We all know that Ramadan is a month of fasting and abstinence from food, drink, and physical intimacy, but how often do we think about why we fast? Through fasting, we take the time to get closer to Allah (SWT) by improving our ibadah (worship) and increasing our dhikr (remembrance of God). As Muslims, we are given the opportunity every year to embark on a month-long spiritual journey. On this journey, the road is met with purification, spirituality and is a momentous time in the life of a Muslim.
Abu Hurayrah (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said:
“When Ramadan enters, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed and the devils are chained.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Ramadan is the ideal time for spiritual growth, strengthening family ties, community building, and also fortify ourselves as Muslims. It is a spiritual time symbolising dedication, reflection and discipline, allowing us to shield ourselves from sin through fasting. As said by the Prophet (SAW):
“Fasting is a shield. Therefore, the fasting person should avoid obscene speech and should not behave foolishly and ignorantly, and if somebody fights with him or insults him, he should tell him twice, ‘I am fasting.”
Ramadan is a time to focus on our relationship with Allah (SWT) and be more mindful of our actions and thoughts. It is a time to purify the soul and to come closer to Allah (SWT).
Ramadan is truly a period where our spirituality, family ties, and community bonds, strengthens us and allows us to become the best version of ourselves.
Ramadan: A spiritual month for Muslims:
- Ramadan trains a Believer to be honest – Fasting is solely for Allah (SWT) pleasure, and attempts to deceive others by breaking the fast or abstaining are pointless. Allah (SWT) sees all, and ultimate accountability lies with Him. Fasting is about cultivating piety, mindfulness, and self-discipline and serves as a means of purification and spiritual rejuvenation. Therefore, it is essential to remain committed to fasting as an act of worship and strive for greater devotion throughout Ramadan.
- Ramadan is a means of increased willpower – The act of tolerating hunger, thirst, and abstaining from physical intimacy has the potential to strengthen an individuals willpower and fortitude. Such self-restraint requires discipline and perseverance, which can lead to personal growth and development. We are also required to refrain from unkind thoughts and acts.
- Ramadan teaches the Believer the true meaning of caring and sharing – Fasting during Ramadan provides an opportunity for believers to experience hunger and thirst, which can foster empathy and compassion for those less fortunate. Through this experience, one gains a deeper understanding of what it means to go without food and water, and develop a greater appreciation for the blessings in their life.
- Ramadan is a time of spiritual satisfaction – Fasting all day while teaching your body to abstain from sin moulds your mind and body. Morever, after a day of fasting – when taking the first bite of sustenance as the Maghrib Adhaan is recited gives a Muslim true feeling of satisfaction and happiness.
Did you know fasting has proven benefits ? – Not that we need any other proof other than the Qur’an and Sunnah but here are some of the health benefits of fasting:
- Purification of the blood from fat, cholesterol and acids
- Relaxes the heartbeat since no blood is needed for digestion
- Reduces ulcers
- Relieves the liver from pressure
- Protection against weight gain, kidney stones and diabetes
There is no doubt – Ramadan is an intensely spiritual time filled with ibadah, dhikr and a rejection of temptations of the human body.
We would love to hear your Ramadan stories – Have you experienced the true spirituality of this month?
Share them with us on Social Media – @IslamicReliefSA