Many non-Muslim friends of mine do ask me this question about why do we fast in Ramadan and what is the purpose behind it?. So when this letter ‘R’ came to me and that too during this holy month of Ramadan I could not find a better topic than Ramadan itself.
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam amongst the others which are faith in Islam, five times namaz, Zakat(charity) and pilgrimage of hajj. During the holy month of Ramadan Muslims fast for 30 days in order to know what how a poor man lives and to restrain themselves from the privileges they enjoy. It is a month to sacrifice and know the suffering of a less privileged person. In this month the faithful is expected to cut off from their comfort zone, get off from the world’s distraction and pay complete attention to their prayers.
During the month of Ramadan Muslims do a lot of charity and are expected to stay away from backbiting, gossiping, fighting, abusing, smoking, and also from other entertainment. Muslims fast from dusk to sunset. They prepare themselves for fasting before sunrise that is called suhur and then completely fast till sunset time which is called iftar. They open their fast from a date or water and the followed by a small feast.
Ramadan is a month when a faithful is expected to be punctual for the five-time namaz (prayer) and to Read Quran most of the time. In this month the faithful is expected to completely spend its time to get close to the Almighty and keep praying, read Quran and give charity. The last 10 days are the most important days. Muslim’s believe that a day which falls within the last ten days of Ramadan known as ‘Laylat-Al-Qadr”(night of destiny) that Angel Gabriel was sent to Prophet Muhammad(peace and blessings be upon him) and the first verses of Quran was revealed. The end of Ramadan is celebrated as Eid-ul-Fitr.
Though fasting is important but many have a misconception that by just fasting they are pleasing Almighty. Ramadan is not about just fasting, it is as I said to get out from the comfort zone( entertainment, smoking, lying, bitching, etc) and get to know what is written in Quran, to pray for your forgiveness and help the poor around. Maybe a person who is not fasting has a better connection with Allah than the person who just fast and do nothing that is asked for. Don’t judge people around you on speculations done by you because what you can’t see is what Allah can see and there are people who might not show that they are religious but they might have a strong connection with Allah and there are people who show they are very religious but would not have that strong connection with Allah.
And also by concluding I would like to add that, Islam is a religion where only peace is there in its teaching. In fact, the word Islam itself means Peace. What the media and world are trying to show in the name of Islam is completely wrong. Islam does not support terrorism, they might have a name from Islam but by just having a Muslim name one does not become Muslim, one has to follow a lot of rules to be a Muslim and that is definitely not killing anyone. When in Islam backbiting is one of the biggest sins, imagine killing someone would be how huge sin?