The month of Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. Muslims can take advantage of this month to seek repentance for their past sins and become pious in the eyes of Allah (SWT).
The crucial elements that make up the month of Ramadan are Suhoor and Iftar. Suhoor and Iftar hold great significance for Muslims.
Suhoor is the most important part of fasting. Muslims wake up before sunrise and eat healthy food in moderation to keep them going throughout the day.
Iftar is a blessing that Allah bestows upon Muslims. It is the time when Muslims finally break their fast and thank Allah. People fasting not only make arrangements for their own Iftar but for others’ Iftar too. Muslims do this to earn great rewards during this Holy month. Whoever provides water to a person fasting during Iftar, will be given a drink from Allah’s fountain.
One of the major benefits of fasting is that it allows Muslims to connect with their lord. It allows Muslims to connect with their community.
As Ramadan is approaching soon, let us educate ourselves and learn more about Ramadan and how we can earn great rewards in this Holy month of blessings.
What is Suhoor?
Suhoor is the meal that Muslims consume before the Fajr Azan ( call to prayer) or before sunrise during Ramadan. It is a meal that Muslims should consume in moderation. Most people skip Suhoor however, one should not do that as it makes it harder for them to maintain their fast. Suhoor meal should adequately fill you up so you may be able to function properly throughout your fast.
Common Practices During Ramadan in Suhoor
Muslims should consume food in suhur that contains plenty of water to keep them hydrated all day. In addition to that, fruits and vegetables that are rich in fiber should also be consumed. One should also consume plenty of water.
Traditionally, during Ramadan, Masaharati wanders the streets to wake Muslims up for Suhoor. Also, mosques play loud sirens to let people know when the time of suhoor starts and when it ends.
Dua for Suhoor
“I intend to keep the fast for tomorrow in the month of Ramadan”
What is Iftar?
Iftar literally means “breakfast”. It is a meal that Muslims take at the time of breaking their fast just after the Maghrib Adhan ( call to prayer). Iftar is also called “fatoor.” It is the evening meal that Muslims consume to end their Ramadan fast at sunset.
Common Practices During Ramadan In Iftar
After observing fast for hours, people should prepare healthy Iftar instead of unhealthy fried junk food. In Iftar, one can have any food of his choice, but the food must be halal.
It is common for people to contribute money and make Iftar arrangements for others in the mosque. Moreover, everybody can have Iftar in a mosque without any distinction of color, caste, and creed. Rich or poor, everyone breaks the fast together.
Dua for Iftar
“Oh, Allah! I fasted for you, and I believe in you, and I put my trust in you, and I break my fast with your sustenance.”
What is Fasting?
Fasting is a religious practice performed by Muslims to abstain from food, drinks, and sexual activities from sunrise to sunset. The intention behind fasting is to draw oneself near to Allah (SWT). The intention to fast is made separately for each day of Ramadan.
Fasting Traditions Muslims should Follow
Ramadan is the holy month where people fast to please Almighty Allah. Fasting is a mandatory obligation for Muslims as Sawm, or fasting is the Fourth Pillar of Islam.
Those who are weak, old, traveling, menstruating or pregnant, can refrain from fasting.
Ramadan is the month of fasting in which Muslims worldwide observe fast. Therefore, Muslims eat three dates to break the fast. Also, it is essential to have enough food in Suhoor in order to feel active and healthy throughout the day. Moreover, it is also significant to have healthy food, and it is Sunnah to eat three dates in Iftar.
According to the hadith of prophet Muhammad ( Peace be upon him), Allah says:
“Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. And I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.”
Ramadan: The Holy Month
The holy book of Muslims, “The Quran,” was revealed in the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims have been following the tradition of fasting for 14 centuries. Islam is built on the 5 pillars, and fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam.
The tradition of moon sighting can be dated back to 1400 years. A committee of people sees the newborn moon. This confirms that the month of Ramadan has started.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic year. Muslims fast for 29 to 30 days in these months. They try to perform good deeds as much as possible to please their lord. Moreover, it is common for Muslims to celebrate the moon’s birth because it indicates the arrival of the holy month.
Significance of Ramadan
The month of Ramadan is the symbol of unity. Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam which means that observing fast is the basic obligation.
Also, Muslims around the globe follow the same practices and traditions while observing fast, which proves that you belong to one community no matter where you live.
People make Ramadan donations in huge amounts, which helps feed the world’s poor people. People intend to keep themselves away from following bad deeds. In addition to that, in Ramadan, people perform religious practices and have Suhoor and Iftar together.
This proves that there is no concept of making a difference between poor and rich and black and white.
Common Practices Related to Ramadan
The purpose of Ramadan is not only to stay hungry all day. Besides abstaining from worldly pleasures, one should also perform good deeds. By staying hungry, we feel the suffering of those who do not have enough to eat.
There are millions of people in the world who starve to death. So, it is important to help them. Moreover, if you find anyone who does not have enough to eat, you must help them. During Ramadan, Muslims perform salah, help needy people (Zakat), and feed those who are less fortunate.
According to the hadith of Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him):
Do not fast till you see the new moon, and too fast till you see it but calculate about it if the weather is cloudy.
What are the steps one can take to Observe Fast in a Better Way
- One should prepare healthy Iftar instead of unhealthy fried junk food
- In Iftar, one can have any food of his choice, but the food must be halal
- One should abstain from eating pork or drinking alcohol
- If you find anyone who does not have enough to eat, you must help them
- Pray five times a day
- Read Quran regularly
- Observe fast according to Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him)
- Refrain yourself from committing any kind of sin
- Give charity
Who can Skip Fast in Islam?
Following are some circumstances in which a Muslim can refrain from fasting.
If the person is sick and cannot perform the obligation of fasting, he can skip fast.
If a woman gets pregnant and is not able to perform the obligation of fast, she can also skip it.
If it is not possible to observe the fast for you, you can skip it while traveling.
During the menstruation period, women cannot fast for a week. A woman who skips fasts because of menstruation can make up for the missed days later on.
5. Old Age
If you are very old and weak and cannot observe fast, you can skip it.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Iftar?
Iftar literally means “breakfast”. It is the evening meal that Muslims consume to end their Ramadan fast at sunset.
2. What should I do before Iftar?
The best practice is to make dua before Iftar and recite the Holy Quran. Perform as many good deeds as you can as the Holy month of Ramadan only lasts for one month.
3.What is the dua for Iftar?
The dua for Iftar is “ Allahumma inni laka sumtu wa bika amantu wa alaika tawakkaltu wa ala rizqika aftartu” Oh, Allah! I fasted for you, and I believe in you, and I put my trust in you, and I break my fast with your sustenance.
4. What is the dua for Suhoor?
The dua for Suhoor is “ wa bisawmi ghadin nawaitu min shahri ramadan”. “I intended to fast tomorrow in the month of Ramadan.”
Iftar is the meal we take to break the fast. Muslims around the world join together in mosques to share Iftar meals. Not only this, Muslims share the food with their loved ones too. Traditionally, Muslims break their fast by eating 3 three dates to follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ( Peace be upon him).
According to the lunar calendar, Ramadan is the ninth month. Moreover, in this Holy month, people do charity and help those in need.