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(part 1 of 2): Fasting during the day

 

Ramadhan is a very special month for Muslims because Muslims all over the world perform many different acts of worship, of which fasting is the most important. This fasting in Ramadhan is one of the five pillars of Islam, it is a duty for all adults and all adolescents who are able to do so. Ramadhan is also the month in which the Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation, which is why it is called the „Month of the Quran“. During this month you can see a clearly noticeable change in people’s lives, as well as in societies. This article will describe a typical Muslim day in this month of forgiveness.

An early meal

“Have a meal before dawn; because this is a blessed meal. ” (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

Although it is not a requirement, Muslim families wake up early in the morning throughout Ramadhan before the first morning light is seen, following the teachings of the Prophet that God’s blessing and peace be upon him , a light meal. A Muslim’s day usually begins with prayer, which is done when the first traces of light are visible in the sky, but since this is the time to start fasting and abstain from eating and drinking, the Prophet encouraged that Muslims to get up before this time and have a meal.

Here we clearly see that the purpose of fasting is not to be hungry all day, but rather to change your daily life to spend more time worshiping Allah, which is a fact that will soon make us whole will become clear. Someone who often misses the early prayer, the one of the five prayers that is hardest to pray in the prescribed time, wakes up early this morning to take the meal. So this person gets used to getting up early, which helps him to pray early in time for the rest of the year.

The most popular voluntary prayer is one called „Qiyaam-ul-Lail“ or the night prayer. [1] This prayer is performed individually before the early prayer. It is so popular that it is affectionately referred to as the „prayer of the pious“, it is a prayer of the humble while most of the other people are still sleeping in their beds. God describes this prayer in the Quran by saying:

“Your sides stay away from (their) beds; they call upon their Lord in fear and hope … ”(Quran 32:16)

Getting up early in the morning also encourages believers to pray this blessed prayer, something that is otherwise a tedious task for some.

This pre-dawn meal should be taken as close as possible to dawn and so people eat until they hear the Mu’ezzin or prayer caller calling Adhan from the local mosque, indicating that the first morning light is now visible. Therefore, the Muslims then finish their meal and prepare to attend the community prayer in the local mosque, which is prayed five times a day throughout the year.

The month of the Quran

After attending the early prayer, many Muslims choose this time to sit in the mosque for a while and read a selected section of the Quran. The Quran recitation is recommended at all times because it deepens the faith in Islam:
„Believers are truly those whose hearts tremble when Allah is called and who are strengthened in their faith when His verses are read.“ (Qur’an 8: 2)

Since it is the month in which the Qur’an was sent down, Muslims strive even more to recite it, just as the Prophet, God’s blessing and peace be upon him .

„[The Prophet] met him (Gabriel) every night in Ramadhan and recited the Quran to him.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

In Ramadhan it is very rare to find a mosque empty at any time of the day. Muslims are trying to reserve a time this month to fully read the Quran and reflect on its meanings.

Fast during the day

In most Muslim countries, the workload and schedules in Ramadhan have been relaxed to accommodate the peculiarities of this month. The children go to school later so that they can compensate for the early waking up and late night prayer, and most of the shops close early before sunset. However, many shops remain open all night.

During the daytime until the sun sinks below the horizon, the Muslim abstains from eating and drinking of all kinds, and also from having sexual intercourse with his spouse. This gives the Muslim a sense throughout the day that he is doing all of this to obey God’s commands because it does not do things that are otherwise permitted during the day. This created awareness among Muslims that encourages them to refrain from doing illegal acts elsewhere. The Muslims with dry mouths due to the lack of water and the abstinence from all food all day long receive a sixth sense: awareness of God – and that is the goal of fasting in the month of Ramadhan. God says in the Quran:

“Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those who were before you. Maybe you will fear God. ” (Quran 2: 183)

Fasting is a hidden worship service that a person offers to God. She might as well secretly eat and drink without anyone knowing about it … but what keeps her from doing so is awareness of her master’s presence.
For this reason, many sinful Muslims are seen to neglect many of their sins in this blessed month because of his holiness, and one can only hope that they will remain faithful for the rest of the year.

The prophet that God’s blessing and peace was on him warned Muslims of certain sins that are easy to fall into and ruin the goal of fasting. The Prophet said:

“Those who do not fail to use the wrong word and enforce it do not require God to refrain from eating and drinking.” (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

He also warned against being provoked, behaving improperly. He asked Muslims to answer someone who wants to provoke you,

„I fast, I fast.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

These prophetic statements make it clear that the main benefit of Ramadhan is spiritual and fairer.

Therefore, in Ramadhan in Muslim societies, it is found that a spirit of peace has entered the hearts of people due to the additional worship and the avoidance of all wickedness and evil behavior. People are generally much more sociable and open-minded, and if you live in a society where most people fast for a month, there is unity and fraternity that is unmatched by any other occasion, except perhaps the Hağğ.

Iftar, or breaking the fast

When the day ends, Muslims gather in their homes and await the sunset. Mothers and daughters are usually busy preparing for breaking the fast and dinner at this time, while the men return from work and put on more comfortable clothes and then either use the time to read the Quran or help prepare for the breaking of the fast. Shortly before sunset, the family gathers at the dining table to wait for the Mu’ezzin; they use this time to praise Allah and to ask for His mercy.

„There is really a prayer for the fasting that will be answered if they break their fast.“ (Tuhfat-ul-Muhtaj)

When the call to prayer is heard, Muslims hurry to break their fast with dates by emulating the Prophet and saying words of gratitude that the Prophet taught us that God’s blessing and peace is upon him.
„The thirst has been quenched, the veins have become moist and the reward is secured, God willing.“ (Abu Dawud)

Many Muslims add:

“Oh Allah, I fasted for you alone and I believed in you alone. I broke my fast with your care and I trusted you. ”

Muslims then eat a light meal with different appetizers and drinks. Often one is invited or invites others, either family members, friends or poor people. The majority of mosques distribute food to reduce the suffering of the poor. Iftar is held in some mosques to strengthen the community, usually in countries where Muslims are a minority. The Prophet Muhammad, God’s blessing and peace be upon him, encouraged people to feed others in this blessed month when he said:

“Whoever gives a fasting food with which he breaks his fasting will receive the same reward (as the fasting one) …” (Al-Tirmidhi)

Special rations are distributed to needy households by charities at the beginning of Ramadhan to meet this month’s needs.

The relief you feel when breaking the fast is really indescribable. The poorest meal never seems so tasty or gives the believer such joy. The prophet, God’s blessings and peace be upon him, really spoke the truth when he said:

„The fasting person will experience two moments of joy: one time when he breaks his fast and another time when he meets his Lord.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

There is no time for a big meal because sunset is the time for another prescribed prayer. The Muslims are preparing to participate in the community prayer, which is mostly accessible on foot. After prayer, some Muslims eat dinner while others postpone eating until night prayer ends, an event that is one of the main features of the nights of Ramadhan, another spiritual dimension of this blessed month of grace and blessings.

Footnotes:
[1] Literally: „Standing at night“ due to the long recitation that is performed when standing.

 

(Part 2 of 2): Worship at night

After the prayer at sunset, the Muslims return to their homes where they can have a bite to eat or have dinner. However, most people don’t eat that much because it will bother them later if they want to attend the service that represents the joy of the Muslim in Ramadhan – the Tarawieh prayer. This prayer is prayed immediately after the night prayer, which is performed as soon as the last rays of the sunset have disappeared, about an hour and a half after the prayer at sunset.

The Tarawieh (night prayer)

The Tarawieh is a special prayer that is prayed in the community. It is quite long, it lasts from an hour to an hour and a half. It is performed every night of Ramadhan and most imams or prayer leaders try to recite the whole Quran in it. In it, the Muslims pray to their Lord, standing, bowing and prostrating, and are given the opportunity to hear the Quran in its entirety, to have the verses performed melodically, as if it had been revealed to them here and now. Mosques with experienced readers fill up quickly, so prayers are more likely to come to keep their places free. Some mosques hold over a thousand prayers who come from all over the city to take part in prayer. In fact, it’s been an experience you’ve been waiting for a whole year.

„Whoever stands in night prayer in Ramadhan, believes in God and hopes for His reward, will be forgiven all his past sins.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

Prayers listen to the Quran recitation in prayer and reflect on its meaning, and the Imam’s voice has a great influence on people. It is not uncommon to see in different mosques how people start to cry when they hear verses about God’s blessings, His grace and love, His paradise that He reserved for patient believers, or that about suffering in the world Speak hell. The Quran is a revelation that appeals to every individual and so each individual feels that God speaks to him directly when he hears it. Therefore, the feelings that arise in the Quran recitation are really incomparable and indescribable.

At the end of the tara prayer, the Imam and the community raise their hands and make supplications for themselves and for the Muslims; they ask God for the forgiveness of their sins, that He gives them strength to practice their faith and remain steadfast, that He allows them to enter Paradise, that He heals the sick, that He forgives the deceased, and they ask Him the good things in this world and in the next world. They ask God to save them from the punishment on the day of judgment, to ease their settlement that day, and to alleviate the suffering of their Muslim brothers around the world. It is not uncommon to find the majority of the congregation tearfully imploring their masters. In fact, the tara prayer is one of the highlights of Ramadhan and it plays a big role in
After the tara livestock, the Muslims return to their homes, eat dinner and then relax in their beds so that they can get up for the meal before dawn the next morning.

As you can see, Ramadhan is a month in which various acts of worship are performed for God. Ramadhan is like a period of practice in which Muslims change their lifestyle so that it is more in line with God’s commands. From the time when the person wakes up in the morning, throughout the day and into the night, the Muslim performs various acts of worship, some of which he is obliged to do, others voluntary, but all of which he does to his master like. Indeed, this month is a key factor in Muslim life, a time of rejuvenation in which the believer is inspired for a new year of his life that is filled with God’s satisfaction and avoids His anger.

There are other peculiarities in Ramadhan.

The last ten nights

1. “Truly, We sent him down (the Quran) on the night of Al-Qadr.
2. And what teaches you to know what Al Qadr’s night is?
3. The night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months.
4. In it the angels and the spirit (Gabriel) descend with the permission of their Lord to any order.
5. ‚Peace‘ is until dawn. ” (Quran: 97: 1-5)

 

It was Ramadhan when the Quran was sent down from heaven to earth. More specifically, it was on one of the last ten nights of this blessed month. The Prophet, God’s blessing and peace be upon him, said,
„Await the blessed night in the past ten.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

That night the acts of worship and good deeds are better than if they were done over a thousand months, as the Quran verse quoted above says. Hence the prophet that God’s blessings and peace be upon him increased his worship by staying awake in prayer all night.

„When the [last] ten [nights] of Ramadhan dawned, the Prophet rolled up his sleeves and gave life all night and awakened his family.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

Muslims are expecting this blessed night to increase their wages. Muslims spend the whole night in worship, from praying the taree prayer to reading the Qur’an, asking prayers and speaking up to voluntary additional prayers. During these nights, an additional prayer is held in the mosques, which lasts one and a half to two hours and ends shortly before the meal before dawn. Nights live before worship, and people go out of their way to try to spend this honored night in worship. The prophet, God’s blessing and peace be upon him, said:

„Those who spent the blessed night in prayer, believed in God and hoped for his reward will be forgiven all their past sins.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)
Ramadhan is a month of forgiveness and people hope that they will be among those who will be saved from the fire:

“God chooses who He wants (in Ramadhan) to be saved from the fire every night. ”(Al-Tirmidhi)

For this reason, people fast, pray and await the honored night so that they can be forgiven for their shortcomings and be allowed to enter paradise.

Umrah (Smaller Pilgrimage to Mecca)

The Prophet, that God’s blessing and peace was on him, encouraged people to visit the Kaaba and to undertake the smaller pilgrimage or Umrah. He said:
„Actually doing the umrah in Ramadhan is the same with Hağğ with me.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

That is why millions of pilgrims are drawn to Mecca to make this smaller pilgrimage. Most come during the last ten days of the month hoping to earn the Hağğ reward and to participate in the Kaaba prayers, an incredible experience for the believer. One meets Muslims from all parts of the world, all cultures and all races, and all take part in the communal fasting of the day and the worship throughout the night in order to achieve the satisfaction of their Creator, their Lord.

A Month of Forgiveness

We mentioned various prophetic statements that state that different types of worship are means of forgiveness. Fasting, tara prayer and prayer in the honored night – these are all means of forgiveness.
“Whoever fasts the month of Ramadhan, believes in God and hopes for His reward, all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)
“Whoever does the night prayer in Ramadhan, believes in God and hopes for His reward, all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)
“Whoever stood in prayer in the honored night, believes in God and hopes for His reward, all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

Ramadhan is generally the month of salvation from hellfire:

“God chooses (in Ramadhan) who will be saved from the fire – every night.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

A month of charity

As mentioned earlier, people strive to feed or provide others with food to break their fasting and donate food to families in need so that they have enough to eat during Ramadhan month. That being said, people in Ramadhan are generally more benevolent because charity is seen as a form of worship and God will reward them for it. The Prophet’s companion, Abdullah bin Abbas, said:

„The Prophet was the most generous person, and in Ramadhan he was even more generous.“ (Sahieh Al-Bukhari)

To increase their good deeds, some Muslims also chose the month of Ramadhan to pay their zakat [1] or compulsory alms.

To withdraw in loneliness

There is a special form of worship in Islam where you retreat to the mosque for a period of time, be it for a day or a week, and you spend your time reciting the Quran and praising God what again an exercise for man is to devote his life entirely to God. By isolating yourself from everyday routines and devoting yourself fully to worship, you learn to set priorities and to pay less attention to life in this world. The Prophet, God’s blessing and peace be upon him, also practiced this retreat called I’tikaaf in the last ten days of Ramadhan. He pitched a tent in the mosque and retired there, devoting himself entirely to the different types of worship.

Muslims around the world are trying to take time off from work or school to perform this service, but due to the difficulty of switching off from everyday life, few people succeed. Nevertheless, there are only a few people in the community mosques who attend this service.

conclusion

As you can see, Ramadhan is a really special time for Muslims around the world. It is a month of worship when sinners repent and turn to God again and believers renew their faith. It is a time of practice in which you get used to living a life in accordance with God’s commands and seeking His satisfaction. It is a time to strengthen your connection with God. It is a time in which man educates himself to perform additional acts of worship in addition to his duties. The month of Ramadhan is without comparison, and the feelings of the Muslims this month are indescribable. That’s why the Prophet’s companions asked God to give them grace, To experience Ramadhan six months before it began and six months after it ended, and they asked God for forgiveness for their shortcomings in it. We ask God to accept the fasting and prayers of Muslims in this blessed month, and to give guidance to others so that we can be able to fast him as Muslims.

Footnotes:
[1] See (http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/46).

 


Source: https://www.islamland.com/deu/articles/ein-tag-und-eine-nacht-im-ramadhan