Qatar began its observance of Ramadan on Wednesday night, marking the first day of fasting on Thursday.
As the sun sets over the bustling streets of Qatar, the air becomes thick with anticipation and excitement, marking the beginning of festivities for the holy month of Ramadan.
The city’s vibrant energy is infused with the aroma of traditional Arab dishes, the sounds of Taraweeh prayers and the colourful decorations that adorn the city’s streets, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere that is unique to this time of year.
Ramadan is an important religious event observed by Muslims all around the world. It is a time of spiritual reflection, self-discipline and worship.
In Qatar, the holy month is celebrated with great fervour and devotion, witnessing people coming together to share the blessings of the holy month.
What’s the story behind the month?
The story of Ramadan is deeply rooted in Islamic tradition and is a reflection of the faith and devotion of Muslims worldwide.
According to the Islamic belief, Ramadan is the month in which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by God.
The story begins in the 7th century when the Prophet Muhammad received the first revelation of the Quran through the angel Gabriel. These revelations continued for a period of 23 years and were compiled with divine assistance, to embody Islam’s holy book as it is known today.
The story is set in the year 610 CE, when the prophet was meditating in a cave on Mount Hira in modern day Saudi Arabia, and received a vision of the angel Gabriel, who told him to recite the verses after him. This day came to be known as Laylat ul-Qadr, or the night of power, which Muslims observe in the last 10 days of Ramadan believing them to be of the most important and holy days of the Muslim calendar.
Some 12 years, it was further revealed to the Prophet Muhammed that Ramadan would be month of fasting, worship, charity and abstinence from sins.
Fasting during the holy month is one of the five pillars of Islam and is considered an act of spiritual purification and self-discipline.
Muslims fast during daylight hours, abstaining from food and drink, as well as other physical desires, such as smoking and sexual activity, from the break of dawn to sunset. The fast is then broken with a meal, known as ‘iftar’, which is typically shared with family and friends.
The purpose of fasting is to increase one’s spiritual awareness and strengthen one’s relationship with the Creator.
It is believed that through fasting, Muslims can develop self-discipline, patience, and empathy for those less fortunate than themselves. Fasting during Ramadan is also seen as an act of purification, both physically and spiritually.
Ramadan atmosphere in Qatar
In the Gulf nation, Ramadan is a time of great spiritual renewal and community building.
The atmosphere is one of joy and celebration, with people coming together to break their fast and share in the blessings of the holy month. The streets are lined with colourful decorations and lights, adding to the festive atmosphere.
One of the most significant events during Ramadan in Qatar are the Taraweeh prayers.
These are special prayers that are performed every night during the holy month, in which the entire Quran is recited over the course of 30 nights. Many mosques in the country offer special programmes and lectures during Ramadan, providing an opportunity for people to deepen their understanding of Islam.
Another important aspect of the month is the charitable giving that takes place to help relieve millions around the world who are in need.
In Islam, worshippers are encouraged to give generously to those in need during the holy month, whilst many charitable organisations in Qatar provide opportunities for people to donate to worthy causes.
There is also a strong cultural component to the holy month in Qatar. Traditional Qatari foods such as thareed, harees and majboos are often served during Iftar, and families often gather to watch Ramadan-themed television programmes.
As such, Ramadan is a time of great significance and celebration in the country and region. It is a time for spiritual reflection, community building and charitable giving.