Friday, June 10, 2016

Power of Giving & Sacrifice Within the Religious Faith of Islam

In the Islamic calendar year, there are 12 months, which consist of 354-355 days. Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the year, began June 6th and will end on July 5th. Ramadan is a holy month of the Muslim faith, as it is the month in which the first verses of the Quran were unveiled to the Prophet Muhammad. Due to this, Ramadan is also referred to and recognized as the ‘Month of the Quran’. Muslims celebrate the holiness of this month by fasting from sunrise to sunset in order to spiritually cleanse themselves, become one with God, and to understand the plight of human suffering. In addition, Muslims focus this month on worship, and charitable giving. Fasting is a way in which Muslims, and many other religions, practice self-discipline, and sacrifice. Once Ramadan is complete, it is followed by a celebration Eid al-Fitr, which means ‘The Festival of Fast-Breaking’, and features families spending time together and exchanging gifts.

Muslims are reminded and highly encouraged to practice generosity and charitable giving during this time, as well. This is one of the ways that they practice showing compassion for the less fortunate. The Zakat, which is a form of charitable giving,  is required of Muslims who are financially able to do so. Zakat requires all Muslims to give at least 2.5% of their assets to the poor and hungry of the world. Zakat-al fitr (the charity of fast-breaking) is a fundamental aspect of Ramadan, as Muslims are required pay it before the commencement of Eid. It signals the completion of the holy month of fasting and is part of what makes Zakat one of the 5 pillars of Islam.
To commemorate Ramadan, consider donating to one of these highly rated charities that have Zakat designated funds and work towards the ultimate goal of ending poverty and world hunger. With our resourceful Giving Basket feature, you can even pick a few charities, add them to your basket, and donate to them all at once!

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