Thursday, June 18, 2015 10:30 am ·  0 Comments
Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar is the holiest month of the year. It is the month that Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) was appointed to be the final Prophet and Messenger of Almighty God. It is the month when the first revelation of the Holy Quran took place.
This is a time of great blessings and rewards, cherished by Muslims around the globe.
Almighty God commanded in the Qur’an that all those who are healthy and able should fast.
Children under the age of puberty are exempt. However, many children love to be part of the spirit of Ramadan and may try fasting from breakfast to lunch to feel involved.
Those who are suffering from illness or are travelling are also exempt until they regain the ability to fast.
“Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down as a guide to mankind, also clear signs for guidance and measure. So every one of you who is present during this month should fast.” (Qur’an – 2:185)
This year, Ramadan falls in June and July coinciding with the longest Summer days of the Gregorian calendar with hot days and nights. This calls for dedication and sacrifice to cope with the requirements of Ramadan which generally requires a person to complete the Suhur (the blessed meal) by 3.00AM, break the fast around 9.00PM and finish the Taraweeh prayers around 12.30AM while attending their job normally.
There are several recommendations on how to approach the challenge of fasting in Ramadan effectively. The most helpful is to practice fasting for few days in every month as recommended by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), usually the 13th, 14th and 15th of the month. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) used to fast every Monday as a sign of gratitude for being born on that day.
As well as fasting, Muslims are encouraged to spend this month in different acts of worship and spiritual purification, so that they leave the month refreshed and with their faith strengthened in preparation for the coming year.
These acts include prayers and reading the Qur’an. The Qur’an is a book filled with guidance, mercy and reassurance. Thus Muslims are encouraged to spend much of their time in this month in contemplation of Allah’s words. Special prayers called Taraweeh are performed every night where the whole Quran is recited over the month by a Hafiz, a person who has memorized the whole Quran. I’tekaaf is performed by members of the community where they seclude themselves from the worldly affairs, and worship during the last ten nights in order to seek the night of Qadr.
Muslims are encouraged to look to the needy, and give charity. The feeding of others is of great importance to our community, and we seek to help all those in need including non-Muslims.
We are also encouraged to share the blessings of this month with those around us. We invite people of all faiths to join in the blessings of this month, by participating in acts of fasting such as breaking the fast, charity and promoting community bonds.
Establishing an effective schedule for eating, drinking, praying and sleep in this month helps establish self control. This in turn helps healthy habits and the avoidance of diseases. Fasting allows the body to focus on the many other functions it has beside digestion, and has been proven to improve overall physical wellbeing. Social wellbeing and care for the community are also intensified during the month of Ramadan.