Ramadan is the month in which the Holy Quran was sent down. The Quran 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 anyone is ill or on journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you. He does not want to put you 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.. Quran surah Al Baqrah.185
Very categorically Allah says ‘O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you that ye may (learn) self-restraint’ Quran surah Al Baqrah-183.Ramadan the ninth month of the Islamic calendar a lunar not solar falls every year. Fasting from Islamic perspective, morally, socially and clinically has been regarded a process of purification where not only our soul is cleaned & refined but medically our body structure also goes overhauled which gets us recharged, revitalize and keeps us grooming with more energy and vibrancy. A 15 hours fasting (in general) enables human structure to re-strengthen and revivify.
Ramadan is the 4th pillar of Islam among 5 which is regarded a frame work of Muslim life, a criteria or a lifeline where all Muslims believe in, the 5 pillars characteristics are
(i) Testimony of faith in the Oneness & Uniqueness of Allah – there is no true god but Allah & Muhammad is the Messenger (prophet) of Allah - Testimony of faith is known as Shahadah – A conviction when accepting Islam that non has the right to worship except Allah alone & Allah has neither partner nor son.
Whatever is in the heaven & On earth let it declare The Praises and Glory of Allah for He is the Exalted in Might. The wise… Quran surah As-saff-1
(ii) Prayer or worship to only Allah our creator, the custodian of the universe who created Jin & Ins (Jin & Men - Muslims pray five times a day - Prayer in Islam establishes a direct communication in between worshippers and Allah there is no intermediaries in between the worshippers and Allah.
(iii) Giving zakat (support to needy) - There is no equal distribution of wealth from Allah, the reason is to look down, see around & realize if someone around you is needy and helpless - So ZAKAT purifies and grows the wealth if we help those who are lesser in economic race or below in terms of financial strength than us.Giving zakat has a parameter to determine @ 2-1/2 % for the money deposited, gold & silver. If the percentage which is due on gold, silver & cash (funds) that have reached the amount of about 85 grams of gold and completes its custody for one lunar year then ZAKAT goes compulsory to set aside. The small portion of our money @ 2-1/2% which we keep aside, of course becomes a supportive source for the needy, a good sharing of our small contribution makes the needy happy.
(iv) Fasting during Holy month of Ramadan – Every year in the month of Ramadan Muslims fast from dawn to sundown, abstaining from food, drink and sexual relations. It’s known as spiritual self-purification & avoiding of worldly comforts.Ramadan keeps us busy in prayer, reciting holy Quran, avoiding of filthy language & abusing others or quarrelling as fasting as per definition encases and encompasses our body organs too like our eyes, nose, ears, smell & touches also falls in fasting principals.
The style of our living in Ramadan asking us to be fastidious, very careful in small detail if we are looking any obscenity, listening or speaking any filthy language, quarrelling with others, discussing immoral and unpleasant subject though it will not break the fast but its beauty & soul purification will mar your instinct and you will be feeling disgusting so better to avoid of.Regarding smelling - if you smell intentionally & purposely that’s give you satisfaction or pacify your hunger and thirst then such attempts will break the fasting and its expiation will be mandatory.
But if you are drinking or have eaten anything mistakenly and you forgot that you were fasting so as soon as it came in the mind then spit out & vomit, ask to forgive you – Truly Allah is most Merciful and Benevolent.
(v) Pilgrimage to Makkah, a straight path which keeps Muslims close with Al Mighty Allah. The annual pilgrimage (HAJJ) to Makkah is an obligation one in a life time. Therefore if anyone who is physically fit and financially sound then he/ she should preform HAJJ – A religious rites which every Muslims should do.Ramadan is divided into three parts – The first 10 days is to seek God’s Mercy and sharing that mercy with others. Mercy in Islam interprets Rahman and Rahim which denotes “to love & have tenderness …pity, forgiveness. Mercy from Al Mighty Allah is believed to come in abundance from Him. During Ramadan we the Muslim extend tenderness and understanding towards family members or those who are in need of our help and supports.
The second 10 days is known as Salvation or Maqfirah - The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said: Ramadan is the month, whose beginning is mercy, its middle, forgiveness and its end, emancipation from the fire (of hell) — Bihar al-Anwar, Vol.: 93, Pg.: 342
The second phase of Ramadan is the time for Maghfirah where the fasting person seeks Forgiveness and Repentance. Having witnessed the Mercy of Allah by thanking Him for all that He has granted us, by being good to everyone and keeping ourselves at peace.
We should realize our relationship with our Creator or the Custodian of the Universe and our role and duties towards Him. This is the time when Allah’s Mercy is at its peak, and it is best to utilize this opportunity by imploring Allah to forgive our sins.
The Prophet said “Do repent in this month to Allah for your sins, and supplicate with raised hands at the time of prayer as these are the best times, during which Allah Al-Mighty looks at his servants with mercy. Allah answers if they supplicate, responds if they call, grants if He is asked, and accepts if they entreat.
O People! You have made your conscience the slave of your desires. Make it free by invoking Allah for forgiveness. Your back may break from the heavy load of your sins, so prostrate (sajda) yourself before Allah, for long intervals, and make this load lighter.”
Ramadan last 10 days is known as Najaat or Emancipation - Saving from Hell - Praying in the last ten days of Ramadan takes us with more closeness with Allah. Al-Bukhari & Muslim quote from ‘Aisha that during the last ten days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them (that is, being busy in acts of worship). Further narration in Muslim says “He would strive (to do acts of worship) during the last ten days of Ramadan more than he would at any other time.”
Aisha (wife of Muhammad peace be upon him) reported that with the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work hard) and used to pray all the night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers. Bukhari
I`tikaf, dedication to Al mighty Allah, secluding & isolating from materialistic world or suspending the race of gold and glory & associating (whole heatedly) in physical (with the only Creator Allah) staying in the masjid/ mosque with the intention of becoming closer to Allah. This was the practise of the Prophet, during the last ten days of Ramadan especially. He would do it during other months as well.
Ramadan in its last ten days also brings ‘a powerful night – Allah says “We have indeed revealed This (Message) In the night of Power. And what will explain To Thee what the Night Of Power; The night of power is better than A Thousand Months - Therein come down The angles and the Sprit by God’s permission, On every errand – Peace until the rise of morning.. Al Qadar.
‘Aisha reported that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh0 used to practice I`tikaf in the last ten nights of Ramadan and used to say, “Look for the Night of Qadar in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan” Bukhari
“Verily! We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the Night of Decree (Lailatul-Qadr). And what will make you know what the Night of Decree is? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. Therein descend the angels and the Rooh (i.e. Jibreel [Gabriel]) by Allaah’s Permission with all Decrees, Peace! until the appearance of dawn.” [97:1-5]
Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said” The blessed month has come to you. Allah has made fasting during it obligatory upon you. During it the gates to Paradise are opened and the gates of Hellfire are locked, and the devils are chained. There is a night during this month which is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived of its good is really deprived of something great. Ahmad, an-Nisa'i and al-Bayhaqi
We pray All Mighty Allah the Most Gracious & Most Merciful to bless us this Ramadan by witnessing Laylatul-Qadr, give us courage and strength to perform all obligatory duties mandated in Quran and Sunnah.. Praise be to Allah – The Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds.