An Introduction To Ramadan

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Ramadan is the ninth holiest month of the Islamic calendar. It is one of the five pillars of the Islam.  The word “Ramadan” is derived from Arabic root “rmd” which means severe heat or swelter because it burns out the sins with good deeds. As a matter of fact fasting is not only observed by Muslims but before Islam it was also deemed as obligatory in other religions for instance the Holy Quran mentions “O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become Al-Muttaqoon the pious” (chapter no 2 verse no 183).  Sayyid Sulaiman Nadvi writes in his book with reference to the Encyclopedia Britannica “though fasting is observed in several forms because of seasonal changes in varied religion but there is no religion on earth wherein it is not observed at all, page no 149, Volume 5, [Siratunnabi]. Hence, it is distinctly clear that fasting  is not only mandated upon Muslims , but the  same practice could be found in other religions albeit in different forms also, for example Christians observe it as a lent, Jews observe it on Yom Kippur and Hindus as a Vrat and so on and so forth . The purpose of fasting varies from religion to religion depending upon the creed, social customs, historical background etc.

Prime objectives and rational behind observing fast:

As we know that those who keep fast abstain from eating, drinking, smoking, as well as engaging in anything which is regarded as ill-natured or illegal in the light of Quran and Sunna [prophet’s sayings] from dawn to dusk in Ramadan? Given the broader spectrum fasting is majorly intended to educate Muslims and others in terms of spirituality, humility and patience. It is a time to purify the soul, focus on Allah with right rapt attention, and put selflessness and austerity into serious practice. Further it asks us to preserve our tongue from lying, cursing, backbiting and slandering. Given the same, now becomes clear that Ramadan is not only about giving meals up, but fasting is an integral and paramount part of Islam. Ramadan offers a complete comprehensive program for our spiritual overhaul during the fasting and Muslims try their best level to materialize every nitty-gritty of the principle of Islam in their day to day activities by following the honored footsteps of Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), the last and the final messenger of God who is sent as a mercy to whole mankind.

Sacred and secret message through fasting:

Thus, the above mentioned information elucidates overtly  in  a clear cut way that fasting is more than remaining hungry and thirsty for the sake of Allah, rather  it urges us to desist from everything which leads us to the hellfire next eleven months in a similar manner in the complete obedience of Allah. As prophet says “Whoever does not give up lying and evil actions, then Allah is not in need of his leaving his food  and drink” [Saheeh al-Bukhari 1903]. Because if man can control these desires in this month, which are usually permissible for him, then he can surely control himself from other desires which are not permissible throughout rest of the months.  People observing fast must be free from unlawful desires [libidos] and rough habits, carnal stamina must be balanced which makes them attain the proximity to Allah, infect this holy month reminds us of the fact that how many poor are hungry who find it difficult to eke out their daily lives by arranging food hardly sufficient for one time, similarly we must ponder over the fact that how many unnoticed children and others are begging door to door to fill their stomach. That’s why Quran says “O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have (legally) earned” (chapter no 3 verse no 267). In this month of Ramadan Muslims are asked to give extra charity (sadaqa) and dole out alms to those who are penurious and unfortunately less privileged so that they too may observe the festival ends with the celebration of Eid-ul –fitra happily and can push forward their ordinary lives. Alms plays a very vital role in the development of poor society at large. It enhances the realm of the brotherhood, fraternity among society, it teaches us that in a society lived by people coming from all strata of life where no one enjoys an iota of superiority over others under any circumstances, it gives the message of equality thereby promoting it for a humanitarian holistic cause. In a nutshell the whole gamut of centrality which revolves around this holy month of Ramadan can be encapsulated as such that it is training and purifying period for human beings.

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