Rulings For A Fasting Person
Linguistically, the word fasting in the Arabic language means unconditional ‘restraint’ from any action or speech during any time.According to the Sacred Law, fasting is the act of:
Ramadan Is By Nature A Time Of Sacrifice
The personal sacrifice that is at the core of Ramadan plays out in many ways for Muslims:
- Through fasting, a Muslim experiences hunger and thirst, and sympathizes with those in the world who have little to eat every day.
- Through increased devotion, Muslims feel closer to their Creator and recognize that everything we have in this life is a blessing from Him.
- Through increased charity, Muslims develop feelings of generosity and goodwill toward others. The Prophet Muhammad once said, “A man’s wealth is never diminished by charity.”
- Through self-control, a Muslim practices good manners, good speech, and good habits.
- Through changing their routines, Muslims have a chance to establish more healthy lifestyle habitsparticularly with regards to diet and smoking.
- Through family and community gatherings, Muslims strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, in their own communities, and throughout the world.
Why Do The Dates Of Ramadan Change Every Year
For religious matters, Muslims follow a lunar calendar that is, one based on the phases of the moon whose 12 months add up to approximately 354 days. That’s 11 days shorter than the 365 days of the standard Gregorian calendar. Therefore, the Islamic lunar calendar moves backward approximately 11 days each year in relation to the regular Gregorian calendar.
So that means that the first day of the month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, moves backward by about 11 days each year.
This has a large impact on how people experience Ramadan from year to year. When Ramadan falls in the winter, it’s much easier to fast: the days are shorter, which means you don’t have to fast as long, and it’s colder out, so not being able to drink water all day isn’t as big of a deal because you’re not sweating as much.
Conversely, when Ramadan falls in the summer, fasting can be brutal. In many Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa, summer temperatures can reach levels usually reserved for the deepest bowels of hell.
And in some Northern European countries such as Iceland, Norway, and Sweden , fasting can last an average of 20 hours or more in the summer.
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Develop Faculties To Experience Visions
Though most people have probably never had an honest-to-God vision, most of us have experienced vivid dreams and perhaps felt a sixth sense at some time or another, nudging them about something that was about to happen. The Quran attributes these metaphysical events to revelation, which according to 42:52 can take the form of dreams, visions and even angelic visitations. Though it may be difficult to believe, those who have made inroads in developing these faculties can attest to how fasting is an excellent method for developing these inner capacities.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the awaited Messiah and divine reformer, sent to clarify and expound the true teachings of Islam. He writes in one place about the effects of fasting,
The Sufis have recorded that this is a good month for the illumination of the heart. One who observes the fast has frequent experience of visions in this month. The Salat purifies the spirit and the fast illumines the heart. The purification of the spirit means that one may be delivered from the passions of the self that incites to evil and the illumination of the heart means that the gates of vision may be opened so that one may be able to behold God.
Okay But Why Is There Always Confusion Every Year About Exactly What Day Ramadan Starts On
There’s a reason “Ramadan start date” is one of the most-searched phrases every single year. That’s because Muslims around the world do not know when exactly Ramadan is actually supposed to start. If you Google it, you’ll see there’s a little disclaimer under Google’s answer that says “Dates may vary”:
That also has to do with the moon as well as disagreements about science, history, and tradition, plus a bit of geopolitical rivalry.
The beginning of each new month in the Islamic calendar starts on the new moon. Which means the month of Ramadan starts on the new moon. Simple enough, right?
If it’s been a while since your high school astronomy class, here’s a reminder of what the phases of the moon look like:
Back in Mohammed’s day, in sixth-century Arabia, astronomical calculations weren’t as precise as they are today, so people went by what they could see with the naked eye.
Since the new moon isn’t actually super visible in the night sky , Muslims traditionally waited to start fasting until the small sliver of crescent moon became visible. There’s even a saying attributed to the Prophet Mohammed about waiting to start the fast until you see the crescent.
Today, however, we have precise scientific calculations that tell us exactly when the new moon begins, and we don’t need to wait until someone spots a tiny crescent in the sky.
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Puprose#: The Fourth Pillar Of Islam
Ramadan has been occurring to Muslims for centuries as a fourth Islamic pillar in which the Holy book Quran was sent down as right guidance for people. The literal meaning of fast involves refraining from all bodily pleasures and to stamp put worldly desires for the serving the obedience of Allah.
This is the foremost indulgence between a human and his creator.
Who Is Exempt From Sawm
Fasting is mandatory on every Muslim who is sane, adult, able and resident. The following exemptions apply:
‘But if anyone is ill, or on a 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.’
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Does Anything Special Happen During Ramadan
Yes, this is a month of fasting during the daylight hours from the early hours before dawn right through to sunset. This was stated as a ruling of Islam in 624 AD.
Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, the mandatory acts that form the foundation of Muslim life.
The other pillars are faith, prayer, charity and the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Fasting means abstaining from food, drink, smoking, sex, swearing, gossip or other sinful acts, during daylight hours.
Meals are served in the early hours before dawn and again at sunset.
The meal before dawn is called suhoor, the one at sunset is known as iftar.
Dos And Donts Ramadan In Dubai United Arab Emirates
As an expat, you can visit Jumeirah Mosque, where tour guides can explain how important is Ramadan to Muslims for reflection, prayer, and cleanse themselves from the actions they committed, so you should respect the holy month.
You wont feel bored though as Dubai never really shuts its doors in malls and outlets completely, you can visit many tourist attractions that will be quite empty like Burj Khalifa, you can still go to bars that will remain serve alcohol but ONLY after sunset, also liquor stores wont be totally closed but they sell ONLY after sunset also.
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Purpose#: Empathizing With Poor
The blessed month of Ramadan serves multiple purposes in the form of giving Charity known as Zakahfor the less fortunate who are in dire need to receive empathy and who are every moment struggling with hunger, poverty, lack, and insufficiency.
When any Muslim observes fasting, he/ she feels the heart itch of starving to max that many poor people go through this feeling daily.
This then leads to compassion and generating an intrinsic connection with the less privilege human race.
More Devotion Closer To The Quran In Ramadan
Ramadan is a month of heightened devotion. In it, Salat is performed with greater intensity. There are extra Sunnah Salat on Ramadan nights called Salat at-Tarawih.
In the last ten days of Ramadan, some retreat to the mosque to perform Itikaf, a period of intense reflection and devotion, seeking guidance and forgiveness, and reading the Quran.
Ramadan is a great opportunity to get closer to the blessed guidance of the Quran which was revealed in this month. Ramadan is also called the month of the Quran.
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What To Avoid In Ramadan
But even if Dubai is still open and tolerable to expats, lets not abuse this. Here are some donts when spending the holy month here.
- You should avoid eating, drinking, smoking, and chew gum in public from sunrise to Iftar, the Muslim meal that break their daily fast at sunset, also restaurants will not be open during the day. You can eat and smoke in the privacy of your house. otherwise you can be fined or even put in jail.
- You should avoid wearing revealing clothes and try to be more conservative and cover your shoulders and legs to knee.
- You should avoid loud music in your car, beach or even at home. You can still listen to music but make sure it wont be heard outside.
- Try to avoid driving before sunset because during this time the roads fil with people hasten to home to break the fast
- Try to avoid going to restaurants at Iftar time without reservation
Ramadan, is one of the months in the Islamic calendar, in which it was imposed on Muslims to fast. Ramadan is known as the month of generosity. People hastens to forgive each others and do many worships and charities, it is also a good chance to feel the inner peace of your soul and try to live the traditions of Arabs as an expat.
As an expat, we can try to take advantage of the spiritual benefits of Ramadan and relax. Also, many expats also utilize this month and join in the fasting period as they set various goals for themselves. If you have any experience with Ramadan share it with us.
Guidelines & Tips
Things To Know About Ramadan
If this will be your first time to experience Ramadan in the UAE, then there are certain things that you should know. Here are some of the common greetings, events, and practices done during the Holy Month, as well as how you can get involved.
Greetings & PhrasesDuring this period, people greet each other using the following phrases :
Ramadan Kareem Generous Ramadan Iftar Shahy Have a good Iftar
Suhoor & IftarSuhoor refers to the meal taken by Muslims just before sunrise, before fasting starts. In contrast, Iftar is the meal taken after sunset, when fasting ends. People eat apricots, dates, and drink juices before evening prayers. Afterwards, they share large meals with family, friends, and colleagues.
Giving to CharityGiving to charity is an important part of Islam, especially during the Holy Month. Of course, you dont have to be a Muslim to give to charity! You can donate to Ramadan camps, Iftar camps, care packages, and charity organisations.
Hag Al LaylaIn the UAE, Hag Al Layla is celebrated on the the 14th day of Ramadan. It is a childrens holiday, during which children wear traditional clothes and sing traditional songs. They also bring special cloth bags to collect sweets, nuts, and coins.
So there you have it! These are the terms, practices, and events associated with Ramadan in the UAE. As visitors, we are fortunate to be able to witness and experience this event. Pretty soon, we will be saying Ramadan Kareem to our Muslim brothers and sisters!
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Reasons Why Muslims Fast During Ramadan
Azhar Goraya, Mexico
Over the next few days, millions of Muslims will begin to fast during the holy month of Ramadan. It is a time of introspection and meditation, where Muslims focus on improving the quality of their prayers as well as helping their fellow man all while abstaining from food, drink and conjugal relations during daylight hours.
So, why do they do it? Its not that its an easy undertaking. Just ask any Muslim that has to fast during sweltering summer days . It seems difficult to understand why Muslims would willingly put themselves through a month of self-deprivation and hardship. Nevertheless, below I present five reasons why Muslims fast during Ramadan.
Ramadan: The Month Of Caring And Sharing
For Muslims throughout the world, the sacred month of Ramadan is a time of great spiritual significance. Because it is celebrated during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Ramadan begins at a slightly different time each year. This year it starts on April 13, and Muslims are required to fast during the daylight hours throughout the month.
Fasting in Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which comprises the essential ritual and devotional duties of all Muslims. The four other Pillars of Islam are confession of faith, five daily prayers, almsgiving and the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Fasting in Islam is the practice of refraining from food, drink, smoking and sexual relations with ones spouse during daylight hours. Various forms of fasting are common in all three Abrahamic traditions. Muslims fast during Ramadan, Jews fast on Yom Kippur and some groups of Christians fast during Lent. Many people worldwide find a meaningful connection between developing self-control and spiritual insight through fasting.
There are several key points about the purpose of fasting during Ramadan, which Muslims also call the month of caring and sharing. Staying hungry and thirsty for hours during the day is a powerful reminder of the millions of less fortunate people in the world. Ramadan emphasizes the values of empathy and generosity. We share food, time, love and respect with poor and needy people during Ramadan more than any time of the year.
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What’s The Purpose Of The Fasting
It allows worshippers to concentrate their minds on devotion to their faith through prayers, expressing gratitude, seeking forgiveness and helping the needy.
The religious texts state: “The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion .
“And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days.
“Allah desires for you ease He desires not hardship for you and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.”
Everyone who has gone through puberty is expected to take part in fasting.
There are exceptions such as the elderly, women who are breastfeeding and those with diabetes or other illnesses, disabilities or medical conditions.
In some Muslim countries, itâs a crime to fail to observe the fasting.
Being seen eating, drinking or smoking in public may be regarded as a minor offence with a penalty of community service.
And in some cases there are harsh punishments including flogging, fines and jail terms.
Ramadan once again falls within the long, warm days of summer so there will be extended periods without food or drink lasting almost 19 hours, making it one of the toughest periods of fasting for decades.
The Purpose Of Fasting During Ramadan And Its Benefits
Ramadan fasting is an obligatory practice observed by the Islamic religion believers every year for about 29-30 days. This fasting is observed during the Holy month of Ramadan from dawn until dusk. In this period, Muslims are advised to stay away from food, water, sexual practices and all other bad deeds. Also to stay away from medicines, fluids and all other drug addictions. Aside from the religious obligations upon Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, fasting has countless benefits and these include
SOCIALRamadan fasting encompasses direction to develop spiritual, moral and social values. It is the message of equality amongst the individuals of the society. The poor are given attention and benefit from charity and the faithful practice of the concept of neighbourhood and hospitality. Apart from helping to achieve purity of body and soul through this process of self-purification, addressing these areas of social significance is bound to help people shed all those things which are not socially desirable. The practice of the concept of neighbourhood is equally important. The neighbourhood concept ultimately extends to the world and beyond.
In conclusion, Fasting is a practice that has been associated with a wide array of potential health benefits, including weight loss, as well as improved blood sugar control, heart health, brain function and cancer prevention social and psychological benefits.
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The main purpose of fasting during Ramadan is to cleanse oneself and to become a better and more spiritual purpose.
During Ramadan, Muslims are not just supposed to refrain from eating and drinking during the daylight hours. Instead, they are supposed to try to refrain from any bad actions during that time. They are supposed to be making their entire life as much like an act of worship as possible.
When Muslims do this, they are trying to become more spiritual. They are trying to leave worldly things behind to the extent possible and to focus more on their faith and their spiritual lives.