Ramadan: The Month of Blessings!
Fasting has been described as ‘one-fourth of faith’, as the beloved Prophet (PBUH) has said that ‘Fast is half of patience and patience is half of faith.’ Of all the regulations of religion, fasting upholds our spirituality and enriches our souls as much as that it establishes a special connection with Allah. The Prophet (saw) said: Almighty Allah says: Every good action except fast will be rewarded ten to seven hundred folds, but fast is only for My sake and it is I who will reward a believer for it.
The holy Quran states that those who are patient will be given rewards without measure (Quran 39:13) and the Prophet (PBUH) said that the Paradise has got a gate named Rayyan; none except a fasting person will enter paradise by that gate.
The Prophet (PBUH) said that everything has got a gateway and Fasting is the gateway of worship and that the sleep of a fasting person is worship. The prophet further said that when the month of Ramadan comes, the doors of Paradise are opened and the doors of hell are closed, the devils are put in chains.
As we know that in all the week days, Friday has more blessings of almighty and is thus superior to all days of week; likewise Ramadan is superior to all the months of a year. Some authentic reports say that all the Holy scriptures have been revealed onto humanity during this month. It is said that on the 1st Ramadan, a Holy scripture was revealed onto Hazrat Ibrahim (AS), on 2ndRamadan Zaboor was given to Hazrat Dawood (AS), on the 6th of Ramadan Torah was revealed, on the 12th of Ramadan, the Bible was revealed and the Quran was sent down during the Night of Qadr.
The word ‘Ramadan’ is derived from the Arabic root word ‘Ramida’ or ‘Ar- Ramad’ denoting intense burning heat and dryness. From the same root there is a word ramdaa meaning sun baked sand. It is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and is regarded as a very special month as the Quran was revealed onto the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for the entire month and the fasting ritual is called ‘roza’ in India while as in Arabic it is termed as ‘Sawm’. On every day of the month, Muslims wake up at a particular time to take their meals before the morning Azaan. Indian Muslims call this meal sehri, which is also called as suhoor in Arabic (Closing of the fast). At dusk, when the evening call for prayer is announced, people break their fast by taking dates or water which is followed by food. This is called iftari (opening of fast). Like 2020, this year too comes under the looming danger of COVID-19 pandemic and most of the people are offering all the prayers while at home and mosques are, therefore, receiving less people compared to pre-covid scenario.
It is a month of charity. The acts of charity, for the sake of Allah, are highly desired on all occasions, but more so during the blessed month of Ramadan. This is a chance to be grateful for what Allah has given us by giving to others in need. Ibn ‘Abbas (RA) reported: Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was the most generous of people in giving charity, but he was even more generous in the month of Ramadan, (Muslim).
Muslims offer charity which is known as their annual zakat. This is an obligatory act which balances the economic system by giving a bit of your wealth to the poor and those living on the margins. Offering dates or some other food items for iftari is also very much rewarding. We invite our friends and relatives for iftar; we also attend their invitations and break our fast together. This beautiful Islamic tradition enables people to get closer. However, there is another charity- Sadka- which is also mandatory during the month of Ramadan and is usually offered towards the end of the month or anytime during the month. Scholars decide and fix, each year’s Sadka and make an announcement to this effect.
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “He who gives food for a fasting person to break his fast, he will receive the same reward as him, except that nothing will be reduced from the fasting persons reward.”
Ramadan is also the month of Qur’an- it is this month that the Holy Qur’an was sent down as a perfect guidance for humankind and consists of clear teachings which show the right way and are a criterion of truth and falsehood. Every Muslim performs tilaawath (recitation) of Qur’an during Ramadan, especially during the nights. Qur’an gives us the complete code of conduct for our life.
Ramadan is a time dedicated to worshipping the almighty Allah and is therefore a training period for Muslims which prepares them for living an honest, pious and obedient life during the whole year. Every Muslim should try to attain piety during this month and as is seen towards the end of the month, Muslims always bade farewell to Ramadan with moist eyes for it is such a glorious and blessed month, full of rewards. It ends with a joyous celebration of Eid ul fitr which lasts for 2 days.
(The author hails from Kishtwar and can be reached at [email protected])