What Is The Significance of Ramadan and Why Do We Fast?
Ramadan will soon be upon us once more. It’s that time of the year again when we abstain ourselves from eating, drinking and coitus from dawn to sunset for a month.
But just in case you need reminding over why this holy month is very special in Islam and the purpose of fasting, here are a few facts about Ramadan and fasting.
First and foremost, Ramadan is the most precious month in the Islamic calendar because the holy Quran was first revealed in the month of Ramadan.
The night in which the Quran was revealed is referred to as the blessed night, known as Night of Al-Qadr. This then led to the practice of fasting during the day, followed by devoted prayers and worships during the night.
“Indeed, we sent the Quran down during the Night of Decree. And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree? The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” (Quran 97:1-5).
It is stated in the Quran, ‘The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Quran was revealed as guidance for mankind, and as clear signs that show the right way and distinguish between right and wrong.” (Quran: 2: 185)
This is why Ramadan is also known to be the month of Quran, where it is highly recommended for Muslims to recite the Quran.
Though it is not compulsory to do so, it is recommended as it will bring abundant rewards to Muslims.
Another reason why Ramadan is so sacred, is that in this holy month, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed up. The devils are also chained up.
One can reap many benefits and rewards if they fast sincerely. As narrated by Bukhari, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in one of his hadiths: “Whoever fasts during Ramadan out of sincere faith and hopes to attain Allah’s rewards, then all his past sins will be forgiven.”
Beyond that, Ramadan also allows Muslims to better themselves spiritually by elevating their devotion and faith by performing prayers, doing good, helping the needy, fasting and more.
WHY DO WE FAST?
Fasting in the month of Ramadan is the fourth Pillar of Islam, among the five. As we know, the five pillar of Islam are – The declaration of faith, Praying five times daily, Giving Zakat, Fasting in the month of Ramadan, and performing the Pilgrimage to Mecca.
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness” (Quran, 2:183)
Muslim cleric and Grand Mufti of Zimbabwe Mufti Menk once said in a video that fasting has a lot of goodness for your health.
“Spiritually, as soon as the month Ramadan enters, ask the Muslims. They will tell you there is a different spirituality level, it is so elevated that you would need to be a submitter in order to feel it.”
That being said, the purpose of fasting is not only to discipline ourselves in abstaining from food and drinks, but it is to relinquish the worldly desires for the sake of our Creator. It is crucial to keep in mind, that we observe fasting only for the sake of Allah SWT.
Fasting also allows us to develop compassion towards others. It instills in us patience, gratitude and selflessness. This is because when we are feeling hunger and thirst, we are able to sympathise with the less fortunate ones who may not be as privileged as the rest of us.
In addition to that, fasting is also a time when we can reflect on the reality of life and death. As human beings we tend to take things for granted. We often think we have another day to live, when we should live everyday as though it’s our last. It makes us think about Allah SWT’s mercy and justice and how we shouldn’t be chasing after worldly goods. Instead, we should strengthen our aspiration for the Hereafter and its eternal enjoyment.
We must continuously pray that Allah SWT brings us this blessed month and accept all our prayers, fasts and good deeds. May He forgive our past mistakes and sins, and make this Ramadan a smooth one for us, InsyaAllah.
Photo credit: jcomp / freepik
Sources: Back To Jannah