A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Last Week of Ramadan

In my posting at the beginningof Ramadan I quoted Sura 97 of the Qur'an, Al-Qadr, which deals with the "Night of Power" or "Night of Destiny" (Laylat al-Qadr), and describes it as "better than a thousand months." It represents the day of the first revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (and, in some traditions, was also the date of the completion of the revelation of the Qur'an). For Sunni Muslims no specific date is recognized, but it is said to be an odd-numbered day among the last ten days of Ramadan, so the 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th, or 29th. There is a Shi‘ite tradition that points to the 23rd (which would have been over the past weekend), but given the uncertainty Muslms traditionally say extra prayers and are particularly devoted during the last 10 days of the month.

As I noted the other day, we have just passed Coptic new year, and Rosh Hashona this year will coincide closely with the ‘Id at the end of Ramadan. So I'll be hard-pressed to mark all of them with seasonal best wishes to readers of various faiths.

No comments: