FRIDAY, JULY 20: After all the anticipation and preparation Ramadan is finally here.
Ramadan is a joyous time for Muslims as we participate in all the rights of Ramadan.
Even with the heat and humidity that Bermuda and our American neighbours have been experiencing this summer we still hold anticipation for the onset of the fast.
Ramadan is a special time and I particularly enjoy the spirituality it commands of me — the devotion of reading the Quran and fasting is a joy to my soul.
After eleven months of freewheeling — Ramadan returns to get us into check and bring discipline to the mind, body and soul.
I love sharing fellowship with other Muslims during Ramadan more then ever. We break the fast together and pray the congregational prayers of Taraweeh, which are special prayers consisting of recitation of the Quran led by the Iman. The aim during this time is to recite the entire Quran before the ending of Ramadan.
How merciful is our Lord to bestow upon us such a noble book as the Quran, which brings us guidance that is clear, straight and pure. Should we follow His guidance we can never go astray: “And He has sent down upon you the Book and the wisdom, and taught you what you did not know before.” 4:112.
Indeed during this month we should be giving thanks for the Holy Quran, which was first revealed in the month of Ramadan.
“Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Quran, as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong).
“So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later.
“God intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. He wants you to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful” 2:185.
The Arabic word for fasting is sawm and it is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam.
Muslims do not only abstain from physical things during Ramadan, we are also expected to do our best to avoid evil thoughts and deeds as well.
There are many good reasons for the fast, including obeying God, learning self-discipline as the Quran states: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint. [al-Baqarah 2:183]”.
Becoming spiritually stronger; sharing the sufferings of the poor and developing sympathy for them; realising the value of charity and generosity.
As we begin to partake in this purification of ourselves during this holy and blessed month of Ramadan, we should seek forgiveness from those whom we may have wronged knowingly or unknowingly throughout this pass year.
The Prophet explained in one hadith that Ramadan is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness and whose end is freedom from the hellfire.
This makes it a great time to ask God for His forgiveness. It’s also a wonderful time to open our hearts and cleanse them of grudges and bitterness by forgiving others.
Allah Almighty opens the gate of heaven in this holy month of Ramadan and is more generous in bestowing His blessings during this time.
As well, during the month of Ramadan, Satan is locked up so he cannot mislead those who are fasting. The reward for good deeds is multiplied 10 times in this month. Allah Almighty becomes very generous in this month and forgives the previous sins of those who fast.
So be steadfast in your duties to Allah during this holy month; take one day at a time and pray for the purification of your soul, for it is only a pure soul that will witness the happiness of this life and the joy of the eternal hereafter.
We ask Allah to accept our fast: “Oh Allah, I intend to fast today in accordance with your laws and for your benefit. Please accept my fast, forgive my faults, and bring me closer to you.” Ameen.
Ramadan Mubarak Bermuda as we invite you to break fast with us this Ramadan.
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