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Ramadan

The populous and holy month of Ramadan in the Islamic calendar is here. For some fasting begins today, others tomorrow, and others more, the day after. I am here to explain what the month of Ramadan is – and its importance. It is not just about starving oneself for a complete month, there are many reasons behind it and how to fast properly.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is more commonly known as the month of fasting. This is in which Muslims all over the world refrain from eating, drinking (non-alcoholic drinks), smoking, and sexual intercourse, and various other things between the time of sunrise to sunset. While it is permissible to do such things after sunset and before sunrise, there are many things that are forbidden during the month of Ramadan. These include but are not limited to: drinking (alcohol), fornicating, cursing, lying, stealing, backbiting, and anything that is considered sinful in Islam.

When does Ramadan begin?

The month of Ramadan begins during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, following the month of Sha’aban. Since the Islamic calendar is 10-12 days shorter than the traditional modern Christian calendar, there is no exact date on which it begins and ends. The month of Ramadan in 2009 begins from August 22, 2009; in 2010, Ramadan may begin at or around August 10-12, 2010 and so forth.

When does Ramadan end?

The month of Ramadan traditionally has about 29-30 days. Coincidentally, in 2009, the month of Ramadan will end on September 21st or the 22nd. The month of Ramadan is then followed by the month of Shawwal. But before Shawwal begins, there is the day of celebration to commemorate the end of fasting called Eid-ul-Fitr. I will create a post with that explanation whence the day comes.

Why do Muslims fast during the month of Ramadan?

The main reason as to why Muslims like myself fast is that Allah has commanded us to do so. Another reason why Muslims all over the world choose to fast is because it is an excellent way to purify and cleanse the mind, soul, and body. By being patient, and refraining from sinful deeds, one can instead concentrate on good deeds and on how to improve oneself. By fasting, Muslims are able to be closer to God and develop a stronger link. We also fast in order to have our sins forgiven as during this month, God encourages Muslims to ask for forgiveness and it will be granted.

One more main reason that I cannot fail to forget is that by fasting, Muslims are better able to realize the pain of those everywhere around the world who suffer from starvation and malnutrition. As people we realize that we are lucky to have food and water that is plentiful – and that others around the world have very little or no food, and barely any clean drinking water.

Etc.

With my personal experience, I look forward to the month of Ramadan every year with respect and excitement. It is when I am able to relfect on my previous actions and look forward to a more pure and less sinful year. It is quoted in a Hadith, that during the month Ramadan, the gates of Heaven are open and the gates of Hell are closed, while the demons are chained up.

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  1. August 29, 2009 at 7:54 AM

    An excellent enlightening post Ahmed. I really like how you outlined the reasons WHY you fast.

    Sometimes the worse consequence of sin is not the sinful act itself, but the absence of the good deeds that could have been done with that same time and energy. How else can one have this discernment impressed upon one’s heart unless there are times like this in the year set aside for reflection?

    I look forward to the next post on the topic of your faith.

  2. September 2, 2009 at 12:30 AM

    Thanks a lot! I’m glad you can understand this so well!
    Fasting doesn’t necessarily have to be religious, as there are so many things one can pull out from Ramadan; such as losing weight!

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