are over one billion Muslims in the world. For them the month
of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is especially
significant because it was the month in which the first verses
of the holy Qur'an were revealed to Prophet Mohammad (peace
be upon him). It is a time for inner reflection, devotion
to Allah and self-discipline.
holy Qur'an Allah subhanu wa ta'ala says, "O ye who believe!
Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those
before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint, (fasting)
for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on
a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from
days later. For those who can do it (with hardship), is a
ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will
give more, of his own free will, it is better for him. And
it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew."
(Surah Baqara, verse183-184)
is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide
to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between
right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his
home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if
any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should
be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for
you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you)
to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that
He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful."
(Surah Baqara, verse 185)
Prophet (pbuh) said: "It is Allah's own month.
People! In this month, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the doors
of everlasting bliss and happiness are thrown open…
In this month you are the guests of Allah, enjoying His hospitality,
you are among His favourites, your breathing is 'praise of
Allah', your sleep is His worship, your prayers receive His
approval, your invocations are sanctioned. So, sincerely,
free from evil and sinful thoughts and actions, with clear
conscious, pray and request that He may give your heart and
confidence to observe fast and recite the holy Qur'an and
dua'a throughout this month."
Johnson, a converted Muslim writes, "The first time I
fasted for Ramadan was two years ago - about six months before
I actually converted to Islam. I was studying for my finals
at University at the time, and I didn't tell any of my friends
in case they thought I was going crazy! It was a private and
special experience which brought me much strength, peace and
second Ramadan, however, was an entirely different affair.
By then I had become part of the local Muslim community, mainly
through working with other Muslims from various backgrounds.
This time Ramadan was more chaotic and exhausting - but also
a lot of fun as I was surrounded by people enjoying the same
experience as me."
to Jim Quraishi, "In Ramadan, fasting from food, water
and sex sets a context within which I can try to establish
God's presence in my life. I also know that we are not supposed
to only fast from food, drinks and sex, but from all lust,
all hypocrisy, all lies, all dishonesty, all backbiting and
all evil. To my surprise, I am able to achieve that to some
extent. I can carry that for some months. I think it is like
the fourth or fifth month after Ramadan that it starts to
was once said that the true meaning of Fasting is to fast
from anything that distracts you from remembrance of God.
I have loved that ever since I first read it. I think this
became a shortcut for me to evaluate every situation before
I get involved."
surfer on the net, who goes by the name Junaidi writes: "Food,
when you break your fast, tastes all that much better and
you appreciate what God has given you. And because it is the
holiest month in the Islamic calendar I guess I think more
about God and go to the mosque often and enjoy it. They say
the devil is locked up during Ramadan, the gates of hell closed
and gates of heaven wide open -- that's how significant this
month is. Ramadan is also the only time when my family gets
together to have breakfast and dinner together on the table.
Outside of this time we eat at different times and I usually
eat in my room."
is the month during which every Muslim is urged to multiply
his acts of ibadah (worship) and reinforce his faith. On the
spiritual and moral level, it means struggling to develop
self-restraint, God-consciousness and piety. Muslims strive
in this month to curb all detrimental desires and negative
or uncharitable thoughts, and to nurture love, patience, unselfishness
and social consciousness. A greater sense of generosity and
forgiveness is also characteristic of this time." (Majlis
Ugama Islam Singapura)
grant us the rewards of this month, forgive us our sins and
protect us from all evils.
(R) thedailystar.net 2004