AN IFTAR MEAL I PREPARED
THE HOLY MONTH OF RAMADAN:
Ramadan or Ramazan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting and prayer. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the declaration of faith, daily prayer, charity, and performing the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.
Prophet Muhammad's (PBUH) first revelation from God through Angel Gabriel is believed to have happened during the holy month of Ramadan. That specific event is known as Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Decree) and Muslims therefore, fast and pray during this month to commemorate the revelation of the Quran. Ramadan is considered to be the most holy and blessed month and is a time to detach from worldly pleasures and focus on one's inner self. Muslims believe that during this period, the gates of heaven are open and the gates of hell are closed.
The exact start date of Ramadan is confirmed when the moon is spotted by a sighting committee, often made up of government officials and religious scholars. The end of Ramadan is also marked with the sighting of the crescent moon, marking Eid-al-Fitr.
Before dawn, those observing Ramadan will gather for a pre-fast meal called the suhoor; at dusk, the fast will be broken with a meal called iftar. Traditionally, a date is eaten to break the fast. Iftars are often elaborate feasts celebrated with family and friends. The types of foods served vary according to culture.
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