Updated: May 6
So... Ramadan 2020 begins and still these questions appear! Living in England, many people still don't know why we fast, why we don't drink water and why we celebrate this month! As summarised in the Quran [Holy book, words of God, Allah], "Ramadan is the (month) in which the Quran was sent down, as a guide to mankind and a clear guidance and judgment (so that mankind will distinguish from right and wrong).." (Q 2:183)
Let's start with the basic, here are 5 simple factors about this blessed month:
Ramadan is a sacred month for Muslims as it is believed that the first place verses from the Holy Book – the Quran were revealed.
It’s a chance to reflect on ones character & seek out ways to improve. It’s like a detox as Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during the hours of daylight.
It's a month to observe fasting, prayer & at the same time, appreciate our livelihood. Muslims also believe that rewards are multiplied during this month so tend to adopt positive habits & refrain from bad habits and bring those good habits to our life all year round.
Giving charity is a major factor as each Muslim pays their Zakat (2.5% of savings).
It’s a celebratory month and a huge achievement for individuals who are able to be grateful for all they have & consider those in less fortunate circumstances.
It can be classed as starving the body to feed the soul or a better word, cleanse!
If intentions are pure, we should leave the month as a better version of oneself. Ramadan fosters a beautiful balance between our social responsibility and self-knowledge. It teaches us patience, self-control, value of time, appreciation of food, refraining from bad habits & bad language and all this is to make you and I, a better individual all year round.
Therefore, we should honour this month with the best of character, with the best of intention and ponder over the creation of the heaven and the Earth.
There are many duas and forms of Ibadat that can take place during Ramadan. It is a month of mercy, forgiveness & a chance for us to gain nearness to our Lord, Allah. It is an opportunity to have our good deeds multiplied in reward and to ask for refuge. During this month we should seek knowledge and remain busy in the remembrance of Allah.
Instead of division, we should aim to recite as many duas [supplications] from the Holy Quran throughout the whole month. A few key duas are:
رَّبِّ اغۡفِرۡ وَارۡحَمۡ وَاَنۡتَ خَيۡرُ الرّٰحِمِيۡنَ
Rab-bigh-fir war-ham wa Anta Khair-ur-Raahimeen. (Surah Al Muminun:118) Meaning:
My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for You are the Best of those who show mercy!
رَبَّنَا فَاِغْفِر لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَكَفِّر عَنَّا سَيِّاتِنَا وَتَوَفَّنَا مَعَ الأَبْرَار
Rabbana Fagh-fir-lana dhunoobana wa kaf-fir-‘anna sayyi-aatina wa ta-waf-fana ma-‘al abraar. (Surah Al-Imran:193)
Meaning: Our Lord!
Forgive us our sins and remit from us our evil deeds, and make us die in the state of righteousness along with Al-Abrâr (those who are obedient to Allâh and follow strictly His Orders).
. اَللَّهُمَّ أَجِرْنِي مِنَ النَّارِ
Allahuma Ajirna min-an-naar.
Meaning: O Allah, protect us from the fire.
Best dua of the last 10 nights:
اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
Aisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) reported: I asked: “O Messenger of Allah! If I realize Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), what should I supplicate in it?” He ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) replied, “You should supplicate: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni.
(O Allah, You are Most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).” [At-Tirmidhi].
May Allah reward all your efforts this Ramadan and accept our worship. Remember to give openly, whether Zakat, Sadaqah or sharing knowledge as rewards are multiplied during this month. InshaAllah.