Well before I write something first I want to congratulate every one Happy Ramadan to everyone out there reading this blog. So the month of fasting is starting from tomorrow and everyone seems to pretty much excite about it. Some of the early memory I have for Ramadan was when we used to wait to Chand to come out to announcement of Ramadan month, I used to first to watch the Chand on that day. There was fierce competition between everyone in our mohalla and between my cousins that who will see the chand first and declare the Ramadan. Seeing chand has always said to be Sunnat, which is not necessary but regarded as good sign if you see it.
Ramadan, the ninth and most holy month of the Islamic Lunar calendar, begins with the sighting of the crescent moon. The importance of this month and the need to determine the precise time of its onset led to considerable advances in the fields of mathematics and astronomy by Muslim scholars, at a time when most of Europe was still groping its way through the dark ages. The word Ramadan derives from the Arabic root ramida or ar-ramad, meaning scorching heat or dryness. This seems a fitting name for the 29/30 days spent every year in thirst as observers refrain from eating or drinking between the hours of sunrise and sunset. It was in this month, in the year 620 C.E. that Muslims believe the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Mohamed (pbuh), and later the instruction for all able Muslims to spend it in fast.
The fourth pillar of Islam, fasting during Ramadan, is obligatory on all Muslims over the age of puberty with the exception of those who are ill or whose health prevents it, for example diabetics or pregnant women, those travelling or having menstrual bleeding. As well as abstaining from eating and drinking during sunlight hours, observing Muslims must not smoke or chew gum and must refrain from any sexual activity.However, this is merely the physical component of the fast; spiritual aspects include refraining from gossiping, lying, slandering and all traits of bad character. Purity of thought and action is paramount. Time should be spent in spiritual reflection, prayer, doing good deeds and spending time with family and friends. By doing this, the act of fasting redirects the heart away from worldly activities towards the Divine.
Fasting purifies and softens the heart and trains Muslims in self-discipline whilst helping to prevent them from greed.Muslims are told that during Ramadan, the gates to Paradise are opened and the gates to hellfire are locked, and the devils are chained. Ramadan therefore offers Muslims time for self-reflection, away from the temptations of the devil. In a state of moderate hunger, many report a clearness of mind and heart.It also offers a lesson in compassion and charity. The fasting person is naturally among the most merciful of people. This is because he has tasted hunger, experienced thirst and endured hardship. He can relate to those who go without and is encouraged to give from his own wealth. Zakat -ul -Fitr is a charity obligation which must be paid by every Muslim, young and old, to the poor and helpless at the end of the Month of Fasting.
P.S.: I hope this Ramadan will bring lots of Happiness and divine light to everyone..