The Fasting Month Ramadan
Ramadan comes from the Arabic root ‘Ramada’ or ‘Ar Ramada’, which means scorching heat or dryness. This name may have two interpreters. Ramadan indicates a burning desire for food and water because it is the month of fasting. The second interpretation is that fasting with pure intention burns away past sins. It is believed that fasting during Ramadan is thirty times stronger than at any other time of the year.
Ramadan is full of rituals. Followers of Islam are expected to strictly observe sacred rituals and observe Ramadan with a pure heart. Ramadan is the holy months in the Islamic lunar calendar. Once a reliable source confirms the moon’s sighting, various rituals, and strict practices begin as part of the deep-rooted Ramadan tradition. At the beginning of Ramadan, Muslims wish each other “Ramadan Mubarak,” which means “Happy Ramadan.”
Ramadan – Do’s and Don’ts
Ramadan is the month of fasting. However, it is often misinterpreted as simply avoiding food. The importance of fasting in Ramadan lies in a wider range of activities. There are indications to avoid this –
- Bad habits (such as smoking, gossip, wasting time, too much useless television, complaining, etc.)
In the month of Ramadan, Muslims are expected to spend their time in the following activities.
- Recitation of Qur’an
- Prayers – There are extra night prayers, and one may find it a good time to offer more Sunnah prayers.
- Zikr – remembrance of Allah and repetition of His attributes
- Praying – actively thanking Allah for all our blessings and going to Him only for our needs
- Other spiritual reading or study
- Spending quality time with our family and Muslim friends
- Sharing with others
- Doing more charity
During Ramadan, Muslims are expected to devote most of the day to prayer and recitation of the Qur’an. Throughout the month of Ramadan, Muslims are recommended to recite the entire Qur’an. To facilitate the recitation of the Qur’an within thirty days of Ramadan, its 114 chapters have been divided into thirty equal parts. The special evening prayers where long sections of the Qur’an are recited are called Taraweeh. It is an Arabic word meaning rest or relaxation. Since these duas are quite long, the devotees rest for a moment before resuming their prayers for each rak’ah. Hence the name
Another important dua is takbeer, which is usually recited after the completion of any important work. For example, it is recited after Ramadan Takbir’s fast is an indication that the joys of Eid-ul-Fitr have begun.
Ramadan is the month of fasting, and no food is taken from sunrise to sunset. Meals are taken before sunrise and after sunset. This food is known as Suhoor – food before sunrise and before Iftar – food after sunset. Enjoy the halal meal with family and friends during Suhoor and Iftar. A large variety of food is taken. The Muslims around the world have their favorite dishes for Suhoor and Iftar; however, the spirit of Ramadan remains the same.