26 Oct Getting ready for Ramadan: Part 1
Fasting (siyyaam or sawm) is an act of worship which involves abstaining from all food, drink, sexual activity and anything which is bound to break the fast from dawn (the time of calling to the Fajr prayer) till sunset (the time of calling to the Maghrib prayer).
Virtues of the Month of Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is the best month of the year and has a number of virtues, including the following:
It was the month in which the greatest and most exalted of all divine books, the Holy Qur’an, was revealed:
“It was in the month of Ramadan that the Qur’an was revealed, with clear signs of guidance and a criterion of right and wrong. Therefore, those of you who are resident for the month must fast it.” (Soorat Al-Baqarah, 2:185)
The Prophet May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him said, “When the month of Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened, the gates of Hellfire are closed and the devils are chained.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 3103, Saheeh Muslim: 1079) Thus, it provides an opportunity for the faithful to do their utmost to get closer to Allah by doing righteous deeds and avoiding evil ones.
Whoever fasts during the daylight hours and stands in prayer at night throughout this month will have his past sins forgiven, as the Prophet May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him said, “Whoever fasts in the month of Ramadan, out of sincere faith and in anticipation of Allah’s rewards [in the hereafter], will have all his past sins forgiven.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree: 1910, Saheeh Muslim: 760)
He also said, “Whoever offers the voluntary night prayers with sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards [in the hereafter] will have all his past sins forgiven.” (SaheehAl-Bukhaaree: 1905; Saheeh Muslim: 759)
Laylat-ul-Qadr (The Night of Decree; also called the Night of Power) occurs in this month. The Qur’an informs us that doing righteous deeds during this night is far better than doing them for many years: “The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.” (Soorat Al-Qadr, 97:3) Who prays on this night out of sincere faith and in anticipation of Allah’s rewards in the hereafter will obtain Allah’s forgiveness of all past sins. This night falls on one of the last ten odd-numbered nights of Ramadan and no one knows its exact time