As the new moon is upon us, the Muslims are setting aside time for deep reflection, cleansing, and reconnecting with their God as well as devoting time to prayer and self restraint called Ramadan. The focus of this is mainly fasting, sacrifice, and worship. Ramadan is an anual festival celebrated by Muslims throughout the world. Ramadan can be a very refreshing season for most Muslims because it gives them the opportunity to experience a higher level of peace and strengthens their faith in their God.
Muslims do not eat, drink, or smoke between sunrise and sunset for the length of Ramadan. In places like Qatar or Bahrain, alcohol is banned during Ramadan. This is certainly a great period for most of the Muslims throughout the world especially those that are able to make it to Mecca during Ramadan. It is believed that Allah, the Muslim God, blesses those who make it there since Muhammad the Last prophet had his revelations from Allah during this period.
This is also a significant time to give the body rest and detoxify their mind and spirit. Ramadan officially started Wednesday, June 17 and will end on Friday, July 17, 2015, in the evening. Dates may vary because of the various global time lines.
Visitors to the major Islamic cities across the globe, such as Karachi in Pakistan, Jakarta, Indonesia, Greater Cairo, Egypt, Dubai, among others, during this Ramadan period will see a different side to the cities with shorter business days and a quieter nightlife scene.
In countries such as Saudi Arabia, everyone has to abide by rules not to eat, drink, or smoke in public between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan. Failure to adhere to these rules could end up with serious consequences such as jail or even fines. The dress codes during Ramadan are also very conservative; women should cover their shoulders and their legs down to their knees when out in public.
Most of the mosques around the globe will be filled to capacity during this period of Ramadan. Masjid al-Haram in Mecca has the capacity of 4,000,000, and Al-Masjid al-Nabawi has the capacity of 900,000.
The meal Muslims break their fast with every evening at sunset of Ramadan is called Iftar. In places like Dubai and the like, almost every hotel offers an all you can eat Iftar feast during Ramadan. Some of the delicious foods served are slow cooked lamb and rice, as well as plenty of dates to energize the body for the next day.
In China, however, Ramadan is not really considered a necessary religious tradition. Each year, the authorities attempt to ban fasting among Uighur Muslims.
"China's goal in prohibiting fasting is to forcibly move Uighurs away from their Muslim culture during Ramadan," said Dilxat Rexit, a spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress.
Do you think Ramadan is beneficial to Muslims?
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