Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and a time when Muslims across the world will fast (do not eat) during the hours of daylight. Muslims believe that the gates of Heaven (Jannah) are open and the gates of Hell (Jahanam) are locked for the duration of Ramadan.
What happens during Ramadan?
Muslims celebrate the time when the verses of the Qur’an were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Ramadan is a time of worship and contemplation. A time to strengthen family and community ties.
Every Muslim is expected to fast from sunrise to sunset. Muslims must not eat or drink during daylight hours. During Ramadan Muslims get up early before dawn (Fajr) and have a light meal. This time is known as Suhoor.
At the end of each day (Maghrib), Muslims traditionally break their fast with a meal called the iftar. Following the custom of Prophet Muhammad, the fast is often broken with dates, then followed by a prayer and dinner.
Why does the date of Ramadan change from year to year?
The Muslim year is a lunar (moon) year, so Ramadan moves forward by ten or eleven days each year. The day Ramadan begins is decided by the sighting of the new moon.
Ramadan concludes with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr.
This week, the Early years explored various foods eaten during this time of year.
“You know my mummy is fasting and so she doesn’t eat or drink anything in the day time…then in the night time she has lots of food to eat… in the daytime my grandma helps mummy to cook lots of food”
The children were also shown prayer mats and looked at the process of praying. the children learnt that Muslims must pray as though they are in the presence of God, and therefore must be in a state of concentration. While moving into the upright position, Muslims recite ‘God listens to the one who praises Him’ and while in the standing position, ‘To God belongs all praise’ then is recited. The children had a go at designing their own prayer mats using a variety of different resources.
“We made lots of prayer mats because everyone in my house prays lots of times in the day… so we need the prayer mats…. I worked with my family to make them all”
“I made a pink prayer mat because my favourite colour is pink… I put pretty flowers on the sides and I a big flower on the bottom of the mat and my mum helped me make the Mosque”