Ramadan; It’s Meaning and Significance

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MEANING

The month of Ramadan is the 9th of the 12 months of the Islamic/Hijrah calendar. It is the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed. Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, engaging in daytime sexual activities and other unlawful acts from dawn till sunset. The word Ramadan comes from the root word ramida or ar-ramad which means scorching heat or dryness; some reports say Ramadan is named such because it falls in the month of intense heat, some say it’s because Ramadan burns sins of believers. Ramadan starts upon sighting a new moon that signifies the end of Shaaban and goes on till another new moon is being sighted to mark the beginning of Shawwal. The first day of Shawwal marks Eid-Il-Fitr

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint (Taqwa). (Quran 2:183)

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Fasting or Sawm is obligatory for every Muslim except a traveler on a journey, pregnant, nursing or menstruating women, an elderly person, a mentally or physically ill person. However, these people do not get total exclusion as Allah says: “All actions of a person are for himself, except the case of his fasting which is exclusively for Me and I shall pay (recompense) him for the same.’ The fast is a shield (against vice and the fire of Hell). Therefore, when any one of you is fasting, he should abstain from a loose talk, avoid verbosity and noisy exchange of words.” [Bukhari and Muslim: Abu Hurayrah]. Excluding these people from fasting is only to grant them relief and not overburden them as they are expected to pay up the missed days after Ramadan, feed a fasting person or free slaves. Allah says;  “But if any of you is ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up from other days”{Surat Al-Baqarah 2: Verse 184}, “And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day)”{Surat al-Baqarah 2: Verse 184}

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Muslims eat two major meals daily; the predawn meal which is called Suhoor and the meal at sunset/post fast called iftar. Muslims break their fast with dates; the Prophet (SAW) was reported to break his fast with 3 dates and enjoined us to break our fast with 3 dates or 3 gulps of water if there is no date.

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Tarawih/Taraweeh is also being observed during Ramadan; Tarawih is the night prayers performed in congregation at various mosques after Isha’a during the month of Ramadan. The Quran is usually being split in 30 Juzuu’s and 1 of each is read in a bid to complete the Quran as it was being done by the Prophet (SAW) and his companions

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SIGNIFICANCE

At the start of Ramadan, the gates of paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed and the shayateens are tied up. A caller cries out from the heavens, “Oh seeker of good come forward and oh seeker of evil, stay back.”

Fasting helps Muslims practice self-control, self-discipline, and empathy. It also serves as a purification for the soul, as such, it is not just about abstaining from these things during the day but to attain piety and closeness to Allah in a bid that if we did these things for 29-30days it will become a part of us even after the month has gone. Ramadan is very extraordinary because it comes just once a year, Allah has said that if we were to spend all of our lives worshipping him it won’t be enough so the month of Ramadan is the only month that makes us more conscious of our purpose of creation which is to worship Allah and constantly seek forgiveness. The Prophet (SAW) said,” May Allah disgrace the one who reaches Ramadan and his sins are not forgiven”. This goes to show how important it is for every believing Muslim to live each Ramadan like it was their last and make utmost use of every second.

 

Fasting in the month of Ramadan is like fasting the whole year; The month of Ramadan is the only month in which if you fast all of it and fast any 6 days in the following month (Shawwaal) you earn the rewards of having fasted the entire year. Abû Ayyûb al-Ansârî related: Allah’s Messenger says: “Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of fasting in the month of Shawwâl, it will be as if he has fasted the year through
[Sahîh Muslim (1163)]

The Quran was revealed during the month of Ramadan as a guidance to mankind and a criterion for right and wrong. The Quran was revealed on Laylatul- Qadr; the Night of Majesty/ The Night of Decree precisely. This Night is said to be better than a thousand nights, it falls on one of the odd nights in the last ten days of Ramadan. Muslims all over the world are usually encouraged to look for this night as it holds innumerable benefits: prayers don’t go unanswered, destinies are being rewritten, angels ascend from the heaven and be with those who stay up to worship Allah, Shaytan doesn’t rise with the sun the day after and there is calm all through the night until morning. Because the Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadan, Quran recitation takes precedence over various activities while fasting. That explains why many mosques make sure to take one of the 30 parts of the Quran at Taraweeh, individuals are also advised on how to split Quran into 60 pages, to enable them to take 4 pages after each Salaah so we can reach the goal of completing the Quran in the month of Ramadan.

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Consistent Tahajjud in the month of Ramadan is encouraged as the Prophet said: “Whoever prayed at night the whole month of Ramadan out of sincere Faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (3:32:227 Bukhari).

Ramadan is the only month in which an ‘Umrah performed anytime during it secures the reward of having performed Hajj with the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said: “When the month of Ramadan arrives, go for ‘Umrah, because `Umrah in Ramadan is like accompanying me on Hajj.”[Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1764)]

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I’tikaaf during the last 10 days of Ramadan is highly stressed because observing this seclusion makes us draw near to Allah and distance ourselves from worldly activities that could distract us and prevent us from making the very best of these sacred days.

Most of all; the Prophet (SAW) was reported to have said that everyone who fasts wholeheartedly in the month of Ramadan will be allowed to enter through the gates of Ar-Rayan.

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Lo! Muslim men and women (who submit to Allah), and men who believe and women who believe, and men who obey and women who obey, and men who speak the truth and women who speak the truth, and men who persevere (in righteousness) and women who persevere, and men who are humble and women who are humble, and men who give alms and women who give alms, and men who fast and women who fast, and men who guard their modesty and women who guard (their modesty), and men who remember Allah much and women who remember – Allah hath prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward. (Qur’an33:35)

Indeed, with Ramadan comes great benefits that we cannot help but grab with all our might.

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Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter so you can constantly get updates about our activities and collections for Ramadan. Also, look out for some more stories and tips about Ramadan from us till we reach the sacred month. Most of all, earn a great reward by sharing these helpful tips with your friends and loved one.

All the errors that may exist in this post are mine and only written in a bid to enlighten people. I seek Allah’s refuge for any misguidance and seek his blessing for every good that may come off from this Article.

Ma Salaam