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The Aim And Purpose Of Fitrana

Holiest among all the traditions of Islam, Ramadan is 30 solemn days of prayer and fasting marked with a period of charity and ended in festivity. It is observed during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, a lunar calendar composed of 12 months used by Muslims internationally to date events related to the faith. With it, the five pillars of Islam, observed during Ramadan, is maintained in synchronicity by all Muslim communities worldwide.

The five pillars as mentioned above are Shahadah, Salat, Sawm, Hajj, and Zakat al-Fitr. The first pillar, Shahadah, is a simple statement of the core Islamic belief, uttered in Arabic: la ilaha illallah Muhammadun rasulu-llah translated as "Theres no god but God; Muhammad is Gods messenger." Not only is this a statement that takes a higher importance during Ramadan, it is also a declaration crucial to the process of conversion to Islam.

The second, Salat, is composed of five prayers that must be performed daily at the proper times, preferably in a mosque. The third, Hajj, is the pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, a task that must be performed at least once in the entire life of a Muslim.

The fourth, Sawm, is the obligatory ritual fasting done from dawn to dusk for the whole duration of the Ramadan. The fifth pillar, Zakat al-Fitr, is Sawms traditional end, wherein wealthier Muslims reach down to the less fortunate and offer their help through alms.

Each of these pillars symbolizes the loving and sacrificial nature of Islamic faith, and Zakat al-Fitr is the one that ties all of them together before the day of Eid.

Zakat al-Fitr, now internationally known as Fitrana, is a period in the last days of the Sawm when the financially able reach out to those who have less, through charity or Ramadan donation. Each Muslim must give a preset minimum or a fraction of their income to appointed institutions or go on foot and do it personally to the person or community he or she deems to be in need of help. This task is appointed to all Muslims, regardless of age and financial standing, though guardians should pay for dependents who are not yet able.

Fitrana is not a tradition that displays the contrast between the wealthy and the poor, though for some it appears to be so. The Fitranas purest aim is to unite everyone in all walks of life on the final days of the Ramadan. One of its many purposes is to promote brotherhood and healthy dependence among all Muslims, as all had been, or will be, poor at some point in their lives. Another purpose is to help the less fortunate celebrate the feast held on the day of Eid.

Such a loving tradition allows for all Muslims to band together as a community. Muslims with the highest financial standing are obliged to pay the Fitrana in coin, but like the least fortunate, they can also perform good deeds for those with less. And after the arduous tasks of fasting and charity, all Muslims will be rewarded with a healthier spirit, as promised on the day of the revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad.

Understanding The Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac, also known as the Shengxiao, is based on a 12-year cycle. Each year of the cycle is represented by a different animal. The twelve animals that are represented include the rat, the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig. These animals continually cycle through each 12-year period in this exact order. So, for example, Monkey is the 2016 Chinese Zodiac year.

Your sign is determined by which year you were born according to the Chinese lunar calendar. It is believed that the animal that rules the year that you were born has a profound impact on your personality and your overall destiny.

Whereas Western astrology relies on the stars and planets, Chinese astrology centers around the five elements, which include metal, wood, earth, water and fire. Additionally, the animals of the zodiac are not associated with any constellations.

Your sign under Chinese astrology is also believed to play a key role in determining who you are compatible with in terms of romantic relationships. Some people use this information to guide them toward finding their soulmate or discovering true love.

Even if you don't believe in Chinese astrology, it can still be fun to look up your sign to see how closely it matches with your personality. You may be surprised by how well your sign describes the person that you are. Whether or not you lend any credence to it is really a matter of personal believe. However, it can be interesting to delve a little bit deeper into these beliefs.

This brief explanation of the Chinese zodiac barely scratches the surface of this ancient belief system. If you want to learn more, the best way is to meet directly with an adviser who specializes in the Shengxiao. They can help you evaluate your birth date to discover how Chinese astrology may be able to guide you in your life.

Depending on how much stock you put in the predictions made by this belief system, you may want to use it to help you make important decisions regarding your future or to guide you toward your mate. On the other hand, you may just want to explore it for fun to see what it has to say about your personality and your future destiny. Either way, it can be an interesting way to take a closer look at yourself and to discover parts of your personality that you may have previously overlooked.