Spiritual journey during Ramadan

26th Apr 2019

Aishah Ali

Millions of Muslims will observe fasting from sunrise to sunset each day during the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is of great importance and considered a blessed and rewarding time.

For those participating in it usually means changes to daily routines and schedules in order to devote more time for prayers and worship and rewarding tasks.

Ramadan is the name of the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, lasting 29/30 days. Since the lunar calendar operates on the cycles of the moon, each year is roughly 11 days shorter than the widely established solar Gregorian calendar.

Therefore this year the month of Ramadan begins a few days into the month of May and will continue until the beginning of June. In countries where Muslims live in a minority, such as the UK, they will still be expected to commence work or school at the usual hours. However, for many living in Muslim majority countries work and school hours are reduced to accommodate for the majority of the population.

Ramadan is an important and blessed month and many Muslims commit to increasing their devotion to God through extra acts of worship, inner reflection, giving as much charity as possible, reflecting on the Blessed Qur’an and try to improve their behaviour and conduct.

Fatima Begum living in Birmingham told The Muslim News that Ramadan is “given very high importance as it is such a rewarding time. It’s not just about abstaining from food and water but it is to increase our good efforts. We try our best to perform more prayers, read the Qur’an regularly, and attend the mosque.”

Ramadan is prescribed in the Qur’an, “God has prescribed fasting for you, as was prescribed for those before you so that you may attain God-consciousness.” (2:183).

Those who are not fit and able, such as the elderly, children, travelling, sick or with other medical conditions, are not required to fast. Zainab Mustafa explains, “Ramadan teaches us self-discipline, sacrifice and patience. It’s not only a physical challenge but also a spiritual exercise and overall its strengths are faith. I personally also enjoy the family and community atmosphere during Ramadan. Family and friends break the fast together, attend prayers together, and it creates a feeling of great brotherhood and sisterhood.”

Muslims believe that the reward for good deeds is hugely increased during the month and therefore extra effort is exhorting to achieving charitable acts.

Haseeb Tariq also from Birmingham, said, “Donating towards charities to help those who are poor and needy and assisting people, is greatly emphasised during Ramadan. I usually volunteer for local charities by helping them pack food and clothes parcels. Most Muslims that I know are very generous throughout but even more so on Ramadan.”

The day following the end of Ramadan is a celebration known as Eid al Fitr. Muslims thank God for allowing them to observe Ramadan and giving them the strength to fast and engage in worship.

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