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“Bismillah Hirrahmaan Nirraheem”
“In The Name of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful”
“SallALLAHU Ala Muhammad SallALLAHU Alayhe Wa Alehi Wasallam”
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Ramadan 2013 Mubarak to you all!
Ramadan 2013 has been started from 11 July 2013 almost on the planet earth.
In India 1st Ramadan was on 11 July 2013.
In the Quranic prescription of fasting in Ramadan, Allah Azzawajal asks the believers to “Fast in Ramadan the same way previous believers fasted” in order to attain certain benefits. Five verses in Surah Al- Baqarah (Quran 2:183-187) describe the four main benefits of fasting.
- Gratefulness; and
- The ability to differentiate between right and wrong.
1) Who celebrates Ramadan?
More than 1 billion Muslims worldwide celebrate Ramadan, including more than 6 million in the United States. Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, with Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Turkey following. Islam is the fastest-growing religion in America.
2) When is Ramadan?
Ramadan starts at the beginning of the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Because Islam observes a lunar calendar, the official beginning occurs at different times around the globe, based on when the crescent moon is first seen. The lunar calendar is about 11 days shorter than the solar calendar.
3) What is the derivation of “Ramadan” or Name Origin?
Ramadan is derived from the Arabic word ar-ramad, meaning “parched thirst,” and is also the name of the ninth month of the lunar calendar. Ramadan is a Muslim religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, believed to be the month in which the Qur’an began to be revealed.
The name “Ramadan” is taken from the name of this month; the word itself derived from an Arabic word for intense heat, scorched ground, and shortness of rations. It is considered the most venerated and blessed month of the Islamic year. Prayers, sawm (fasting), charity, and self-accountability are especially stressed at this time; religious observances associated with Ramadan are kept throughout the month.
Laylat al-Qadr (Night of Power), which falls during the last third, commemorates the revelation of the first verses of the Qur’an and is considered the most holy night of the year. Ramadan ends with the holiday Eid ul-Fitr, on which feasts are held. During the month following Ramadan, called Shawwal, Muslims are encouraged to fast for a further six days.
4) How did Ramadan begin?
In approximately 610 A.D., a caravan trader named Muhammad (pbuh) began wandering the desert near Mecca (in today’s Saudi Arabia). The angel Gabriel appeared to him and told him he had been chosen to receive the words of Allah. In the days that followed, Muhammad began speaking and transcribing the words to the Quran (also spelled “Koran”), the sacred book of Islam.
Muslims consider the Quran to be Allah’s literal speech, recorded in the Arabic language, and transmitted through humanity via Muhammad (pbuh), who is considered the last of a chain of prophets that included Adam, Ibraheem, Musa, Dawood and Isa.
5) How is Ramadan celebrated?
Ramadan is a month of heightened devotion, a time that the doors of heaven are kept open, and the doors of hell are closed, and Satan is kept in chains. Muslims go through a period of intense reflection and devotion, seeking guidance and forgiveness.
Muslims practice sawm, or fasting, during the entire month. This means they may eat or drink nothing, including water, while the sun shines. Married adults also refrain from marital relations during the hours of fasting (i.e. the daylight hours).
Other duties include five daily prayers and the recitation of the Taraweeh prayer, or Night prayer. At mosques during Ramadan, about one-thirtieth of the Quran is recited in prayers called tarawih. By the end of Ramadan, the entire Quran has been recited.
6) Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan?
Fasting is one of the Five Pillars (duties) of Islam. The Quran says that the main reason behind fasting is to attain taqwa, or God-consciousness. While they are hungry and thirsty, Muslims are reminded of the suffering of the poor. Fasting is also an opportunity to practice self-control and to cleanse the body and mind.
In the Muslim world, most restaurants are closed during the daylight hours during Ramadan. Families get up early for suhoor, a meal eaten before the sun rises. After the sun sets, the fast is broken with a meal known as iftar which usually includes dates, fresh fruits, appetizers, beverages and dinner.
All Muslims partake in the customs and celebration of Ramadan, starting at approximately age 12. Exceptions include men and women who are too old to fast, those who are too ill, women in the advanced stages of pregnancy, and women who are menstruating.
7) What does the Quran say about Ramadan?
“The month of Ramadan is the one in which the Quran was sent down, a guidance for mankind, clear proofs for the guidance, the Criterion; so whoever amongst you witnesses this month, let him fast it.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:185)
The hadith, a collection of the sayings of Muhammad, recommends the following:
* Study the Quran.
* Come together for this purpose.
* Check your memory of the Quran.
* Increase your recitation of the Quran.
8) How and when does Ramadan end?
Ramadan ends with the festival of Eid al-Fitr, which in 2004 will occur on Nov. 13. Literally the “Festival of Breaking the Fast,” Eid al-Fitr is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations (the other occurs after the Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca). At Eid al-Fitr people dress in their finest clothes, adorn their homes with lights and decorations, give treats to children, and enjoy visits with friends and family. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims give Zakat al Fitr, a monetary contribution to the poor or their mosques.
General Do’s and Don’t in Ramadan for you
1. Do not curse or give anyone a BadDua: Ramadan is a time for patience and humility as well as spiritual cleansing of mind and body. Even when tested by others, one should abstain from ill-temper & impatience. Instead, smile- to inject the day with a note of positive energy and uplifting spirit.
2. Abstinence from marital relations or sexual intercourse: During the fast, all appetites of the flesh are abstained from, including ‘unclean’ thoughts of intimacy. After ‘Iftar’, sexual intimacy can be resumed. Take day time for family & tell your Ammi and Abbu you love them! Spare a cuddle for your sister!
3. This does not mean practice stinginess with loved ones. Instead be economically resourceful. Ramadan, like Christmas, is becoming more commercial and people tend to spend more on food & luxuries. Do give generously to the needy and share your love & bounty. After all Ramadan is Kareem (generous)!
4. Stay awake! Across the Muslim world, the routine can change so that day & night are reversed. But the whole point of the exercise is to carry as normal. Avoid the temptation to sleep all day til Iftar. Still, do enjoy later nights, with Suhoor – a light meal- and stay active with Ramadan prayers.
5. Don’t over-eat: It’s tempting, but the ‘correct’ Iftar is a simple meal, since the idea is to exercise restraint this month and not waste food. But let’s face it it’s hard not to eat that extra bite when deprived all day, so just in case you overdo it, keep an indigestion medication on hand!
6. Be creative & resourceful: Don’t be driven to distraction by fantasies of what you’ll be eating at Iftar. Do instead use the food-less space as an opportunity for focus, motivation and productivity. With nothing else to do but work and errands you’ve put aside for a rainy day, work that fast away!
7. Don’t smoke during hours of the fast: wait til Iftar, when you’ll often see people light up (after that first sip of water and date or two!). Instead try to practice healthy activities and take a pre-Iftar stroll or post-Iftar walk with family. Do enjoy some Ramadan sweets- just not to excess.
8. Don’t drink alcohol during your entire life as it is Haraam. Ramadan is a time to respect the true Islamic doctrine which includes no drinking. Instead, do enjoy the Ramadan drink offerings (non-alcoholic seasonal treats such as: Amar il Deen; Jallab, Tamer Hindi, Sahlab.
9. Don’t dress down! (Meaning do not bare flesh or revealing attire) Just because Ramadan might fall in the hottest month of the year, this is not an invitation to exhibit your summer tan. Do dress conservatively: opt for modest, looser clothing ladies, and avoid shorts above the knees, men.
10. Don’t drive like crazy, breaking all speed limits, or engine’s capacity, to reach your ‘Iftar’. Causing an accident or fatality will save you no time in reaching your destination. Do be on time for Iftar- it is very bad form to arrive late after the sun-down, when people have already started eating.
Ramadan is a time of rules and regulations- but this does not preclude having a fulfilling and joyful Holy Month- and there are certainly benefits to be gained this month.
Ramadan is a time for practicing self-restraint. The order of the month is piety and sobriety with less pleasures of flesh than ordinarily enjoyed. Because if you can refrain from your lawful pleasures for God’s sake, with full freedom to do so, it would be easier for you to stop doing what is unlawful and forbidden.
As stressed in the Holy Quran, fasting is basically prescribed on Muslims to learn piety and righteousness. “Fasting provides us with motivation, self-control and firm will to give up bad manners and habits, otherwise such a vital worship will turn futile,” said Imam of Al Faruq Masjid Shaikh Mohammed Al Arabi.
While it is seen to be a time when economic productivity may drop, the true manner in which it should be practiced ought to allow for focus and productivity in the day-light hours, when the mind is not distracted from temptations of the flesh.
When a Muslim fasts, all his organs fast too. “I mean his tongue should fast, i.e. he should not backbite or lie, for example. His eyes should not look at what Allah obligates as forbidden. His legs should not walk to places where such a person would commit a sin, etc…”, according to a Muslim scholar. “Since Allah is the Creator of Man, then He is the best One to know what is beneficial for him and what makes him develop to the better. When a person fasts from dawn to sunset, he/she abstains from food and drink, along with sexual intercourse if he/she is married. Thus, he stops eating or drinking what is lawful, in obedience to his Creator and he/she would be the one who gets the benefit too.”
The above display of Ramadan Do’s and Don’t’s is not an idiot’s guide nor a Wiki-How to do Ramadan; instead it touches on some of the points that you may already know of, adding some creative ideas for how you can ‘get it right’ this Ramadan if you’re practicing the Holy Month, or else better understand or even support your neighbors who are.
Reminder of Ramadan terms:
Iftar: The meal taken to break the fast at sun-down.
Suhoor: The traditionally light meal taken late night or early hours before starting the fast, from dawn.
The meaning of Dua is Supplication to Allah. You can recite duas in any language. Allah accepts all of your duas in whatever language you speak to Him.
The Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) said: “This is a month, the first part of which brings Allah’s Mercy, the middle of which brings Allah’s forgiveness, and the last part of which brings emancipation from the hellfire.”
1. Dua in first Ashrah of Ramadan
First ten days (1-10) of the Blessed Month of Ramadan are the days of Mercy.
So we should seek Allah’s Mercy in these days.
* Rab-bigh-fir war-ham wa Anta Khair-ur-Raahimeen. (Surah Al Muminun:118)
Meaning: My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for You are the Best of those who show mercy!
* Ya Rabb, Allahumma arhamni Ya Arham-mar-Rahimeen.
* Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyumu Birahmatika asta-ghee-thu.
2. Dua in Second Ashrah of Ramadan
The second ten days (11-20) of Ramadan are the days of Forgiveness.
So we should seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent for sins in those days.
* Allahum-magh-fir-li dhunoobi Ya Rabbal Alameen
* Rabbana Fagh-fir-lana dhunoobana wa kaf-fir-‘anna sayyi-aatina wa ta-waf-fana ma-‘al abraar. (Surah Al-Imran:193)
Meaning: Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and remit from us our evil deeds, and make us die in the state of righteousness along with Al-Abrâr (those who are obedient to Allâh and follow strictly His Orders).
3. Dua in Third Ashrah of Ramadan
The last ten days (21-30) of Ramadan are to seek Refuge in Allah from the Hellfire.
* Allahumma Ajirna min-an-naar.
Meaning: O Allah, protect us from the fire.
For Special prayers in Shab-e-Qadr, The Night of Power, please visit our new post “Gates of Jannah Opened for Me”-
Click here- http://yaallah.in/category/ramadan-special/
Brothers and sisters in Islam!
Fear Allah Ta’ala and beware of wasting your life away in futile activities. Make use of your time by being positive and constructive, for it is by doing so you can achieve the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. This may well be your last Ramadan…, your last opportunity to benefit from the special blessings and forgiveness that accompanies this month. Know that Ramadan… is a manifestation of Allah Ta’ala’s bountiful blessings on His slaves. Use it as a turning point in your life; a time for transformation towards a better way of life; a change from the ignominy of sins to the glory of obedience; from weakness and laziness to strength and vigour; from bad customs and detestable habits to righteousness and upright conduct.
Resolve 0′ Honourable Muslim!
* To perform the five daily salaah with the congregation,
* To perform the Taraweeh salaah diligently.
* To spend as much time as possible in dua, Tilawah, and Zikr
* To take part in the various Ramadan… programmes at your Masjid.
* To protect your fast by guarding your tongue, eyes, and thoughts.
* To beautify your fast by sharing your iftaar with your neighbours and the needy.
* To be patient, tolerant, and sympathetic. Especially to your parents and spouse.
* To be kind and generous to the poor and needy. Especially to our destitute Muslim brothers and sisters from foreign countries.
* To serve at least one sick, aged, or disabled person during this Ramadan…
* To make dua for the Ummah daily before iftaar.
May Allah Ta’ grant us the faith, strength, and spirit to make this a unique and special Ramadan… May He grant us the ability to be consistent in our endeavours. May He protect and preserve our faith.
Courtesy- islamawareness.net, allahsword.com, albawaba.com and missionislam.com
Demand more, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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