Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar. Muslims practice fasting for the entire month of Ramadan. Muslims are obliged to abstain from all food, drink, use of tobacco, and conjugal relations from dawn till sunset. However, that is merely the physical component of the fast; the spiritual aspects of the fast include refraining from gossiping, lying, slandering and all traits of bad character. A fasting person’s aim is to attain purity of thought and action. The act of fasting redirects the hearts away from worldly mundane activities, towards Allah – the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth. The month of Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayer, recitation of the Qur’an, doing Zikr, endurance and self-discipline. It is a month of training – training the soul and body- to be able to exercise self-restraint. The fasting Muslim is continuously tied with rules and regulations for an entire month and then released for 11 months to see whether the training has been adequate and effective. During this month the personality of a Muslim develops so that during the rest of the year, the trained Muslim does not commit wrong under unrestricted conditions. Ramadan is a month to purify ourselves. Fasting helps to overcome bad habits either gradually for some of us or immediately for those with a stronger will power.
The Qur’an commands: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, so that you attain taqwa (self-restraint)” (chapter 2, verse 183).
The Holy Quran says: “Ramadan is the month in which we sent down the Holy Quran, as a guide to mankind, also clear Signs for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong).”(chapter 2, verse 185)
Fasting in Ramadan means forbidding your self from eating, drinking, smoking, doing sex from dawn (around 1 1/2 hour before sunrise) until sunset. Out of this period you can do all what you doing in normal days and normal lives (except of course what is not allowed by religion as gambling, drinking Alcohol, prostitution, etc…)
Fasting Ramadan has the following benefits that:
- Showing obedience to ALLAH (God) commanded us to fast the whole month of Ramadan.
- Gaining spiritual self purification and full submission to ALLAH (God).
- Gaining motivation not to approach what is prohibited to be done by religion. If you are used, during fasting, to forbid yourself from eating food, drinking, doing sex with your partner of marriage (things that are allowed out of fasting) then you will be used to forbid yourself from doing what is prohibited to be done as drinking Alcohol, gambling, prostitution, cheating, etc…
- Getting closer feeling with the poor suffering and you will be more tending to give donations and charities to those who are in need.
- Getting closer to relatives through mutual invitations and contacts.