Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, is observed to honour ‘Sawm’, one of the five pillars of Islam. Sawm refers to fasting, which teaches Muslims dedication, humility, and self-control. Furthermore, it shows us the struggles of the poor around the world who do not have access to food and water.
“Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained.’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim)”
This hadith shows the virtues of Ramadan and encourages Muslims to increase good deeds to gain the pleasure of Allah (SWT) as well as eliminate bad deeds.
When Does Ramadan Start?
In 2023, the month of Ramadan will start on 22 March, based on the sighting of the moon. It will end on the 1st of Shawwal, which is Eid Al-Fitr.
Fasting in Ramadan
During Ramadan, fasting is obligatory for certain people. Anyone who is ‘Baligh’ (mature and reached puberty) must fast. For girls, this is from the age of around nine to 15, and for boys, it is from around the ages of 12-15. If a person if healthy and fit, fasting is obligatory for them.
Who Is Excused from Fasting in Ramadan?
Anyone who is ill or on medication is excused from fasting. As well as the ill, others excused from fasting during Ramadan are the elderly, those who are traveling, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and menstruating women.
For those who cannot fast during Ramadan, they should try to make up these fasts outside of Ramadan. However, if a person cannot fast, for example, for health reasons, then they may pay Fidya, which compensates for not fasting. If anyone purposefully breaks their fast during Ramadan, they must either fast for 60 consecutive days or pay Kaffarah, which is a higher amount than Fidya.
Laylatul Qadr means the Night of Power, and it is expected to fall on any of the last 10 days of Ramadan, although some Muslims think it falls on the 27th night. It falls on an odd night, but due to differences in when Muslims around the world begin observing Ramadan, and hence uncertainty about when it may be, Muslims use the last 10 days and nights to increase prayer, worship and ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness.
Laylatul Qadr was when Allah (SWT) revealed the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through Angel Jibreel, which is why this night is so important.
Make the Most of Ramadan
During Ramadan, if you are not exempt, fasting is compulsory and holds a lot of reward. There are many voluntary acts of worship that you can do, including helping your neighbours, sponsoring an orphan, reading the Qur’an, and giving charity.
Donate to UKIM
Donate to UKIM to help the poor and needy around the world who require your help. Many people across the globe do not get the luxury of breaking their fast with a table full of food and drinks, let alone a few dates and water. Make a difference this Ramadan and change lives for the better.