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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?

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)

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).

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

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.

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”.

The Month of Muharram

With the sighting of the new moon the Islamic new year is ushered in. The first month Muharram, is a month of great reward and virtue. Muharram itself means `sacred' and is from those months which have been mentioned as sacred in the Holy Quraan.

Almighty Allah states in the Holy Quraan:
"Four of them ( Zil-Qadah, Zil-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab) are sacred."
(Surah At-Tawbah:36)
From out of the four sacred months, Muharram has been blessed with certain specific virtues:-
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) said:
"The best of fasts besides the month of Ramadhan is the fasting of Allah's month of Muharram."

In another Hadeeth, Hazrat Ibn Abbas (radi-anhu) reports: "that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu-Alayhi-Wasallam) said:" The one that keeps a fast in the month of Muharram will receive the reward of thirty fasts for each fast (in this sacred month). "

Fasting the 9th & 10th of Muharram: Virtues & Rules

First of all, it is very important to make it clear that fasting on the day of `Ashura’ – the 10th of Muharram- is of great merits in Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Fasting the day of `Ashura' (is of great merits), I hope that Allah will accept it as an expiation for (the sins committed in) the previous year” (Muslim).

Also, fasting the 9th of Muharram is highly recommended by the Sunnah. Imam At-Tirmidhi reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) used to say: We should fast on two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram to distinguish ourselves from the Jewish community. (At-Tirmidhi)

Explaining the virtue of fasting on the 9th and the 10th of Muharram, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states:

Fasting the Day of ‘Ashura’

‘Ashura’ commemorates the day that Allah saved the Children of Israel from Pharaoh.
Fasting on Muharram 10, known as the Day of ‘Ashura’, expiates for the sins of the past year. When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) arrived in Madinah in 622 CE, he found that the Jews there fasted on Muharram 10 and asked them the reason for their fasting on this day. They said,” This is a blessed day. On this day Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy (in Egypt) and so Prophet Musa [Moses] fasted on this day giving thanks to Allah.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“We are closer to Musa than you are.”

Virtues of Muharram and Fasting on 'Ashura', The SALIH AL-MUNAJJID

Abu Bakarah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "The year is twelve months of which four are sacred, the three consecutive months of Dhul-Qa'dah, Dhul-Hijjah and Muharram, and Rajab Mudar which comes between Jumadah and Sha'ban."
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets and Chief of the Messengers, and upon all his family and companions.

Allah's sacred month of Muharram is a blessed and important month. It is the first month of theHijri calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
"Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so it was ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them, four are sacred. That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein … "Al-Qur'an 9:36

The Islamic Calendar

The Islamic Calendar has 12 months but, unlike Western calendars, has only 354 days. This is because the Islamic Calendar (or Hijri Calendar) follows the movements of Earth's Moon.

Like much of Islam, the calendar is based on the Quran and on personal reflection of the relationship between Muslims and Allah. Each month of the Islamic Calendar officially begins when the lunar crescent is first seen after a new moon. This is not always an exact time, especially if the skies are cloudy or overcast. In a sense, the start of each month can be different for everyone. Many people, however, prefer to rely on an official announcement by Muslim authorities as to when each month begins.

The importance of the lunar cresent is also partly the explanation for why many countries with predominantly Muslim populations have a crescent shape on their flags.
The 12 months of the Islamic Calendar, in order are these:
1. sacred
2. travel
3. Rabi' al-awwal
4. Rabi' al-thani

The Kabba. Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

According to Islamic tradition, the cube-shaped Kabba dates back to the time of Abraham. It is the most sacred Muslim site, and the location towards which all Muslims face during prayer.

The Islamic calendar (or Hijri calendar) is a purely lunar calendar. It contains 12 months that are based on the motion of the moon, and because 12 synodic months is only 12 x 29.53=354.36 days, the Islamic calendar is consistently shorter than a tropical year, and therefore it shifts with respect to the Christian calendar.
The calendar is based on the Qur'an (Sura IX, 36-37) and its proper observance is a sacred duty for Muslims.

The Islamic calendar is the official calendar in countries around the Gulf, especially Saudi Arabia. But other Muslim countries use the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes and only turn to the Islamic calendar for religious purposes.

• What does an Islamic year look like?
• So you can’t print an Islamic calendar in advance?
• How does one count years?

The Twelve Months of the Islamic Lunar Calendar


The Islamic lunar calendar (also referred to as Hijri calendar) is a purely lunar calendar. It contains 12 months that are based on the phases of the moon. Each lunar month is approximately 29.53 solar days. Therefore, the Islamic calendar is shorter than the Gregorian calendar. 12 lunar months is about 12 x 29.53=354.36 days (10 to 11 days shorter than the solar calendar). This why you may have noticed that the month of Ramadan and the time of Hajj gets earlier each year.

Names of Months
The 12 months of the calendar are:
1. Sacred
2. travel
3. Rabi' al-awwal (Rabi' I)
4. Rabi' al-thani (Rabi' II)
5. Jumada al-awwal (Jumada I)
6. Jumada al-thani (Jumada II)
7. Rajab
8. Sha'ban
9. Ramadan
10. Shawwal
11. Dhu al-Qi'dah
12. Dhu al-Hijjah

These months have been in existence since before the time of the Quran.



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:-


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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