Ramadhan has just kicked off its journey, spreading blessings all over the world throughout 29 to 30 days. Starting and completing of this month-long journey depends on moon sighting. Muslim communities all over the world are observing this month by fasting from the dawn until sunset everyday. Ramadhan comes once a year as a generous guest visiting every house of Muslims, showering them with blessings and graces of different kinds.
Ramadhan is one of the five key pillars of Islam, standing as a must-to-be-performed religious obligation by all Muslims. Truthfully, fasting was prescribed in this month and assigned to nations of other Prophets before being assigned to the nation of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). This has been affirmed by the Holy 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.”
Known as the month of fasting, mercy, forgiveness and kindness, people become more compassionate to each other during Ramadhan. In fact, this month is the holiest month in the Islamic Calendar and regarded a significant occasion for Muslims. Its importance and value as a month is marked by the revelation of Holy Quran, prescription of fasting and declare of the Night of Al Qadr, a night valuing better than one thousand months in terms of worth in praying to Allah on this night.
The Holy Quran affirmed it in the verse, “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 fasts that month and whoever is ill or on a journey, the same number of days which one did not observe fasts must be made up from other days”.
Stressing the importance of the Night of Al Qadr is having, the verse of Quran says: “Surely We revealed it (Quran) on the night of Al Qadr — And what do you know what Night of Al Qadr is — The night is better than a thousand of months — The angels and the spirit descend in it by the permission of their lord every command — It is peace till the break of morning”.
Moreover, Ramadhan is a time of learning and passing different lessons to Muslims during their fasting period since dawn to sunset. Fasting urges Muslims to recall various aspects of living practices and reminds them of all those poor people and needy families around. Basically, it mirrors the daily struggle of poor people, striving to afford food and other life 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 usually conducted in this month reflecting the spirit of giving and care. Donation of food and money to the needy families is essential indeed.
Generally, fasting is a spiritual practice that does not just consist of refraining from eating and drinking, but from every kind of selfish desires and wrong deeds too. Fasting is not only of the body, but of the spirit as well. Essentially, the purpose of fasting is to develop and strengthen ones 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 considerate with the suffering of others.
Certainly, Ramadhan as a month is a time of obtaining blessings from the Almighty Allah as well as time for giving and sharing. Fasting as a practice is a valuable experience towards achieving self-improvement. Likewise, it could be the start of maintaining good deeds and principles to be habitual in everyday life of people.
Have a blessed Ramadhan to one and all.