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What is Ramadan & Fasting for Kiwi Muslims?

What is Ramadan & Fasting for Kiwi Muslims?

“Result should be aimed at bringing spiritual and physical goodness to the individual and society”

ALL Muslims, regardless of ethnicity or religious beliefs, know well the importance of the month of Ramadan.

You may have observations come to mind in relation to Ramadan –People will be inviting you in your homes and mosques and another one that they will be difficult to get hold of as their routine is completely changed get up early morning for food and sleep late, more prayers and giving charities to the poor’s.

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic (lunar) calendar.

The month is significant to Muslims because it was during Ramadan that the Quran was descended upon and revealed to Prophet Muhamm¬ad.

Ramadan is also when Muslims are obliged to fast.

Thus, Ramadan connotes overcoming the hardship of daily abstinence from consuming food and water as well as sexual intimacy from dawn till dusk throughout the sacred month.

Fasting is prescribed for every mature, adult Muslim who is physically fit, sane and capable. The elderly, children and those with health issues are exempted.

Verse 183 of the Quran enjoins Muslims: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.” The verse thus establishes the obligation to fast so as to attain God-conscious¬ness and taqwa (fear of Lord).

The month readily offers them invaluable lessons in faith, spirituality, awareness, unity, dignity, charity, justice and social engagement, and these will yield a positive impact in the long run.

These values are manifested in many good deeds such as gathering at mosques to perform a special Tarawih congregational prayer every night only during Ramadan.

Muslims do some additional prayers after night prayers (isha) for either 8 rakat (cycles)or 20 only in the month of Ramadan.

Taraweeh prayer brings people from all walks of life together in the neighborhood to mosques and strengthens the relationship.

Ramadan is the month of giving to others and especially to the people with less fortunate. Muslims should also consider the virtue of welcoming their non-Muslim friends for the breaking of fast. This again forges good relationships in our multi-ethnic society. Nothing can go wrong when people are served good food to be enjoyed together.

Tahir Nawaz is Muslim Affairs Analyst and also President of International Muslim Association of New Zealand. The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.


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