The Angel Gabriel and Prophet Muhammad continued their miraculous ascension through the heavens. This journey was far beyond the wildest imagining of any human being. It began in the deserts of Arabia and spanned the reaches of the known universe and beyond. At the gate of the seventh heaven, they exchanged the same questions and answers as in the previous heavens, and the angels declared their pleasure at meeting Prophet Muhammad. Permission to enter was given and the Prophet of God, accompanied by Gabriel, the angel trusted with the revelations of God, moved into the final heaven.

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But where does the message of Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, fit in with the previous messages revealed by God? A brief history of the prophets might clear this point.

The first human, Adam, followed Islam, in that he directed worship to God alone and none else and abided by His commandments. But through the passage of time and the dispersal of humanity throughout the earth, people strayed from this message and began directing worship to others instead of or along with God. Some took to worshipping the pious who passed away amongst them, while others took to worshipping spirits and forces of nature. It was then that God started to send messengers to humanity steering them back to the worship of God Alone, which accorded to their true nature, and warning them of the grave consequences of directing any type of worship to others besides Him.

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Ramadan and its significance

1. “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil.” (The Holy Quran, 2:183)
2. Allah says: “And when My servants ask you (O Prophet) about Me, surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me, so they should hear My call and believe in Me that they may walk in the right way.” (ibid., 2:186)
3. “And swallow not up your property among yourselves by false means, nor seek to gain access thereby to the authorities so that you may swallow up other people’s property wrongfully while you know.” (ibid., 2:188)
4. “He who does not give up uttering falsehood and acting according to it, God has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” (The Holy Prophet Muhammad)

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10 Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan

The reasons for fasting in Ramadan are innumerable, however in this article, I present 10 powerful reasons for fasting in Ramadan.
By consciously aligning your intention with these 10 reasons for fasting in Ramadan, you position yourself to get the most out of this divine spiritual practice, and so to truly progress in your personal growth and spiritual evolution.

What are the Reasons for Fasting in Ramadan?

At present, nearly two billion human beings on planet earth are counted among the Islamic faith, and fasting in Ramadan is a unique annual event shared by a large percentage of Muslims in what is undoubtedly one of the most profound global spiritual experiences in the world.
Why do Muslims observe fasting in Ramadan, and what are some of the benefits of fasting in Ramadan?

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Is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar.
Meaning of Ramadaan:- Ramadaan is deprived from the Arabic word "RAMADHA", literally this means: "Intense Heat". The possible number of reasons defining the acquisitionof the name "RAMADAAN" are as established below:
1)When the Islamic months were enforced the month of fasting coincided with the summer months of intense heat.

2)The second reason which has been mentioned is that due to fasting the temperature within the stomach increases, again the element of heat is a factor behind the actual naming of RAMADHAAN.

3)It has also been said that "RAMADHAA" is one of the names of Allah Ta'aalaa. If that is the case then the month has acuired the name due to the fact that Allah Ta'aalaa burns away accumulated sins and eliminates then from the list of unlawful deeds. Once again the burning sins connotates "HEAT". However. it should be acknowledged that this reasoning is not wholly reliable.

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What is Ramadan and why is it important in the Muslim faith?

Ramadan is the name of the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. It is an important month in the Islamic calendar and culture. Each day during the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world observe the sacred month by fasting during day light hours (from dawn to sunset), performing nightly prayers in addition to the daily obligatory prayers, and concluding each day’s fast over food with family and friends. At the end of the month is a three-day holiday that celebrates the conclusion of the month with Eid al-Fitr and prepares individuals to return to their regular daily routine.

 Fasting is one of the pillars of Islam. “The month of Ramadan, during which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance and the criterion; and whoever of you is resident, let him fast the month” (al-Qur’an, 2:185).

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Our Innate Nature (fitrah)

This whole idea of basic beliefs, of self-evident truths concerning God’s existence, is in line with the Islamic theological tradition concerning the fitrah. The fitrah is an Arabic word that essentially means the natural state, the innate nature, or the innate disposition of the human being. This innate nature acknowledges God and wants to worship Him.[1] As the Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, said in an authentic prophetic tradition, "every child is born in a state of fitrah. His parents then make him a Jew, a Christian or a Magian…".[2]

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There are five simple but essential observances that all practicing Muslims accept and follow. These “Pillars of Islam” represent the core that unites all Muslims.

1) The ‘Declaration of Faith’
A Muslim is one who testifies that “none deserves worship but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” This declaration is known as the “shahada” (witness, testimony). Allah is the Arabic name for God, just as Yahweh is the Hebrew name for God. By making this simple proclamation one becomes a Muslim. The proclamation affirms Islam’s absolute belief in the oneness of God, His exclusive right to be worshipped, as well as the doctrine that associating anything else with God is the one unforgivable sin as we read in the Koran:
“God does not forgive anyone for associating something with Him, while He does forgive whomever He wishes to for anything else. Anyone who gives God partners has invented an awful sin.” (Quran 4:48)

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Significance of the Months of Muharram & Safar in Islam

The months of Muharram and Safar offer the yearly opportunity to commemorate the martyrdom of al Husayn ibn `Ali (A), the grandson of the Prophet (S) and the third Imam of the Shiite Muslims, at Karbala' on the tenth of Muharram in the year 61. The tragedy and heroism of the event, the resistance and self sacrifice of the martyrs, are remembered during these days by the Shi`ah and the Ahl al Sunnah alike, and by the Shi`ah with a special ardour, fervour and enthusiasm.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the ardour and enthusiasm inspired by the martyrs of Karbala' is something unsurpassed in the history of religions. No individual or group in the history of the world has attracted such sustained admiration and love in the hearts of their followers as the martyrs of Karbala' and in particular the figure of al Husayn ibn `Ali (A), an admiration which has not dwindled in the course of more than thirteen and a half centuries that have elapsed since that event.

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Importance of Ramadan – What Makes Ramadan

Ramadan is the most precious month in the Islamic calendar (Hijri) and it is obligatory for the Muslims to fast in the month of Ramadan. Here are some interesting and quick points that shows the importance of Ramadan in Islam.

 Allah has made fasting this month the fourth Pillar of Islam
 Allah revealed the Quran in this month
 Allah has made Laylat al-Qadr (The Night of Decree/Power) in this month, which is better than a thousand months
 Allah has made fasting Ramadan and spending its nights in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward a means of forgiveness of sins
 In this month, Allah opens the gates of Paradise and closes the gates of Hell, and chains up the devils
 Every night Allah has people whom He redeems from the Fire
 Fasting Ramadan is a means of expiation for the sins committed since the previous Ramadan, so long as one avoids major sins
 Fasting in Ramadan is equivalent to fasting ten months

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Prophet Muhammad travelled on the back of Al-Buraq all the way to the farthest Mosque in Jerusalem. He ascended through the seven heavens and marvelled at wonders unimaginable. He looked into the faces and exchanged greetings with many of his fellow Prophets, and the final slave and Messenger of God, Muhammad, stood in the presence of God Himself. On the same night, only several hours after he had commenced his journey, Prophet Muhammad returned to Mecca.

This miraculous journey was about to become a weapon against Prophet Muhammad and his followers by his enemies, and equally it would be an extreme test of faith for the believers. Upon his homecoming, Prophet Muhammad made his way to Umm Ayman and told her of his miraculous journey. She responded, “O Messenger of God, do not tell anyone about this.” Umm Ayman had perfect faith in Prophet Muhammad and believed his account of the journey, but she was afraid of how others would respond.

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This world has one God. He is its Creator and Master. The greatest proof of God’s existence is the existence of the world itself. Spread around us in all its vastness and complexity it bears witness to the existence of a great God who, in His infinite power, controls it. If we have no choice but to believe in the world, we have no choice but to believe in God as well, for the world would be meaningless if we did not accept the existence of a Maker and Master along with it. Look at how exquisitely the world has been fashioned. How can it be that it has no Maker? Look at the perfect order which it maintains. Could it really be that no one is controlling it? The answer, of course, is that it could not. The truth is that, just as man is bound to believe in the world around him, so also is he bound to believe in God.

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Is the tenth month of the Islamic Calendar.
Meaning of the word Shawwaal:- Uplift/breakage. Before Islam, Arabs believed that any marriage held in Shawwaal would always turn out to be unsuccessful. Hence, the month deprived the above metioned meanings, however the superstitious belief was later abolished.

The month Shawwaal:- From the months of Hajj, Shawwaal is the first of them. The first day of Shawwaal is Eid-Ul-Fitr and also the day when sins are forgiven.
Six fasts of Shawwaal:- In the month of Shawwaal it is Sunnah to keep six fasts, as narrated in the following Hadeeth by Abu Ayyub Ansaru (R.A) that the Holy Prophet has said, "If one throughout his life keeps the fasts of Ramadhaan and keeps six consecutive fasts in Shawwaal it will be as though he has kept a whole life time of fasts, and if one keeps the six consecutive fasts for one Shawwaal month it will be as though he has observed fast all year round."

Events which took place in Shawwaal:-

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Muhammad’s Biographies: Persecution In Mecca

First Converts

For the first few years of his Mission, the Prophet preached to his family and his intimate friends. The first women to convert was his wife Khadija, the first child his first cousin Ali, whom he had taken under his care, and the first bondsman was his servant Zayd, a former slave. His old friend Abu Bakr was the first adult free male to convert. Many years later the Prophet said of him: ‘I have never called anyone to Islam who was not at first hesitant, with the exception of Abu Bakr.’

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What is the Importance of Muharram?

The leader of the months is Muharram

Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) states that:
“The leader of the people is Prophet Adam, of the Arabs is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), of the Roum is Suhayb (ra), of the Persian is Salman (ra), the leader of the trees is Sidra, of the months is Muharram, of the days is Friday, of the words is Quran, the leader of the Quran is Surah al Baqara and its leader is Ayat-al Kursi.” (Imam Suyuti)

Muharram is the first of the lunar months
In the first years of Islam, the infidels and polytheists used to torture Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and His distinguished companions to hinder Islam, Islamic life and the spread of Islam. Their tyranny arose to such an extent that the Muslims were exposed to starving through brutal embargos. So, upon Allah’s order, Muslims emigrated from Makka to Madina to continue their Islamic life and mission. This is called “Hijra”.

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