Start Of Ramadan Marks Month Of Fasting

Imam Rizwan Rizvi

Imam Rizwan Rizvi.

By Rizwan Rizvi.

June seventh will mark the beginning of 9th Lunar month in the Islamic Calendar known as Ramaḍān, although some Muslims consider June 6th to be the beginning of the month. It is the month when Muslims worldwide embark on a month-long fasting journey to spiritually connect them with their Lord. It is stated in the Holy Qurʾān: “The month of Ramaḍān is the month in which the Qurʾān was revealed; a guide for the people, the most authoritative of all guidance and a criteria to discern right from wrong. Anyone of you who knows that the month of Ramaḍān has begun, he must start to fast. Those who are sick or on a journey have to fast the same number of days at another time, as God does not want to impose any hardship upon you. He wants you to have comfort so that you may complete the fast…” [Al-Qurʾān 2:185]

The word Ramaḍān has appeared in holy book once and it’s the only month which is mentioned by its name in Qurʾān. Ramaḍān’s literal meaning is, to burn away something without any ash or smoke. Therefore, the reason behind naming it Ramaḍān could be that our sins are burned away during this month without us realizing it. Qurʾān was also revealed in this month on the night of Power (Qadr), which is one of the last 10 odd nights. Prophet Muḥammad (pbuh) mentioned in a narration that all the divine scriptures were revealed in this month.

Chapter two verse 183 in Qurʾān reads; “O you who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil).” Fasting is not a new phenomenon, rather it existed in other divine religions preceding Islam. Both Christians and Jewish faiths adhere to fasting. There are many benefits that can be attained from fasting, both physical and spiritual.

Ramaḍān is a month of giving and helping, Muslims provide food to their friends and neighbors throughout the month. By fasting we can better comprehend the situation of millions of people who go to bed hungry and it gives us new perspective on sharing and consuming wisely.

The month of Ramaḍān is expected to end on July 5th, followed with grand celebration feast known as Eid al-Fiṭr (the festival of nature).

Rizwan Rizvi is Imām of Masjid-e-Ali (as) on Cedar Grove Lane.

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