Today is the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims all over the world will observe a fast from dawn to dusk for 30 days. I have been asked several times by friends and acquaintances as to why we fast, what is the significance of this month etc. Guess there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to discuss this.
Significance: It was in Ramadan that the first verses of the holy Quran was passed to the Prophet (PBUH).
Purpose: With thousands of people dying each day due to poverty or hunger – fasting brings us closer to the harsh realities of life. It reminds us of the suffering of the poor, the less fortunate. While fasting, we are supposed to observe self-control, righteousness and sincerity. We have to abstain from what is wrong, immoral, unethical, unjust and fallacious. It is a time to speak cleanly (and not use obscenities), the truth and refrain from lying, it is a time to refrain from violence, it is a time to remember the great Almighty, the time to seek forgiveness for all sins, it is a time to regulate our worldly desires to the minimal (avoid wastefulness) and negate showing off, a time to refrain from inappropriate sexual desires. It is also the time to donate a part (2.5%) of your savings to charity (not only to those outside our social circle but to anyone who is in need). A time for mercy, care and kindness. A time to learn patience, discipline and strong will.
It is a time to observe and live the primary principle that governs Islam – Peace. A time to, not just be a good Muslim, but a good human being.
Apart from fasting, a Muslim is supposed to lead a life like this always. The month of Ramadan is a time that reminds us our true calling – who we are, what we are and why we are!
Wishing you all Ramadan Mubarak and may you make the most of this blessed month.