Friday, August 21, 2009

Ramadan Mubarak to all!

Ramadan al-Mubarak is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims fast by refraining from eating, drinking, sexual conduct, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured; from dawn until dusk, and are to be especially mindful of other sins. Fasting, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, is meant to allow Muslims to seek nearness to Allah, to express their gratitude to and dependence on Him, to atone for their past sins, and to remind them of the needy. They are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, harsh language, gossip and to try to get along with people better than normal. In addition, all obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided.

As narrated by Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 123)

This year in Malaysia, the Ramadan fast begins tomorrow, Saturday, 22 August 2009.

Some verses from the Holy Quran pertaining to Ramadan and fasting:
O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint,-

(Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (Should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (With hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.

Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.

When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me: That they may walk in the right way.

Permitted to you, on the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and ye are their garments. Allah knoweth what ye used to do secretly among yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now associate with them, and seek what Allah Hath ordained for you, and eat and drink, until the white thread of dawn appear to you distinct from its black thread; then complete your fast Till the night appears; but do not associate with your wives while ye are in retreat in the mosques. Those are Limits (set by) Allah: Approach not nigh thereto. Thus doth Allah make clear His Signs to men: that they may learn self-restraint.

Surah Al-Baqarah, verses 183 - 187, translated by Hafiz Abdullah Yusuf Ali
Wishing a Blessed Ramadan to all!

Note: If you would like to learn more about Ramadan and fasting in Islam, this website has some information for you.

Thanks to A.A. for all the help!

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