It’s another year and another month of Ramadan. The term “Ramadan” literally means scorching in Arabic. Muslims all around the world are expected to welcome this month with all honesty and clean hearts. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar and Ramadan Fast is the fourth pillar of Islam. It begins with the sighting or appearance of a new moon and it is considered as the holiest season in the Islamic year. It marks the time the holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Mohammed ( Peace be upon Him) on the occasion called Laylat al-Qadr(the night of power). Dates for Ramadan shifts by approximately 11 days each year.

Muslims fast from dawn to sunset with no food or water. Every Muslim is advised to take the pre-dawn meal called “Suhur” . Muslims who take this meal attain blessings from Allah. And the meal after sunset is called “Iftar”. One purpose of fasting is to serve as a constant reminder to Muslims about the suffering of the poor and needy in society, how it feels like to be hungry and thirsty. Ramadan draws us closer to Allah as we strengthen our faith through prayers, seek forgiveness, express gratitude for all that He has blessed us with and also give charity.During Ramadan, Muslims are adviced to abstain from certain characters and acts.

Apart from Suhur, Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink till sunset. Avoid alcohol, smoking and sexual intercourse. Avoid gossips, lying, quarrels, cursing and the use of profane words or statements. Make sure to perform the five daily prayers because fasting is invalid without Salat. Ramadan does not only help cleanse us spiritually but it also has its own health significance. Fasting enhances heart health by improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also boosts brain function and helps in weight loss by limiting calorie intake and boosting metabolism. Fasting equally promotes blood sugar control by reducing insulin resistance and this is very useful for those at risk of diabetes. It is important to note that, taking cold beverages and oily foods immediately after breaking our fasts is not advisable(from a personal experience).As we enter this holy month, Muslims are advised to forgive one another because we are all sinners and we make mistakes. So in other to attain forgiveness from Allah, we need to forgive our fellow humans first regardless of their religion.

We should also try us much as possible to give charity and show more love and affection to the poor and needy. Even a smile from you can brighten up someone’s day.All these are practices Islam teaches Muslims to abide by not only in the month of Ramadan but rather it should be a part of our daily lives. I pray and hope we all lead exemplary lives even after Ramadan. Let each day of Ramadan count, may Allah bless us all.



Written by : Nasreen Zankawah

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