Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Muslims prepare for holy month of Ramadan
Beginning this week-end, Muslims across the world will purify their spirits by observing the Fast - the Fourth Pillar of Islam, the Fast of Ramadan, occurs once each year during the 9th Islamic lunar month, in which:
"....the Qur'an was sent down as a guidance for the people" (Qur'an 2:185)
During the month of Ramadan, every one of us must spent 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 us; He does not want to put us to difficulties, (He wants us) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him. In that He has guided us; And perchance we shall be grateful.
Fasting helps Muslims develop self-control, gain a better understanding of Allah's gifts and greater compassion towards the deprived. Fasting in Islam involves abstaining from all bodily pleasures between dawn and sunset. Not only is food forbidden, but also any sexual activity.
All things which are regarded as prohibited is even more so in this month, due to its sacredness. Each and every moment during the fast, a person suppresses their passions and desires in loving obedience to Allah.
Staying hungry and thirsty for just a day's portion makes one feel the misery of the millions all over the world who go hungry, or that are living with hunger or are at the risk of hunger. After all, why would any one care about starvation if one has never felt its pangs oneself? One can see why Ramadan is also a month of charity and giving.
During Ramadan, Muslims devote extra hours for praying and Qur'an recitation.
"Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down The Qura'n, as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgement (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spent 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 you 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." (AL Baqarah: 185)
To my Muslim brothers and sisters in Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and South Thailand, I wish them "Selamat menunaikan ibadah puasa. Semoga puasa kita diterima dan diberkati Allah" and to the rest of the Muslim World, I wish them well in carrying out and fulfilling the Fast of Ramadan.