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Ramadan: A Time of Spiritual Transformation for Muslims.

5/14/2018 12:00:00 AM   |      |   

Ramadan: A time of spiritual transformation for Muslims.

As Ramadan approaches, Saudi Arabia, the heartland of Islam, begins to ease into a lifestyle of spiritual transformation during a month of intense prayers, fasting from dawn-to-dusk, and acts of generosity to those less fortunate than ourselves, such as donating food, clothes or money.

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is considered holy for several reasons, it is the month in which the Qur’an was first revealed, and during this month the gates of heavens remain opened while the gates of hell are closed and the devils chained up.

As another Ramadan begins —most probably on Wednesday, depending on the sighting of the new moon — the daily fast for Muslims in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region will last about 15 hours this year.

In Saudi Arabia, the holy month has added significance, because it is the time when many Muslims from the Kingdom and around the world travel to Makkah for Umrah, as well as to undergo a spiritual transformation.

Offices reduce the working hours, by two hours in most cases, usually starting later and finishing earlier. Every evening, a calm descends as most people rest at home in the build up to iftar, the meal at sunset that breaks the day’s fast.

Families and friends often get together for an iftar feast, as Ramadan is known for the feasts as well as the fasting. During the night prayers are performed in which verses from the Qur’an are recited, and mosques remain full of worshipers for an extra hour or so after the regular night prayer (Ishaa), as they perform a voluntary congregational Ramadan prayer called Taraweeh.

Ramadan is an exercise in self-restraint, self-control and self-discipline and Muslims are also encouraged to avoid gossip, arguments and ego battles.

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