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Muslims start Ramadan fast today
Devout Muslims in T&T will today join their brothers and sisters in Islam and start the annual ritual of fasting for the month of Ramadan. The act is a pillar of Islam. It is one of the religious exercises which were given to all human beings through the divinely appointed messengers throughout history.
Prophet Muhammad perfected Islam, through divine guidance. As a complete code of life, fasting in the month of Ramadan was made obligatory and a pillar of the faith. Except for those entitled to some concessions, every believer is supposed to keep the fast, as the benefits and blessings can only be acquired through the observances of the etiquettes associated with it.
Allah made fast a special institution for believers, and because it entails giving up material pleasures and desires during the daytime in this holy month, Allah allocated extra rewards and benefits for any believer who sincerely tries to observe the etiquettes connected with it.
Ramadan is special for many reasons. Some of these are:
1. The sacred scriptures were revealed during this month. Some of them are:
(i) The scriptures of Prophet Abraham were revealed to him during the first or third of the month.
(ii) The Old Testament was granted to Moses on the sixth of this month.
(iii) The Psalms of David was sent to him on the 12th of this month.
(iv) The gospel was given to Jesus on the 12th of this month.
(v) The Glorious Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad on the night of Lailatul Qadr in this month.
2. The blessings of good deeds are bestowed without measure or computations, as are done during the other months of the year.
3. The gates of Paradise are opened during this month. The Prophet is reported to have said: “When the month of Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of hell are closed; and a proclaimer proclaims, ‘O seeker of good, advance; O seeker of evil come back.’”
4. The gates of hell are closed.
5. The devil is chained.
6. All sins can be wiped out with fasting. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said: “Whoever fasted in the month of Ramadan out of belief in it, and sincerely seeking the reward from Allah, all his past wrongdoings will be forgiven.”
Also, whoever prays in the night throughout Ramadan, all his past sins are forgiven.
7. In the month of Ramadan, there is the special night of Lailatul Qadr which is better than one thousand months. In addition to the blessings received for spending the night glorifying the Lord, the worshipper can also feel the presence of the angels when they should visit before the break of dawn.
8. In the blessed month of Ramadan, the social environment is changed, as there are a lot of Iftar parties and in some places Muslims assemble in the mosques on a daily basis to break the fast and take dinner together.
9. Ramadan is the only month in which Muslims from all over the world share common experiences, like the feeling of hunger and thirst and relief on breaking the fast on evenings.
In addition, it helps one to establish patience by restraining himself. For such people Allah says: “Those who show patience will be given rewards without measure.” (39:10) Every Muslim should look at Ramadan as a divine gift from Allah, and should try to benefit from it as much as possible.
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