There’s usually excitement that Muslims express with the sighting of the young Ramadan crescent, signaling the beginning of month-long fasting.
Muslims believe the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad in the month of Ramadan and thus fasting is a way to show their devotion to God, and, some say, to understand the suffering of those who have no choice but to go without food.
In this month, the 9th on the Islamic lunar calendar, the faithful say anything is possible, that all they need do is ask.
Ramadan is all about maximising efforts after all! It is a season of intense worship, almsgiving and charity as well as a conscious aversion to any action considered forbidden (Haram) in Islam.
Like many good deeds, if done sincerely and in good faith, the Fast will be a ‘key’ to paradise.
’Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving then times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most-High said, “Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, as he leaves off his desires and his food for Me”.
Fasting during COVID-19 pandemic
Muslims deprive themselves of nourishment including pleasures, from dusk till dawn, as ordained by Allah in the Holy Quran.
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious). Quran 2:183.
Ramadan in 2020 came with a set of new rules, where the traditional way of observing the fasting period; congregational prayers and iftar (breaking fast) and the congregational midnight prayer called Tahajjud; was disrupted due to covid19.
2021 seems more promising with eased lockdown but with many challenges including security and finance.
This period is a time for fervent prayers for divine intervention.
Fasting improves this ability to be conscious of Allah as we walk the thorny paths of this world.
It also increases our capacity to be vigilant over ourselves, account for ourselves and ultimately control ourselves. The end result is that we become better people, less likely to fall into the trap of bad habits, and eager to seek out actions that please Allah!