History Of Ramadan And Why Muslims Fast
History Of Ramadan
Ramadan Is The Holy Month:
Millions of Muslims around the world are currently observing Ramadan, a holy month in the Islamic calendar marked by worshippers abstaining from food or drink between sunup and sundown. But why is Ramadan so important for Muslims? And what exactly is the purpose of a fast?
In Islam, Ramadan is a holy month of fasting, introspection and prayer. Fasting is one of the five fundamental principles of Islam. Each day during Ramadan, followers of Islam, known as Muslims, do not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. They are also supposed to avoid impure thoughts and bad behavior. Muslims break their daily fasts by sharing meals with family and friends. The end of Ramadan is celebrated with a three-day festival known as Id al-Fitr that is considered one of Islam’s major holidays.
Why Muslims Fast:
Muslims worldwide fast (or swam) during the hours of daylight in Ramadan. They do not eat, drink, smoke or engage in sexual intercourse during the fast. They also focus on reading the Koran (Qu’ran), donating to charities (zakaat), and certain activities such as refraining from gossip. Some people try to recite the entire Koran by the end of Ramadan.
Communal prayers and meals are held at mosques or in private homes in many Islamic communities in the evenings of Ramadan. The prayers and meals are usually well-attended. Some people spend the entire night praying or reading Islamic texts at a mosque, particularly on Laylat-al-Qadr, which is in the last third of Ramadan. Many people of Islamic faith give money for various charitable causes, such as providing food and new clothes for those in need.
The sun rises and sets at different times around the world so many people use applications, including time calculators, electronic reminders and printed calendars, to remind them of when the Ramadan fast starts (when the sun rises) and pauses (when the sun sets) in their time zone.
Timeanddate.com’s Sunrise and Sunset Calculator helps people find out when the sun rises and sets in their area. All times are adjusted for local time zones and daylight saving time. The calculator also provides a local time for dusk, dawn and twilight, as well as the sun’s distance, altitude, and day length.
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. The term Ramadan literally means scorching in Arabic. It was established as a Holy Month for Muslims after the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in 610 CE on the occasion known as Laylat al-Qadr, frequently translated as “the Night of Power.
Observance of Ramadan is mandated in the Quran, Surah 2, Ayah 185.
Muslims have been fasting in Ramadan for more than 1420 years since they were ordered by God Almighty through the Glorious Qur’an: [Oh you who believe! Fasting is decreed for you as it was decreed for those before you, so that you may learn self-restraint] (Al-Baqarah 2:183). This verse shows clearly that the Muslims were not the first ones to fast. Allah prescribed fasting on many nations before Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was sent as a prophet. The Qur’an tells us that when Zakariyah (peace and blessings be upon him) prayed and asked Allah to give him offspring, he was commanded to fast three days by abstaining from talking. Likewise, Maryam the mother of Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him) was also ordered by Allah to fast the same way when she became pregnant. Our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) told us that David (peace and blessings be upon him) used to fast every other day. Jesus (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have fasted forty days and forty nights in Matthew 4:2. Fasting had always been one of the observances of pious people.