Analysis

15 Words to Know for Ramadan

 

Ramadan Kareem! In Qatar, today officially marks the start of the holy month of Ramadan. During this time, observing Muslims must fast during daylight hours, abstain from certain activities, and demonstrate acts of charity. For those not very familiar with Ramadan or Islam in general, below are 15 definitions to words you might encounter during the holy month of Ramadan.

 

Ramadan

The ninth month of the Islamic year when Muslims refrain from food, drink, smoking, and other activities between sunrise to sunset

 

Sawm

The act of “fasting,” especially during the month of Ramadan; the fourth Pillar of Islam

 

Iftar

The meal eaten by Muslims after sunset prayer (Maghrib)

 

Suhoor

The meal eaten by Muslims before sunrise prayer (Fajr)

 

Zakat

The act of “purifying.” It’s an annual sum or “tax” to purify one’s income and assets from sometimes worldly, impure ways of acquisition and to share some of their wealth with people in need. Many Muslims prefer to give away their Zakat during Ramadan; it’s the third Pillar of Islam

 

Sadaqah

Alms-giving or charity donated at anytime of the year, but especially more during Ramadan

 

Salat

The act of “praying.” There are 5 obligatory, or “Fard,” prayers, which are: Fajr (Sunrise), Duhor (Noon), Asr (Afternoon), Magrib (Sunset), and Isha (“Supper”)

 

Taraweeh

Optional prayers, or “Nafila,” performed specially during Ramadan only, usually after Isha prayer. It’s based on the Prophet (PBUH) tradition, or “Sunnah

 

Qyam

Another optional prayer, or “Nafila,” performed late at night or early hours of the morning before Fajr. It’s based on the Prophet (PBUH) tradition, or “Sunnah

 

Masjid

Mosque in Arabic, the place where Muslims come to pray together

 

Eid-al-Fitr

The first Muslim holiday after the end of the holy month of Ramadan

 

Eid-al-Adha

The second Muslim holiday after the end of the Hajj season

 

Hajj

The pilgrimage to Mecca that takes place in the last month of the Muslim calendar. All Muslims are expected to make at least once during their lifetime if they have the financial and physical means. It’s the fifth Pillar of Islam

 

Umrah

Non-mandatory, lesser pilgrimage, made by Muslims to Mecca, which may be performed at any time of the year but especially during Ramadan

 

Hijri

Islamic ‘lunar’ calendar started after the Prophet’s (PBUH) emigration from Makkah to Medina in 622 A.D.