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.
Is Taqwa Just A Process
Taqwa is not just a concept, but an attitude and a process. A proper attitude that drives the human toward the divine denotes love, devotion, and fear. It includes love to the source of good and beauty that makes life worth living devotion to Gods boundless wisdom and majesty and fear of misunderstanding the divine intent or failing in maintaining the posture and relationship.
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.
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The Essence Of Fasting In Islam
In Islam the practice of fasting is not only a physical exercise but a spiritual one the ultimate aim of which is the attainment of Gods pleasure through regulation of ones life in accordance with His ordinances. If a Muslim merely observes the outward requirements of the fast, they will simply succeed in making themselves hungry and thirsty and nothing more. Explaining the true essence of fasting in Islam, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, states:
Fasting is not merely staying hungry and thirsty rather its reality and its impact can only be gained through experience. It is human nature that the less one eats, the more ones spirit is purified and thus his capacity for visions increases. The will of God is to decrease one kind of sustenance and to increase the other. A person who is fasting should always be mindful that he is not just required to stay hungry. On the contrary, he should remain engaged in the remembrance of God so that he can cut asunder ties of worldly desires and amusements and is wholly devoted to God. Hence, the significance of fasting is this alone that man gives up one kind of sustenance which only nourishes the body and attains the other kind of sustenance which is a source of comfort and gratification for the soul.
Whoso stands in tahajjud prayer in Ramadan with firm faith and with the intention of achieving the pleasure of God, all of their previous sins are forgiven.
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.
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Eid Celebrations At The End Of Ramadan
Fasting has other personal and social benefits. Through fasting, the rich know what it means to be hungry. Hence, the rich will be more inclined to give charity when they fast. The annual Islamic alms are usually paid in Ramadan.
Muslims often invite friends and family members to join in the celebration of the break-fast dinners . The rich organise dinners for the poor.
In the past few decades, Muslim minorities in western countries have started to invite their non-Muslim friends to iftar dinners. Muslim organisations have annual iftar dinners for their associates and supporters.
In Australia, the NSW premier, for example, has been holding iftar dinners for members of the Muslim community and other faith leaders since 2004. Presidents of the US have also held iftar dinners in the White House.
Ramadan has become a cultural event for everyone.
Ramadan culminates in a three-day celebration , where Muslims offer a special morning prayer, then visit family and friends. Charity, called fitr, is given to the poor to ensure no one is left out of the celebrations and the joy of success that comes with fasting.
When Was Fasting Introduced
The notion of fasting was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed in a Quranic verse during the second year of the Hijri calendar the year the prophet moved from Makkah to Madinah.
“Oh you who believe! Prescribed for you is the Fast, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may deserve God’s protection and attain piety,” the Quran says.
From then on, fasting during Ramadan was made mandatory for all Muslims except in certain circumstances.
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How To Reconnect With Allah
This is an opportunity for us to reconnect with Allah and to reflect on our faith with no distractions. This is a time of transformation where we can become better people and strengthen our relationship with the Almighty. Making dua abundantly and Taraweeh is an added way to reconnect with Allah. Taraweeh carries a lot of significance as Prophet P.B.U.H said, Whoever prays during the nights of Ramadan with a firm belief and hoping for reward, all of his previous sins would be forgiven.
What Is The Significance Of Fasting
Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, where they abstain from eating or drinking. But it is more than that. It also means that we have to avoid bad behavior, no gossip, practice patience, or control our temper or any social habit that hurts people. It helps to keep in account that you become aware of the things you do.
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What Exactly Is Fasting
First and foremost, fasting is commonly defined as Abstaining from all or some kinds of food or drink, especially as a religious observance. In principle, this definition is descriptive of the act of keeping a fast, but fails to grasp the depth and essence of the concept. The incorporation of fasting in world religions signifies that the scope of this practice reaches well beyond the simplicity of abstention from food and drink. Historically, fasting has also been used as an expression of protest against what they believe are violations of social, ethical, or political principles. For example Mahatma Gandhis use of fasting to exert moral pressure on his political opponents was often an effective and widely publicized tactic. But generally, fasting is regarded by world religions primarily as a mode of self-reflection, moral conditioning, and spiritual advancement.
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:
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So Do You Lose Weight During Ramadan
Some of you may be thinking, “Wow, that sounds like a great way to lose weight! I’m going to try it!” But in fact, Ramadan is actually notorious for often causing weight gain. That’s because eating large meals super early in the morning and late at night with a long period of low activity bordering on lethargy in between can wreak havoc on your metabolism.
One meta-analysis of scientific studies on the effects of Ramadan fasting on body weight found that “eight changes during Ramadan were relatively small and mostly reversed after Ramadan, gradually returning to pre-Ramadan status. Ramadan provides an opportunity to lose weight, but structured and consistent lifestyle modifications are necessary to achieve lasting weight loss.”
So just like with any other extreme diet plan, you may lose a few pounds, but unless you actually make “structured and consistent lifestyle modifications,” you’re probably not going to see major, lasting results.
Ramadan Commemorates The First Revelation Of The Islamic Prophet Muhammad This Is Celebrated With Mandatory Fasting
Ramadan started this past April, 2 with the appearance of the first crescent moon and will last for an entire month until the next crescent moon. While the festivity of Ramadan is one of the most important religious events in the world what captivates the attention and the curiosity of many is the practice of fasting that goes along with the religious commemoration.
Before jumping into the explanation and meaning of fasting, we have to establish what is Ramadan and what it celebrates. Ramadan marks the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is been observed by Muslims all over the world. It commemorates the first revelation of the prophet Muhammad, and its celebration is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Alongside praying and reflecting, Ramadan is observed as a month of fasting known as sawm and a time to show community among Muslims.
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How Moral Character Is Built
The development of moral character empowers a community. It will help to achieve mutual respect based on fair and honest dealings and a sense of duty, which will encourage people to observe the principles of right and justice as they pursue their varying and competing interests. It leads to societal strength and prosperity, as mentioned in Quran, Verily the earth is Gods to give as a heritage to such of His servants as He pleases, and the end is best for the God-conscious.
How Is Ramadan Celebrated
Most Muslims fast between dawn and sunset. Fasting allows Muslims to devote themselves to their faith. It is thought to teach self-discipline and reminds them of the suffering of the poor. However, children, pregnant women, elderly people and those who are ill or travelling don’t have to fast.
During Ramadan, it is common to have one meal , just before dawn and another , directly after sunset.
Almost all Muslims try to give up bad habits during Ramadan. It is a time for prayer and good deeds. They will try to spend time with family and friends and help people in need.
Many Muslims will attempt to read the whole of the Qur’an at least once during Ramadan. They will also attend special services in Mosques during which the Qur’an is read.
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Okay But Why Is There Always Confusion Every Year About Exactly What Day Ramadan Starts On
Theres a reason Ramadan start date is one of the most-searched phrases every single year. Thats because Muslims around the world do not know when exactly Ramadan is actually supposed to start. If you Google it, youll see theres a little disclaimer under Googles 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 its been a while since your high school astronomy class, heres a reminder of what the phases of the moon look like:
Back in Mohammeds day, in sixth-century Arabia, astronomical calculations werent as precise as they are today, so people went by what they could see with the naked eye.
Since the new moon isnt actually super visible in the night sky , Muslims traditionally waited to start fasting until the small sliver of crescent moon became visible. Theres 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 dont need to wait until someone spots a tiny crescent in the sky.
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Ramadan Fast And Diabetic Patients
There are about 90 million Muslims who have diabetes worldwide. Although most Muslim scholars and physicians recommend against fasting for patients with uncontrolled diabetes, a large population-based study that included participants from 13 countries estimated that about 79% of Muslims with Type 2 diabetes would fast during Ramadan. This suggests that management of fasting diabetic patients is an essential, but challenging, topic that PCPs need to know.
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Is Fasting Compulsory During Ramadan
Islam prescribes fasting for all Muslim adults because it is a religion that wishes for every Muslim to attain spiritual heights and be recipient of the Grace of God. Islam does not desire the practise to become a burden on those who are not able to fast. Thus, those who are incapable of fasting due to sickness or travelling are exempt from fasting in the month of Ramadan and are required to complete the missed fasts later on. Pregnant women, menstruating women, and suckling women are also exempt from fasting. Further concession is made for those Muslims who cannot complete missed fasts later on hence they are obliged to pay fidya .
This compensation is not to be considered a penalty for the inability to fast, rather it is prescribed as a small sacrifice so that God may bestow them the capacity and the strength to observe the fast themselves.
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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.
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The Spiritual Importance Of Ramadan
Ramadan is a spiritual time for Muslims. As a month which symbolises dedication, reflection and discipline, Ramadan allows us to shield ourselves from sin through fasting. As said by the Prophet :
Fasting is a shield. So the fasting person should avoid obscene speech and should not behave foolishly and ignorantly, and if somebody fights with him or insults him, he should tell him twice, I am fasting.
In addition to fasting, extra attention is also given to more acts of worship. These acts can come in the form of prayer, dhikr, reciting Quran, giving charity, and asking for forgiveness from Allah . Through performing such actions which are pleasing to Allah , we become closer to our Creator and are given more rewards during this blessed month.
What Is Ramadan Actually About
Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims the Prophet Mohammed reportedly said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
Muslims believe it was during this month that God revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s sacred text, to Mohammed, on a night known as “The Night of Power” .
During the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims fast every day from dawn to sunset. It is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline of deep contemplation of one’s relationship with God, extra prayer, increased charity and generosity, and intense study of the Quran.
But if that makes it sound super serious and boring, it’s really not. It’s a time of celebration and joy, to be spent with loved ones. At the end of Ramadan theres a big three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr,or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.
It’s kind of like the Muslim version of Christmas, in the sense that it’s a religious holiday where everyone comes together for big meals with family and friends, exchanges presents, and generally has a lovely time.
What Happens At The End Of Ramadan
A special three-day festival called Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. It begins when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky. Its a joyous occasion, with Muslims celebrating the end of fasting and giving thanks to Allah.
During the three days, Muslims attend prayers in the morning and visit loved ones and neighbours. Then they enjoy a delicious traditional feast with friends and family. Children are often given presents, and its custom to donate to those in need. As a symbol of unity, Ramadan is a time when Muslims from all over the world come together to celebrate their faith.
What are your favourite Ramadan traditions and customs? Let us know in the comments below!
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