The ninth month in the Islamic calendar is known as the month of Ramadan or Ramazan. This holy month is observed as the month of fasting by all Muslims around the globe. Observing fasts during this month is considered to be one of the five pillars of Islam. Starting from the month’s first sighting of the crescent moon to the next sighting, Ramadan Kareem celebrations last for almost 29 or 30 days. This holy month is basically a personification of self discipline where people not only give up on water and food but also spend time in prayers, good deeds, charity and community service which in a way takes them closer to God.
Ramadan is an auspicious Islamic month that like other months is based on the lunar cycle that varies from country to country. Every year, the dates of this festival keep changing due to the sightings of the new moon, however, it usually falls between the months of April and May.
Ramadan is celebrated all over India with great fervor but there is a special sight of grand festivity at Jama Masjid Mosque in Delhi. Built between 1644 and 1648, Jama Masjid is also known as the Friday Mosque. This mosque in Delhi has special significance especially during the month of Ramadan.
The month of Ramadan is one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam. As ordained by the holy book Quran, this is the sacred month for all the followers of Islam that is marked by various rituals such as month-long fasting, praying, and introspecting. It was during this month when Prophet Muhammad received the first doctrines of the Holy Quran.
According to the ancient beliefs, a man named Muhammad, a resident of the Arabian city -Mecca started receiving revelations from Allah or God via an angel named Gabriel. The first sighting marks the beginning of Ramadan. Then the revelations or prophecies were collected in 114 chapters, these chapters were then combined in a book which is now known as the Holy Quran. Devotees believe that Mohammad was the final prophet in the line of prophets who were chosen by God to spread the message of oneness, love, and mankind.
Considered the fourth pillar of Islam, the sacred month of Ramazan is based on the principles such as self-reformation, purification of thoughts, helping the needy, and renewing faith. As per the holy Quran, it is the most significant month as Prophet Mohammad received the first verses of the holy text. Hence, the month is considered to be the opportune time to observe fast and offer prayers with great zeal and enthusiasm.
According to Islam, the good deeds practiced in the month of Ramadan bring prosperity and success. Also, it is believed that in the holy month of Ramadan, the gates of heaven are opened and the devils are put in chains.
Another significance of the month lies in the victory of Muslims of Medina over the Pagans of Mecca which is recorded in the Quran and Hadiths. It was the first battle between the two communities -the Battle of Badr in 624 CE wherein the Muslims gained victory over the Pagans at the battlefield of Saudi Arabia.
During each day of the month of Ramadan, devotees observe strict fasting. The devotees are forbidden from consuming a single grain of food or a drop of water from sunrise till sunset and have to abstain from impure thoughts and bad habits like smoking and drinking.
The day begins with dawn when most of the devotees rise up early to grab a meal. This early morning meal is known as Suhoor. It is a vital part of fasting as this keeps the devotees in good health for the entire month of Ramadan.
As Prophet Muhammad used to break his fast with a date, this has become a ritual for all Muslims. Also, a grand feast is prepared and families gather together in dusk to break their day-long fast. The grand feast prepared to conclude the fast after sunset which is known as Iftar.
Taraweeh is the night prayers that are recited throughout the month of Ramadan. The lengthy chapters of the Quran are recited before going to sleep in order to keep up with prayers and staying away from negative thoughts.
It is the third pillar of Islam wherein charity is collected from every Muslim household to provide the food for poor and needy. The price of one meal is paid by the head of the family in the name of each family member during the auspicious month of Ramadan which is known as Zakat al-Fitr. This is an important ritual that teaches to serve humanity as by paying Zakat wholeheartedly, they help poor and needy people with meals.
According to Islam, Itikaf was the blissful night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to Prophet Muhammad and this auspicious night decides their destiny for the following year. The exact date of Itikaf night is uncertain but it is widely agreed that it falls somewhere between the last ten days of Ramadan month. Many Muslims go into seclusion during the last ten days and offer prayers in search of the Night of Decree, Lailul ul-Qadar.
The last day of Ramadan is celebrated as Eid al-Fitr, one of Islam’s major festivals. Also called the Festival of Breaking the Fast, Eid al-Fitr concludes the month-long fasting during Ramadan month. Besides offering prayers and showing gratitude for completing the month-long fasting, sweet savories are prepared in every Muslim household, and gifts are given to children and those in need.
During this holy month, people decorate their shops and houses. Every corner of Bazaars is lit up with twinkly lights, prayer flags, and flowers that add more charm to the festive spirit. Food shops and popular restaurants serve special dishes and offer exclusive discounts. Jama Masjid in Delhi is the best place to witness the fervor during Ramadan.
Jama Masjid located in Chandni Chowk, Delhi becomes the epicenter during the holy month of Ramadan. It is one of the largest mosques in India that is considered to be the last marvel that was built by the Great Mughal ruler Shah Jahan. You can reach Delhi by all means of transport that are mentioned below:
Deboard at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) and from there take a cab, metro, auto-rickshaw, or any other means of public transport to reach your respective destination. To visit Masjid, you will need to cover a total distance of about 18-20 km from the airport. The Indira Gandhi International Airport is well-connected with other Indian airports via direct and connecting flights from other cities.
Getting a train to Delhi is not hard at all. You can easily catch a train from all Indian cities. Tourists can consider deboarding the train at Old Delhi railway station. From there you can either walk down or take a rickshaw to Masjid.
Traveling to Delhi by road is definitely a fun experience. It has good connectivity via roads from nearby cities like Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Amritsar, and other cities and districts as well. Depending upon your convenience and budget, you can easily travel to Delhi by your own vehicle, private cab or government/private buses.
Q. What do Muslims do during Ramadan?
A. Ramadan is an auspicious month for muslims. During this month, they observe a strict fast from dawn to dusk and also maintain self discipline.
Q. Why is Ramadan celebrated?
A. According to Islam, Ramadan is celebrated as the auspicious month because it was this very month when Prophet Muhammad revealed the holy book, Quran.
Q. What are the rules of Ramadan?
A. There are strict rules that need to be followed during the holy month of Ramadan. Apart from prayers and fasting from dusk to dawn, people have to abstain from all bad habits and negative thoughts.
Q. Can you drink water during Ramadan?
A. You can drink water only after sunset when you break your day long fast.