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A brief history of Ramadan

historyextra.com

Ramadan, Islam's holy month of fasting

Ramadan has been observed and celebrated by Muslims for over 14 centuries.

In the seventh century, Prophet Muhammad said that Islam is built upon five pillars and that fasting in Ramadan was one of them.

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Ramadan means 'intense heat', indicating the scorching summer month to which it was first ascribed. Muslims embrace Ramadan as the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

In 610AD, Muhammad retreated to a cave on Mount Hira on the outskirts of Mecca. During this time occurred the first ...

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  • The early Muslims would awake for the pre-dawn meal - known as suhoor, then refrain from eating, drinking and marital relations until sunset, when they broke their fast with dates. Fasting placed a strong focus on improving behaviour.
  • Congregational night prayers (taraweh) is a def...

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  • The core rituals of Ramadan have remained unchanged since 622AD.
  • In Ottoman times, drummers in Turkey woke people for the pre-dawn meal. In Morocco, a nafar (town crier) roamed the streets waking people to an instrument's sound, like a horn.
  • In Egypt, a Ramadan lantern bec...

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Prophet Mohammad specified that Muslims feed the poor towards the end of Ramadan.

A portion of dates or barley was given directly into the poor's hands. Over time, the bartering system translated into a monetary one. Now Muslims give a minimum of £5 to mosques or charities.

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The festival, known as Eid ul-Fitr, marks the close of Ramadan. Prophet Muhammad appointed it as a day of community and celebration. It started with a special communal prayer.

Breakfast consisted of something sweet, known as 'Sweet Eid'. In the Prophet's time, Eid morning started w...

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