Ramazan: The Month of Salvation
Ramazan is the month in which Allah Almighty opens hiss doors of mercy, forgiveness and blessings upon Muslims. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the month of fasting for Muslims. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam; the others are the confession of faith, five daily prayers, Zakat (almsgiving) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). This month is anxiously awaited by all the Muslims as we perform the duty of fasting in this month. As the holiest month of the year, it is a crucial period for practising Muslims and underpins some of the religion’s core values, such as prayer and giving to charity.
The month of Ramazan holds a special place in Islam and among Muslims because of two major reasons. Firstly, the book of eternal guidance the Holy Quran was revealed upon Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in this month. Secondly, the 30 days of fasting in this month lead to the glorious and auspicious occasion of Eid ul Fitr for us.
This holy month has a great importance for we Muslims around the globe. Muslims globally welcome and observe this month with all the reverence, prestige and dedication it deserves. Muslims endure a period of daily fasting, the Masjid’s are filled with people, the recitation of Holly Quran takes its full form and people become more charitable. In this month Muslims make special preparations to ask for forgiveness from Almighty Allah and plead for his blessings and mercy. This sacred month makes us known about the pain of people suffering from hunger, thirsty for weeks and months.
Fasting is seen as a way to purify spiritually as well as physically. A period to detach from material pleasures and be closer to God. The act of fasting is also believed to increase Muslims’ piety. The main objective of fasting is to achieve piety and righteousness. This implies becoming conscious of our Creator, increasing our awareness of his majesty, exalting and glorifying his names and attributes, appreciating his greatness, recalling his blessings upon us, and being grateful and thankful for his guidance.
“O you who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, so you may remain conscious of God” (Al-Quran 2: 183).
During the month of Ramazan, while individuals abstain from food and drinks during daylight hours, they together over food with families and friends in the evenings. The meal with which the fast is broken is called (Iftar). Usually, the meal is simply designed to provide nourishments, but may sometimes be sumptuous when there is a large get-together of family and friends.
Abstaining from food has great ramification on the person observing the fast, physical as well as spiritual. It is an exercise for the discipline and control of the baser self. One learns how to restrain one’s urges and desires. Fasting frees the person from the bondage of lusts and desires. Abstaining from intakes also reminds us of the less fortunate ones, the poor and the destitute.
This fasting gives us a general sense of how they feel. It boosts the morale of the poor by knowing that even kings have to go hungry for a while. Fasting makes the rich realise and understand what the poor goes through day after day. Fasting also purifies one’s heart and tongue. One is urged to control himself and learn how to abstain from vain talk, lying and cheating. Although fasting is beneficial to health, it is mainly a method of self-purification and self-restraint. By cutting oneself from worldly comforts, even for a short time, a fasting person focuses on his or her purpose in life by constantly being aware of the presence of Almighty Allah.
The month of Ramazan is not only the month of fasting. It is also the month of the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran is the Muslim Scripture. Ramazan is the (month) in which the Quran was sent down, as guidance to mankind, also Clear (Signs) for guidance and the differentiation between right and wrong.
According to a prophetic tradition, it is believed that all Abrahamic scriptures including the scrolls of Abraham, Torah, the Gospel, the Psalms of David, and the Quran were revealed in the month of Ramazan.
Practising Muslims congregate at mosques observing the prayers. Practising also a month of worship which leads us close to Almighty Allah, and reciting the Holy Quran not only brings one nearer to Allah but also rejuvenates one’s spirit and soul. Reciting the Holy Quran, reflecting upon the divine words, and acting upon the divine teachings are central to Ramazan. The end of Ramazan is followed by the celebrations of Eid Al-Fitr.
The real purpose of fasting is not to make us hungry and thirsty, or to deprive us some of our comfort and conveniences but to be conscious of Allah. It is to do one’s best to live by His commands and to avoid His prohibitions, fear of Allah, worship of Allah, sincerity in faith, and avoid the disobedience to Allah. Fasting is an invisible act. Only Allah and the person who is fasting know whether he or she is fasting or not. Fasting teaches how to control and discipline our desires. Overall fasting teaches empathy and sympathy, and it takes away some of our selfishness and self-centeredness.
*The author is a student of Political Science and Pursuing Convergent Journalism. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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