Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happy Ramadan

Posted By on Thu, Aug 12, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Today at sundown, Ramadan, an Islamic holiday, begins. You've probably heard it involves fasting, but what else do you know about it? Holidays.net offers a brief explanation:

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. The Month of Ramadan is also when it is believed the Holy Quran "was sent down from heaven, a guidance unto men, a declaration of direction, and a means of Salvation".

It is during this month that Muslims fast. It is called the Fast of Ramadan and lasts the entire month. Ramadan is a time when Muslims concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. It is a time of worship and contemplation.

During the Fast of Ramadan strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Muslims. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. Smoking and sexual relations are also forbidden during fasting. At the end of the day the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is customary for Muslims to go out visiting family and friends. The fast is resumed the next morning.

It's a holiday as important to Islam as Christmas or Easter is to Christianity. And, instead of just reading about it online, I'd like to encourage everyone — and I'm including myself — to reach out to Charlotte's Muslim community, in the spirit of kindness and tolerance, to learn more.

The Freedom of Religion, guaranteed by the First Amendment of our country's Constitution, is a national treasure. Respect it by respecting your neighbor's right to believe as they see fit. Honor it by learning more about what they believe without judgment.

Today's Charlotte Observer details how Ramadan will be celebrated in our area. Read about it here.

Here's a Ramadan song for you. Enjoy.

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