Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. It is one of the most celebrated months in the Muslim community. It is observed by Muslims worldwide with the main feature being fasting as a way of reflecting on prayers, forgiveness of sins and renewal of faith. Muslims all over the world celebrate this month as a commemoration of the first revelation of Quran to Muhammad.
It is a celebration that lasts somewhere between 29 and 30 days on the visual sites of the crescent moon. Muslims can usually safely estimate the beginning and the end of the month of Ramadan since the new moon marks the beginning of the new month. Muslims fast the entire month praying, reciting the Quran, engaging in charitable works and worshipping Allah. An exception from fasting is those who are traveling, the sick, those with some biological disability, pregnant, breastfeeding, menstruating and the Old people.
A brief history of Ramadan
The word Ramadan comes from an Arabic word that means dryness or scorching heat-ramida. It is the month in which Quran was first revealed to Muhammad by Allah. As I have stated earlier, the celebrations of Ramadan are mainly characterized by fasting. Fasting is known to be one of the four pillars of Muslim and hence it should be a significant feature during Ramadan. Fasting was made ‘’Wajib’’ Obligatory in the second year after the Muslims migrated from Mecca to Medina in the month of Sha’ban. Muslims fast from dawn to sunset by refraining from smoking, sexual relations, drinking, and consuming foods. However, foods are served before dawn and after sunset. Foods that are served before dawn are known as Suhoor and that which is served after sunset is known as Iftar.
Muslims are also taught to refrain from any sinful engagements that may draw their attention from the main focus of Ramadan. They should completely avoid backbiting, insulting, fighting, lying and cursing. If you refrain from all the sinful behaviors and focus on worshipping Allah, Praying and asking for forgiveness, then the spiritual rewards are believed to be multiplied during this special month in the Muslim calendar.
What Muslims believe they will gain from fasting?
Renewed focus-Muslim believe that fasting is a way of focusing their minds and souls on reciting the Quran because Ramadan is the month of Quran. Children are encouraged to recite the Quran which will eventually renew their spiritual engagement with Allah. It is also a chance to embark on extra prayers at night. This is a way of refocusing your attention to Allah and seeking forgiveness of sins.
Compassion- When you don’t eat the whole day, you get to experience hunger. What this does is that social responsibility is introduced into one’s conscience through religious acts.
Social interactions-when Muslims fast, they are encouraged to share their food with those people in our society that really need our help. The Quran encourages every Muslim to be charitable and share their property with less fortunate people in our society.