By: Suhail Mehraj
Ramadan (also known as Ramadhan or Ramzan) is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is a time when Muslims around the world focus on prayer, fasting, giving to charity, and religious devotion. The last third of Ramadan is a particularly holy period, as it commemorates when the (Quran) first verses were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Mohammad). Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which consists of 12 months and lasts for about 354 days. The word “Ramadan” is derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground and shortness of food and drink. The month of Ramadan traditionally begins with a new moon sighting, marking the start of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. Many Muslims (except children, the sick and the elderly) abstain from food, drink, and certain other activities during daylight hours in Ramadan. Gossiping and fighting are also prohibited in this period.
The month of Ramazan is that in which Quran was revealed: a guidance for mankind, a clear prays of guidance and criterion of right and wrong. While fasting from dawn til sunset Muslims refrain from consuming food and engaging in sexual intercourse. Ramazan is a month where Muslims try to practice increasing self-discipline . When Ramazan arrives the gates of paradise are opened and the doors of hell are being locked up and devils are put in chains. Each day, before dawn Muslims observe a pre-fast leave called Sehar, after stepping a short time before dawn , Muslims begins the first prayer of the day. At the sunset families hasten for the fast breaking meal known as Iftaar. Dates are usually the top priority to break the fasts. According to tradition, Mohammad saw broke fast with three dates. Following that, Muslims generally adjourn for the Magrib prayer, after which the main meal is served. In addition to fasting Muslims are encouraged to read the whole Quran. Some Muslims perform the recitation of whole Quran by means of special prayers called Traawih. This is the month of patience and reward of patience is Jannah.
Abu Hurairah ( r.a) relates the messenger of Allah said that during this month the gates of paradise will be opened and doors of hell will be closed. The evil ones will be handcuffed. In it there is a one night during which worship is better than worship of thousand months. Whoever is denied it blessings has been denied the biggest blessing. . It has been reported by the way of Abu Hurairah (R.A) that the prophet SAW reported that Allah said in the Hadith Al-Qudsi; “ All services of the son of Adam are for him except fasting. It is for me and I will reward for it.” Fasting is a shield. The fat is a single most important device to test the Iman or faith of the believers and the depth of his sincerity and commitment to the concept Tawheed the oneness of Allah. According to another Hadith, the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Fasting is half of patience.” Narrated by at-Tirmidhi.
Patience is of three types: patience in obeying Allah, patience in refraining from that which Allah has prohibited, and patience in accepting the decree of Allah when it is hurtful. All three types of patience are combined in fasting.
Some Usages of Fasting
Reduction in cholesterol level, weight loss, protects against cell damage caused due to aging and chemotherapy, de-toxification of toxins stored in body’s fat, positive fat on mental well-being and regeneration of immune cells.
As the auspicious month of Ramadan is approaching , I wish all Muslims may this crescent shaped moon brighten our path towards enlightenment and may Allah bless us with peace, prosperity, grace, harmony and joy.