Ramadan is the ninth and most precious month in Muslims lunar calendar. It is obligatory for Muslims to fast in the month of Ramadan. There are around 1.6 billion Muslims around the world who observe fast during this Holy month. As we know fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam among five. Fasting is not just abstaining from drinking and eating it also includes abstaining from immoral acts, sexual intercourse, and anger. Other acts of worship such as prayer, reading the Quran and charity are also encouraged during the month of Ramadan. In Holy Quran Allah Almighty says about the importance of Ramadan in these words: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness” (Quran, 2:183)
During the holy month Ramadan, Muslims would wake up early to eat a pre-dawn meal called suhoor, and they break their fast with a meal referred to as iftar. One important thing of this Holy month is Quran was revealed in Ramadan. It is traditional for Muslims to read the whole Quran in the month of Ramadan. “Ramadan is the (month) in which the Quran was sent down, as a guide to mankind, also Clear (Signs) for guidance and the differentiation (between right and wrong)” (Quran, 2:185). Muslims pray at nights in Mosques these nightly prayers are known as Tarawih. Tarawih is held in mosques after iftar. Muslims used to fast during the day with performing their usual tasks. Different cultures have different traditions during Ramadan. Whether it is a special food they must cook, or eating iftar with the extended family. Islamic faith, such as generosity, inspired most of these traditions, just like sharing food and inviting guests over for iftar.
When the month of Ramadan starts the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed as our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in one of his hadiths in these words: “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). When someone fast in the month of Ramadan with sincere faith will be forgiven by Allah Almighty as Holy Prophet (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)
There are some other significances of this Holy month such as The Night of Decree (Laylat al- Qadr) is in this month which is better than a thousand months. It is the very rewarding act in Ramadan to offer Iftar to those who are fasting. It is also recommended to give Zakat in the month of Ramadan. Muslims also observe I’tikaaf that is residing in the mosque for worship especially in the last 10 days of this Holy month Ramadan. Ramadan also celebrates the time when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) received the first revelation from Allah.
Ramadan allows worshippers to concentrate their minds on devotion to their faith through prayers, expressing gratitude, seeking forgiveness and helping the needy. Fasting is important for Muslims due to many reasons e.g. it brings the unity among the ummah because they go to offer Tarawih prayer after iftar at the Mosque together. Ramadan makes Muslims appreciate food, thank Allah for what they have and makes them closer to each other and the people around them. Sawm is a Jihadic struggle because of Muslims struggle against hunger during fasting. Fasting in Ramadan also makes Muslims stronger against fighting sin and more charitable to others.
Ramadan is about to come we should get ready for this Holy month. We should pray that Allah (SWT) brings us to this blessed month, to accept our fasts and good deeds and to forgive our mistakes and sins. May Allah make this Ramadan easy for us and for those around the World who are in difficulty! Ameen.