Friday, 29 August 2008

Ramadhan-Sawm



Question:1. What is Ramadhan?........ .. 2.Why fast ?
1...Ramadhan is derived from the Arabic root word ramida or arramad intense scorching heat and dryness, especially the ground. From the same root there is ramdaa, sunbaked sand, and the famous proverb: "Kal Mustajeer minar Ramadaa binnar" - to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. And in a hadith the Messenger of Allah (saas) said : "The prayer of repenters is due when the young camel can feel the sun's heat early in the morning."
(Muslim)

Thus, the Ramadhan is so called to indicate the heating sensation in the stomach as a result of thirst. Others said it is so called because Ramadhan scorches out the sins burns the ground. Some said it is so called because the hearts and souls are more readily receptive to the admonition and remembrance of Allah during Ramadhan, ad the sand and stones are receptive to the sun's heat. The framers of this beautiful language may have been inspired by Allah (SWT) in naming this month Ramadhan. Otherwise, the relation between the heat and its properties is miraculously similar to that of Ramadhan. While the heat represents the matter that helps shape,
form, and mold virtually every matter, from metal and plastics, to plants and living cells-Ramadhan undoubtedly helps a serious believe remold, reshape, reform, and renew his physical and spiritual disposition and behaviour
2.Fasting, siyamm, has two meanings. Generally, siyaam or sawm, is derived from the root sama, to retrain from normal things, such as eating, drinking, and talking. If an individual refrains from these things, he is considered saaim, the observer of fast. Al-Qur'an uses the word generally when it revealed the conversation between the angel and Mary, the of Jesus, as the angel instructed her "And if you do see any man say, "I have vowed to remain silent for Allah". (Al-Qur'an 19:26)

The phrase "to remain silent," is the interpretation of the Arabic word
"sawm". The reason for this interpretation is that "sawm" cannot mean
fast, i.e. restraint from food, because Mary had just been told to eat from
the palm tree. This general meaning is common in the Arabic language.

In the Shari'ah (Islamic law) the "sawm" means and implies a specific act ,
which is, "to worship Allah, abstaining, with intention to please Him from
fast breakers, such as physical nourishment, food, drink, and sexual
intercourse a lustful discharge of semen from the period between the break
of dawn until sundown."

Every year, more than one billion Muslims around the globe observe the importance of the month of Ramadhan. This time of the year is a time for reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. During the month of Ramadhan, Muslims show their devotion to God by fasting, or abstaining from food.
During Ramadhan most Muslims will tend to wake up just before sunrise to eat a meal or some food and this is known as Sehri or Suhoor. They will then not be able to eat or drink again until sunset when it is traditional to open the fast with a date and then eat and this meal is known as Ithar or Iftari. The Supplication for breaking the fast is: "Thirst has gone, the veins are moistened and the reward is certain, Allah wills.Muslims shouldn’t eat too much food, as Prophet Muhammad *(PBUH) broke his fast with a couple of dates and with water only. This is the correct *Sunnah to follow, it was the way of the Prophet Muhammad, as he practiced Fasting in the Month of Ramadhan.
Ramadhan is the name of the ninth month of the Hijri (Islamic) calendar. According to the Dictionary of Islam, the word Ramadan is derived from the word ramd, "to burn" (Ramadhan is associated with fasting, during which sins are said to be figuratively burned away).

Fasting (Sawm) is one of the core five pillars of Islam. The others are: Shahadah (the testimony of faith), Salat (ritual prayer), Zakat (obligatory religious almsgiving), and the Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca). During this month Muslims from around the world are required to fast from dawn to dusk. During the fast Muslims may not eat, drink, smoke, or engage in sexual activity. Although fasting is made obligatory to believers of Islam, some groups are excluded: children who are not yet adolescent, the elderly and the chronically ill for whom fasting would be unreasonably strenuous, pregnant women and nursing mothers, the mentally retarded, travelers, and women during periods of menstruation. 1
If the fast is missed they should try to make up the fast at a later date, or make a donation to the poor instead.

Ramadhan transpired during a month that is sacred in Islamic history. Muslims believe that it was during this month that the first revelation of the Quran was sent to Prophet Muhammad from Allah (God). 2 The night on which the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet, known as Lailat ul-Qadr (the Night of Power), is one of the last odd numbered nights in Ramadhan. It is the only month of the year mentioned in the Quran. 3 In addition, the Battle of Badr 17th Ramadhan 2 AH was the first battle fought by Muslims after their migration to Medina. The battle ended in victory for the outnumbered 313 Muslims against about 1000 Meccans.

Why Does Ramadan Occur at Different Times of the Year?
The dates of Ramadhan (the ninth month of the year) change every year because the Islamic calendar is based on the revolutions of the moon. Lunar calendars strictly follow the sighting of a new moon to mark the beginning of each month. Since lunar months are shorter than the solar months used elsewhere, Islamic holidays begin on different days each year. The start of Ramadhan comes around 11 days earlier each year according to the western Gregorian calendar, and consequently is not associated with any particular western month. , the fast may be comparatively short if Ramadhan falls during the winter months, or much longer if it occurs during the summer.
During Ramadhan, it is common for Muslims to go to the Masjid (Mosque) and spend several hours praying and studying the Quran. In addition to the five daily prayers, during Ramadhan Muslims recite a special prayer called the Taraweeh prayer (Night Prayer). The length of this prayer is usually 2-3 times as long as the daily prayers. Some Muslims spend the entire night in prayer.
Many people use the month to become better Muslims by praying more or reciting as much of the Qur'an as possible.Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with family and friends, do away with bad habits -- essentially to clean up our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings. The Arabic word for "fasting" (sawm) literally means "to refrain" - and it means not only refraining from food and drink, but from evil actions, thoughts, and words.
Ramadan is the month the Qur’an was revealed with clear guidance and differentiation (between good and bad.) Whoever of you is a witness of this month, should fast. But if anyone is ill, or on a journey shall make up by days later."

How did the fast during Ramadhan become obligatory for Muslims?

The revelations from God to the Prophet Muhammad that would eventually be compiled as the Quran began during Ramadhan in the year 610, but the fast of Ramadhan did not become a religious obligation for Muslims until the year 624. The obligation to fast is explained in the second chapter of the Quran: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous…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;…” (Chapter 2, verses 183 and 185).

What is Lailat ul-Qadr?

Lailat ul-Qadr (”Night of Power”) marks the anniversary of the night on which the Prophet Muhammad first began receiving revelations from God, through the angel Gabriel. An entire chapter in the Quran deals with this night: “We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power: and what will explain to thee what the Night of Power is? The Night of Power is better than a thousand months. Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by God’s permission, on every errand. Peace!…This until the rise of morn.” (Chapter 97) Muslims believe Lailat ul-Qadr is one of the last odd-numbered nights of Ramadhan.

Ramadhan lasts for 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the new moon which can cause confusion as some imams say the moon has been sighted on one day and others say its been sighted on another day! But once the moon has been sighted by a reliable source usually by the imam of your local mosque, Muslims celebrate Eid Ul Fitr. It begins with a special Eid prayer and then Muslims dress up and go out and meet each other, have special meals and exchange gifts. It's traditional for Muslims to say Eid Mubarak to each other which means Happy Eid

1 comment:

goooooood girl said...

Good good good......