During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world observe a specific fast that has profound spiritual significance beyond just reducing caloric intake. During the month of Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar), the fourth pillar of Islam is to refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and having sexual relations between dawn and sunset.
So what exactly is Ramadan? and why do Muslims emphasize it so much? In this auspicious month, The Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar, which is also known as the fasting month of Ramadan. In addition to fasting throughout the day, Muslims celebrate the Laylatul Qadr, also called the "Night of Power," on the last night of Ramadan. It is one of the most important months as well as the month full of blessings and gratitude. Muslims also prefer performing Umrah in Ramadan along with fasting as the rewards get doubled and you will receive the rewards equivalent to the blessings and rewards of Hajj. For this purpose, they can acquire individual Ramadan Umrah packages or any other package if they want to perform it with their family or group. However, performing Umrah in this month doesn’t mean that you consider yourself free from the obligation of Hajj.
Let us now look at several reasons why Muslims fast during Ramadan:
The five pillars of Islam are the cornerstones of the faith and must be practiced by all Muslims. "There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah" is the first pillar of Islam and must be proclaimed by all Muslims. The required recitation of five prayers five times a day is the second pillar of Islam. Charity via Zakat counts as the third. Ramadan fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam. That’s why Muslims all over the world cherish this month wholeheartedly and fast from dawn to dusk. Making the journey to Makkah is the last pillar of Islam.
Honestly, how many of us have ever felt that we just didn't have the willpower or self-discipline to do what we needed to do to succeed? Don't fret; everyone feels that way sometimes. Indeed, this is a feeling that will come over every one of us.
“[Fasting for] a limited number of days. So whoever among you is ill or on a journey [during them] – then an equal number of days [are to be made up]. And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom [as substitute] of feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess – it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew. [Surah Al-Baqarah, 184]
Interestingly, one interpretation of the aforementioned passage is that "restraint" is the key concept to internalize throughout Ramadan. Hunger is reduced by fasting. Forcing oneself to abstain from food, drink, or sexual activity delivers the clear message that it is the human will, and by extension the spirit, that is in charge.
Muslims throughout the world take time during the holy month of Ramadan to reflect on the past year and express gratitude for the many blessings it has brought, from passing a challenging time while having Sabr or for everything that Allah Almighty bestows us with. Or, you might just be thankful for the gift of life and the ability to take a deep breath.
Today's Muslims face a similar difficulty in contemporary society: avoiding temptations. The ability to concentrate comes into play while trying to avoid these inevitable interruptions. Our ability to concentrate on our fast and avoid temptations would be greatly enhanced by reading the Quran and engaging in other acts of devotion.
During the month of Ramadan, when Muslims throughout the world fast, they should keep in mind those who cannot. Not all Muslims are able to fast because of age or illness, and even those that can not have enough money to buy a good meal to break their fast. During Ramadan, Muslims are urged to increase their charitable giving to the poor and those in need.
During Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to "detox" by giving up behaviors that might hurt them spiritually or physically. As an example, Muslims who smoke are required to refrain from smoking throughout Ramadan, which may serve as the impetus they need to finally give up the habit for good. Here, "detox" refers to more than simply the elimination of harmful substances from the body.
Most people who are into working out would agree that fasting is good for your digestive system, helps you recover faster from workouts, and cleans out your system of harmful toxins. Obviously, this is only the case if we control our hunger during suhoor and iftar. Since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H), all Muslims have followed the practice of eating dates and milk, particularly during the suhoor. Particularly for a physically active Muslim who is fasting, dates may supply enough energy to go through the day.
And on a more upbeat note, it is a chance for Muslims to grow spiritually and become closer to Allah (SWT) and their faith. Changing one's ways, abstaining from forbidden behaviors, and starting fresh. This shows your clear intentions and Allah (SWT) will certainly bless you.
The above-mentioned are some of the good reasons to observe Ramadan's fasting requirements. Do you know that there’s a reward at the end of the month? After the last day of Ramadan, there comes a day known as Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims gather to worship and express their gratitude to God for the gift of another blessed Ramadan. In a nutshell, Ramadan is a time of blessing for Muslims across the globe, and its end is always met with sadness. Insha’Allah, may the coming Ramadan be peaceful and fruitful for all of us.
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