Every year, Muslims fast during the blessed month of Ramadan. It is the month that Muslims describe as ‘the Great Month of God’, during which people fast by day and worship God by night.
The experience is seen as a very useful lesson and a spiritual exercise by which behaviour may is regulated and self-worth increased.
Imam Hussain officail site conducted an enquiry to know more about this holy month and the impressions that it makes on people. We first questioned the director of the al-Zaynabia Institute in Istanbul, al-Shaykh Hameed Turan, who told us of the many facets of the holy month of Ramadan. One of which is the night-time, which people spend worshiping their Creator. Another consists of religious sermons delivered by scholars that aim to encourage Muslims to follow the right path, the adoration of almighty God, and to teach them how they can coexist in peace with other religions and cultures. He added that the traditions of Ramadan also encourage people to read more about this religion and learn about the ethics of the Prophet and his pure progeny.
‘However,’ he added, ‘we as Muslims ask others who desire to know more about Islam and God the Almighty to fast during Ramadan with us. They will discover a new world. In this month we are God’s guests; when you are someone’s guest they will, of course, present you with a gift, and so in this month God the Almighty will grant us what we ask of Him.’
A chance for communication
Saeed Jawad from Bahrain said, ‘We attain benefits from this holy month through the worship of Almighty God and encourage Muslims to help each other, especially those who are unable to work. Distributing food at the time of iftar (‘dinner time’) is an especially potent example of the unity of Muslims.’
He concluded that ‘Muslims not only fast for a month but also have various other duties to perform. Their chief task is to embody the true face of Islam, such as humanity, brotherhood, and altruism.’
Ramadan programmes in Ghana
From the Republic of Ghana, al-Shaikh Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Tousi told us that Muslims in Africa, and particularly in Ghana, apply the teachings of the Qur’anic verses to spread knowledge about Islam through establishing conferences and giving lectures. ‘We also invite people to iftar in our mosques,’ he claimed, ‘with the result that some people convert to Islam in this holy month as a result of discovering first-hand the truth about Islam.’ Al-Tousi went on to say that the various programmes in Ramadan aim to attract people from all backgrounds and religions, in obedience to the holy Qur’an’s command to call people to Islam.
A month of mercy and living in peace
Shaikh Rabeea al-Qubaisee from Lebanon said that ‘We as Muslims welcome this blessed month as a time to worship Almighty God, for it is a month of mercy, and God does not reject any prayers during these days. We encourage young people to practice fasting and receive its blessing.’
‘People must learn to apply all the Islamic principles which the Prophet of God taught, like social solidarity, the need to create coherence in our societies, and the rejection of violence.’