Ramadaan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. Only once the moon has been sighted will Ramadaan commence. Fasting is the one of the five pillars of Islam and it is obligatory on every male and female who has reached the age of puberty, is healthy, sane and able to fast. Fasting was made compulsory for the muslims in the 2nd year of Hijrah. Allah says in the Qur’aan : “O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqûn (the pious)” (2:183)
The Arabic word for fasting is “Saum” or ‘Siyaam”. Muslims are required to fast from dawn until sunset. Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse whilst they are fasting. Fasting allows us to feel the pangs of hunger that are experienced by the poor, it also allows us to draw closer to ALLAH by immersing ourselves in Ibaadah and continuous Dhikrullah. Fasting cleanses our bodies as well as our souls. The Prophet (SAW) said: “Anyone who fasts the Ramadaan with good intention for the pleasure of ALLAH , his/her sins are forgiven (or obliterate)”.
During the month of Ramadaan the doors of heaven are opened and the doors of hell are closed. The duas of a fasting person are readily accepted by Allah. It is thus most beneficial to us to abstain from idle chatter and backbiting and from actions that displeases Allah and instead to immerse ourselves in understanding our Holy Qur’aan and in continually seeking repentance from Allah at every opportunity we get. Alluhuma affuwun tuhibul afwa fa fu ani. We are encouraged to give as much charity as we can. Charity does not only have to be in the form of money. Take this time by volunteering at organisations that are in need of help. A simple thing such as keeping a sick person company and ensuring they are comfortable is a form of charity as well. Ramadaan is a way of keeping us grounded, a time for us to contemplate the meaning of our life and to take account of all our actions. It gives us an opportunity to change our bad into good to give us a clean slate, to keep us humble, make us righteous and teach us patience and gratitude.