Why Do Millions of People Fast During Ramadan?
Every year for a month, over a billion Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink until sundown.
Ramadan, as this time in the Islamic calendar is called, commemorates the month in which the first revelations of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, were received by the prophet Muhammad.
However, Ramadan starts on a different day each year due to the fact that the Islamic calendar is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian. This year, fasting began on May 5th and will end on June 4th.
But, why is the founding of the Quran celebrated through fasting?
Ramadan’s place within Islam
According to Muslim belief, it all began when the angel Gabriel appeared before Muhammad. The archangel delivered revelations sent from Allah (God), which Muhammad then used to write the Quran.
At its core, the Quran details key ideals, from prayer to fasting, every Muslim should uphold. These are known as the Five Pillars of Islam and also include shadada (a declaration of faith), zakat (charity) and pilgrimage (to Muhammad’s native city of Mecca).
Through fasting, Muslims dedicate their time to introspection. Sacrifice is meant to cultivate humbleness and a greater awareness for the lesser fortune of others.
However, Ramadan is also about family and unity.
At dusk, family and community members come together to break their fast. The meal offers a valuable opportunity for participants to discuss what they’ve learned through abstinence.
Ramadan culminates with Eid al-Fitr, a three-day festival where fasting is officially broken and communities organize celebrations. Muslims may wear new clothes or visit the graves of relatives.
What Ramadan means to our customers
The largest Muslim populations are located in Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey, which are all countries with high levels of immigration.
For this reason, many Muslims end up celebrating Ramadan far from their loved ones.
Our services offer a way to connect with those far away, to fund charity work and contribute to the preparations for Eid al-Fitr.
We are also active participants of Ramadan, preparing different initiatives all over the world. The activities may vary from sponsoring breakfast at local mosques to raffling prayer rugs and Tasbihs (rosaries) at our stores.
At Ria, we’re always looking forward to Ramadan season because it is another great opportunity to connect with our loyal Muslim customers. Through getting involved in the festivities, we learn more about their wants and needs and are able to foster a stronger kinship with our Muslim family.
Ramadan is a time for coming together, and we take that responsibility very seriously.