What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, or the Hijri calendar based on the lunar cycle. This is the month when the holy book of Islam, the Quran, was revealed to Prophet Muhammad S.A.W.
It’s also one of the most beautiful and intensely spiritual times in the year, granted to us as an opportunity to redeem ourselves through acts of love for the Almighty:
“This is a month, the first part of which brings Allah’s Mercy, the middle of which brings Allah’s forgiveness and the last part of which brings emancipation from hellfire.” (Bukhari)
During Ramadan, over 1.6 million Muslims around the world, strive for Taqwa (God-consciousness) by abstaining from food and drink throughout the day, through reflection, additional prayer and performing good deeds such as charity. All acts loved by our Creator.
Ramadan – Key Facts:
- Fasting in the month of Ramadan is Fard (obligatory) and the fourth pillar of Islam.
- Fasting helps to attain Taqwa (performing actions which please Allah and abstaining from those actions that displease Him).
- Ramadan is known to be the month of the It is highly recommended to read, study, and share your knowledge of the Holy Quran with others during the blessed month.
- The Night of Decree or The Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr), which is better than a thousand months, can be found in the last 10 days of Ramadan.
- In this holy month, the gates of “Paradise” open, the gates of “Hell” close, and the “Devils” are chained up.
- It is a very rewarding act in Ramadan to offer Iftar (sunset meal) to those who are fasting.
- It is also highly recommended to give Zakat (obligatory tax/donation – 2.5% of wealth/savings/assets) and Sadaqah (voluntary charity)
- It is said in an authentic Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that those who fast in Ramadan sincerely out of faith will have their previous sins forgiven by Allah SWT provided they are not major sins.
Why do Muslims fast in Ramadan?
Fasting in Ramadan is obligatory for Muslims, as stated in the Quran:
O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain Taqwa [God-consciousness]. – The Qur’an, Al-Baqarah:183
The Night of Power
Among the final ten nights of Ramadan, especially the odd nights, 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th and 29th, there is one that is better than a thousand months – Laylat al-Qadr or the Night of Power.
It is believed that any good deed performed on the night of Laylat al-Qadr will be rewarded for the equivalent of 83 years’ worth of good deeds! And, because we don’t know exactly which night this is, we should try and give Sadaqah on each and every night among the last 10 of Ramadan.
In fact, there are many ways to gain rewards on this blessed night:
- Perform Ibadah: practice prolonged concentration in prayer and worship. The best Du’a for this night is:
اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ ، تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
Allahumma innaka ’afuwwun, tuhibbul-’afwa, fa’fu ’anni
(O Allah, You are most forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me).
- Give charity: the reward for any righteous act performed during this night surpasses all our expectations, so make sure to plan your good deeds diligently for the last 10 nights of Ramadan. Use our Ramadan 2021 Giving Guide (link to giving in Ramadan blog) for inspiration.
- Eat lightly: If you are not careful with your Suhoor and Iftar meals, you might end up overeating, which, in turn, will make you sleepy and less productive in your prayer. So, keep it light and healthy!
SubhanAllah! There are numerous rewards to be gained in these blessed 10 nights. Allah (SWT) has hidden knowledge of the exact night out of mercy for us. This enables us to increase our worship in search of this honourable night through prayer, making dhikr and du’a, and being more present in our connection with our Maker.
Let’s all make this Ramadan unforgettable for our Ummah.