Ramadan Mubarak to my sisters & brothers worldwide. I pray that you are having a beautiful blessed Ramadan 🙂
Hello everyone! Welcome back & salaams to my sisters & brothers 🙂
So as most of you know it is Ramadan and alhamdulilah (praise to God) that I am alive, healthy & have been blessed to experience my second Ramadan! Today I thought I would speak more closely to the non Muslims worldwide who don’t know what Ramadan is nor understand what it means for the Muslim Ummah (nation) worldwide. I hope to give especially my non muslim family & non muslim friends more of an insight so that you can understand the importance of Ramadan to me ❤
What is the significance of Ramadan why is it so important?
Ramadan is the most blessed month for Muslims worldwide and the most sacred month on the Islamic Calender. Why? Because the month of Ramadan is when the Quran was revealed and the month in which Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alai wasalaam – peace and blessings be upon him) received his first revelation.
So, what is Ramadan?
The word Ramadan meaning scorching heat or dryness, occurs in the ninth month of the Islamic Calender where us Muslims worldwide fast for a period of 30 days. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and is obligatory for all adult Muslims except for Muslims whom are travelling, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic, suffering from illness or whom are going through their menstrual cycle (bleeding). If you miss days of fasting you will need to make them up after Ramadan.
From the moment Ramadan begins and for the entire month itself the gates of Jannah (heaven) are opened and the gates of hell are closed and shaytan (devils) are locked up and chained. So whatever sin/s commited in Ramadan is on us we have no excuse. Our main goal during Ramadan is that we should be using this time even more to become closer to Allah (God).
How long do we fast for?
We are to fast from dawn until sunset; depending on the country you live in and timezone this can be a longer or shorter amount of time. In Australia we are blessed to only have to fast for 9.5 hours where as many other countries have double the amount of hours. May Allah (God) make it easy for them all Insha Allah (God Willing).
“So you can drink water and juice right, you just can’t eat? Don’t you get hungry?”
No from dawn to dusk you cannot eat nor drink. Before dawn the tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is to have suhoor the pre-dawn meal which you are encouraged to have even if it is just a date and water. It is best to drink lots of water during Ramadan so that you are hydrated, and for suhoor to eat a meal that will give you energy and the nutrition you need to get through the day such as cereal, bread, yoghurt, fruit, nuts or whichever. If you prepare a good suhoor without over indulging, it will keep you full.
At dusk when the fast has ended for the day the tradition of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is to break your fast (iftar) with 3 dates and a glass of water or milk. After this you may eat as much as you want or as little until suhoor, it’s your choice. Of course the whole point of fasting is not to over indulge and stuff your face otherwise what was the point?
To let it be known fasting isn’t about just food, fasting for Muslims means to refrain from drinking, eating, engaging in sexual relations, doing anything haram (bad/sinful) such as smoking, drinking alcohol, drugs, shisha. It also means to refrain from saying/thinking anything haram (bad/sinful) such as swearing, getting into disagreements, fights, basically controlling your tongue and actions.
What are the benefits of fasting?
I believe personally we shouldn’t fast just to reap the benefits and be rewarded, we are Muslim and it’s a part of who we are and Prophet Muhammad (sallahu alai wasalaam – peace and blessings be upon him) fasted and his companions (peace be upon them) and the companions of the companions (peace be upon them) fasted and so on and so on. But yes alhamdulilah (praise to God) fasting during Ramadan we are blessed twice as much and Allah rewards those who do fast with sincere intentions.
What did I do in Ramadan & my experience in brief?
Last year as a fairly new muslim I fasted everyday alhamdulilah (praise to God) and focused on trying to learn more about Islam and who I now was. My husband and I would make our five daily salat (prayers) as well as sunnah prayers and tarawih (extra prayers prayed during Ramadan in the evenings after Isha the 5th daily prayer), every night at home and it was such a beautiful month for me and an amazing experience. To sit each day and make dua (calling out to God through prayer) and thikir (recitation and repeating of God’s name and short phrases praising him) the feeling is undescribable…You just feel so happy and appreciate even more of what you have and have been blessed with… When Ramadan is finished you really do feel sad that the most blessed month has passed and you are eagerly waiting for the next year to follow so that you could insha Allah (God willing) do it all over again.
I spent Ramadan last year in Malaysia as that was where I was living at the time and the fasting duration was longer there than Australia, I believe it was 14 hours so only fasting 9.5 hours this year we are lucky. The atmosphere was amazing and you were constantly reminded it was prayer time not via the prayer app on your phone but by the call to prayer at the mosques around us and on the television and radio mashallah ❤ That’s definetly one thing I really miss about living in Malaysia. I remember hubby driving me around many times during the day or just before we had to break fast and you would see sooooo many food stalls around the streets selling food and snacks for Iftar (the time when we break fast).
Today we are at the sixth day of Ramadan and I made the niat (intention) before Ramadan to read the whole Quran before the month ended as well as make more thikir and sunnah prayers, more duas for Muslims around the world and for my friends and family. I also made the niat to learn more as we can never have enough knowledge and just to try harder on becoming a better muslimah. Ramadan in Australia is a different experience and not having my hubby home the whole month like last year also feels different. Alhamdulilah i’m home everyday so I try my best to make good use of the days even more during Ramadan.
Ramadan is a very spiritual month; it a time to reflect, repent and seek forgiveness from God for our wrong doings and to improve ourselves. Some will feel it more than others. It is a time to redirect the heart away from worldly activities and from yourself, your nafs (ego). In doing this you will be able to cleanse your soul by freeing it from harmful impurities. Ramadan also teaches us how to better practice self discipline, self-control, patience, sacrifice. It is a time for us to empathize with those who are less fortunate, who don’t even have much for Iftar; thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity (zakat).
I hope this has helped given you an understanding of Ramadan and what it means to me and to Muslims worldwide. For those who have taken the time to read this, may God bless you.
Natasha Toffa xox