By Abdulaziz Al Jahdhami — The holy month of Ramadhan has just started, announcing the beginning of a blessed time of the year. Muslims all over the world observe this month by fasting from dawn until sunset every day. It goes on for around 29 or 30 days depending on moonsighting on the 29th day. Ramadhan is considered a generous guest visiting every house of Muslims and bringing blessings of different kind.
Ramadhan is the month of fasting, mercy, forgiveness and kindness as people are more compassionate to one another during the month. In fact, this month is the holiest in the Islamic calendar and regarded a significant occasion for Muslims.
Its importance and value as a month is marked by the revelation of the Holy Quran, prescription of fasting and declaration of the Night of Al Qadr, which is better than one thousand months in terms of value in praying to Allah on this night.
This is affirmed by the verse of the Quran: “The month of Ramadhan, in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and criterion (between right and wrong). So whoever of you sights the month, he/she must observe fast that month and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number of days that one did not observe fasts must be made up on other days.”
The value of Night of Al Qadr is addressed in the verse: “Surely We revealed it (Quran) on the night of Qadr — And what do you know what Night of Al Qadr is — The night is better than a thousand months — The angels and the spirit descend on it by the permission of their lord’s every command — It is peace till the break of morning.”
As a matter of fact, fasting was prescribed in this month and assigned to other nations before it was assigned to the nation of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him).
This has been affirmed by the Quran verse when the Almighty Allah addressed people: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil.”
Ramadhan is a month of learning; it passes different lessons to Muslims during their fasting period from dawn to sunset.
Fasting urges Muslims to recall various aspects of living practices as well as reminds them of all those poor people and needy families within society.
It mirrors the daily struggle of poor people striving to afford food and other necessities for themselves and their families.
Therefore, while fasting, Muslims become more thoughtful and sympathetic to their poor brothers and sisters. In return, good deeds are conducted in this month reflecting the spirit of giving and caring.
Generally, fasting is a spiritual practice that does not just consist of refraining from eating and drinking, but from every kind of selfish desire and wrong-doing. Fasting is not merely of the body, but of the spirit as well.
The purpose of fasting is to develop and strengthen one’s power of self-control to resist wrong desires and bad habits. This definitely will help people attain nearness and closeness to Allah. Besides, fasting promotes charity and generosity as people get more sympathetic to the sufferings of others.
Undoubtedly, Ramadhan as a month is the time for obtaining blessings from the Almighty Allah as well as for giving and sharing.
Fasting as a practice is a valuable experience towards achieving self-improvement. It could be the start for maintaining good deeds and principles in the life of people.
Ramadhan Mubarak to each and every one of you.