For Muslims, a month of fasting, character building begins


Mir Zohair Husain is an associate professor at the University of South Alabama

Ramadan — pronounced “ramazaan” — is the ninth month of Islamic calendar. Muslims believe that it was during the blessed month of Ramadan that God began sending down his revelations to the Prophet Muhammad through Archangel Gabriel.

“Ramadan” is derived from the Arabic root word ar-ramad, which literally means “to burn” (due to scorching heat).

Ideally, fasting — sawm in Arabic — from dawn to dusk during Ramadan should metaphorically “burn away one’s sins” and motivate the believer to develop God-conscious piety, virtuous conduct, and self-discipline.

The Quran clearly states, “The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance to men and clear proofs of the guidance and the distinction” (Chapter 2: Verse 185).

The Quran also states “O you who believe! Fasting is expected of you, as it was of those before you, so that you may develop taqwa — the fear and love of God” (Chapter 11: Verse 183).

One of the many reasons Islam is an enlightened and compassionate religion is because it exempts the following groups from fasting during the month of Ramadan: children, adults who are sick, pregnant women, suckling women, menstruating women, the mentally retarded and those who are traveling. These groups, except… continue reading @

Categories: Americas, Islam, United States

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