Essence of Ramazan Al Mubarak

Ramazan--also referred to as Ramadan by some--is a month-long fast that involves intense fasting, devotion and charity by members of the Muslim Ummah. This annual observation is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam.

The Prophet of Islam in brief, shed light on essence of Ramadan:"O Muslims! Fear Allaah and obey Him. I give you glad tidings as the month of Ramadhaan is approaching. This is the month in which the Qur'aan was revealed as guidance for mankind, as well as a clarification and differentiation between truth and falsehood. During this month, the gates of mercy are opened and the gates of hell are sealed. Satan and all other jinn are chained. Rewards for good deeds performed in this month are multiplied, sins forgiven and supplications responded to and answered. It is the month of perseverance, mercy, compassion and charity."

رواه أحمد والنسائي وسنده صحيح

During the course of Ramazan, Muslims have to practice abstinence from food, water and sex from dawn to dusk except those who are suffering from illness, travelling, and are going through menstrual bleeding. Besides that, Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behaviour such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting.

Ramazan coincides with the time when the full version of the Quran (the holy book of Muslims) was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Therefore, it has special relationship with the holy Quraan urging the Muslims to read it more and more.

Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection, improvement and increased devotion and worship. Muslims are expected to put more effort to seek blessing of Allah in this month. It is observed to inculcate a sense of self-control and dedication to God.

Allah, the Exalted said in the Holy Quran:

يا ايها الذين كتب عليكم الصيام كما كتب علي الذين من قبلكم لعلكم تتقون (سورة البقرة)

O those who believe, the fasts have been enjoined upon you as were enjoined upon those before you so that you become God-fearing."

In accordance with the spirit of the Holy Qur'an, the main goal for the enjoinment of fasting is to grow into man a power which helps him control his desires, which is really the foundation of Taqwa that can be achieved by refraining from sinful behaviours, reciting holy Quraan and guarding Laylatul Qadar (During Ramadan there falls a night called Lailat-ul-Qadr (. It is the most blessed night), performing Eitekaf (last ten days seclusion in mosques).

Ramadan also teaches Muslims empathy for those who are less fortunate; thus encouraging actions of generosity and compulsory charity (zakat). While observing fast, one experiences many stages of starvation and thirst. Through this, fasters feel the plight of poor by putting themselves in their shoes. It greatly motivates to spend money on the welfare of people who cannot even afford basic necessities of life. This is why it is called a month of charity. It was reported that the Prophet was the most generous person and was even more generous in Ramadan when he studied the Quran with Gabriel (Jibreel), may Allah exalt his mention, as he was more generous than a wind that delivers (rain).

The Prophet was asked which the best type of charity was, he replied, "The charity of Ramadan (given during Ramadan)." (Tirmidhi) "The Prophet said: "Allah Gives this reward even to those who give a sip of milk to a fasting man." This signifies the virtue of charity in Ramadan with all its types and forms.

Ramadan with being of a month of training for abstaining from sins and crime and opening hand for charity provides occasion to mould a good human being and to reform those addicted to crime and drinking wine. Thus, this month is characterised with qualities which may help in bringing friendly, peaceful atmosphere in the family and world society. These are things which are most necessary in a world which is doomed in the anarchy, terrorism and hate on basis of caste and creed, the world is home to one third of its population striving for food and water.

Eid-Al Fitr

Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر‎‎ "festival of breaking of the fast") is an important festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan. The day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month of Shawwal- the tenth month of the Hijra calendar.

Eid-ul-Fitr literally means 'festival of breaking the fast'. Like other festivals observed by the Muslim community, this festival symbolizes faith. That day, The Muslim Ummah meditates and pays obeisance to their Lord in congregation in mosque or Eidghah, displaying the real spirit of brotherhood, equality and fraternity through the prayers and through the zest of bringing people together in harmony and gratitude.

It is also the day of thanksgiving to Almighty Allah, for giving His servants the opportunity to keep fast in the month of Ramzan. This festival marks the completion of an act of duty and devotion. It teaches us the lesson that real happiness arises from performing one's duty and making sacrifices for a noble objective.

Islam being a religion of nature urges its adherents to make merry on the occasion of happiness and allows expressing sadness on the occasion of mourning. Eid is an occasion of celebration, therefore, Almighty Allah has loved jubilitation and celebration this day. But this is not an occasion to take a vacation neither from Islamic responsibilities and commitments, nor to waste time and money in extravagance. It is not "fun for the sake of fun". Rather, it is controlled and directed rejoicing.

An important aspect of Eid-Al-Fitr lies in the distribution of charity on the day. Through Sadaqat-ul-Fitr or Fitra on such an auspicious and festive occasion, Muslims are specially reminded of their obligations towards the poorer section of society. Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) ensured that nobody was deprived of this basic need in society. But the situation on festivals is usually different. On this day, everybody tries to enjoy special dishes and dressing which normally the poor cannot afford. Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) held this point in view, and he made such an efficient arrangement by ordering the rich believers to pay a fixed amount of money to the poor on that day or before that day. This is known as "Sadaqat-ul-Fitr". Payment of fitrah to the poor and needy is obligatory before Eid prayers.

V. Hadrat 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah prescribed Sadqatul Fitr, so that the fasts (kept throughout the month of Ramadan) may be purified from any falsehood, wrongdoing or evil talk, and (at the same time) it shall assist to feed the poor and the needy. [Sunan Abi Dawood - Book on Zakah, Volume 1, Page 227)

The real happiness of Eid lies in sharing our happiness with others. The Eid is a chance to multiply good deeds by bringing happiness and pleasure to the hearts of other Muslims, by helping and supporting the poor and needy, and by getting involved in pastimes that emphasize the strong and serious Islamic character.

The spirit of Eid is that of peace, forgiveness and Brotherhood. Eid-Al-Fitr is also a festival that fosters brotherhood and interactions, as people visit each other on the days of festivity. Friends, relatives and loved ones are greeted and offered sweets. When people return home they have special meals. Gifts and greetings are exchanged.

During the course of Ramadan, in Iftar and sehri (early morning meal), Muslims prefer delicious and healthy food. In the same way, Eid-Al Fitr brings get-togethers and sharing meal with friends and relatives. On that occasion, Muslims purchase new meals and items. But they sometime forget to enquire if what they bring home is halal or haram. Any meal having contents of haram materials and even a contamination with tools used for processing haram food makes it haram. So carefully examining the contents and brands is utmost duty of Muslim Ummah. However, this question sounds reasonable that it is not possible for every guy to find out difference between halal or haram. To respond to this, halal certificate organisations are available in India and most of the part of the word. We should search logo of halal certificate on the product and if not found, we should ask manufacture for it. This is a perfect way to make awareness about halal products and keep our selves safe from haram consumption. At this Eid Al Fitr, we should be cautious to purchase any unknown foods and drinks before examination.