Ramadhan 2016: Rules, History and Cuisine of the Islamic holy month
It’s that time of the year again, where Muslims around the world celebrate the precious and holy month of Islam in over 180 countries. What do they do? They fast from dawn to dusk everyday. It is considered and seen as a way to cleanse the soul and to gain empathy for those who are less fortunate, hence, a spiritual development for many.
Ramadhan was established as a Holy Month after the Qu’ran was unveiled in 610 CE to the Prophet Muhammad on the occasion of “The Night of Power”, most commonly known as Laylat al-Qadr.
Here is the observance of Ramadhan is mandated in the Qu’ran:
“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qu’ran, guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – than an equal number of days.”
By ‘fasting’, it involves restraining from all food and beverages, smoking and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk. Fasting begins after morning prayers and pre-dawn meal, known as ‘Sahur’ and ends when Muslims break their fast with a communal ‘Iftar’ meal after dusk.
In the Islamic calendar (lunar calendar), Ramadhan falls on the ninth month of the and due to the cycle difference between the lunar and the solar calendars, Ramadhan shifts approximately 11 days earlier yearly. Here is a little fun fact; do you know Ramadhan will occur twice in the year of 2030?
This year, Ramadhan will begin starting from 6th of June till 5th July. As a non-muslim myself living in a country with such diverse culture, I would want to experience on how it would be like to fast and to join the movement of the biggest act of observance of its kind. Truth to be told, I did not get through even for one day mainly because the thirst got to me first and withstanding my hunger for hours got me really cranky!
Excuse my exclamation mark but here is my salutation to all Muslims who practice this and self-discipline along with such great willpower and devotion for this holy month. Thumbs up and hands down to you guys! Now, I just can’t wait for Raya cookies, rendang ayam and some fantastic lemang! Aren’t you guys excited for all the food and open houses? Let us know your favourite Raya dish!
Emi is a fast-talking no-holds-barred kind of person, but has a lot of love for the people she cares about, food, her dogs, leather stuff and writing (sometimes). A passion for art, music and nonsense – so she says!