Ramadan، the ninth month of the lunar calendar، has a special significance for the Islamic community، for billions of people in the four corners of the world.
The fast during this month is one of the five pillars of Islam. Ramadan means more than abstaining from food، drink، or sexual relations between sunrise and sunset.
It means fighting against inner human desires. It is a time devoted to internal reflection، devotion to Allah and self-control.
Moreover، it is an invitation to gain a better understanding of the life of people who do not always have enough to eat.
The majority of Moroccans like Ramadan because of its sacred nature and the congenial atmosphere it engenders. The people spend their days and part of their nights during this month of prayer in the Mosques.
The evening after Maghreb prayers، families and friends break their fast in a cheerful and relaxed atmosphere. Ramadan is the only month when the members of the family meet، every evening، around a table of delicacies.
The housewives prepare special dishes such as harira، the national soup. Typically Moroccan، this soup is very rich in calories and spices، and is generally used to break the fast. It is usually followed by dates or honeycombs chebbakia (wafers coated in honey) or briouates (layers of pastry stuffed with fresh cheese and soaked in honey. Other delicacies include baghrir (Moroccan pancakes) m’semmen (wafers) coated with honey and butter، harcha (containing semolina)، sellou (an almond mixture ground with flour and other ingredients)، caabghzale (horn of gazelle cake in stuffed layers of ground almonds) briouate stuffed with shrimps or meat and the national drink:typically Moroccan mint tea.
For the Moroccans، Ramadan is a month of piety، meditation and spirituality and also a festive period، especially after Iftaar.
Moroccans as the rest of Muslims regard the last 10 days of Ramadan as highly blessed – especially the 27th night، the Night of the Decree، Laylat Al-Qadr، the night when the Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Mohammed sallallaahu `alayhiwasallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ).
This is the night on which children are initiated into fasting. And after the breaking of the fast، the boys and young girls dress in beautiful traditional clothes.
In the evening after breakfast most people eat dry fruits (fakiya: dry almonds، nuts، grapes، dates bouzekri and feqqass) with tea and dine on the national dish. For many pious Moroccans، this period is marked by a particular spiritual intensity: they spend their nights reading the Qur’an.
Finally on the last day of Ramadan، 'Eed Al-Fitr(the festival at the end of the fast) the joy goes hand in hand with the joy of Muslims throughout the world of distributing Zakah to the needy so they can celebrate the festive season as well.