When and What is Ramadan?
Ramadan [Arabic: رمضان] is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sexual activities from dawn until sunset. In 2011 Ramadan begins on Monday, the 1st of August and Ramadan ends 30 days later on Tuesday, the 30th of August.
Fasting teaches the Muslim patience, modesty and spirituality.
Ramadan is a time for Muslims to fast for the sake of God [Arabic: الله, translation: Allah] and to offer more prayer than usual. During Ramadan, Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds
Punishments For Those Flouting Ramazan(Ramadan)
In some Muslim countries, failing to fast or the open flouting of such behaviour during Ramadan is considered a crime and is prosecuted as such. For instance, in October 2008 the court of Biskra, in the south of Algeria, condemned six people to four years in prison and heavy fines.
In Kuwait, according to law number 44 of 1968 the penalty is a fine of no more than 100 Kuwaiti dinars, or jail for no more than one month, or both penalties, for those seen eating, drinking or smoking during Ramadan daytime.
In the U.A.E., [United Arab Emirates] eating or drinking during the daytime of Ramadan is considered a minor offence and would be punished by up to 240 hours of community service.
Greetings During Ramadan
Ramadan Kareem = Noble or Generous Ramadan
Ramadan Mubarak = Blessed or Happy Ramadan
Kul ‘am wa enta bi-khair = May every year find you in good health
Because the Muslim calendar is lunar rather than solar, the month of Ramadan moves through the year. Thus, sometimes if falls during the winter when the days are shorter and fasting is easier but other times it falls during the summer when the days are longer and fasting is more difficult.
After the sun sets, Muslims break their fast first with a small meal and then, often, a larger meal later on in the evening. It is also common for Muslims to take a meal early in the morning before dawn, a meal known as “suhur”. There are musicians and others who volunteer to walk through town to wake people for this early meal.