Fast Facts: Ramadan

We’re more than half way through the month of Ramadan. Although I’m not fasting – breastfeeding and health issues – hubby is. I’m trying to mark the Holy Month in different ways. The first of these is learning a bit more about it.

  • Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
  • It is considered the Holy Month as it is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
  • The night when it began to be revealed is called Laylat-al-Qadr. It was on one of the last 10 days of Ramadan so these are believed to be especially blessed. Muslims tend to ramp up charity, good deeds and prayer in this period.
  • Fasting during the month is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The others are belief in one God and Muhammad his Messenger, praying five times a day, giving a percentage of your wealth to charity every year and pilgrimage to Makkah.
  • Fasting involves abstaining from food and water from pre-dawn to dusk. In the UK at the moment that’s roughly 4am till 8.30pm.
  • If you can’t keep a fast during Ramadan, you can make it up later. If that’s not possible, you can donate money to charity. This is called fidya and is the cost of 2kg of wheat which would feed two people for one meal. In the UK, it’s £4 or £5 for each missed fast. I only recently learnt about this.
  • The Islamic calendar is lunar so is shorter than the Gregorian calendar. This means Ramadan starts roughly 9 days earlier every year.
  • The start and end of Ramadan is based on sighting the crescent moon. This means it can be 27 to 30 days long.
  • The end of Ramadan is marked by the three-day festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. Customs include wearing new clothes, visiting family/friends and, of course, feasting.

In addition to trying to learn more about my religion during the month (instead of grumpily waiting for it to be over), I’ve been attempting to be nicer (cue laughter!), donated a lot more than usual your charity and have worn a head covering when in public. This experiment has been a mixture of tying a scarf into a turban like the first look in this YouTube video and using these ready-made ones. I love the look, but in all honesty, I don’t manage to keep them in place very well and look a bit of a fool but I’m trying!

Turbanistas – any tips?

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