Ramadan - The blessed month - Kashmir Student | 24 Hour Education Service - JKBOSE, Kashmir University, IUST, BGSBU


Monday, July 11, 2011

Ramadan - The blessed month

After the month of Sha'ban, thanks to  Allah (SWT)  we are finally in the holy month of Ramadan 1432 AH. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calender and lasts for 29 or 30 days. It is the month of mercy, forgiveness and liberation from the Hell- fire. Our beloved Prophet (SAW) used to start preparing for Ramadan two months in advance in the month of Rajab with the supplication 'O Allah (SWT) make the month of Rajab and Sha'ban blessed for us and let (enable) us reach the month of Ramadan.

When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the Heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained. (Hadith). The holy Qur'an in chapter 2 (The Cow) in verse 185 says "Ramadan is the month in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear signs for guidance and judgement (between right and wrong). So everyone of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spent it in fasting, but if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later.

Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulty. He wants you to complete the prescribed period...". Thus Ramadan is the most venerated and blessed month in which the holy Qur'an was revealed and fasting was made obligatory for every healthy adult not on a journey. 'Healthy' and 'journey' here have specific  meaning different from day to day meaning.

The following two ahadith from Sahih Bukhari sums up the greatness of fasting:-
1. Narrated Abu Huraira (RA): The Prophet (SAW) said, "Allah (swt) said: "All the deeds of Adam's son are for them, except fasting which is for Me and I will give the reward for it"

2. Narrated Sahl (RA): The Prophet (SAW) said, "There is a gate in Paradise called Ar-Raiyan and those who observe fasts will enter through it on the Day of Resurrection and none except them will enter through it. It will be said," where are those who used to observe fasts? "They will get up and non except them will enter through it. After their entry the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it."

Fasting means total abstention from eating, drinking and sexual relations from dawn to dusk. Muslims get up very early in the morning (before dawn) and take  the sehri and make the following dua at the begining of the fast  "wa bisawmi ghadinn nawaiytu min shahri ramadan" (I intend to keep the fast for tomorrow in the month of Ramadan).

The fast is broken at dusk by dua "Allahumma inni laka sumtu wa bika aamantu wa alayka tawakkaltu wa ala rizq ika aftartu" (O Allah! I fasted for you and I believe in you and I put my trust in you and I break my fast with your sustenance. Avoiding immoral behaviour such as abusing, fighting, backbiting, lying, anger etc. is also necessary as these actions render the fast as worthless. If a person does not avoid false-talk and false conduct during fasting, then Allah (swt) does not care if he abstains from food and drink.

The holy Qur'an in the verse 183, Chapter 2 says "O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may learn self-restraint (Taqwa). Thus fasting is not made obligatory only for us but was also prescribed to people (ummah) before us and the main intent of fasting as described in this verse is to acquire Taqwa. Taqwa has been defined/explained in various ways in the light of different Ahadith. One of the definition can be stated as "Taqwa refers to a state of conscious where one constantly feels the presence of his Creator, obeys His Commands to attain His pleasure, and avoids disobedience to Him, not only out of His fear but also for the love of Him.

"Besides acquiring Taqwa, fasting teaches us self-discipline, self-control, sacrifice and empathy for poor. In addition to fasting, events/actions of immense importance in Ramadan are Tarawih (a special prayer), Atikaf (in the last ten days) and Lailatul Qadr (Night of Power).

So during this venerated month keep fasts, recite Qur'an, pray more, supplicate more and give charity, as a voluntary good deed, during this month, merits the same reward as an obligatory act in any other month. An obligatory deed is rewarded 70 times more. Avail the opportunity!

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