Many, many years ago, a man was chosen by Gracious Almighty, to title the crown of ultimate prophecy, of peace and became author of a novel religion. He was known as Muhammad, the beloved prophet of Gracious Almighty, who gave birth to Islam and was gifted with the blessed knowledge of Quran in the holy month, well-known today as Ramadan-ul-Mubarak.
Fragrant Ramadan-ul-Mubarak is the 9th blessed month of the Islamic lunar calendar, which is an important month in the diary and also culture. Fasting in Ramadan-ul-Mubarak is compulsory (Farad) upon every healthy, mature, strong Muslim not traveling. As far as Muslim females are concerned, to fast they must not be menstruating or having post-childbirth bleeding, for they are ordered to make up the days later which they have missed.
The key objective of not drinking and eating is to attain beneficial virtues and to become conscious of our Originator, growing awareness towards His Majesty, praising and worshiping His titles and features, evoking His sacred signs as the Gracious Almighty praises in the holy Quran.
“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me.” (1)
Throughout Ramadan while Muslims abstain from nutrients during day hours, they get together over foodstuff with friends and families in the evenings at (Aftar) timings. Refraining from nutrients has great value on the Muslims, fasting physically as well as spiritually. It is an exercise for self-restraint and control of the immoral self. Through fasting one absorbs how to detain one’s desires and releases person from the burden of wants and wishes. Refraining from nutrients also prompts us of the less privileged ones, the deprived and the penniless. It also lifts the spirits of the deprived by knowing that even Crowned heads have to starve for a while and on the other hand abstaining makes the rich understand and realize what the deprived go through time to time. Fasting moreover cleanses one’s soul and heart and is counseled to control and learn how to withhold from useless dialog, double-dealing and cheating. Even though fasting is supportive to health, it is primarily a way of self-ablution and self-control. By disconnecting oneself from knowing comforts, a fasting individual’s heart on the purpose of life becomes aware of the presence of Gracious Almighty (God).
When the blessed month of Ramadan-ul-Mubarak knocks at our doors, cheers and delight yields among the Muslim Ummah because fragrant Ramadan-ul-Mubarak carries two of the most paramount gifts of Gracious Almighty, firstly the month of Ramadan-ul-Mubarak itself and secondly the celebration of the revelation of the Holy Quran. Ramadan-ul-Mubarak is not simply the month of abstaining but also the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed, as a guideline for mankind with clear “Signs” for guidance and the distinction amid right and wrong.
Many wonders occurred in this wondrous month, the complete Quran was reveled down from Lawhay- Mahfooz in approximately 23 years; there is also that marvelous night “Layla-tul-Qadar” which is proclaimed superior than 1000 months. In this glorious month, the virtues of good deed are equivalent to the obligatory (fard) of a different month and with patience the reward of this tolerance is “Heaven” Jannah. Ramadan-ul-Mubarak teaches the message of compassion towards others and the daily bread of Muslims is improved. The month of Ramadan-ul-Mubarak is divided in phases, the 1st ten days reveal mercy of Gracious Almighty, 2nd ten days reveal forgiveness of Gracious Almighty and the 3rd and last ten days reveal safety from hell fire.
Ramadan-ul-Mubarak helps in renewing our promise and reforming our relationship with our Almighty Creator. The holy month is a spring-tide season for decedents and virtues when righteousness flourishes thru the Muslim societies. This month stretches every Muslim an opportunity to brace his faith “Iman”, refine his soul and get rid of the sinful effects of the evil committed by him.
Dear Islamic brothers and sisters practicing Muslims assemble at mosques offering the nightly prayers consisting of 20 Rakaats called “Taraweeh” these prayers begin about 1 ½ hour after sunsets “Esha” prayers. Each night the Imam “leader in prayer” narrates an equal percentage of the Quran so that by the 27th night of Ramadan-ul-Mubarak the complete Quran can be narrated by the Imam “leader in prayer” from his remembrance.
As the departure of our noble guest Ramadan-ul-Mubarak approaches, Muslim Ummah prepare for Eid ul-fitar, which brings Ramadan-ul-Mubarak on your doorstep. Eid day is a time of celebration, giving gifts, sharing foodstuff, gatherings with family members and winning a holiday.
THE WISDOM BEHIND FASTING
There are many reasons and wisdoms behind every single action in Islam, prayer “Salah” for example, is an everyday drill for cleansing the devotee and retelling them that they are associated in a community of Muslim believers. Whereas abstaining, is an annual drill inclosing all possible features for human excellence? It is an exercise for the body and soul, a rebirth of life, cheering the spirit of sacrificing and sharing.
The following are some of the general benefits:
Self-Restraint (Taqwaah): Fasting inspires taqwaah or awareness of Gracious Almighty, by controlling two parts of the body, which are the basis reasons of human disgrace, the stomach and the private parts of the body.
Heath Benefits: Abstaining also supports to right the problem of fatness and diabetes and other illnesses originated from upset stomach.
Patience: Fasting helps in taming the heart, the soul, and the body on the qualities of patience, firmness and control in harsh conditions.
Social Benefits: Generally, fasting is an expression of unity with deprived families and the entire Muslim community. This is the time when rich face the experience of starving and feel the pain, which deprived feel in normal living conditions.
Family Ties: Ramadan-ul-Mubarak helps Muslim families to gather and eat together at Iftaar and Sahree two times a day for the whole month. Fasting improves and strengthens relationship, as Ramadan is celebrated as the month of invitations, as family members and neighbors extend visits to have Iftaar together.
Besides Fasting, the Muslims Ummah should emphasis on offering maximum prayers, so that more and more reward can be attained in this Blessed month. Hence, prayers need to be offered along with abstaining during Ramadan-ul-Mubarak as this is the only mean to seek forgiveness from Gracious Almighty and attain your desired objectives.
Nawafill: Nawafill is the 3rd type of prayer Muslims can specially perform in Ramadan-ul-Mubarak; these are called additional prayers which Muslims can offer separately at any time of the day. Performing Nawafill prayers in Ramadan-ul-Mubarak are equivalent in virtuous to Obligatory prayers.
Supplication in Ramadan: A unique act of worship legislated upon us by Gracious Allah is supplication (Du’a), which should be made on consistent basis through the year but supplications made in the blessed month of Ramadan-ul-Mubarak, hold a greater importance than the rest of the year. Muslims appeal Gracious Almighty for His mercy and forgiveness and supplicate excessively. A direct link between du’a and fasting in Ramadan according to Hadith;
“The supplications of three persons are never turned away: a just ruler, a fasting person until he breaks his fast, and the supplication of an oppressed person which is raised by Allah to the clouds on the Day of Resurrection, and the gates of heaven are opened for it and Allah says: By my might, I will help you even if it is after a while” (2)
Muslim Ummah in Ramadan can gain maximum sacred signs and forgiveness from Gracious Almighty Allah and seek compassion for whatever sins they have committed. Hence, prayers and supplications need to be safeguarded throughout the month, as these are the two aspects that can help a Muslim achieve the desired goals.
(1)- (Surah Baqarah v. 186) this verse of the holy Quran is from surah Baqarah a (Madani-Surah), revealed in praise of the Muslim Ummah, in regards of supplication.
(2)-(Sunan Ibn Majah No. 1624) stanza of the sayings of the noble prophet regarding supplication and fasting in the month of Ramadan.