact fasting is a bit more than that. We are requested to quit anything that will break our peace of mind and soul (e.g. like shouting, quarrelling, fighting, gossiping, to be unfair, oppressing), i.e. to do anything that can be described as “bad”.
In the Holy month of Ramadan families gather at one home and eat together the Break Fast at sunset. Break Fast usually starts by eating a small amount of sweet food, drink water if needed, and then they leave to go to the mosque to pray Maghreb (sunset pray). Many people pray the Maghreb at home with their families instead (all is accepted by the holy God).
If you walk In Ramadan at Maghreb time, you will find amazing scenes that you can’t see anywhere else in the whole world except in Muslim countries. You will find hundreds of tables set ready in the streets with full meals to be eaten by any person passing during Break Fast time. No limitation, no restriction and what’s more all the attendees are sharing the tables and the food. It is a moment of love that is shared by everyone, rich or poor … it doesn’t matter – we are all hungry and must eat. These tables are set and financed by rich people for the poor ones during this month.
Likewise if you are driving your car at the time of Break Fast, you will find many hands carrying food towards you. You can stop and take whatever you want.
Ramadan is known as the month in which God sent Quran (Muslim’s Holy book) to earth, and hence most of the Muslims will read the whole Holy Quran at least once during the month of Ramadan. Quran is divided into 30 chapters, thus we read one chapter per day till end of the month. It is not very difficult, and Muslims believe that it has to be done to get the blessing from God.
Ramadan is rotating every year and this year it has come in a very hot month in Egypt (August), but we don’t really suffer from this heat like we used to 30 years ago as almost everything now is air conditioned (house, car, office), yet it is the challenge that you have to carry on all your daily duties in life while you are fasting and having low sugar in your body.
This month of the year really comes as a break from the monotony of life and Muslims enjoy celebrating it – especially as it bring strong ties between members of the family, neighbours and friends and helps poor people by feeding them and giving them Ramadan charity.
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