Yes! Ramadan is here, and it is the most awaited month for almost all Muslims! It is commonly known for being the month of fasting and the month of giving. In short, Ramadan is a month if properly accomplished by a Muslim, will help to purify his/her soul and bring him/her closer to Allah (SWT).
The Qur’an also mentions on the eminence of Ramadan:-
“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (Al Quran 2:185)
Ramadan is also significantly known as the month where the Quran was sent down to the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as a guidance to mankind. But apart from this, there are also several other reasons that made a Muslim fall deeply in love with this month!
The first verse of Quran was sent down on the night of Laylatyul Qadr (The night of decree). It falls in one of the odd nights on the last ten days of Ramadan. The night of Laylatul Qadr is known to be better than a thousand months; good deeds performed in this one night are better than those performed over thousand months. With that, it is highly encouraged to increase devotion and prayer during this particular night.
“Sayyidatina Aisha (r.a) reported: With the start of the last ten days of Ramadan, the Prophet (saw) used to tighten his waist belt (i.e. work harder) and used to pray the whole night, and used to keep his family awake for the prayers.” (Bukhari)
Forgiving of Sins and Increasing Rewards
Abstaining food and drink from dawn to dusk for the sake of Allah (SWT) makes the Muslims stronger in their iman and brings them closer to Allah (SWT). As Allah (SWT) has promised in the Quran that,
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” (Al Quran 2:183)
There are Hadiths that encourages Muslims to fast with faith so that all their past sins can be forgiven and they are rewarded immensely.
Narrated Abu Huraira(r.a): The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:”… whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari).
Rasulullah (saw) says: ”Whoever reads a letter from the Book of Allah will receive a hasanah (good deed) from it (i.e. his recitation), and the hasanah is multiplied by ten. I do not say that Alif-Laam-Meem is (considered as) a letter, rather Alif is a letter, Laam is a letter, and Meem is a letter.” (Tirmidhi)
Getting Rid of Bad Habits
The miracle of Ramadan is that it not only purifies souls but also the physical body of the believers. This month is not only for abstaining food, drink etc. during the day time but is also encouraged for believers to spend more time devoting themselves to Allah (SWT) through prayers and performing good deeds. Also, they are encouraged not to waste their time in vain such as watching movies etc. Through fasting, Ramadan teaches you self-control and paves the way to a healthy lifestyle. Also during this month, a believer is encouraged to be more compassionate by spending more time with the poor, and understand their real suffering etc. For the whole month of Ramadan, we are encouraged to walk in the shoes of the less fortunate and be thankful to Allah (SWT) for everything that we are blessed with.
Ramadan: The Month of Giving
Zakat Al-Fitr is the charity that is given at the end of the month of Ramadan. It is hoped that through the performance of Zakat Al-Fitr, greed is eliminated from the hearts of the believers and further financial aid is provided to the poor and needy. In addition, some Muslims also prefer giving the obligatory Zakat during this month as the rewards for good deeds are greater in this month.
During iftar, Muslims will decorate their dining tables with various dishes and savouries to treat themselves after fasting the whole day – from early morning till dusk. Usually the entire family gathers to break fast together, which makes it even more special and fun. Through this act, greater bonding among family members and friends will be accomplished.
Gathering of Families & Friends
During Ramadan, usually people will invite relatives/friends over for iftar. This is the month of forgiving and seeking rewards; families that held grudges along the year forgive one another for the sake of Allah (SWT) and embrace each other with love. After performing isha’ prayer, there will be an additional non-obligatory prayer in the month of Ramadan, known as Tarawwih. During Tarrawih prayer, Muslims despite all class and status stand shoulder to shoulder and pray together.
Of all the months, Muslims love Ramadan the most mainly because of the greater rewards found in this month. When one does not eat or drink till dusk, he/she learns the hunger of the poor and will indirectly involved in more charitable activities. Finally, this is a blessed month of being closer to Allah (SWT) and spending more gathering activities with families and friends and also other Muslims by showing love and care to all of them.