The month of Ramadan is when the Qurʾān was first revealed. Ramadan is a celebration of the moment God chose to communicate with mankind. It is the month of mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and ultimately a means of salvation. Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in Islamic culture. Fasting the month of Ramadan is one of the main pillars of Islam. It is obligatory upon every sane, healthy Muslim who reached puberty and is not travelling during the time of fasting. Allah says:
تُولِجُ ٱللَّيْلَ فِى ٱلْنَّهَارِ وَتُولِجُ ٱلنَّهَارَ فِى ٱلْلَّيْلِ وَتُخْرِجُ ٱلْحَىَّ مِنَ ٱلْمَيِّتِ وَتُخْرِجُ ٱلَمَيِّتَ مِنَ ٱلْحَىِّ وَتَرْزُقُ مَن تَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
You cause the night to enter into the day, and You cause the day to enter into the night. And You bring forth the living from the dead, and You bring forth the dead from the living. And You give sustenance to whom You choose, without stint.” (Surah Al ‘Imran 3:27)
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim, Islamic calendar, religious annual observance. The actual beginning of Ramadan is determined by the sighting of the new moon or astronomical calculations. Because of this, the actual date when Ramadan begins each year differs from year to year. As for women, they must not fast if they are menstruating or having post-childbirth bleeding. Ramadan is the month in which Muslims celebrate the glorious Quran. Allah says:
وَآيَةٌ لَّهُمْ اللَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ النَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ
A sign for them is the night. We strip it of the day, and surely they are in darkness.” (Surah Ya-Sin 36:37)
The month of Ramadan is a blessed month for many reasons, so we must be sure to take advantage of all of its blessings. It is the month in which the Quran was revealed, in which the devils are chained, sins are forgiven, and good deeds are highly rewarded. There is a night near the end of Ramadan in which good deeds are worth thousands of months of worship. Allah says:
يُقَلِّبُ اللَّهُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَعِبْرَةً لِّأُولِي الْأَبْصَارِ
Allah alternates the night and the day. Indeed in that is a lesson for those who have a vision.” (Surah An-Nur 24:44)
The month of Ramadan is blessed since during it occurs the Night of Decree (laylat al-qadr), in which worship for one night is better than worship for a thousand months. This is an extra special night in which we should strive in prayer, supplication, remembrance, and worship. Whoever strives in worship on this night will receive tremendous rewards and have their sins forgiven.
Interesting Ramadan Facts:
- It is believed that Muhammad received the first revelation during Ramadan.
- The beginning of Ramadan can move as many as 11 or 12 days each year.
- In Egypt, the clocks are pushed back to shorten the days and increase the night, when fasting is not required.
- During Ramadan, Muslim-majority countries often shorten workdays to allow for additional prayer time each day.
- In Muslim countries, the economy is impacted because of fasting. It usually results in a month of inflation; prices go up.
- If a non-Muslim meets a Muslim during the month of Ramadan, the appropriate greeting for good wishes is “Ramadan Mubarak” which means “Have a blessed Ramadan.”
- During Ramadan, Muslims are obligated to give to charity through Sadaqa (voluntary giving), or Zakat (mandatory giving).
- Children are not obligated to fast during Ramadan, not until they have reached puberty, but some practice in order to prepare for adult participation.
- The Five Pillars of Islam include Sawm: Fasting during Ramadan, Hajj: a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their life, Zakat: giving to the poor, Salat: five-time daily prayer, facing Mecca, including absolution prior to prayer, Shalada: declaration of belief in one true God.
- The meal before the beginning of the fast is called suhoor, and the meal after sunset is called iftar.
- The first prayer of the day is called Fajr.
- Despite the exemptions to fasting during Ramadan such as illness, breastfeeding, or medical conditions, many Muslims will persist with fasting because of their spiritual needs. If one is not able to fast but is able to in the future once their condition changes, they must still complete the fast.
- Muslims often break the daily fast with three dates and then a prayer called the Maghrib prayer. A meal follows which is often a buffet-style large meal.
- During Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to read the Quran.
- In some countries, it is a crime to ignore Ramadan and break the fast.
- Although Ramadan has been shown to have some health benefits to Muslims, it can also cause problems for patients with advanced kidney disease due to water restrictions.
- Fasting can last longer each day for Muslims in polar regions where daylight can last for up to 22 hours.
Seek guidance from this book as much as we can because the Quran is the word of Allah and if neglect it. we will be answerable for our deeds on the Day of Judgment. Make Quran part of our life, including the teaching of the Quran in our lives in a way that it transforms us from the ordinary person to the person Allah wants us to be and the only key is to act upon the commandments of Allah that is written in the Holy book of Quran. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ
“O’ you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may achieve Taqwaa (righteousness, God-fearing).” (Surat Al-Baqarah, 2:183)
The month of Ramadan is blessed since Muslims can receive forgiveness for their sins due to their prayers and fasting out of sincere faith. We can have all of our sins forgiven in this month as long as we avoid major sins, as major sins like murder and theft require specific repentance and restoration of the rights of those who were violated. During the month of Ramadan, Satan finds it more difficult to mislead the Muslims. It becomes easier in this month for Muslims to perform good deeds and to ignore evil suggestions and bad thoughts.
Here are some health benefits of fasting:
- Plays a role in growth, metabolism, weight loss
- Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake
- Fasting Resolves Inflammatory Response
- Fasting May Help to Overcome Addictions
- Fasting can help you lose weight safely
- Fasting Increases Fat breakdown
- Fasting, unlike starving oneself
- May Boost Brain Function
- Fasting Promotes Healthy diet
- Fasting Promotes detoxification
- Increases Growth Hormone Secretion
- Increases Body’s Resistance to Stress
- Could Delay Aging and Extend Longevity
- Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation
- Ramadan is a month of self-regulation and self-training
- May Enhance Heart Health by Improving Blood Pressure
The month of Ramadan is blessed since the virtue of fasting is magnified, even though it is already a great virtue. Fasting benefits us by improving our devotion, self-control, and compassion for the poor. Fasting for the entire month is meant to instil the philosophy and values of fasting within us as a regular spiritual practice. Allah says:
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلْلَّيْلَ لِتَسْكُنُواْ فِيهِ وَٱلنَّهَارَ مُبْصِراً إِنَّ فِى ذٰلِكَ لَـآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَسْمَعُونَ
He is who has appointed for you the night that ye should rest therein and the day giving sight. Surely, therein are signs for folk that heed.” (Surah Yunus 10:67)
Ramadan is a month of self-regulation and self-training, with the hope that this training will last beyond the end of Ramadan. If the lessons learned during Ramadan, whether in terms of dietary intake or righteousness, are carried on after Ramadan, their effects will be long-lasting. During this sacred month, the rituals of fasting, night prayer and reading the Holy Quran on a daily basis can have a life-changing effect on our health and satisfaction. Fasting during Ramadan should improve our health, only if we are following the correct diet.
Good habits of Ramadan
- Implement what you learn in Ramadan
- Keep the Sadaqah (Charity) Flowing
- Evaluate yourself on a Weekly Basis
- Eat Dry Fruits or Dates before a Meal
- Drink Plenty of Water
- Fasting is Good for Health
- Recite Quran with translation
- Set a Time for Quran Recitation
- Read the Quran after every prayer
- The month of Ramadan is about Moderation
In Islam, fasting is one of the major acts of worship and a means of attaining God-consciousness. Along with the physical aspects of fasting, its spiritual dimensions purify the soul, instil self-reflection and inspire virtuous living. Firstly, the act of fasting itself is to abstain from food, drink, and intimacy during daylight hours. The act of fasting is not only one that is full of reward and blessing but it is a protection against sin and Jahannum.
Allah Almighty said in the Holy Quran:
- “Allah is with those who restrain themselves.” (Quran 16: 128)
- “The most honoured by Allah amongst you are those best in taqwaa.”(Quran 49:13)
- “Night and day are as different as life and death.” (Quran 3:27)
- “The night conceals the sun and its brightness/light.” (Quran 91:1-4)
- “Remove the day (Nahar) and you are left with the darkness that is the night.” (Quran 36:37)
- “We have indeed revealed this message in the Night of Power. And what will explain to thee what the night of power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. There come down the Angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission on every errand: Peace! This until the rise of the morning” (Quran, 97:1-5)
Lailat-ul-Qadr is the prized jewel of Ramadan. This night carries more blessings than a thousand months. Muslims spend this night in prayer and meditation; to make dua and to seek forgiveness for past sins. There is salvation in this night; a chance to be cleansed of all sins and reborn again. Allah says:
وَأَقِمِ ٱلصَّلاَةَ طَرَفَى ٱلنَّهَارِ وَزُلَفاً مِّنَ ٱلْلَّيْلِ إِنَّ ٱلْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ ٱلسَّـيِّئَاتِ ذٰلِكَ ذِكْرَىٰ لِلذَّاكِرِينَ
Establish salaah at the two ends/edges of the day, and in (the period of) nearness to the night. Surely, good deeds annul ill deeds. This is a reminder for the mindful.” (Surah Hud 11:114)
Ramadan is a gift from Allah (SWT); an opportunity for Muslims to capitalize on and earn His blessings and a way to seek salvation and forgiveness. We should all make the most of it. Let’s all make this Ramadan the best Ramadan yet. Allah says:
خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَاوَاتِ وَٱلأَرْضَ بِٱلْحَقِّ يُكَوِّرُ ٱللَّيْـلَ عَلَى ٱلنَّهَـارِ وَيُكَوِّرُ ٱلنَّـهَارَ عَلَى ٱللَّيْلِ وَسَخَّـرَ ٱلشَّمْسَ وَٱلْقَمَرَ كُـلٌّ يَجْرِى لأَجَـلٍ مُّسَـمًّى أَلاَ هُوَ ٱلْعَزِيزُ ٱلْغَفَّارُ
He created the heavens and earth in truth. He wraps the night over the day and wraps the day over the night and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running [its course] for a specified term. Unquestionably, He is the Exalted in Might, the Perpetual Forgiver.” (Surah Az-Zumar 39:5)
At the end of Ramadan, there is a large festival called Eid ul Fitr to celebrate the end of the fast. Eid ul Fitr is celebrated by wearing one’s best clothes, giving gifts, having a large meal, and spending time with one’s family. Muslims also use this time to ask for forgiveness for sins and to praise Allah (God). May Allah Almighty accept our good deeds, worships, fasts and Quran recitation which we had done in the holy month of fasting Ameen.