Ramadan is nearly upon us, the month of blessings, tolerance and forgiveness. It is likely to begin on Sunday, 29th June 2014, although the date is only confirmed once the moon is sighted, and then the official announcement will be made. Because the cycle of the lunar calendar does not go with the solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan shift by approximately 10-11 days every year.
At the end of the Ramadan Muslims celebrate the holiday of Eid ul-Fitr which comes after usually 29 to 30 days of the month Ramadan. On Eid ul-Fitr, morning prayers are followed by celebration and festivities among friends and family.
The Holy month of Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. Ramazan is an Arabic word which if translated in English literally means “scorching”. After the Holy Quran was revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) in 610 CE on the occurrence known as Laylat al-Qadr, commonly translated as “the Night of Power”, this Holy Month was gifted to all the Muslims by ALLAH Almighty.
The holy month of Ramadan bonds together all Muslims community into one strong and powerful brotherhood by worshiping, prayers, feasting and fasting at the same time. It is a time for spirituality, brotherhood and contemplation for all of us. As it is mentioned in our Holy Quran:
“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).” (Surah: Al-Baqarah, Verse: 2:185)
As the month of Ramadan progresses, many Muslims fast from dawn till sunset without any sustenance (e.g. water or food). It’s the joy we cherish during pre dawn meal in Sehri and gathering of family and friends at sunset for Iftari. For the love and sense of belonging with our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) many of us break our fasting by eating ‘Dates’ and share our food others especially during the Iftar time.
As all of us very well know, ‘Sawm’ is the fundamental five pillars of the Islam, and like others pillars’ fasting is Farz (must) for every Muslim and we should refrain from smoking, drinking, sexual intercourse and eating.
Another important part of Ramadan is Charity. The fast accentuate altruism and using the experience of hunger to grow in understanding with the hungry. Ramadan also instructed Muslim communities to work together for the benefit and goodwill of all poor people by raising money, donate food, clothes and other stuff, and also invite less fortunate people to have Sehri and Iftari with them.
During the Ramadan we also recite and understand the Quran on daily basis, many of us simply divide Quran into daily reading sections that wrap up just before Eid ul-Fitr at the end of Ramadan.
Even Non-Muslims are free to contribute in Ramadan. Many of our non-Muslims friends fast even pray with their Muslim colleague, friend or family members. The spirit of Ramadan rejoices and cherish by the Muslims equally as well as by Non-Muslims around them.
Those wishing to be courteous to someone who is fasting for Ramadan may welcome them with Ramadan Mubarak or Ramadan Kareem, meaning “Have a Blessed or Generous Ramadan”.
The main principle and practice of Ramadan is meant to purify one-self from evils thoughts and deeds which are obviously not only prohibited by Islam but also by humanity as well. By removing materialistic desire, one can able to focus fully on service and devotion to ALLAH Almighty. Many Muslims go beyond the physical and spiritual boundaries during the fasting and attempt to cleanse themselves from impure motivations and thoughts such ad cursing, back biting, greed and anger.
So Enjoy this Ramadan with friends and family with all its spirit and joy and don’t forget the needy and poor people around us, help them, heal them with kindness and love this Ramadan and make it special for them as well.
For all our viewers wishes you happy Ramadan.