The lantern is considered an essential symbol of blessed Ramadan, and despite the interest of Muslims in buying lanterns in Ramadan for the purpose of adornment, most of them do not know why and where the idea came from. Is it part of religion and belief, or is it just a habit?
The specialist in Islamic arts, Professor Khaled Tadmouri, explained to “Voice of Beirut International” correspondent Ghassan Farran that “the Ramadan lantern is a custom and a historical tradition, and not a religious obligation or ritual, and as the historical sources mention the lanterns began in the Fatimid era, the Fatimids ruled Lebanon so this tradition was transferred to them and to the Levant. ”
The first appearance of the lantern, as Tadmouri said, was during the reign of the Fatimid caliph “Al-Muizz Li Deen Allah”, when he came to Cairo, his people went out to meet him in the Giza desert in the month of Ramadan. They carried the lanterns to guide them on the road, and after they returned to Cairo, the lanterns remained hanging throughout the month of Ramadan, and it became a habit to be lit in the month of Ramadan. He added,” another Fatimid caliph asked the imams of mosques to illuminate the mosques and streets in Ramadan by hanging lanterns, which led to making the lantern becomes a symbol in the blessed month of Ramadan. ”
He pointed out that a “Fatimid calif used to go out to see the crescent of Ramadan, accompanied by children who were carrying lanterns and torches, and after checking the sight of the crescent of Ramadan, they would return to walk in the streets of Cairo singing religious songs.”
Regardless of the multiplicity and difference of narratives, the lantern will remain a wonderful Ramadan habit that brings pleasure and joy to children and adults and celebrates the advent of the blessed month.