By: Asiya Wani
Fast is one-fourth of faith, as the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has said : ‘Fast is half of patience and patience is half of faith.’ Of all the regulations of religion, fast keeps special connection with Allah. The Prophet (saw) said: Almighty Allah subhana wa’tala says: Every good action except fast will be rewarded from ten to seven hundred folds, but fast is only for My sake and it is I who will reward a believer for it. Allah says: Those who are patient will be given rewards without measure – ( Quran 39 :13). The Prophet (PBUH) said: Paradise has got a gate named Rayyan; none except a fasting person will enter paradise by that gate.
The Prophet (PBUH) said: Everything has got a gateway. Fast is the gateway of worship. He said: The sleep of a fasting person is worship. He said: When the month of Ramadan comes, the doors of Paradise are opened and the doors of Hell are closed, the devils are put in chains.
Why Allah selected month of Ramadan for fasting ? Like the Friday is superior to all days of week, likewise Ramadan is superior to all the months of a year. But why Ramadan is superior ? Dear Brothers and sisters, all Holy books and scriptures have been revealed during this month. On 1st Ramadan, a Holy scripture was given to Hazrat Ibrahim (AS), on 2nd Ramadan zaboor was given to Hazrat Dawood (AS), on the 6th of Ramadan Torah was revealed, on the 12th of Ramadan, the Bible was given, and the Quran was sent down from Loh e Mahfooz during the Night of Qadr. Ramadan is derived from the Arabic root word ramida or ar- ramad denoting intense burning heat and dryness, especially the ground. From the same root there is word ramdaa meaning sunbaked sand. Thus, the word Ramadan is so called as it wipes out the sins with good deeds as the sun burns the ground and in this month all the bad and evil deeds are burnt.
This year holy month of Ramadan began from 14 April in India. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and is regarded as a very special month as the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during Ramadan. Muslims fast during this blessed month. Ramadan varies each year, depending on the lunar calendar. Ramadan begins with the sighting of the new moon. When the moon is sighted people greet each other by Ramadan Mubarak, which means have a blessed and generous month of Ramadan. Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for the entire month. The fasting ritual is called roza in India. In Arabic it is termed as Sawm. On every day of the month, Muslims wake up at a particular time to take their meals before the morning azaan. Indian Muslims call this meal sehri, which is also called as suhoor in Arabic (Closing of the fast). At dusk, when the evening call for prayer is announced, people break their fast by taking dates or drinking water. This is called iftari (opening of fast). Like 2020 this year is too difficult to celebrate Ramadan due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Staying indoor is the new norm to curb the outspread of coronavirus.
Ramadan is a month of charity. The acts of charity for the sake of Allah are highly desired on all occasions, but more so during the blessed month of Ramadan. This is a chance to be grateful for what Allah has given us by giving to others in need. Ibn ‘Abbas (RA) reported: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was the most generous of people in charity, but he was even more generous in the month of Ramadan, (Muslim).
Muslims offer money to charity which is known as their annual zakat. This is an obligatory act which balances the economic system by giving a bit of your wealth to the poor. Offering dates or some other food item for iftari is also very much rewarding. We invite our friends and relatives for iftar; we also attend their invitations and break our fast together. This beautiful Islamic tradition enables people to get closer.
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the fasting persons reward.”
Ramadan is also the month of Qur’an.
Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was sent down: this book is a perfect guidance for mankind and consists of clear teachings which show the right way and are a criterion of truth and falsehood. Every muslim performs tilaawath of Qur’an during most of the time and tries to complete its full revision at least once during the month of Ramadan. Qur’an gives us complete code if conduct for our life so we should try understand the message of Quran and follow it during our whole life. Ramadan is a time dedicated to worshipping the almighty Allah. Ramadan is actually a training period for muslims which prepares them for living an honest, pious and obedient life during the whole year. Every muslim should try to attain piety during this month. Muslims always bade farewell to Ramadan with moist eyes as it is such a glorious and blessed month, full of rewards. It ends with a joyous celebration of Eid ul fitr which lasts for 2 days.
( The author hails from Kishtwar and can be reached at email@example.com)