Ramadan in Jordan

   Ramadan in Jordan:  A Month of fasting, prayer, and charity

Map of Country

Figure 1:Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arab.  strategically located at head of gulf of Aqaba.  3 100 N, 36 00




Ramadan is the month of blessing, in which Muslims focus upon prayer, fasting and charity. It is one of the most important Islamic celebrations in which Muslims are forced to reflect on their faith. They inherently take a journey within themselves to find out who they are and where they stand in their religion. This journey involves much strength and discipline. It is important to the culture and history of the Jordanian Muslims because it symbolizes strength, spiritual cleansing, and devotion. Ramadan is an extremely serious practice because it focuses on sacred religious sacrifice.


Additional Image 1   Additional Image 2

Figure 2: http://jamaats.mumineen.org/dallas/images/bihori1.jpg

In Dallas, Texas Muslims pray during their month of Ramadan.Give source and description

Figure 3: http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/muslimlife/ramadan3.htm

This muslim couple awaits the crescent moon which signals the beginning of Ramadan. Give source and description


Ramadan is one of the most important Islamic celebrations consisting of a month of blessing marked by prayer, fasting, and charity. Ramadan gives Muslims time to think about their faith rather than everyday issues. Ramadan is important to the culture and history of the Jordanian Muslims because it symbolizes strength, spiritual cleansing, and devotion to their faith. Ramadan is one of the oldest forms of celebration for the Jordanian Muslims. It embodies their culture by capturing the devotion they hold for religious values as well as emphasizes their beliefs in the importance of spiritual prayer and self-actualization. The most important aspect of Ramadan is the seven underlying principles that Muslims live by during the month long religious celebration.


Context of [Jordan]

Jordan is located in the Middle East, northwest of Saudi Arabia . It borders Iraq , Israel, Saudi Arabia , Syria , and The West Bank. The country spans 92,300 square kilometers of mainly desert, an area just smaller than the state of Indiana.(cia.gov) There is a rainy season in the west during the months of November to April. In the highland area in the west, the land is mostly plateau. The Great Rift Valley separates the east and west banks of the Jordan River . The lowest point in Jordan is marked by the Dead Sea, while the highest point is Jabal Ram.

       Throughout Jordan 's history there have been numerous invasions by outside forces attempting to take over the land. One of the most significant invasions was by the Ottoman Empire . During World War I , Britain attacked the Ottoman rulers, resulting in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire . After the collapse, The British took over Palestine creating the state of Trans-Jordan, which was eventually renamed Jordan in 1946. Jordan now ruled by King Hussein declared its independence from Britain on May 25 th , 1946. 

        In 1948, the Arabs and Jews went to war in the West Bank . The Arabs, who lived in the remaining Palestinian territory of the Jordan River , launched many murderous attacks upon Jews to drive them out. After joining other Arab forces in the 1967 Six-Day War, Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel (iexplore.com). In the next couple of years, Trans-Jordan formally merged this west bank territory with its own border and granted all those “Palestinian” Arabs living there Jordanian citizenship.


Origins of [Ramadan]


Muslims hold the belief that during the month of Ramadan, Allah revealed the first verses of the Qur'an, which is the holy book of Islam. Around 610 AD, a trader named Muhammed wandered the deserts of Mecca , which is in present-day Saudi Arabia . One night a voice called to him from the sky – it was the angel Gabriel. He told Muhammed that he had been chosen to receive the word of Allah. In the days following, Muhammed found himself speaking the verses that would be known and transcribed as the Qur'an. This would prove to be the scripture that Muslims have worshiped for centuries.

  Ramadan is derived from the Arabic root word ramida or ar-ramad denoting intense scorching heat and dryness, especially the ground. Thus, the word Ramadan is so called to indicate the heating sensation in the stomach as a result of thirst. Others said it is so called because Ramadan scorches out the sins with good deeds, as the sun burns the ground. Some said it is so called because the hearts and souls are more readily receptive to the admonition and remembrance of Allah during Ramadan, as the sand and stones are receptive to the sun's heat. The framers of this beautiful language may have been inspired by Allah in naming this month Ramadan. Otherwise, the relation between the heat and its properties is similar to that of Ramadan. While the heat represents the matter that helps shape, form, and mold virtually every matter - from metal and plastics, to plants and living cells - Ramadan undoubtedly helps a serious believer remold, reshape, reform, and renew his physical and spiritual disposition and behavior (www.usc.edu).



  Ramadan is celebrated on the 9 th month of the Muslim calendar. The most observable elements of the celebration are fasting and praying. The fast lasts for 30 days and is celebrated 10 days before the previous year on a lunar calendar. For the last 10 days of the month there is a retreat to the mosque where the believers perform prayers. “The retreat is traditionally said to anticipate the Night of Power, the night which is better than 1000 months.” (Bakhtiar xviii) At the end of the month, followers of the religion each pay a tax, which is given to the poor and needy. At the end of the month there is a large festival where the community celebrates.



Mecca is the holiest place of the Muslim religion and is the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad. http://jahon.mfa.uz/image/ramadan.jpg




Prognosis for Ramadan


This Islamic celebration has recently increased in popularity due to the increase in practicing Muslims in the US and abroad, especially after the attacks of 9/11. The war in Iraq has also influenced more Muslims to give back to their faith. “Numbers of worshippers have indeed increased a lot before and during the war in our mosques,” said Ayman Al Sebae, a 22-year-old member of Tabligh Wa Al Dawa (Summoning and Preaching), Egypt 's largest preaching network. “People do not find answers for what's happening. But now they understand that returning to religion is the solution” (islam-online.net).




Spiritually, Ramadan is the most important and influential Islamic celebration to the Muslim world. It embodies the principles of prayer, fasting and charity in a month of blessing. Muslims fast and spend time reflecting on themselves and their faith. It is this practice that makes Ramadan unique. The rich culture of the Jordanian Muslims explodes out through the great beliefs that surround Ramadan, including spiritual cleansing, strength, and devotion. The most important aspect of the celebration are the seven underlying principles that embody the true meaning of Ramadan. Without these strong principles, Ramadan could not exist as it has for centuries. The faith and beliefs of the Muslim world parallel the qualities that make Ramadan such an important part of their lives. As long as the principles are maintained, Ramadan will continue to be a focal point of the Muslim world for centuries to come.


Internet References Cited


Peer-Reviewed References Cited

  • Bakhtiar, Laleh

  • 1995       Ramadan: Motivating Believers to Action. The Institute of Traditional

       Psychoethics and Guidance. Chicago

    Chittick, William

    1992    Faith and Practice of Islam. State University of New York Press.                 Albany. 

  • Dorson,Richard M.

  • 1982    Material Components in Celebration . In Celebration: Studies  

    •  Festivity and Ritual . Victor Tuner, ed, pp. 2233-57. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington .


  • Lutfiyya, Abdulla

    1970    Readings in Arab Middle Eastern Societies and Cultures. 

  •             Mounton & Co. Netherlands .


    Toda, Masahiro., and Kanehisa, Morimoto

    2004   Ramadan Fasting-Effect on healthy Muslims. Social Behavior and

               Personality: An International Journal 32(1):6-13.



Contact Jim Aimers | ©2004 Miami University