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Ramadan To Muslims
Ramadan is one of the twelve months in the Islamic calendar, and it is known as the holy month. During Ramadan Muslims all over the world abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset, each day. Many spend their nights praying together in mosques after breaking their fast each night. Throughout Ramadan, increasing one's faith and devotion is customary, this is typically done in giving more to the needy, praying more, trying harder to stay away from temptations, and reading more Quran.
What makes the month of Ramadan so significant in Islam? The month of Ramadan is so important in Islam because the first revelation of the Quran came during this month. It states in the second chapter of the Quran verse 185, “The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey - then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you, and perhaps you will be grateful.”
During Ramadan, the revelation the Holy Quran started, which is the first code of laws and guidance in Islam for all Muslims. The Quran is the last book to be revealed after all of Allah’s books. All the books of Allah in Islam are the Injeel (Gospel) from the Prophet Isa (Jesus), the Zabur (Psalms) from the Prophet Dawud (David), the Tawrat (Torah) from Musa (Moses), and the Suhuf (Scrolls) from Ibrahim (Abraham). The Quran is the last book to be revealed before the day of judgment. So the month of Ramadan, in which the revelation started, is held to a high standard to all Muslims.
Moreover, during the month of Ramadan, it is believed there are many rewards given from Allah during this time than any other time throughout the year. Many of the rewards are mentioned in the books of hadith and Quran. All of the blessings are the reasons so many Muslims cannot pass up the opportunities of doing more prayers and good deeds during this time.
Let’s start with verses from hadith that claims Paradise as a reward from fasting during the month of Ramadan.
“On the authority of Abu Abdullah Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him): A man questioned the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and said: "Do you think that if I perform the obligatory prayers, fast in Ramadan, treat as lawful that which is halal, and treat as forbidden that which is haram, and do not increase upon that [in voluntary good deeds], then I shall enter Paradise?" He (peace be upon him) replied, "Yes." [Muslim]”
Another reward Muslims won’t pass up is a simple good deed while fasting during the month of Ramadan. A good deed like giving in charity can be rewarded more than it ever could outside of the month of Ramadan.
"Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "Fasting is a shield (or a screen or a shelter). So, the person observing fasting should avoid sexual relation with his wife and should not behave foolishly and impudently, and if somebody fights with him or abuses him, he should tell him twice, 'I am fasting." The Prophet (ﷺ) added, "By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, the smell coming out from the mouth of a fasting person is better in the sight of Allah than the smell of musk. (Allah says about the fasting person), 'He has left his food, drink, and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it, and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times." [Sahih al-Bukhari 1894, Book 30, Hadith 4]
Furthermore, what is better than cleaning your slate of bad deeds, while increasing your good deeds.
“Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Whoever stands (in the voluntary night prayer of) Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Furthermore, distancing oneself from Hellfire is recorded as another rich reward from Allah.
"Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Anyone who fasts for one day for Allah's sake, Allah will keep his face away from the Hellfire for (a distance covered by a journey of) seventy years. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)"
Ultimately, protection from Hellfire, forgiveness of sins, and the reward of Paradise are just some of the major reasons Muslims cannot possibly pass the opportunity to fast during this blessed month of Ramadan. Fasting during this month is also a command from Allah. So without valid reasons to be excused from fasting during Ramadan like pregnancy or illness, it is a sin against a Muslim to not fast during this month. Also, even the most pious of all Muslims, the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), strived harder in good deeds and prayer than any other time during the year and he was a prophet of Allah. Which also encourages Muslims to try to strive just as hard or even harder in good deeds, prayers, abstaining from temptations, and increasing faith by reading Quran
(2017). Chapter: Fasting is obligatory in (the month of) Ramadan. https://sunnah.com/bukhari/30
OnIslam. (2014). 15 Hadiths on Ramadan. http://islam.ru/en/content/story/15-hadiths-ramadan
Basem. (2014). The 5 Books of Revelation.