Ramadan 2018 is around the corner and Muslims around the globe are gearing up for the holiest month of Islam which is likely to start from May 16 in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Gulf countries and May 17 in India. Muslims across the world will mark the end of Shaban month and start of Ramadan month by sighting the crescent moon.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims are supposed to fast for 29 or 30 days. Muslims wake up before dawn to eat the first meal of the day known as Suhour, which means they cannot eat or drink anything during the daylight and after the sunset, they eat and drink again. The meal after the sunset is known as Iftaar. Muslims also perform Morning Prayer after the first meal of the day.
Why do Muslims Fast during Ramadan
In Quran, it is stated that self-restrained which in Urdu is known as Taqwa is very important as it symbolizes the mortal quality that distinguishes you from being good humans. Taqwa is also defined as God consciousness that has been defined in Quran 251 times. The 30-day fast is a holy month where you give up your temptations and the fast signifies the purity of your soul and helps Allah to forgive you for your sins you have made during the year. Interestingly, Satan that keeps whispering in the year throughout the year is chained and the door of hell is locked and the door of heaven is open during this time.
The fasting during the holy month of Ramadan also helps us to cleanse our mind, body, and soul. It is also marked as the first step that gets one closer to Allah with continuous prayer and remembrance of God.
Who can and can’t fast during Ramadan
♦ Those who are healthy and have reached puberty should engage in fasting
♦ If someone is travelling or is unwell, they shouldn’t fast
♦ Women who are menstruating should not fast but must compensate during the later days
♦ People who are old and unwell should not fast but must perform fidiya
♦ Pregnant women or new mothers who are breastfeeding their child should not fast
What is restricted to do during Ramadan
♦ Choosing to engage in sexual activity is restricted
♦ Choosing to drink or smoke is restricted
♦ Choosing to gossip around is restricted
♦ Lying on God, the Prophet and the Imams is restricted
♦ Allowing thick dust to reach the throat is restricted
♦ Immersing the entire head in water is restricted
♦ Intentionally vomiting is restricted