The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is considered a blessed and holy month because it is during Ramadan that Muslims believe the first verses of the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in 610 C.E.
It is obligatory for all able Muslims to fast during the entire month of Ramadan. From sunrise to sunset, Muslims do not eat or drink. The Qur’an commands fasting during the holy month as testimony of one's commitment to God in the face of temptation and hardship. Fasting teaches Muslims piety, self-discipline and restraint. Fasting also helps to constantly remind Muslims of the poor who are deprived of a stable diet. Through their observance of Ramadan, Muslims are able to empathize with those less fortunate and be thankful for all of God’s blessings.
The month of Ramadan is not only about the physical experience of not eating or drinking; there is also a change in spiritual and moral conduct. In the spirit of the sacred month, Muslims are supposed to practice patience and generosity, and curb all negative behavior. An increased amount of time is given to the reading of the Qur’an and the worship of God. Many Muslims attend the masjid (a correct and more accurate term for mosque) nightly to pray the evening prayer and Tarawih, special Ramadan prayers that follow. The leader of the prayers reads one-thirtieth of the Qur’an each night, so that by the end of the month it will have been read in its entirety to the Muslims who have communed for worship.
The activities of Ramadan allow Muslims to increase their faith and become closer to God. The positive feelings gained and behaviors practiced during Ramadan are qualities that Muslims hope to extend long after the month is over.
According to the video, how do Muslims view nature?
Why is Ramadan described as "expecting a month long guest?”
Describe some challenges one might face when fasting during Ramadan. Describe some of the benefits.
Explain the guidelines for fasting during Ramadan. When is eating allowed? At what age does a Muslim begin fasting? Does fasting only occur during Ramadan? Are there any other additional acts that are recommended for Muslims during Ramadan?
Explain the musical goals for the hip hop group Native Deen. How does Native Deen want their music used?
According to the video, why do Muslims pray? Explain some of the common themes in Muslim prayers.
Critical Thinking Questions
Why do you think fasting is part of the “Five Pillars” of Islam? Why do you think a religion would include a period of fasting as part of its requirements?
Do you think music can successfully promote unity in a group or understanding about another culture? Why or why not?
Compare and contrast Ramadan with a religious observance from a different faith.