What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Every day during this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours, between dusk and sunset, in a complete fast.
During the blessed month of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world abstain from food, drink, and other physical needs during the daylight hours. As a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on Allah and practice self-sacrifice, Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking.
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. It also means refraining for any sexual activity during the fasting hours.
During Ramadan, every part of the body must be restrained.
- Your tongue must be restrained from backbiting and gossip.
- Your eyes must restrain themselves from looking at unlawful things.
- Your hand must not touch or take anything that does not belong to it.
- Your ears must refrain from listening to idle talk or obscene words.
- Your feet must refrain from going to sinful places.
In such a way, every part of the body observes the fast.
Therefore, fasting is not merely physical, but is rather the total commitment of the person’s body and soul to the spirit of the fast. Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint; a time to cleanse the body and soul from impurities and re-focus one’s self on the worship of Allah.
Ramadan is the month during which the Holy Quran was revealed to Rasulullah (SAW).