Every year Muslims fast for one month during the month of Ramadan. As the month of Ramadan is a lunar month, it rotates around the year. Every year, Ramadan comes around 11 days earlier than the previous year. This year Ramadan will start on 22 March in some countries and on 23 March in the other countries.
Islamic fasting holds a special significance as it is one of the five main pillars of the religion. Ramadan creates a spiritual environment in which we can focus on our spirituality, morals and prayers like no other month. Ramadan is a great month for the enlightenment of the heart. The prayer purifies the soul and the fasting enlightens the heart. Ramadan is a time of cleansing of the body, mind and soul. It provides an opportunity for people to reconnect with God and to make this connection stronger and lasting. It is month of to have communion with God and to serve mankind.
A moral transformation in Ramadan
The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa taught that abstaining from food and drink was not the sole objective of Ramadan – a moral revolution was required. He instructed: “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah does not need his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting).”
Speaking about avoiding all unrest and quarrels while fasting, the Prophet Muhammadsa said: “When any one of you gets up in the morning in the state of fasting, they should neither use obscene language, nor do any act of ignorance. And if anyone slanders him or quarrels with him, he should say: ‘I am fasting, I am fasting.’”
Fasting for the sake of God
In another narration, he said: “Allah the Exalted and Majestic said: ‘Every act of the son of Adam is for him, except fasting. It is [exclusively] meant for Me and I [alone] will reward it. Fasting is a shield. When any one of you is fasting on a day, they should neither indulge in obscene language, nor raise their voice; or if anyone reviles him or tries to quarrel with him, he should say: ‘I am fasting’. By Him, in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, the breath of the observer of fast is sweeter to Allah on the Day of Judgment than the fragrance of musk. The one who fasts has two [occasions] of joy; once when he breaks the fast and he is glad about his breaking the fast, and once when he meets his Lord and he is glad about his fast.”
Tahajjud – Night Prayer
The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa would encourage his Companions to wake up for Tahajjud prayers regularly and concerning Ramadan he said: “Whoever prays during the night in Ramadan out of sincere faith and seeking its reward from Allah, will have all of his previous sins forgiven.”