Peace be upon you all! The most blessed month of the year – Ramadan is here. And for a special month, we require special preparations and to do deeds, don’t we?

What Ramadan means to me and you

Ramadan is a combination of many diverse topics and issues to be followed. But to me, Ramadan has always been a chance to improve my character and to follow Islam more strongly within that one month. In Ramadan, I always take up steps to remove at least 1 bad aspect from my character. This may not always turn out to be a success, but I at least become able to move a bit forward to become a better Muslim. Ramadan is thus a game-changer to me and various others who pass their time in nothing all around the year but give utmost importance to Ramadan. Someone rightly said, “You may call them Ramadan Muslims, but I will rather call them Muslims who need Ramadan to change!
The holy Quran was also revealed on the night of Qadr in the month of Ramadan. So, it holds a great importance for all.
Now, let us learn the main aspects of Ramadan from Quran and Sunnah.

Ramadan and Fasting verses in the Quran- Rules and regulations of Ramadan!
1.     O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous. (Surah Baqarah: 183)

2.     The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you, and perhaps you will be grateful. (Surah Baqarah: 185)

What a beautiful decree!

Ramadan facts and information

1.     Fasting is prescribed upon us so that we can fear Allah and become Muttaqi (Allah-Fearing).

2.     The month of Ramadan is special as the Quran was revealed during this month.

3.     Fasting is not obligatory upon all conditions and excused for a certain time but we have to make it up later on.

These three things are the facts we need to know about Ramadan. This information is very much important for understanding Ramadan and how it works. Now, attaining taqwa is the main reason, okay. We understand. But why the hell should we fast? Are there any benefits? Let’s go to the Second Source of Islamic Shariah – Al-Hadith.

Why Ramadan is special and important in Islam?

1.     Abu Hurairah reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

Allah, the Majestic, and the Exalted said: Every act of the son of Adam is for him except fasting. It is done for My sake, and I will give a reward for it. By Allah in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, the breath of the observer of fast is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.
(Sahih Muslim: 1151)
2.     Narrated Sahl:
The Prophet (ﷺ) 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 none except them will enter through it. After their entry, the gate will be closed and nobody will enter through it." (Sahih Bukhari: 1896)
3.     Narrated Abu Hurairah:
Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "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."
(Sahih Bukhari: 1899)
4.     Narrated Abu Hurairah:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Whoever established prayers on the night of Qadr out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven; and whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith, and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven." (Sahih Bukhari: 1901)
5.     Abu Sa'id al Khudri (Allah be pleased with him) reported
Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Every servant of Allah who observes fast for a day in the way of Allah, Allah would remove, because of this day, his face farther from the Fire (of Hell) to the extent of seventy years' distance.

A beautiful Incident of Reward of Fasting – Significance and meaning of Ramadan!

There were two Sahabis living at the time of Rasulullah (Sm.) and one of them was engaged in Jihad while the other used to remain in his house. The one doing Jihad frequently became martyred in one of the years and the other one died a normal death a year later. One of the Sahabis saw a dream where he saw that he was at the gates of Jannah and two people were brought out. One of them, who always stayed in the home, was admitted to the Jannah first and the other one, doing Jihad was admitted later on. The Sahabi became astonished and went to the Prophet (Sm.) to know the cause. The prophet (Sm.) replied, “
Didn’t the man being admitted first get one year more?” The Sahabi said, “Yes, O Prophet (Sm.).” The prophet (Sm.) said then, “Thus, he got one Ramadan more and due to his prayer on that month, he surpassed a Mujahid” (!!!)

Where does Ramadan come from and who observes Ramadan?

1.     In the Bible:
a.     While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts: 13:2)
b.     I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. (Daniel: 10:3)
c.      “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will as fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” (Esther: 4:16)
d.     Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments. (Exodus: 34:28)
2.     In Buddhism:
a.     According to Bhikkhu Analayo:
The Buddha noted that ascetics who underwent periods of fasting, but subsequently resumed eating to regain their strength, were just gathering together again what they had earlier left behind (MN 36)
b.     The Buddha focused on practicing mindfulness while eating, a practice he recommended to both monastic and laypersons.
c.      The Buddha did end up recommending that monastic not eat anything afternoon. This practice could be considered a kind of Intermittent fasting, which is an eating style where you eat within a specific time period and fast the rest of the time.
d.     In Theravada Buddhist monasticism, there are various optional ascetic practices named dhutaṅga (literally "means of shaking off" or "shaking up", as in to "invigorate") which are popular with Thai forest monks, several of them have to do with food. One practice is called "one session's practice" (ekāsanikanga) which refers to eating only one meal a day.
3.     In Hinduism:
Fasting is a very important aspect of Hinduism. The Hindus generally fast some days in a week to please the Gods and Goddesses. Such as: Monday for Shiva, Tuesday for Goddess, Thursday for Lord Dattatreya, Friday for Santoshi Mata, Saturday for Lord Hanuman, Sunday for Khandoba, Chaturthi for Lord Ganesha, Ekadashi for Goddess, Mahashivratri for Lord Shiva, Gokulashtami for Lord Krishna, Vat Poornima for Husbands, etc.
Scientific Benefits of Fasting in Ramadan:
A Beautiful Analogy of Fasting:
We, the Muslims, have to fast for a complete month and these days, the things to be shed are Food, Drink, Desires. Now, basically, Food and Drinking is permitted in normal days. That means, some of the things normally Halal is made Haram during fasting. Why is that so? It’s generally because Allah wants to make our works easier during the other 11 months. Because at that time, we only need to control our unlawful desires. So, in other words, Fasting is like a hard-core training so that the rest of the year can be passed in ease following the commandments of Allah (SWT). Alhamdulillah!
So that was a bit of fasting materials. There are innumerable benefits of fasting which we ourselves don’t know. And for that, we give the excuse of heat, day time. But we forget one thing:
If we are not able to endure this heat, how are we going to endure the Heat of Hell?
May Allah guide us to the truth!

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