Asalam Alaekum peace and blessings be upon you and Hello all,
Alhamdulilah praise to God, for another year reunited with the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. As everyone may know Ramadan is a month where all Muslims have to fast for 29 – 30 days, from sun rise to sun down, but why?
Why is it necessary upon every Muslim? What is the significance? How do you do it? These are some urging questions I will answer!
As a believing and practicing Muslim you must follow five key principles called the pillars of Islam.
- Believe in God – his angels, messengers and prophets
- Pray five times in a day – sunrise, afternoon, mid afternoon, sunset, and night time
- Giving zakat (charity) – based on 2.5% of your cash savings, and possessions of gold and silver (85 grams) at the end of a full lunear year. We are encouraged to begin giving charity at home, such as within the family then to friends and others in need. There is no limitation to how much to can give just the minimum of 2.5%, as mentioned above!
- For example : If you have $10,000 in your savings account after a year you would have to give out $250 to charity. 10000 X .025 = 250.00
- Fasting the month of Ramadan fasting from sunrise to sunset while abstaining from food, drink and sexual relations. A time for Muslims to reflect on their faith, and spiritually change in a positive way.
- The pilgrimage to Makkah every Muslim who can physically and financially afford it must go for Hajj once in their lifetime.
Now looking more into Ramadan, what does the month mean to Muslims? What is the main reason and significance?
A lot of times you will hear “it is to feel the pain of the poor and less fortunate.” That is true but it is not the main reason. We do so to positively change, through mentally training ourselves. This is done by gaining the strength to put our needs over desires (being obedient to yourself), gain patience, along with an increase in gratitude, and empathy to feel for others. Most importantly one should maintain righteousness, moral elevation and be god-conscious.
- Spiritual training – gain gratification, be patient and resist yourself from the things you want, such as foods your craving. Fasting allows you to resist from them, then enjoy them at the required time. This doesn’t necessarily mean luxurious things but the basic necessities we have in life.
- This can be the idea of wanting to buy the newest gadget but if you can not afford it, it is better to wait until you can rather then to get a loan, pay interest and stress about paying back the money rather then enjoying your new purchase, not the best example but it gets the point across.
- Overcome challenges – allows you to restrict yourself from the harmful habits you endure like smoking or drinking. Such as, when you limit your body from the things it needs you then can restrict yourself from your harmful desires and wants.
- Gain Empathy – you become more aware of the world around, the way people struggle and allows you to be in their shoes and feel for them.
How do you do it?
Like all things it is about training yourself and growing accustom to the habit. Of course it is hard, especially in the hot weather and during long days, but that is not an excuse. Ideally, we prepare ourselves by fasting a few weeks prior and get a taste of whats to come.
In addition, during Ramadan we prepare by eating the right foods, including tons of protein, fats, slow burning carbs, along with tons of water. Especially, before the morning prayer of Fajr prior to sunrise. Importantly, it is about perseverance and understanding there is a greater purpose to your “starvation,” gaining a greater relationship with your Lord. It is a time of learning more about Islam, then taking the the knowledge you have gained from the holy month and implementing it into your daily life.
I hope I have answered any questions you have regarding Ramadan? If not let me know! 🙂
Peace and love,