The Significance of The Holy Fasting Month Ramadan in the life of Muslims
Ramadan is a great chance to purify and rebuild your Imaan. Be ready to refresh your Iman in this approaching holy Ramadan.
I’ll try to state some of the points that show the significance of the Month of Ramadan. This post gives the entire significance of the Ramadan fast in a nutshell. I had talked about the foundation and concept of Islam in my previous post where I talked about the pillar of Islam.
Pillars of Islam are five basic acts in Islam that are obligatory for all the believers, and these five acts are not stated in the Qur’an but they are stated in the famous Hadith of Gabriel, and they are:
- Confession of Faith (Shahada), by saying and feeling and believing:
“There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
2. Doing our prayers. (Salah)
3. Fasting Ramadan. (Sawm)
4. Charitable Giving (Zakāt)
5. Pilgrimage to Mecca(Hajj), at least once per lifetime, if you are able to do that (financially, physically, …etc)
The foundation and concept of Islam and what does Quran say by reading for yourself
Your reading won’t make you a Muslim but it’ll help you out to learn and understand Islam and Quran in the right way.
The Importance of Ramadan:
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and the holy month of fasting for Muslims and also is the fourth Pillar of Islam among the five Pillars of Islam. Ramadan is known to be the month of The Holy Quran Because The Holy Quran was first revealed in the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is obligatory for Muslims to fast in the month of Ramadan. It is a month of spiritual cleansing, purification, and abstaining from things considered to be impure for the mind and body for Muslims in which we try to increase our worship, good deeds, and acts of charity.
It begins and ends with the appearance of the crescent moon. Because the Muslim calendar year is shorter than the Gregorian calendar year, Ramadan begins 10 to 12 days earlier each year, allowing it to fall in every season throughout a 33-year cycle.
Read more about Islamic Hijri Calendar here;
Islamic Hijri Calendar: Importance & Religious Event Celebration
Muslims are accustomed to following the Islamic calendar to mark important Islamic religious events and other ritual…
This fasting is spiritually the inner method of self-realization; the spiritual quest is diametrically opposed to the path which the ordinary man who is attached to the world follows.
In the case of the worldly man, the senses take in the sum-totality of impressions of things amongst which he lives and moves during daylight.
Ramadan Importance in Quran & Hadith :
There are volumes upon volumes worth of information available on Ramadan. Below are Ramadan Quotes from The Holy Quran and Hadith that prescribes fasting for all Muslims who are mature and healthy enough to do so for the full day. So Muslims fast as an act of worship, a chance to get closer to God, and a way to become more compassionate to those in need.
Allah has ordered us explicitly in Qur’an to Fast the Month of Ramadan as:
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” ( Holy Quran 2:183 )
It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said:“The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Whoever fasts Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, he will be forgiven his previous sins.” ‘[Sunan an-Nasa’i Book-22 Hadith-116]
Read more here
The Quran and Hadith on Ramadan
" O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become…
The Purpose of Ramadan:
The practice of fasting serves several spiritual and social purposes: to remind you of your human frailty and your dependence on God for sustenance, to show you what it feels like to be hungry and thirsty so you feel compassion for (and a duty to help) the poor and needy, and to reduce the distractions in life so you can more clearly focus on your relationship with God. The purpose of Ramadhan is to Master yourself by controlling and maintaining your 4 souls:
controlling your mind from all negative thinking that can reduce your rewards, maintain your mind to always remember God Allah. Controlling your brain from doing anything considered as sin or reducing your rewards in Islam. One scientific study found that fasting sharpens your brain.
control your heart so it’s not rotting and hardening. You must maintain your faith and belief in God. There are many “heart deceases” that can rot and harden your heart such as arrogant, envy, spite, Excessive pride, prejudice, truth denial, and the worst is Locked Heart, your heart cannot accept clues from God, deny all religious things, deny God, and away from God.
Your stomach is the source of power for all of your body, if you cannot control and maintain it, it can harm all of your body. One of the famous quotes said that “you are what you eat”, meaning that what you eat make a big influence to yourself. In Ramadhan, you’re trained to control your appetite by fasting and controlling your diet food. It also controls and maintains your nutrition, because, in Ramadhan, you only eat at pre-dawn and after iftar, so you must eat food with the most nutrition in order to maintain your body 24 hours. One scientific study found that intermittent fasting (IF) could have a very beneficial impact on your health and longevity.
Fasting also controls your lust and maintains your libido. It will affect the health of your genitals and restrain your libido. One who has been enslaved by lust finds it’s hard to master themselves and hard to focus in reality. Excessive lust also affects your personality in life and affects your social interaction, it also affects your emotional in real life.
Muslims Beliefs About Ramadan:
There are some beliefs about Ramadan.
- Muslims beliefs in Ramadan to read and study the Holy Quran and to share with others.
2. Umra’h (shorter/minor pilgrimage) in Ramadan is equivalent to Hajj (major pilgrimage).
3. In this Holy month, the gates of Paradise are opened, gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained up.
The beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in one of his hadiths: “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained” (Bukhari)
4. Fasting helps to attain Taqwa (performing of actions which please Allah and abstaining from those actions that displease Him).
5. The Night of Decree or The Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr ) is in this month, which is better than a thousand months.
6. when someone fasts in the month of Ramadan with sincere faith, he/she will be forgiven by Allah Almighty. Ramadan is the month in which Allah Almighty opens His doors of mercy, forgiveness, and blessings upon Muslims.
Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in hadith: “Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, and then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)
Abu Huraira (RA) narrated that: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (SAW) saying regarding Ramadan, “Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)
7. Muslims believe to give zakat in ramadan and its highly recommended actions in Ramadan. It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (RA) said:
“The Messenger of Allah enjoined the Zakat of Ramadan on everyone, young and old, free and slave, male and female, a Sa of dates or a Sa of barley.” (Sunan Nasai)
The Observed in Ramadan:
During the holy month, Muslims wake up early to eat a pre-dawn meal called suhoor, and they break their fast with a meal referred to as iftar. The pre-dawn meal has lots of high-protein foods and drinking as much water as possible right up until dawn, after which you can’t eat or drink anything.
At dawn, Muslims perform the morning prayer. Since it’s usually still pretty early, many go back to sleep for a bit before waking up again to get ready for the day.
When the evening call to prayer is finally made (or when the alarm on your phone’s Muslim prayer app goes off), we break the day’s fast with a light meal really more of a snack in iftar, before performing the evening prayer. Many people also go to the mosque for the evening prayer, followed by a special prayer that is only recited during Ramadan.
It is common for mosques to host large iftars, especially for the poor and needy. Nightly prayers called Tarawih are also held in mosques after iftar.
This is usually followed by a larger meal a bit later in the evening, which is often shared with family and friends in one another’s homes throughout the month. Then it’s off to bed for a few hours of sleep before it’s time to wake up and start all over again.
During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating any food, drinking any liquids, smoking cigarettes, and engaging in any sexual activity, from dawn to sunset. That includes taking medication (even if you swallow a pill dry, without drinking any water). Chewing gum is also prohibited.
Doing any of those things “invalidates” your fast for the day, and you just start over the next day. To make up for days you didn’t fast, you can either fast later in the year (either all at once or a day here and there) or provide a meal to a needy person for each day you missed.
Muslims are also supposed to try to curb negative thoughts and emotions like jealousy and anger, and even lesser things like swearing, complaining, and gossiping, during the month. Some people may also choose to give up or limit activities like listening to music and watching television, often in favor of listening to recitations of the Quran.
Some countries change their work hour day to night or reduce their hours during Ramadan but some countries do not so Muslims works the same normal days. For the most part, though, Muslims go about their daily business as they normally would, despite not being able to eat or drink anything the whole day.
Different cultures have different traditions during Ramadan, whether it is a special food they must cook, or eating iftar with the extended family. Islamic tenets such as generosity inspired most of these traditions, including sharing food and inviting guests over for iftar.
The differences between how Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims observe Ramadan:
For the most part, no. Both Sunni and Shia Muslims fast during Ramadan. But there are some minor differences, for instance, Sunnis break their daily fast at sunset, when the sun is no longer visible on the horizon (but there’s still light in the sky), whereas Shia waits until the redness of the setting sun has completely vanished and the sky is totally dark.
Shia also celebrates an additional holiday within the month of Ramadan that Sunnis do not.
During the month, believers also head to the mosque for an additional night prayer called Taraweeh. This prayer is only held during Ramadan. Prayer is the only way for us to communicate with our creator and to strengthen our relationship with him to win his satisfaction, it also has many spiritual, mental, and physical benefits as it helps in reducing stress and slow aging of the body due to moving your body while you pray every day 5 times which is like exercising in the morning.
I had talked about the spiritual significance of prayer in a previous post and here is a link for more about Islamic prayers.
Salah plays a fundamental role in the Islamic faith
Salah (Prayer) is the second most important pillar of Islam and is the most regular compulsory action in a Muslim’s…
Taraweeh is a Recommended Prayer and not Compulsory. Muakkadah means the highest form of sunnah. Taraweeh prayers are Sunnah prayers which can be performed additionally along with daily five prayers at the discretion of the devotee.
Earlier the Prophet also used to perform Taraweeh prayer in the congregation for a short period of time, but the practice was later changed so that these prayers don’t become obligatory on people. But since the objective of all the Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan is to perform extra worship. It is recommended to offer Taraweeh prayer.
The reward of any good deed performed in the holy month is multiplied so is the reward for prayers offered in the congregation, so why not grab this bonus for just a little effort. that's why Muslims shouldn’t miss it and seek Allah's rewards on the day of judgment and as well as in this Dunya.
The basic purpose of Taraweeh is to listen Holy Quran Because most People have memorized Quran. In addition to listening Quran, you also perform prayers so are also rewarded for that.
THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LAST TEN NIGHTS OF RAMADAN:
The last ten days and nights hold even more significance as Allah shows great mercy to His creation. They are a chance to benefit from the immense blessings of Ramadan and seek salvation before the month comes to an end.
1. Night of Power” (Laylat al-Qadr):
Lailat-ul-Qadr is the prized jewel of Ramadan. Holy Quran was sent down this night. Angels descend in this night. This night carries more blessings than a thousand months.
Whatever good deeds you do in this night, it’s like you did it for 1000 months or 83 years! Authentic hadiths say Laylat-al-Qadr happens in the last 10 days of Ramadan (on an odd night). There is a strong scholarly opinion that it is mostly on the 25th, 27th, or 29th night of Ramadan.
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 Almighty says in the Holy Quran:
“Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.”
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
He who observed the fasts of Ramadan with faith and seeking reward (from Allah), all his previous sins would be forgiven, and he who observed prayer on Lailat-ul- Qadr with faith and seeking reward (from Allah), all his previous sins would be forgiven.
[Sahih Muslim Book 6, Hadith 209]
Things To Do On Laylatul Qadr:
There are some things that Muslims do on this holiest night. this video helps you to know about those some things.
Dua During Lailatul Qadr:
In a hadith, The Prophet s.a.w encouraged his wife Aisyah r.a. to read the following supplication if one were to meet Lailatul Qadar, the night that is better than a thousand months:
2. Performing i’tikaf
Many Muslims choose to spend the last ten days of Ramadan in seclusion (i’tikaf), where one solely focuses on worshipping Allah and refrains from involvement in worldly affairs. It is a time to reflect, increase worship and to increase one’s religious knowledge, seeking closeness to Allah.
The sunnah is to remain in i’tikaf for ten days but as a minimum it can be one day and one night. I’tikaf is a great opportunity to reconnect with Allah in solitude.It is also a time to implement good religious practices which can be carried on throughout the whole year.
Basic requirements of i’tikaf:
Women I’tikaf at Mosques or at Homes
Any redemption on a person who breaks the I’tikaf voluntarily:
3. Juma Al Wida:
Jumu’atul-Widaa is the Arabic term for Alvida which means Friday of Farewell. Islam places no specific emphasis on any Friday as a holy day but some Muslims regard this one as the second holiest day of the month of Ramadan and one of the most important days of the year. Some Muslims spend a large part of their day on Jumu’atul-Widaa doing Ibadah considering it as a Farewell to the most important day of the last week of the month of Ibadah (Ramadan).
Friday has been considered an important day within a week. Friday (Jumu’ah) is the day on which Muslim men are required to attend the congregation in lieu of the mid-day prayer. Women may attend but are not obligated. Evidence of this congregation found in the Qur’an in Verse 9 of Chapter 62 (The Congregation, Friday):
Here is the Spiritual Significance of the Friday in Islam:
It is proven that Prophet Muhammadﷺ used to celebrate this day and he declared Jumu’ah as weekly Eid for muslims.
The Last Friday of Ramadan is known as ‘Jumma-Tul-Wida’, the word Alvida means ‘good-bye’. A special day that brings abundant blessings, endless mercy, and salvation to the seekers. The Prophet Mohammad said ‘Jumma-Tul-Wida’ is the most blessed day than any other day. Those who spend this day in worship will be protected from all the evils. Every year during Ramadan, the last Friday is celebrated with pomp, masjids are occupied for the prayers.
The End of Ramadan
Now we know all about Ramadan fasting as a whole, let’s explore some facts about Ramadan and Eid. The end of Ramadan is signaled by the sighting of the 10th new moon of the lunar year (called Shawwal in Islam). Much like with the sighting of the ninth new moon, the sighting of the 10th new moon can be declared by looking to Mecca, a local mosque or lunar predictions.
When the 10th new moon is spotted, Eid ul-Fitr celebrations begin. Muslims gather together for prayers, a feast, exchange gifts and to celebrate their month of self-control and restraint. If a Muslim has days of fasting to makeup, they cannot do it until Eid is over.
Scientific Fact about Ramadan:
Although fasting in Ramadan is much deeper than the physical benefits mentioned in our video, we cannot ignore some of the life-changing effects that fasting has on the body, the scientific data presented here are taken from PubMed Central which is a highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health.
During Ramadan, Muslims aim to grow spiritually and become closer to Allah and their loved ones. Ramadan is also a time for unity and spiritual reflection and Muslims spend time praying, reciting the Quran, and doing good deeds. They donate to charity, spend time with loved ones, and avoid lying, gossiping, and fighting.
The act of fasting allows the individual to understand the pain and suffering of millions around the world who live their lives in poverty and famine, leaving the participant feeling more grounded and grateful for all that Allah (SWT) has given them. At the close of the month, Zakat donations during Ramadan are made, and then Eid al-Fitr is celebrated with loved ones. Eid is a great time of feasting and celebration for Muslims, with gifts exchanged between loved ones.
Every soul is accountable for their own deeds. Nobody makes sure except for themselves. Interestingly, when a person is offering salat, just by looking at him from a distance you can figure out that he is in his prayers. Similarly, when one gives zakat or performs haj, others may know.
However, fasting is such a hidden form of prayer that it is just between you and your Lord. It is a form of extreme patience. Not only hunger and thirst, but a Muslim will also refrain from all evils as all his organs are fasting and be in a strictly disciplined mode during that period.
He may be sitting next to you just normally like others and you may not know how much patience he is enduring. That hidden (free from showoff) deed is indeed beloved to Allah and (the gist of what) Allah says that “Fasting is only for Me and I will give the reward for it”.
The primary objective of fasting is to develop Taqwa(roughly God-consciousness/mindfulness) and a believer restricts himself from eating, drinking, watching, listening, speaking, or doing any bad action knowing that God is watching over him even if he is alone.
And more importantly, if we miss the Fast due to some reason, we make up that fast after Ramadan which probably nobody knows and Muslims take care of them themselves.
Moreover many Muslims fast voluntarily throughout the year without anybody knowing about it and purely for the sake of God and themselves.
Fasting is considered to be an act of worship, which enables Muslims to feel closer to God and strengthen their spiritual health and self-discipline. Fasting is usually done by all Muslims except those who are sick, pregnant, lactating, menstruating, elderly, or traveling. If you miss fasting days you can make up for them throughout the year.
Being seekers, we belong to a universal brotherhood that is gathered under the common flag of the unity of all faiths. Let us also, upon this extremely auspicious month of Ramadan earnestly pray to Allah, the essential reality of all existence that we may be inspired and given the necessary inner strength to turn away from all allurements of this external physical world and to be awake unto the inner life of Peace.
Thus may we with great faith and with sustained exertion proceed upon the path of realization and may we be blessed with spiritual illumination, the culmination of Sadhana in this blessed month of Ramadan. Fasting is also seen as a way to learn patience and break bad habits.
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.
Have a Blessed Ramadan!
verily good deeds do away with evil deeds.
And that is a reminder for those who remember.
Be patient with yourself. And Keep learning!!
Always start your day by renewing your intention that everything you do for yourself and your community, whether it be your acts of worship or daily chores. It all has to be merely for the sake of Allah (SWT) and Also, I ask Allah (SWT) to make my work dedicated only to him and forgiveness from Allah ( SWT), if I have got anything wrong. It is He who is the Hearing, the knowing.
Finally, İ pray Allah to benefit those who read this article and others, grant me truthfulness in what I say and do, preserve my thoughts and my pen from deviation and guide me in all my affairs.
And all praise and thanks are due to Allah, without Whose help and guidance nothing can be accomplished. May Allah bless and protect you and your faith Ameen.
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