Following the announcement by authorities in Saudi Arabia and countries across the Middle East, the holy month of Ramadan will start on Thursday, March 23.
There are about 1.9 billion Muslims around the world, approximately 25 percent of the world population. Indonesia has the world’s highest Muslim population, with some 230 million Muslims living in the country. Pakistan is second with about 212 million Muslims, followed by India (200 million), Bangladesh (150 million), and Nigeria (100 million).
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Many Muslims around the world will prepare for a month of fasting and the festivities that come with it. During the month, observing Muslims wake up before sunrise to have a pre-fasting meal, or suhoor, and break their fast at sunset with iftar.
Why is Ramadan holy?
Muslims believe that Ramadan is the month when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than 1,400 years ago.
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca if physically and financially capable.
Ramadan sayings in different languages
The month begins with the sighting of the new moon and is usually followed by a rush of greetings to welcome the new month. Various Muslim-majority nations have personalised greetings in their native languages.
Among the most common sayings are “Ramadan Mubarak” and “Ramadan Kareem”. These are Arabic sayings that translate to “blessed Ramadan” and “generous Ramadan”.
Greetings are not limited to the spoken language. They also extend to sign language and Braille. Some countries have their own version of sign language, but the swiping of the mouth is common among most to represent fasting.
Below are a collection of Ramadan greeting cards which you can download and share.