Ramadan is a spiritual month; to observe it, one draws tremendous energy. Exploring the basics, benefits, myths and spiritual impact of the month. Learn how you can contribute to the community during this month.
Evening Seminar - An Overview•
Ramadan is a spiritual month; to observe it, one draws tremendous energy. Join us for an evening exploring the basics, beneﬁts, myths and spiritual impact of the month. Learn how you can contribute to the community during this blessed month.• On this evening, we will address: • Ramadan - purpose and basics; • Myths and facts surrounding the month; • Cleansing mind body and soul • the Ramadan spirit - a practical guide for a diverse community; • and the unique perspective on giving during Ramadan. • Discuss how our community of diverse faiths can collectively draw on the great energy of the holy month and bring beneﬁt to all in the community• This event is open to everyone who is curious, enjoys learning about the spiritual, and the practical aspects of Ramadan.
Considerations• This is a personal
research project. It does not represent a comprehensive study. I am not a scholar of Islam. I tried to keep to Quran verses and Sunna teachings, references from Imam Nuwaawi, Imam Ghazali’s writings, talks and books by leading Muslim Scholars (Dr. Abdul Hakim Murad, Hamza Yusuf, Tariq Ramadan, Bin Baz, Syed Houssein Nasr) and some web-based articles.• Depth of the Arabic Language - moving away from the literal meaning - researched on Almaany.com and from scholarly writings.• Reﬂect on the photos - they represent the diversity and strength of the positive energy one can draw from the holy month. Almost 2.1 billion muslims.• Dialogue format - corrections welcome..
“Fast and you shall be
healthy“ said the proﬁt PBUH.To observe Ramadan, is to bring silence and peace to the body, mind and spirit.
A month of discipline• Performed
right, you end it feeling rejuvenated.• Abstaining from the luxuries of life and allowing the senses to make do with minimal stimulation both in body and spirit.• Abstinence from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. While it may seem difﬁcult, it is easier to practice than other forms.
The ninth month of the
Islamic lunar calendar. Begins with the sighting of a new moon. Fighting is not allowed during this period. “On the authority ofAbu Abdul Rahmaan Abdullah (r), the son of Umar ibn al-Kattaab (r) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (s) say: ‘Islam is built upon ﬁve [pillars]:testifying that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayers, giving zakat,making pilgrimage to the House and fasting the month of Ramadan.’” (Recorded in Bukhari and Muslim)
Ramadan is derived from rmḍ,
which is Arabic for heat. In other contexts, the same root is used to refer to burnt earth, ahot climate or a lack of food. This relates to the daytime fasting that Muslims are expected to perform during Ramadan.
The origins of Ramadan draw
from the occasion of Laylat al-Qadr, translated as "the Night of Power or Destiny."Qurans 2nd chapter, verses 183-185 “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those beforeyou that you may become righteous ... The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for thepeople and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it."
those obliged tofast..• Fasting is
obligatory upon every adult Muslim who is sane, is able to perform it and is not traveling. If he/she cannot meet any one of these conditions, he is excused from the fast without any penalty.• Exemptions: traveler - pregnant & nursing - ill - minor - elderly - mentally incapable !" 9$ل 706 ا5 40%3 و 10. - “%- ,+ ا*) ا&%$م ّ ”):;ا ”)ون @$?>=رB:C اDE“ذ 6GHG )ه أنKL $MN 3&O6 رGHG أنDPL 5“إن ا ”3R%&S,
1Predawn meal - SAHUR -
The Messenger of God advised believers to partake in this meal prior to fasting, even if it be with only amorsel of food, or a mouthful of drink, as there was great blessing concealed therein. The meal would be delayed until just beforethe Morning Prayer. TN)@ =رP;ن "! اU" )واP;G. Narrated Anas bin Malik
2During Ramadan, it is common
for Muslims to go to the Masjid (Mosque) and spend several hours praying and studying theQuran, or pray in congregation in their place of work.
3Throughout the day, God’s Messenger
would engage in acts of generosity and charity.The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “Charity is prescribed for each descendant of Adamevery day the sun rises.” He was then asked: “From what do we give charity every day?” The Prophet answered: “The doors of goodness are many…enjoining good, forbidding evil, removingharm from the road, listening to the deaf, leading the blind, guiding one to the object of his need, hurrying with the strength of one’s legs to one in sorrow who is asking for help, andsupporting the feeble with the strength of one’s arms–all of these are charity prescribed for you.” He also said: “Your smile for your brother is charity.” – Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 3, Number 98
4At the call to the
sunset prayer, the Prophet would break his fast before performing the Prayer, with freshdates, or dried dates if fresh ones were not available.“O God, I have fasted for Your sake, I have broken my fast with what you have provided. Thirst is goneand the veins are moist once again. God willing, the reward is established, too.”
5In addition to the ﬁve
daily prayers, during Ramadan Muslims recite a special prayer called the Taraweehprayer (Night Prayer). Some Muslims spend the entire night in prayer.
6Iftar - some have it
immediately after the Sunset prayer, while others have it after Taraweeh. Iftar is afamily meal. In many cultures a ration is kept aside for the less fortunate.
While it is not part
of the prophetic tradition, many muslim communities decorate the streets with lights in celebration of theholy month. The people of Yemen take to cleaning their homes and go as far as repainting as an added form of cleansing.
for some muslims, the holy
month is reduced to the literal meaning of abstaining from food and beverage alone.. we witness thosewho become less productive at work, maintain a disrupted sleep pattern, over indulgence on food, TV time and socializing oversheesha. For non-muslims living amongst them, the month seems disruptive, restrictive and lacking in spirituality.
People gain a lot of
weight in Ramadan - they over indulge at meal time,consuming more and wasting more than they would in other months.
The loss of balance, indulgence
in over-eating, late night entertainment and poor understanding of restriction lead to poorperformance at work. The lack of understanding of the concept of restriction and puriﬁcation among all, makes observing themonth a greater challenge.
.$رهKC$@ TVW اX:Y$ر @$[=ات وV
اX: ُY :*! 706 ا5 40%3 و10. أ^3 9$لV%_ 4+ اP7 `LaYThe essence of fasting is in creating the space to elevate one’s spirit.. Moving away from the physical world and into the spiritualrealm
taste• To fast only from
food an beverage is cleansing for the body.• The abstinence from food and drink strikes on Maslows hierarchy of needs.• Reducing indulgence. aS, +@ امabC أن اaMYأ .01*! 706 ا5 40%3 وV اcM1 3^ي 9$ل : إaVK)ب اKL +@ اD;P@ ، 3VB@ +, ً )اh @+ آدم و4$ءl, $,( : =لbL ً `0m" a@ n$ن وN نU" ، 3*07 $[@ +MbL $تM%b آدم 3;:V `0o0` )ا@3 ، وo$,3 ، وSB)• واa" .R0N$@3: إذا أP7? .019$ل 706 ا5 40%3 و و,&=اpqCوا اah. وb0)وا اr7. وKs$1زار 406 أوuا $, aY واvN vNwL$ه وS, c;R%" . إزارهNaY أvPL n$ء وCا .3LaL x@• The ﬁrst 10 days are the days of mercy.
hearingA month of peace and
tranquility, giving the delicate muscles in your ears a break. Freeing the hearing center in your brain andallowing it to relax and rejuvenate. In todays urban, noise polluted environment, this break comes as a blessing (baraka).
smellCrowded urban airspace carries smells
ranging from the subtle to the extremely pungent. To the smell center of the brain, urban airspace isequivalent to being on a treadmill at 100 km per hour. A constant workout. From perfumes to poor hygiene, the aroma of coffee, the smell ofcigarettes, to the smell of a worn out diesel fuel engine. Imagine a break from all of that.. it does wonders for the brain and smell organs.
speech• Avoiding gossip, backbiting, evil
and idle talks, arrogance, lying, breaking promises, dishonesty, severing social ties, etc.• Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said: "Whoever fails to leave off ruinous speech, and acting on it [during Ramadan], God does not need him to leave off eating and drinking." (Al-Bukhari)• ْ)ةm|N +, )Nْ‚ُL - Tَ^ƒُ" َ$ ر1=لَ ا5}ِ ! إِنL : ٌv ُ>( 9$لَ ر َِ َ ْ ِ َُ َ َ } ُ َ َ َ $َ[َ^ذِي >ِ%)َاHُG $َ[}^َ[$ - …%ْ) أR9a7[$ وَ7%َ$,[َ$ وGƒ7 ْ َ َ َ ََِ َ َ ِ ِ َ ِ َ َ . }$رV|!َ "! اE : َ@|0ِ;$^[$ ؟ 9$ل ِ ِ ِ َ َِ َ ِ• $. وإنVW>=4 إXW>=4$. إن اV%" 5! اbG$ ;$ن، إL .$VMbR1 اXMbR1إ• .D0b$ن اM>)G ا0;$ن
Mind & Heart• Above all,
disciplining the mind and puriﬁcation of the heart, is the greatest challenge and the highest reward.• To be able to monitor ones thoughts and feelings• Focus on the positive, the peaceful, the pure is the most enriching experience to the individual and the community.• Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: "Fasting the month of patience and three days every month is equivalent to fasting the whole year." (Ahmad)• َ03 أَوG$َ9 ْ و إِن ا,)ؤvَ[ ْWَL nَ)"ُ` وL ƒَ" T}V| ُ> ` : ا&%َ$مLaY +, ْ َُ ٌُْ ْ َ ََ ْ ْ َ ٌ ُ ˆ ِ .|‰$&ه ‹0ُ=فُ "َ|. ِ اaَ%@ ! ِ;ْ:َ^ ِ وا‚يxَG), .‰$7 !ˆ^ِْ إvُbَ%0َ" 3 َMَG$h ِ } ُ َ ِِ ِ ِ} َ ْ }َ ٌِ َ ْ ُ َ +, 3َG=[hَ)َا@َ3 وhََ$,3 وSَs ْ)ُكR|َL ِ€;ِ ْC_ِ اLَِ$َ6 ,+ رSَG ِ}5 اaْV|4 ُDَ%ْsَأ ْ ِ ُ َْ َ ُ َ َُ ُ ْ ْ ِ َ ِ . $َ[ِ$َ m|,ََ) أS@ TَV|; َPأ َ>ْ |0ِ! ا&%َ$م ِ! وأَ^َ$ أَ>ْ •ي @3 وا ْ ِ ْ ِ ُ َ ْ َ ِِ ِ َ ُ ˆ• The last 10 days are about SALVATION and PROTECTION
Raising one’s awareness of the
community and eliminate the desire to receive for the self alone..have the intention to beneﬁt others.. learn for others, pray for others, give for others systematically ..
Family-time - especially signiﬁcant for
workaholics - making the time to engage with family, immediate and extended,telling stories of the past to inspire children and youth, visiting the elderly and tending to ramadan practices in group.
Benevolence - starting with family
and moving outward in support and kindness of community members. Celebrate the littlesuccesses children have in ramadan - in Pakistan a young boy who fasts for the ﬁrst time is dressed up and paraded with prideamong his community who praise his accomplishment
conserve -We do not inherit
the earth from our fathers,we borrow it from our children! how do we conserve it for future generations? how can we use the spirit of the month reducepollution, reduce natural resource consumption and build in a sustainable manner.
beneﬁts• Strengthens ones ties with
Allah and trains the soul to observe duties of devotion in accordance with the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah.• Enforces patience and determination in the Muslim individual.• Promotes sincerity since fasting is between the individual and his Creator.• Promotes good character, particularly truthfulness and trust-worthiness.• Encourages the Muslim to do away with bad habits and change his/her circumstances for the better.• Enhances generosity, hospitality, and spending on charitable causes.• Reinforces feelings of unity and brotherhood among Muslims.• Instills orderliness and close observance of the value of time.• Serves as an opportunity for children to perform acts of obedience and to practice Islamic acts of worship.• Offers a chance to balance ones attention to both physical and spiritual needs.
References• Recharge Ramadan Battery -
http://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2008/09/• Facts - http://www.ehow.com/about_5079461_origin-ramadan.html• Suhur - A Musaharati, dawn awakener, strikes his drum to wake observant Muslims for their overnight sahur, last meal, before the days fast in Sidons Old City in southern Lebanon just before dawn August 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Ali Hashisho) #• Did you know “health Sticker” -http://goodtaste.ae/2011/07/10/sun-goes-down/• Myths and poor practice - http://sohablog.com/?p=74• Prayer -http://sfcg.ﬁles.wordpress.com/2010/08/ramadan_indonesia.jpg - Muslim women attend prayers on the eve of the ﬁrst day of Ramadan at a mosque in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia (REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas)• Quran recitation -http://nourspot.blogspot.com/2011/08/capture-spirit-of-ramadan.html• Traditions across countries -http://www.alajman.net/vb/showthread.php?t=66724• Myths and poor practice - http://www.timeoutbahrain.com/knowledge/features/25680-ramadan-dos-and-donts• Ramadan & Hydration -http://doctor2008.wordpress.com/2011/08/16/fasting-fast-times-and-the-olympics/• Seek knowledge -Jamelie Hassan, Seek Knowledge Even Onto China, - 1993-95. Vinyl calligraphy and painted wall, varying dimensions. Collection of the artist. Photo: John Tamblyn.• Fitness - http://www.facebook.com/FitMuslimah• document the month - http://ramadankareem.blogspot.com/
References• Kashmiri Muslims pray on
a street on the third Friday of Ramadan, in Srinagar, India, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)• A Palestinian Muslim man decorates an alley of Jerusalems old city with festive lights in preparation for Ramadan on Tuesday, Aug. 10 2010. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)• The basics - http://www.lastprophet.info/a-day-in-ramadan-with-the-prophet• http://muslimvoices.org/muslim-greeting/• celebrate children - http://www.newslinemagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/muslims-in-america-gallup-poll-2011.jpg• those obliged to fast - http://thecommongroundblog.com/2011/08/01/muslim-americans-promote-interfaith-relations-during-ramadan/• Cover -Tehran, Iran: A woman leaves her shoes outside a Mosque in Ramadan. http://www.zawaj.com/tag/ramadan-fotos/• grafﬁti - El Seed• ask & you shall receive -Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalems Old City on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)• Muslim Population - http://muslimpopulation.com/World/• Miswaak - http://www.jpbsonline.org/article.asp?issn=0975-7406;year=2011;volume=3;issue=1;spage=113;epage=117;aulast=Akhtar