Ramadan 2012 – do you say Happy Ramadan ? – or just Congratulations ?

Ramadan:

Estimated date for Ramadan is 21st July/1st of Ramadan. The exact date is not known until the new moon is sited. Ramadan is considered to be the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, where Muslims fast and increase their spiritual activities and good deeds.
Narrated Abu Huraira (RA) : The Prophet said:”… whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari).

A Palestinian reads from the Quran during the dawn prayer on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at a mosque in the West Bank city of Jenin, Friday, July 20, 2012. Muslims from Morocco to Afghanistan are steeling themselves for the toughest Ramadan in more than three decades with no food or drink, not even a sip of water, for 14 hours a day during the hottest time of the year. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas). Photo: Mohammed Ballas, Associated Press / SF

A Palestinian reads from the Quran during the dawn prayer on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at a mosque in the West Bank city of Jenin, Friday, July 20, 2012. Muslims from Morocco to Afghanistan are steeling themselves for the toughest Ramadan in more than three decades with no food or drink, not even a sip of water, for 14 hours a day during the hottest time of the year. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas). Photo: Mohammed Ballas, Associated Press / SF

Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان) is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and the month in which Muslims believe the Quran was revealed.

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset. Muslims believe that the Qur’an was sent down to the lowest heaven during this month, thus being prepared for gradual revelation by Jibraeel (Gabriel) to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Furthermore, Muhammad told his followers that the gates of Heaven would be open all the month and the gates of Hell (Jahannam) would be closed [1]. The first three days of the next month, Shawwal, is spent in celebrations and is observed as the “Festival of Breaking Fast” or `Eid ul-Fitr.

The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, and months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted. Since the Islamic lunar calendar year is 11 to 12 days shorter than the solar year and contains no intercalation, Ramadan migrates throughout the seasons. The Islamic day starts after sunset. The actual and estimated start and end dates for Ramadan in 2007–2017 were and are as follows:[2]

Many Muslims in Canada fast during the daylight hours in the month of Ramadan. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars (fundamental religious duties) of Islam. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion. The fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar after sunset. The evening meal usually consists of lentils or other pulses, including chickpeas. Some mosques host daily community dinners where Muslims can break their fast together during Ramadan.

Many Muslims broaden their compassion for the hungry and less fortunate when they fast. Therefore, Ramadan is also a time for many Muslims to donate to charity by participating in food drives for the poor and other voluntary activities. Muslims are encouraged to be charitable during Ramadan

I have many Muslim friends, but I have never asked –

Do you say Happy Ramadan ?  – or just Congratulations ?

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