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Ramadan again (not Tariq of that ilk)

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 5:37 pm
by Fernando
Ramadan is upon Muslims again and looks like being fairly warm weather.
AFAIK the month of Ramadan derives its name from the hotness of the original pre-Islamic month in Arabia. From where and when, of course, the ritual originates.
My question is this: since Mohammed did away with the solar calendar, Ramadan has cycled through the year. In pre-Islamic times, the month and the ritual would have had a fairly stable position in the year. Was Ramadan, then, actually at a hot time of year when Mohammed first set its date loose from the Sun and handed it to the Moon?
And if so, would Arabs normally have done little more than drowse during the heat of the day anyway?

Re: Ramadan again (not Tariq of that ilk)

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 6:46 pm
by manfred
In Arabia it is hot for the whole of the year, except for December and January, which much like May in the UK, but with little or no rain. November and February are similar to July in the UK, and the rest of the time is just really hot, often hotter than the tropics proper.

I think the lunar calendar the Arabs use existed in Arabia before Islam, and was not significantly altered. But the Jewish and Julian calendars were also used.

In Europe, the main purpose of a calendar is to help planning the farming cycle, so that the times for planting.sowing and harvesting specific crops is clear. That is why it is mostly a solar calendar, following and measuring out the seasons.

For the Arabs, agriculture never was a major occupation. Sure, some fruit, predominantly dates, are cultivated, but they require little labour. You just leave the trees be, and when the fruit is ripe, you collect it.

So the "seasons", such as they are, are not as important in Arabia as in Europe. But the moon always was: it served as a guide to travellers at night (daytime travel was often too difficult because of the heat), and the waxing and waning of the moon provided a ready made crude measure of time. A new month to this day is called by the sighting of a new moon. To the Arabs it does not matter that the months "wander" through the seasons, as they do no do any farming in any significance.

Re: Ramadan again (not Tariq of that ilk)

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:34 am
by frankie
This web link gives comprehensive coverage of Ramadan, it is well worth a read as it gives the history of this pre Islamic ritual which was retained for Islam. ... -its-roots

Context re the importance of the moon held in Ramadan

"Mythological roots concerning Harran’s celebration of the moon explained the disappearance of the moon after it joined with the star cluster, Pleiades, in the constellation of Taurus. It occurred during the third week of March. The people prayed to the moon, pleading for its return to the city of Harran, but the moon refused to return. This is thought to be the explanation for why they fasted during this month. The moon did not promise to return to Harran, but it did promise to return to Deyr Kadi, a sanctuary near one of the gates of Harran. So after this month, the worshippers of Sin, the moon, went to Deyr Kadi to celebrate and to welcome the return of the moon.[viii][8] According to Ibn al-Nadim, the historian mentioned earlier, the Harranians called the feast al-Feter عيد الفطر , the same name by which the feast of Ramadan is named[ix][9]."