- Religion and Philosophy»
- Islam, the Quran & Muhammed
Significance of Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the holy month.
The word Ramadan comes from the noun ‘Ramad’ which means burn. Ramadan means burning. The actual meaning of Ramadan is burning of sins.
Ramadan was prescribed as month of fasting in the month of Sha’ban in 2nd Hijrah (the migration). In this month, all adult Muslims fast from dawn to sunset every day. Allah says in the Qur’an: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that you are expected to be truly obedient.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 183) Fasting (Sawm) helps Muslims to remain truly obedient to Allah’s commands. Through fasting, a Muslim can earn taqwa and can become a muttaqi because taqwa keeps him away from sins and vices. Hazrat Abu Huraira (R) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said, “Whoever observes fasts during the month of Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards, all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Al-Bukhari) He also narrated that Prophet (Pbuh) said, “Whoever fails to leave off harmful speech, and acting on it [during Ramadan], Allah does not need him to leave off eating and drinking.” (Al-Bukhari) Fasting in Ramadan is equivalent to fasting ten months in a year.
Prophet Muhmmad (Pbuh) said that “Ramadan is a month whose beginning is mercy, whose middle is forgiveness and whose end is freedom from the hell fire.” (Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 93, page. 342) Fasting in Ramadan is the third pillar of Islam and by making it so, Allah bestowed His mercy on Muslims and give them an opportunity to do good and seek forgiveness for their sins those were committed knowingly and unknowingly.
Most of the Suhuf (little books), sing. Sahifa and the divine Books were revealed in the month of Ramadan. It is mentioned in the Hadith that the Sahifa of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) was revealed on the 1st day of Ramadan. The holy scripture Tawrat was revealed on the 6th day of Ramadan, the Jabur was revealed on the 12th day of Ramadan, the Injeel was revealed on the 18th day of Ramadan. Ramadan is often called the month of the Qur’an. The Qu’ran, the holy scripture of the Muslim was first revealed on the Lailatul Qadr of this month. Lailatul Qadr means Night of Power. This night is better than a thousand months. According to Hadith, this night occurs during the last ten days of Ramadan, most probably the odd-numbered nights. Allah says in the Qur’an, “Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed as guidance and clarification to humankind, and a distinction between right and wrong.” (Surah Al-Baqarah: 185)
Muslims believe that during this month their good actions bring a greater reward because this month has been blessed by Allah. In this month, most of the Muslims try to give up bad habits and some Muslims try to become better Muslims by praying more or reciting the Qur’an. Muslims believe that it is easier to do good things in the month of Ramadan because Allah, the Almighty chained up the devils in the hell. It was narrated by Abu Huraira (R) that Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said, “In this month, Allah opens the gates of Paradise and closes the gates of Hell and chains up the devils.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)
Umra’h is one of the two kinds of pilgrimages Muslims perform. Ramadan is a great season for good deeds. It is very difficult to perform Umra’h in the month of Ramadan because one may be fasting while performing it. But if one performs it in any other month, he need not observe fasting. That's why, Umra’h in Ramadan is considered equivalent to Hajj.
In Ramadan whoever prays Taraweeh prayer (Qiyaam) with the Imam until he finishes, it will be recorded for him that he spent the whole night in prayer.
The month of Ramadan is all about caring, sharing because families and friends get together over iftar (the meal eater after sunset) and suhur (the meal taken before sunrise). It is also the month of getting closer to Allah. Each and every Muslim should keep the significance of Ramadan in their mind.