Bhubaneswar: The holy month of Ramadan begins on Wednesday evening. It had been derived from the Arabic word ‘ramida’ or ‘ar-ramad’, which means scorching heat or dryness. This month-long period, ninth as per the Islamic (Hijri) calendar, is observed by Muslims with fast from dawn to dusk.
This month is said to be of spiritual awakening, devotion and charity towards Allah. People keep themselves away from all the desires during this month. This is obligatory for all Muslims, except for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, diabetics, travellers or those ill.
The 30-day fast includes Sehri,a pre-dawn meal, and Iftar, the evening meal. Sehri is taken before their morning prayer ‘fajr’. After the day long fast, they break it with Iftar. It is believed that Sehri, or suhoor, is considered significant and a blessing. Believers enjoy nalli nihari, shermal, paya soup, dates, sweets, among others accompanied usually by a glass of milk or tea.
The month of Ramadan begins only after seeing ‘Hilal’, Arabic word meaning crescent moon.The month ends with the grand celebrations of Eid-A-Fitr, or Meethi Eid, the first day of the next month (Shawwal).
According to the verse of Quran, Ramzan is celebrated because it is believed, Quran was first revealed to Muhammad during this month.
Chapter 2, Verse 185, of the Quran states: The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; A guidance for mankind and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; he desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.