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Readying for the holy month of Ramadan  

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By Mushtaq Bhat

Let’s try to forgive everyone who has wronged us and have faith that those who we may have wronged shall do the same. This would be a preparation so that we can focus on entering the month which is a blessing and a form of mercy and forgiveness bestowed upon humanity by almighty Allah. Ramadan (also known as Ramzan) which is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, is a time when Muslims around the world focus on prayer, fasting, giving charity and added religious devotion. It is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims which exactly begins and culminates based on the sighting of the Moon.

Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam and Ramadan is the month specifically meant for fasting and according to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) when the month of Ramadan starts the gates of heaven are opened whereas the gates of hell are closed. It is this month in which the Holy Quran was revealed to the Prophet of Islam during a blessed night known as “Shab-e-Qadr”.

During the entire month, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset and also observe extra supplications, give alms to poor besides more and more Quranic recitations. It is meant to be a time of spiritual discipline, of deep contemplation of one’s relationship with Almighty Allah and of forgiving and seeking forgiveness. One must understand the real essence that it is not just about abstaining from food and drink during daytime rather the spiritual side of Islam’s holiest month is far more important. Thus we could say that false words or bad deeds or intentions are as destructive for a fast as is eating or drinking.

Fasting is obligatory for Muslims so that they may attain Allah’s consciousness and therefore the real essence and purpose of fasting is to achieve ‘Taqwa’ (righteousness). The Quran repeatedly commands to have Taqwa and the implication of the term is that one protects oneself by always keeping Allah in view. In other words, when we say something or do something, we do it as we are being watched by Allah and we are very careful, vigilant and cautious about this, because we know that Allah sees not only our actions and dealings, but also knows our thoughts and intentions- all that we conceal in the inner of our hearts.

Infact Ramadan is one of the most blessed and revered months of the year and one must not miss a single moment without worshipping to Allah in thoughts and deeds. The whole month of Ramadan is divided into three parts of ten days each termed as ‘Ashra’- an Arabic word which means ten days. Every ‘Ashra’ has its countless blessings and rewards. The first ten days are the days of mercy and we should seek mercy during these days. The second part or Ashra exhibits Forgiveness of Allah whereas its third part is believed to be release from the fire of hell. May Allah give us the strength to seek Allah’s mercy, forgiveness, and release from fire of hell! Aameen!

The author could be reached at www.mushtaqbhat1312@gmail.com

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