The ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar is called Ramadan. In this month, Muslims fast every day from dawn to dusk.
The month is observed as a time to purify the soul and re-focus into spirituality. Indeed, the month of Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking. It’s a spiritual experience.
When is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. The days in the month differ according to the lunar calendar, which is generally 29-30 days.
It is the month when Quran, the holy book, was revealed to Prophet Muhammad. As mentioned above, the days vary according to the lunar observance in the different parts of the world.
Why is Ramadan Celebrated?
In the month of Ramadan, Muslims from all around the world reflect on their lives from the Islamic perspective, the way of Allah. Not only does it mean refraining oneself from food and drink from dawn to dusk, but also to purify one’s soul, and giving up what one think are bad habits.
People look at it as an opportunity to strengthen the family bonds, and to make peace with the past. Many believe that the month-long fasting helps them to reach a higher state of spirituality.
How is Ramadan celebrated?
For Muslims, Ramadan is one of the most awaited months of the year. No one can fast for a whole month, of course. Fasting for Ramadan means Muslims don’t eat and drink while the sun is shining in the sky.
Muslims start to participate in the fast once they reach the age of 12. One of the most significant aspects of fasting is called “Niyyah.” Niyyah means “Intention.”Muslims must not fast just for the sake of it, but they should commit their entire soul to it.
During Ramadan, families wake up before the sunrise and have a large meal together. The meal is called sohour. This meal contains a lot of drinks to sustain themselves throughout the day. At the time of sunset, the fast is broken with a meal called iftar. Many Muslims prefer to pray before iftar.
How Can I Teach My Children About Ramadan?
1. Activate Background Knowledge. Ask children if they have heard of Ramadan before? What do they already know? What do they know about Muslims? Talk to children about Islam, and how the month of Ramadan holds significance for them. Encourage them to socialize more, as the month of Ramadan observes a lot of socialization.
2. Make Connections. Read Under the Ramadan Moon. This is a great book for all children who want to get a better understanding of how Muslim families celebrate Ramadan.
3. Extend their understanding. Create a moon and star plate. Talk to children about the origin of the symbols. These symbols were used by people in Central Asia and Siberia. The worshipped the sun, moon, and sky Gods. During the Ottoman Empire, these symbols appeared on a mosque in Turkey. Today, it is used as an international symbol to recognize Islam.
4. Watch this video to see how diverse employees at MindValley Academy come together to join their Muslim colleagues for a fast-breaking dinner during Ramadan. You can also make traditional iftar dishes at home and talk about the importance of Ramadan with family and friends.