Guess what time of the year it is for Muslims worldwide? The most festive and holiest month of the Islamic year is going on, and all Muslims worldwide are celebrating it with utmost joy.
It’s the month of sacrifice, charity, and becoming one with the entire Muslim world. Every Ramadan, the number of people fasting only increases. Hence, knowing how to prepare and go about the holy month is crucial.
Since the holy month is already underway, knowing what and what not to do for it are essential. Ramadan isn’t only about fasting. There’s more than meets the eye. Millions of Muslims worldwide are diligently preparing everyday, are you?
During this month, Muslims worldwide observe a period of fasting, prayer, and reflection. As the month of Ramadan goes on, Muslims must continue to work on themselves physically, mentally, and spiritually to embrace the holy month fully.
Fasting and its significance
The significance of fasting during Ramadan is multi-faceted.
1.It serves as a means of spiritual purification and gaining self-discipline, self-control, and patience. Fasting is believed to increase one’s taqwa (God-consciousness), allowing Muslims to reflect on their lives and draw closer to Allah.
2.Fasting during Ramadan helps to foster a sense of community and solidarity among Muslims. The shared experience of fasting and breaking the fast together during Iftar (the evening meal that breaks the fast) is an important aspect of Ramadan. It reminds Muslims of their obligation to care for and support one another, particularly those less fortunate.
3.Fasting during Ramadan reminds us of the blessings that Allah has bestowed upon us.
By voluntarily giving up food and drink, Muslims gain a deeper appreciation for their daily sustenance and nourishment.
Giving back to society through Sadaqah and Zakat.
In Islam, giving to those in need is fundamental to a believer’s faith. Muslims are encouraged to give both Sadaqah and Zakat during Ramadan, as acts of charity and generosity are believed to bring spiritual benefits to the giver. There are two forms of charitable giving in Islam: Sadaqah and Zakat.
Sadaqah refers to voluntary acts of charity that can be given at any time and in any amount. At the same time, Zakat is the compulsory giving of a specific percentage of wealth to the needy.
Zakat is a mandatory form of charity in Islam, given by Muslims who meet certain criteria. Zakat is calculated as a percentage of one’s wealth and is given strictly to those in need, such as the poor, orphans, and the needy. The purpose of Zakat is to purify the giver’s wealth and help those in need while promoting social justice and equality.
In both Sadaqah and Zakat, the intention behind giving is as important as the act itself. Muslims are encouraged to give with a pure heart and sincere intention without seeking any reward or recognition for their actions. In this way, giving charity in Islam is seen as a means of purifying one’s soul and seeking the pleasure of Allah. Giving Zakat promotes social and financial justice and equality among all Muslims.
Capitalize on the extra blessings!
One of the ways to gain extra blessings in Ramadan is by reciting the Quran, praying, and repenting more frequently. As the Quran was revealed during Ramadan, it is the ideal time to increase one’s recitation of the holy book.
Additionally, engaging in voluntary prayers such as Sunnah, Nafl, and, most importantly, Taraweeh, can earn Muslims extra rewards.
Showing kindness and forgiveness towards others can also earn Muslims extra blessings during Ramadan. Thereby, Muslims can demonstrate their commitment to the values of Islam and earn Allah’s favor.
The key to gaining extra blessings in Ramadan is increasing one’s good deeds and worship. By doing so, Muslims can strengthen their faith, earn rewards from Allah, and come out of the month feeling spiritually rejuvenated.
Prep meals and eat healthy!
Muslims fast from dawn until dusk; the meal eaten before dawn is known as Suhoor, while the meal eaten to break the fast after sunset is known as Iftar. Preparing meals during Ramadan requires planning and organization. That’s because the individual who fasts must consume nutritious meals that can provide energy and hydration throughout the day.
Consuming plenty of water, fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods during Suhoor and Iftar is recommended. Meals can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer to save time during the day.
Many traditional dishes are popular during Ramadan. In Bangladesh, for example, Aloo Chop, Peyaju, and Chanar Jalebi are common food items eaten to break the fast. On the other hand, Pakistan has Samosas, Pakoras, Juices, etc.
Enjoy the holy month to the fullest!
Although it is the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan should be welcomed with open arms and the utmost enthusiasm.
The razzle-dazzle Ramadan carries with it is like no other. Lively markets, delicious foods, night matches of different sports, and sharing blessings with family and friends characterize the festive atmosphere during Ramadan.
The enthusiasm for this month dissipates and spreads all over; there is a reason why we all look forward to it. Entire cities and countries light up, people are out and about, and even the nights feel like wholesome days.
You may want to consult with a doctor before attempting to fast.
In case you have any underlying medical conditions and you are considering fasting, it is important to consult with a doctor. Be honest about your intentions by letting your doctor know why you are considering fasting and your goals. They can help you determine if fasting is safe and appropriate for you. Providing them with your detailed medical history will help the doctor evaluate the potential risks and benefits of fasting for you.
Doctors are your friends; whatever details you share with them are strictly confidential. Be bold and ask your doctor questions about fasting. Moreover, follow their advice. Based on your medical history and current health status, your doctor may advise against fasting. Remember that fasting can have potential risks and may not be appropriate for everyone. By consulting with your doctor, you can decide whether fasting is right for you and how to approach it safely.
However, just because you cannot fast doesn’t mean you don’t get to join in on the month’s significance and partake in other activities.
It is the time to get closer to Allah S.W.T and celebrate it!
Everyone preps for Ramadan in their own way, and that’s been the case for centuries.
Irrespective of how you do things, pray, repent, donate, forgive, and thoroughly enjoy this month while you still can. Ramadan helps you self-evaluate and be an exceptionally better version of yourself.
Take this time to bring out your best by self-reflecting, working on yourself, and improving. Belated Ramadan Mubarak!