Muslims are fasting for a month. Two RHS students explain.
Difficult but beautiful
By Anbarood Kaid
Ramadan is a month in the Islamic culture – A special month to every Muslim around the world during which we all come together to celebrate the time Allah (God) gave the first chapter of the Quran to prophet Muhammad.
During Ramadan Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Why do we fast? Because Allah wants us to feel how those that are starving around the world feel and what they go through and be thankful for what we have. Ramadan is also a month of mercy. Allah forgives us for our sins and mistakes.
Fasting is not only about abstaining from food and drink. Muslims must also refrain from smoking, gossip, fighting, lying and engaging in sexual activities.
While it sounds difficult to abstain from eating for up to 17 or 18 hours, after a couple of days it becomes the norm. Some people are exempted, such as those who are ill, women who are pregnant and travelers.
Muslims help each other during these days. We eat together after the sun sets. The rich give to the poor money or sponsor a meal, help them find a job to feed their families and pay their bills or rent for them. It’s a month when Muslims do good deeds.
We also gather at the mosque to become close to Allah. We spend most of our nights at the mosque. We stay up until it’s time to pray our 4a.m. prayers, and then our fast begins. I think that’s what makes Ramadan a special month – the night becomes daytime. The people we sit all together watch Mecca’s prayers or help each other read the whole Quran before Ramadan ends. We challenge one another on who will read it and finish it more than once. We give each other advice on how to keep yourself distracted and busy from feeling hungry or thirsty. We discuss what will we cook tomorrow for iftar, dinner and suhoor. Iftar is a short meal we break our fast with when the sun goes down before dinner. Before sunrise we eat suhoor, after which we’re not allowed to eat anything.
What makes the food special in Ramadan is its fresh. We cook it every day, and because we cook while we’re fasting and feeling hungry, we cook a lot and we share it. We cook special food. The most special thing on everyone’s table is samosa, a stuffed triangular pastry served only during ramadan. It comes with all kinds of filling such as beef, potatoes and cheese. It’s eaten during iftar at sunset.
Everyone is reading the Quran and reciting Tarawih prayers we pray Tarawih only in Ramadan. It’s a very long prayer that takes more than 1 hour to pray. We read the long chapters of the Quran with the ones we love are by our side. It is breathtaking.
The last 10 days of Ramadan are the most important days. On the twenty-seventh night the first verses of the Quran were originally revealed. Allah tells us in the Quran that it’s a special day. Heaven’s doors are open and anything you ask allah he gives it to you. Any wish you wish comes true.
After Ramadan is over Eid al Fitr comes, a holiday that lasts for seven days. We celebrate breaking our fast we gather at the mosque in the morning to pray eid prayers. We recite the Takbir, a declaration of faith, on the way to prayer ground and give special charitable contributions known as Zakat al Fitr after we finish praying. We gather at parks and prepare sweets and food. We give each other gifts and then we watch mecca prayers and how the people who work their wash and dress alkaebuh (islam’s most sacred mosque) in Saudi Arabia for the holiday. After the third day most people travel to celebrate it somewhere else.
We count down the days during Ramadan, but sometimes we also wish it was more than a month because of how peaceful its days are.
Beneficial in many ways
By Aya El Tanany
Ramadan is of great religious significance. Almighty Allah revealed in the Qur’an that fasting is obligatory: “Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed. Guidance for humanity, and clear portents of guidance, and the Criterion. Whoever of you witnesses the month, shall fast it” (baqarah: 185). Allah almighty has forced fasting every day this month for all physically able Muslims around the world, from dawn until sunset of the same day.
During Ramadan Muslims fast, fully atone for our sins, offer charity to the poor and needy, and receive the reward for Umrah (An Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Hijaz, Saudi Arabia, performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year). The night of Qadr is especially important, as it is when angels visit Earth and open the doors of heaven for the needy.
Ramadan prayers are called “taraweeh.” They bring the servant of Allah and make him rush to approval and love. He also provides an atmosphere of safety.
It is the month of learning and comprehending the Qur’an and generosity, and Muslims spend several hours reading the Qur’an. It’s also a month of kinship. Muslims reach each to other, gather at the dining table creating happiness, success, comfort, and satisfaction that opens Allah’s doors of goodness and provision.
The month of Ramadan has many health benefits on the human body. Perhaps this is what many Muslims do not know. It activates the digestive system, treats its various problems, strengthens the brain’s work, improves one’s mood and contributes to weight loss. It also flushes the body of toxins and pollutants accumulated in it. In addition, it saves people from many bad habits, including the eating of ready-made foods and smoking
In conclusion, I recommend that, in addition to practicing self-discipline during this holy month by stepping away from the taboos, sins and bad customs that controls a person’s life, Muslims take advantage of this time by reading the Koran and praying during the night, giving praise and forgiveness and doing good. It is key to glorifying and reconciling God.