Ramadan Kareem: Palestine 2011
In 2011, Palestine issued a set of four stamps and two sheets to celebrate the month of Ramadan. The Stamps have the mention “Ramadan Kareem”, which could translate into “Ramdan is Generous”.
Ramadan is celebrated as the month during which the prophet Muhammad received the initial revelations of what became the Quran, the holy book for Muslims, from God. It is considered as a month of fasting, introspection and prayer for Muslims, the followers of Islam.
Ramadan is the 9th month in the lunar islamic calendar. This month could be of 29 or 30 days depending on when the new moon is visible. During this month muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity from dawn to sunset. They are also supposed to avoid impure thoughts and bad behavior. The month ends with a thre days feast called Eid-Al-Fitr. Fasting in Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.
As the lunar year is shorter than the solar year by 11 days, the month of ramadan occures at a different gregorian date each year. Because of the date variation, the fasting month will over time occur in all seasons.
Depending on the season when Ramadan occurs, and the geographic location, fasting duration will be shorter or longer. Also, the level of temperature and weather conditions will make fasting easier or harder.
According to islamic rules, fasting is an obligation for all Muslims who have reached puberty and are in good health. The sick and elderly, along with travelers, pregnant women and those who are nursing are exempt. In some case they are supposed to make up for the missed fast days sometime in the future or help feed the poor if they are permanently unable to fast for health conditions.