Significance of Ramadan and Fasting



Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Associate Editor, Barta24.com, Dhaka
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Ramadan is an Arabic word, the root of which is ‘Ramiya’ or ‘R-Ramam’, which means ‘temperature’ or ‘dryness’. During this month, it is obligatory on every adult Muslim man and woman to observe Saum. ‘Saum’ is an Arabic word, which is called ‘Roza’ in Persian. In Bangladesh, Pakistan and India in the South Asian subcontinent, both the words 'saum' and 'roza' are used. For example, both the words ‘salat’ (Arabic) and ‘namaz’ (Persian) are commonly used in this region. Persian was the main and official language of the subcontinent during the centuries of Muslim rule. As a result, many important-necessary-practical words and topics used in daily life are spoken orally in Arabic as well as in Persian.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, the month in which Muslims around the world observe Ramadan. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is the third of the five obligatory or obligatory acts of Islam. The place of fasting after faith and prayers to Allah (SWT). Then, of course, the other two obligatory duties are Hajj and Zakat.

The month of Ramadan is 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the moon. The month of Ramadan is at the center of interest and attention of every Muslim. In other words, in Islamic way of life and culture, every Muslim man and woman is eagerly waiting for the month of Ramadan or Roza. He even waited and prepared for Ramadan from the seventh month of Rajab and the eighth month of Sha'ban. The Prophet (PBUH) himself used to recite this prayer more and more in the months of Rajab and Shaban and that is: ‘Allahumma barik lana fi Rajab wa Shabaan, wa ballig na Ramadaan’. Which means: ‘O Allah, bless us with the month of Rajab and the month of Sha’ban; Ramadan is our destiny '(Musnad Ahmad: 259).

In preparation for Ramadan, the Prophet (PBUH) used to observe 10 naafil fasts in the month of Rajab and 20 naafil fasts in the month of Sha'ban. The Prophet (PBUH) used to perform the most supererogatory prayers, fasts, and acts of worship in the month of Shaban, the month before Ramadan, except for the full month of Ramadan. He said, "You keep account of the moon of Shaban for Ramadan."

According to Islam, Rajab is the month of Allah Ta'ala, Shaban is the month of the Prophet and Ramadan is the month of the Ummah. This means cultivating the land of the mind through Ibadat in the month of Rajab, sowing seeds in the land of the mind through more Ibadat in the month of Shaban and arranging to reap the harvest of success in the month of Ramadan through maximum Ibadat-worship.

As a result, before the arrival of the very important month of Ramadan, from the months of Rajab and Shaban, the message of the arrival of this great month of Ramadan began to be announced and every Muslim man and woman kept on praying and preparing to Allah Subhanahu Ta'ala for Ramadan.

The main purpose of preparing for Ramadan and the significance of fasting is: to achieve one's spiritual and physical purification, to attain piety or taqwa, and to make every effort to attain the mercy, blessings, salvation and forgiveness declared in Ramadan. Therefore, just as we have to wait and prepare for the most blessed and auspicious month of Ramadan every year, so it is the duty of every Muslim man and woman to be diligent and attentive in using the days and nights of Ramadan, that is, every second, minute, hour, accurately and effectively.