Thursday, August 16, 2012

All About Ramadan

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Muslims all over the world are currently taking part in their holy month, Ramadan (pronounced ra-ma-daan). I wanted to take this opportunity to share information about this month so that teachers everywhere can get a better idea and in turn, teach it to their students.


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What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. During this month, muslims do not eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. This month does not only mean to keep away from food and drink but also from all sinful actions mentally and physically such as gossip, anger, lust, greed, violence, etc. Kindness is to be shown through strong manners, helping the needy and providing charity. It is a time to re-evaluate your own life, get rid of bad habits and become closer to Allah (term for God) as well as your family, friends and of course your soul. The month is either 29 or 30 days depending on the moon sighting. After the end of Ramadan, muslims take part in a celebration for their fasting. This special day is called Eid-ul-Fitr. Please click here to find out more about Eid-ul-Fitr. 


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When is it celebrated?

As some may notice, Ramadan does not come on the same date every year. This is because the Islamic calendar is based on the moon, consisting of 12 lunar months. In total, the year is 354 or 355 days. This is why every year Ramadan begins 10 days earlier than it did the previous year comparing it to the Gregorian or Western calendar. 

Find out more on this website:

http://www.webexhibits.org/calendars/calendar-islamic.html


Source: http://www.islamicmedicine.org/medmiraclesofquran/ramadan44.jpg

Who takes part in fasting?

Muslims all over the world take part in fasting. It, of course, has limitations. Children are not required to fast until they have hit puberty; then it becomes a priority. Some children really want to participate in fasting and so their parents allow them to fast for half a day instead of the whole day. People who are sick or are on medication are not required to fast. Some seniors are excused from fasting as well if it is going to be affecting their health. Pregnant women are not required to fast. Women do not fast for the week of their menstrual cycle. If there are days that have been missed, they maybe made up by fasting on any day as long as it is before the next Ramadan. 

What are the benefits of fasting?

Many benefits are part of fasting. Because muslims are not eating anything from dawn to dusk, it helps them realize the importance of food. They feel the hunger so they can understand how unfortunate people all over the world feel when they do not have anything to eat. It is a time for realization and thankfulness. It also teaches lots of self-control as you refrain from sinful activities and such. It is a time to bond with family and friends and to build a stronger community. There are some medical benefits to it as well. For example, because you are not eating or drinking anything for most of the day, your body is being cleansed out of all bacteria. It helps to lower blood glucose and insulin levels. Some people are also able to lose unnecessary weight. 

Here is a link to more benefits:

http://www.islamicity.com/articles/Articles.asp?ref=JU1008-4245

And check out this website for a ton of detail about the medical benefits of fasting:

http://www.quranandscience.com/legislative/185-medical-aspects-of-islamic-fasting.html

Books for children about Ramadan:


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My First Ramadan - by Karen Katz

Source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-F18x7hiL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
Ramadan: Islamic Holy Month - by Terri Dougherty

Source: http://0.tqn.com/d/islam/1/0/C/1/ghazi_ramadan.gif
Ramadan - by Suhaib Hamid Ghazi

Source: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51B0EN2VB0L._SL500_AA300_.jpg
Celebrating Ramadan - by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith

Source: http://goodtreemontessori.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/magidfastsforramadanbook.jpg?w=223&h=300
Magid Fasts for Ramadan - by Mary Matthews

Activity Websites:


Colouring pages:

Here is my post with free coloring pages: Free Coloring Pages
Also check out the following link for more coloring pages.

http://www.primarygames.com/holidays/ramadan/coloring.htm

Lots of different activities for children to do on all these sites. Some are in another languages. You can choose the ones that are right for your students:

http://www.islamnewsroom.com/news-we-need/1646

http://goodtreemontessori.wordpress.com/2008/08/22/30-childrens-activities-for-ramadan/

Paper lantern/lamp:

http://www.muslimkidscrafts.com/video/paper-crafts-decorative-paper-lamp

http://thelittlestarsofislam.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/craft-activities-for-children-age-5-and-above1.pdf

A very cute Ramadan craft. Flower pot with Ramadan Mubarak label. (Ramadan mubarak means Happy Ramadan):

http://amuslimchildisborn.blogspot.ca/2009/07/ramadan-craft-idea-2-ramadan-centre.html


If you have any questions about what I have posted, please feel free to ask anything. I will be more than happy to help. Thanks for reading!


2 comments:

  1. I am so glad you posted this. A few years ago, my school had a winter festival celebrating all the religious and cultural holidays from around the world. Our group was given Ramadan and one of the teachers wrote a song. The words did say "happy Eid" but the lyrics were silly. A few of the teachers in the group were embarrassed to present something so badly done. This post is a great resource.

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