(part 1 of 2): Fasting
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, can be 29 or 30 days long. An Islamic month begins with seeing the new crescent moon on the western horizon, just after sunset. Muslims are looking for the new moon on the western horizon on the 29th day of Sha’ban, the eighth month. When the new moon is seen, Ramadhan has started at sunset, but fasting begins at dawn. If the new moon is not seen on this 29th day, the Muslims complete 30 days from Sha’ban (the previous month) and Ramadhan begins the following day.
The meaning of Ramadhan and fasting
God says in the Quran:
“O you believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who were before you. Maybe you will fear (Allah). ” (Quran 2: 183)
“It is the month of Ramadhan in which the Quran has been sent down as guidance for people and as clear evidence of guidance and distinction. So who of you is present in the month should fast in it. And those who are sick or on a journey should (fast) a number of other days – God wants it easy for you, He doesn’t want to make it difficult for you – so that you can complete the deadline and praise God that He has guided you right. ” (2: 185)
Accordingly, the month of Ramadhan is also called the month of the Quran. And that’s why Muslims recite from the Quran regularly this month.
Hem or fasting
Hem (fasting) begins at dusk and ends at sunset. Muslims get up before dawn, eat sahur (a meal before dawn) and drink an adequate amount of liquid to prepare for fasting. At dusk you stop eating and drinking. No eating, drinking or intercourse is allowed during the day. In addition, a Muslim must adhere strictly to the moral code of Islam, because an offense can break the requirements of fasting.Fasting in the month of Ramadhan is an act of worship that is compulsory for all Muslims who have reached puberty. Women who have their menstrual period or who have not yet recovered from giving birth postpone fasting until they have regained their normal condition. In addition, those who are sick or traveling can postpone their fasting. Muslims fast because God has commanded them to do it. However, they should also think about the benefits of fasting, how to develop control over hunger, thirst and sexual desires, to practice, to be a good demure and to test their sincerity towards their creator. When fasting, the Muslim can go about his business as usual.
Fasting is broken immediately after sunset, usually by eating dates and drinking water or juice. But any allowed food can be used to break the fast. Then comes the Maghrib prayer (prayer after sunset) after you can have a full meal. After a short break, the Muslims go to the mosque to do the ´Ischagebät (late evening prayer) and then a special prayer called Tarawieh.
This nightly community prayer is performed after the normal (last) prayer in the evening. Traditionally, this prayer leads a Quran hafiz – someone who has memorized the whole Quran (in Arabic). He recites the Quran each evening in sections in the correct order and completes the recitation of the entire Quran before the month of Ramadhan ends. Every Muslim who takes part in these prayers has the opportunity to hear the recitation of the entire Quran within the month. If there is no Quran Quran, the Muslim of the group who knows the Quran most by heart will recite and recite according to his abilities.
The month of Ramadhan brings multiple blessings to those who do good. This month, people are more generous, warm, friendly and willing to do good deeds. The poor and needy receive food, clothing and money from community members who are better off. Many people go to the mosque in their neighborhood to break the fast and have meals. Neighborhood people send fruits, food, and drinks to the mosque – the atmosphere of a friendly dinner surrounds them every evening this month.
Well-known benefactors of the Muslim community are surrounded by the needy when making donations. Zakat, a charity that purifies property, and gifts are made at this time of year because many Muslims want to take the opportunity of multiple rewards from God.
(part 2 of 2): Night prayers and other types of worship
This is Qadr’s night. The term Al-Qadr has often been translated as „the power“. A better translation may be „the value“ or „the destiny“ because God says the value of this night is greater than a thousand months, a lifespan of over 83 years! God sends His destinies down that night. This is the night on which the Quran was first revealed in the time of Prophet Muhammad. God speaks in the Quran:
“Verily, We have sent him down (the Quran) in the night of Al-Qadr. And what teaches you to know what Al Qadr’s night is? Al-Qadr’s night is better than a thousand months. In it, the angels and Gabriel descend with the permission of their Lord to do anything. It is peace until dawn. ” (Quran 97: 1-5)
The night of destiny is a gift from God to humanity. However, it is not clear which night Laylat al-Qadr is. Some traditions from the Prophet’s companions indicate that it is the 27th night of Ramadhan, but far more traditions emphasize that it is one of the odd nights during the last third of Ramadhan. According to the authentic teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, Muslims are instructed to spend the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th night of Ramadhan in worship and to do good deeds to make sure they find Laylat al-Qadr. Some of the Muslims spend the night in prayer and do good deeds, but the Prophet and his companions used to sleep at least a third of the night.
In some Muslim countries, the 27th Ramadhan is a holiday to allow people to rest during the day after spending the night in worship.  The schools are closed from the 27th Ramadhan to the 2nd show whale (5-6 days) to celebrate Laylat al-Qadr and Eid al-Fitr (an Islamic festival that begins after the end of Ramadhan).
I’tikaf or withdrawing
It was the way of the Prophet to spend the last ten days and nights of Ramadhan in a mosque. Following its tradition is considered a religious act when someone withdraws into the neighboring mosque. People who have withdrawn spend their time with the various forms of dhikr (remembrance of Allah), such as performing voluntary prayers, reciting and studying the Quran, studying the hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad) and holding each other up doing good deeds by obeying God and His Messenger. Since the withdrawn people are not allowed to leave the mosque, except in emergencies, they sleep in the mosque and use the facilities of the mosque.
The food of the people who have retired to the mosque is provided by their own family or by members of the community. The retreat ends when it is declared that the new moon has been seen or at the end of the month of Ramadhan. Busy people are allowed to cut back on withdrawal by about a night, a day, or a few days.
In general, any material aid given to the poor, the needy, and those who ask and are entitled to it is called sadaqah. Sadaqat al-Fitr, which is also called Zakat al-Fitr, is the material duty for the poor of society, which must be given before the ´Id prayers, as soon as possible so that the poor can prepare for the festival. In North America, the set staple value (like rice) is $ 5 to $ 8 to be paid for each family member of the giver’s family, including children.
The end of the fasting month is celebrated on the first show whale, the tenth month that follows the Ramadhan. On the 29th of Ramadhan after sunset, people go outside to look for the new crescent moon on the western horizon where the sun sets. When the crescent moon is seen, the end of Ramadhan is declared. If she is not seen, the Ramadhan lasts another day.
On the day of Id, people take a bath or shower, have breakfast, put on their best clothes, perfume themselves and move to the place of the Id gathering in the early morning, saying the Takbierat by saying: „God is greatest, there is no deity except God and praise God. “ Muslims speak the Takbierat in their homes, in the streets and at the gathering, while waiting for the prayer leader, the Iman. It was the way of the prophet to hold the gathering for ´id prayer in open spaces. Accordingly, the Muslims were instructed to follow the prophet and to keep the ´Id prayers open. In Muslim countries with a warm climate, there are marked places for prayer for ´id prayer.
The imam conducts the prayers at the announced time and delivers a sermon. At the end of the sermon, people pray, greet, embrace, and congratulate each other on successfully completing Ramadhan and ask God to accept their efforts to be obedient to Him.
People visit each other during the day and the children receive gifts. In some countries people have picnics and other gatherings. Id celebrations can be arranged at work or any social facility. Basically ´Id is a day of gratitude to God and a day to meet family and friends.
Umrah or little Hağğ in Ramadhan
There is a tradition from the Prophet Muhammad that the umrah in the month of Ramadhan is comparable to the large or complete Hağğ. Hağğ is the pilgrimage to Mecca. Hağğ is the representation of some difficult trials of the Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), his wife Hagar and his eldest son Ismail. A full Hağğ takes five days, but Umrah can be completed within a few hours. Umrah is only a small part of the Hağğ. After the complete umrah an animal can be sacrificed. Umrah can be performed at any time of the year, but it has special meaning in the month of Ramadhan.
 In the Arabic calendar means the night of the 27th, the night that follows the 26th of the month.