Ramadan is considered the holiest month in Islam. While the worldwide Muslim community observes the rituals, no matter where they live, Saudi Arabia is still considered to be the most sacred place to attend during the month. With Makkah and Madinah as the spiritually rich cities, Ramadan in Saudi Arabia is celebrated with all the rituals and devotions. At this time of year, devotees from Asia, Europe, and other continents often visit cities to seek blessings. Let us find out more about how Ramadan is observed in Saudi Arabia.
Ramadan 2022 Saudi Arabia: Understanding The History and Significance
Ramadan, or Ramazan as they say, is the holiest time in Islam when all the Muslims around the world fast for around 29 to 30 days. It is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and since it is based on data from the lunar calendar, the dates are not fixed. The sighting of the crescent moon in Saudi Arabia is the only way to decide when Ramadan month starts for the whole world. This year Ramadan 2022 in Saudi Arabia is expected to begin on Saturday, April 2, 2022, until May 1, 2022. Let us take a dig into the history and religious values associated with Ramadan and why it makes Saudi Arabia, the pious land.
The History and Significance Of Ramadan
Every religion has its beliefs and tales associated with a particular festivity or occasion. While Ramadan holds great significance in Islam, some legends make the month so auspicious and sacred. The folklore dates back to the 7th century with Prophet Mohammad, who is regarded as the founder of Islam. Born in 570 CE in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, it was his spiritual beliefs and the ideals that began the origination of Islam and Ramadan in Saudi Arabia.
Because Muhammad was disheartened with his existence in Mecca, he grew up with an aspirational and religious disposition. For meditation and introspection, he went to the caves in the nearby mountains of Mecca. In 610 CE, at Hira Cave on Mount Nur in Mecca, he received his revelation.
According to Islamic texts, Muhammad had a vision of an angel appearing before him one night during the month of Ramadan in the year 610 A.D. He was 40 years old and was passing the month in meditation at Mount Hira when Jibril, the angel revealed that Muhammad was Allah's prophet and was born to be a teacher to his mankind. As devotion to God, the angel urged Muhammad to recite what he said. Jibril visited Muhammad several times during the next twenty-three years, teaching him heavenly wisdom in verses. This precious knowledge is the rules of ethics that Allah expects his followers to follow on this planet. It is written in passages that are collected in the Holy Qur'an.
"Laylat al-Qadr" - a month's night - is thought to be the night when Muhammad and mankind were given the holy knowledge. Muslims regard "Laylat al-Qadr," or "Night of the Power," as the holiest night of the year. As a mark of respect to Allah, the prophet asked his disciples- the followers of Islam, to fast, pray, and perform other austerities during the month of Saudi Ramadan. As a token of his thanks for imparting correct knowledge to his sons and daughters, the month-long fasting ends with celebratory celebrations.
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Practice Associated with Ramadan? How The Holy Month is Observed In Saudi Arabia
Ramadan is marked with fasting for a whole month when a Muslim or Islamic follower does not eat or drink for the entire day- from sunrise to sunset. As the month is all about praying to the Almighty and indulging in human works, and charity, it is believed that one refrain from sins. Some certain rules or ethics need to be followed, solely intended to attain peace of mind and soul. One must abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, and even husband-wife intimacy from the time the sun rises till it sets.
Observing Ramadan 2022 in Saudi Arabia is similar to any other place, but it is the holy city of Mecca and Madinah that makes it an ultimate place to reconnect with God. Here are some practices that are common in Saudi to respect this Holy month.
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1. Arrangement of Suhoor and Iftar in Mosques
As Ramadan is observed with fasting from sunrise to sunset, Suhoor and Iftar are very common in Saudi Arabia. These two elements of Ramadan have great significance to Muslims and it is quite necessary to keep oneself fit and healthy while fasting. The day starts with an early morning meal before sunrise called Suhoor, when you can eat and hydrate yourself right enough to survive the day. Later after sunset, Iftaar time is set when all gather again to break the daily fast, thanking Allah for his Grace. Many holy sites in Mecca, Madina, and other places in Saudi Arabia arrange for a proper Suhoor and Iftar for the pilgrims on Umrah.
2. Sadaqah and Zakat
Charity and helping mankind is a very common and important element of Ramadan 2022 KSA. To help, feed, and support fellow Muslim brothers and family, Sadaqah and Zakat are practiced to the fullest so that everyone can enjoy holiness and prosperity. Zakath is one of the five pillars of Islam and is must be given by all Muslims. As Ramadan is the month devoted to God, it is the right time to do the obligatory.
Prayers are the most important pillar of Islam and during Ramdan, there are ten prayers one can recite to become closer to God. Going deeper into religious beliefs and significance, there are certain duas at particular times during Ramadan. While each of the 10 days has different prayers to reconnect with God, it is believed that any prayers recited on Laylat Al Qadr, or "The Night of Power," receive the most reward from Allah. Similarly, during Ramadan in Saudi Arabia, Muslims remember their Supreme with the Prayer of Fasting Intention, Prayer for Breaking the Fast, Prayer for Forgiveness, the Taraweeh Prayers, and the Prayers of Zikr.
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4. Distance From All Materialistic Attachments and Sins
To reconnect with God and show true devotion, it is very important for once to keep a distance from any attachment that could be a hurdle in attaining spirituality. While Islam forbids the use of drugs and other sins that can be a curse on Humankind, one needs to completely devote oneself to God while observing Ramadan. For tourists, there might be some facilities available in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan, the holy month, but pilgrims on Umrah abstain from the consumption of alcohol, smoking, or any entertainment that can hinder their mind and soul from the prayers. Restaurants in Saudi Arabia are also closed for dine-in during fasting hours.
Marking The End of Ramadan 2022 Month with Eid Al Fitr in Saudi Arabia
As the first Ramadan 2022 in Saudi Arabia starts the month of fasting and true devotion to God and humankind, it needs to end with a celebration. To mark the end of Ramadan month for the year and welcome the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, Eid Al Fitr is celebrated. It is one of the most auspicious and holiest events in Islam when Muslims attend communal prayers, listen to a khutba (sermon) and give zakat al-Fitr during Eid al-Fitr. Charity is an integral part of Islam; so be it Ramadan or Eld-al-Fitr, zakat and Sadaqah are obligatory.
Great enthusiasm and contentment can be observed during the festival after Saudi Ramadan. As Mecca and Madinah are considered to be the land of God, devotees do plan to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr in the serene and spiritual soil of Saudi Arabia. They visit Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid, a Nabawi, pray together, dress up to celebrate life, and enjoy a lavish meal together as a family. Gifts and blessings as Eidi is a very common way to give love to one's family and friends.
As Eid-al-Fitr also means Sweet Eid" or "Sugar Feast", special desserts are made along with traditional food in Saudi Arabia to celebrate.
Traditional Ramadan Dishes in Saudi Arabia
As Ramadan is the time to fast and pray to God, it is also the time to enjoy meals with family together as Suhoor and Iftar. Families tend to start and break the fast, eating together, which makes it quite special for all in Saudi Arabia. Usually, the meals are simple but healthy enough to beat the heat of Middle Eastern countries and keep you fit and strong. Let us check out some desserts and drinks that are added to the meals during Ramadan 2022 in KSA.
- Qatayef, an Arabian dish, is quite a famous Ramadan sweet dish that is loaded with dry fruits like walnuts, almonds, pistachios, or hazelnuts. The sweet flavor is quite enriching to be served with the food. It can be consumed plain or can be topped with some cream or syrup to enhance the flavors.
- Sobia is a traditional drink that is served during Ramadan in KSA. Rice, milk, coconut milk, sugar, and vanilla extract are blended to give it a taste. It is quite beneficial for keeping the body cool during the summer when served very fresh with crushed ice. Sobia is a cuisine that is rich in flavors and highly appetizing to be offered during Ramadan 2022 in KSA.
- Hanini, prepared with vegetables, bread, and dates, is very popular in Saudi Arabia. The dish is rich in nutrients and tastes, thus serving to meet all the nutrient requirements of the body. Additional spices like cardamom and saffron are mixed in to enhance the zest.
Observing Ramadan in Saudi Arabia is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that cannot be missed. The spiritual and holy vibes of the place make it quite a famous and significant place. As the entire country observes fasting and other religious events, it is important to honor and respect the beliefs and space of devotees. If you are fasting, make sure not to overeat and skip the needed meals in a day. The cities of Mecca and Madinah are enlightened with the beauty and Grace of God during Ramadan, which makes the time perfect for a visit to Umrah.
One of the holiest months in Islam is Ramadan, celebrated with rituals and devotions. It is a sacred month that abstains Muslims from drinking and eating from morning to evening. Hence, if one were to visit Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Arabia Ramadan package is just what they need.
As per the Islamic calendar, this year Ramadan 2022 in Saudi Arabia is expected to begin on Saturday, April 2, 2022, till May 1, 2022.
A pilgrimage to Mecca is known as Umrah. It is a shorter variant of the yearly Hajj pilgrimage. Umrah can be conducted at any time of the year, though it is recommended that it be done during the holy month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. The dates are not set because it are based on lunar data, which is 11 days short of the Gregorian calendar. The sighting of the crescent moon in Saudi Arabia is the only way to decide when Ramadan month starts for the whole world.
Suhoor and Iftaar are very important parts of Ramadan in Saudi Arabia. The day starts with an early morning meal before sunrise called Suhoor, when you can eat and hydrate yourself right enough to survive the day. Later after sunset, Iftaar time is set when all gather again to break the day fast.
Qatayef, Sobia, Hanini are the common desserts and drinks that are served during Ramadan as a part of the meal. These drinks are known for their nutrient properties, which makes them best to be consumed before and after fasting.
Some of the common practices associated with Ramada are:
- Fasting from sunrise to sunset
- Arrangement of Suhoor and Iftar in Mosques
- Sadaqah and Zakat
- Distance From All Materialistic attachments and Sins
Mecca and Madinah are the two most spiritual and religious cities in Saudi Arabia. Devotees go on Umrah Pilgrimage and Hajj in Mecca and Madina.
Eid Al Fitr is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan month for the year and welcome the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. This year Eid-al-Fitr in Saudi Arabia is on 30 Apr 2022.