The calendar can tell us so many details of our lives, those before us and even those to come after us. I was born in the late 20th century, luckily for me as it has allowed me to witness the 21st century. I don’t expect to outlive this century because the Noah days are long gone. Those guys really saw much of earth, living for 3,6-10 centuries is quite something. I’m not complaining, our lifestyles are too sedentary (me laid back in my bed writing this). Not walking for more than 10 minutes without going out of breath. Have I mentioned what we eat? I couldn’t finish if I started.
1438AH(After Hijrah) that is year we Muslims are in. Oh yes, we have our own calendar! Complete with 12 months. It happens now we are in the beginning of Ramadhan, second day actually, while in the common world we are sweeping off May and inviting June. Really intriguing!
Amongst all the other months in the Islamic calendar, Ramadhan is the most sacred and special. During this month there is fasting (mandatory for mature, healthy and sane Muslims) that encompasses a lot of acts of Ibaadah(worship). Fasting starts at dawn after having something to eat(suhoor) and is broken at dusk(iftar).
There are so many misconceptions about this month. Many people think it’s the time we get to display all our cooking skills on various dishes but really it has never been. This was the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and Muslim’s are encouraged to read and understand it thoroughly, cover to cover.
You might have met several people named Rajab, Shaaban and Ramadhan(personally my uncle😝). Guess what? In the Islamic calendar, these three months appear in that order!! Maybe you can come up with reasons as to why children are named after months of the year. I know a common one but I ain’t saying nothing!
On to this month, the sole purpose of fasting is to be able to sympathize with the poor and the needy. You are able to feel pangs of hunger like they do and this way you are more likely to extend a helping hand to ease their suffering. In so doing, you become closer to Allah(God) by swalah(prayers) both compulsory which are the five daily prayers ,sunnah(voluntary) and dua(supplication). The intention matters as it should be pure and not to gain praises from people. Without the intention, all acts done will be a waste of time.
It isn’t just abstaining from foods and drinks that accomplishes one’s fast. A fasting Muslim should avoid getting into fights, unnecessary arguments and engaging in immoral activities. The time of the day during fasting(swaum) should be used in learning more about deen(religion) as well as bettering yourself as an individual.
It is my urge to myself and others (Muslims or not) to come together during this time and aid each other in making the world a better place and continue with the same even after the holy month is over. To my Muslim brothers and sisters I wish you a blessed month ahead and Swaum Maqbul(you can google that!)