It’s the name of the fasting month following the sight of the new moon. Muslims follow the Lunar calender thus Ramadan begins and ends accordingly and not per Gregorian calender. Muslims all over the world are excited to welcome the blissful days and nights during Ramadan. What is the purpose of Ramadan? “O you who believe, fasting is prescribe to you as it was prescribe to those before, that you may learn self-restraint” Qur’an 1:183.
“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So, whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of days [should be made up]. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful, (Qur’an 1:185)
The verses above give us the true purpose of this month, fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is obligatory upon every muslim, male and female who is healthy, sane and past the age of puberty. The traveller, the sick, the pregnant/breastfeeding mothers and the menstruating women are exempted to fast however, they are to make up for that accordingly.
Ramadan is a month of struggle and sacrifice such that beloved acts like eating, drinking and fulfilment of human desires are impermissible from sunrise to sunset. Allah states that fasting is for Him, our time, our health, wealth and whole being is for Him during this month which makes fasting one of the greatest acts of worship a believer can perform.
Muslims happily embark on this struggle to learn self-control and to gain consciousness of Allah, with a different kind of hunger that satiates the soul with eagerness to please the Creator. It’s a time to cleanse the mind, body and soul and to reconnect with the words of Allah, the Qur’an which was revealed in this month. Many people strive to recite the entire Qur’an, some increase their recitations and perform voluntary salah and Du’a (prayer & supplication).
Ramadan is also a time whereby families, communities come together in unison, and a time for the payment of Zakat (charity). Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and it is only 2.5% of one’s wealth/savings and it is recommended to pay/donate to the poor/needy ideally before Eid-ul-Fitr (The 3day fest after Ramadan) so they too can join in the celebration of Eid. However, some prefer to donate their Zakat during Ramadan, so the needy fasting person/families can break their fast. One should not fast without anything in their stomach or have nothing to break their fast with.
The last ten nights of Ramadan is particularly special as Layla-tul-Qadr (The night of Decree/Night of Destiny) can be found in any of these nights. It commemorates the revelation of Qur’an, it is within these nights that Allah’s decree for the coming Lunar year is decided. His angels write down the decrees and with the Archangel Jibril descend on earth sending peace to the believers until sunrise.
I look forward to Ramadan each year, yearning for much needed spiritual boost so I can replenish my soul. I find comfort in fasting, praying in congregation or alone. I supplicate likes it’s my last moment and show my gratitude for being blessed with this beautiful month. I begin with making my intention to fast the whole month, clean my surrounding, light incense/scented candles and bring out my best clothing for prayers, including my smile.
I try to become the best version of myself and to remind myself that if I can abstain for acts/deeds that are permissible for me then surely, I can also restrain myself from acts/deeds that are not permissible for me the rest of the year. It’s a though journey but the reward is certain In Sha Allah (If Allah wills). I supplicate for myself, my family /friends and the world at large for tranquillity and harmony. I donate to my personal favourite charities such as Muslim Hands, Orphans in Need and Pious Projects by joining appeals ect. I also cook some Ramadan favourites (puff puff with extra sugar, beancakes & pancaso) then share these with neighbours and other fasting people at the mosques and some evenings host Iftari dinners when possible.
I supplicate for my fasting and deeds to be accepted, forgiveness from my sins and to be admitted to Janna-tul-Firdaws, (the highest rank in Heaven). The one thing I miss the most is being with my framily in Manchester and at my favourite mosque. I have thankfully found a nearby one and I am loving the togetherness. I look forward to spending my time there and making new friends In Sha Allah :) ❤
Photo: The Humanity