Wesley Chapel High School Pawprints Student Newspaper

Wesley Chapel High School - Newspaper Pawprints

Wesley Chapel High School Pawprints Student Newspaper

Wesley Chapel High School - Newspaper Pawprints

Wesley Chapel High School Pawprints Student Newspaper

Wesley Chapel High School - Newspaper Pawprints

Ramadan : A month of mercy and blessings

30 days of discipline and spiritual cleansing

Ramadan, what is it? You may have often heard it during the summer and spring times and associate it with Muslims and Islam. However many people do not truly know much about it. “No food for 30 days straight? Not even water? How do you survive 30 days of no food or water?” These are questions asked a lot, out of genuine curiosity but they show how misunderstood this Holy month is. The answer to what this month is about, is in the Holy Book itself!

“Indeed, We sent it down on a blessed night, for We always warn ˹against evil˺.” Surah Ad-Dunkhan, verse 3. What is the blessed night mentioned? This is the exact day the revelation of the Quran began! This is the 27th of the month Ramadan in the Islamic calendar, as Muslims have their own calendar. This day in particular is extremely important, it is called Lailatul Qadr or the Night of Decree. It can also be called the Night of Power or the Night of Glory.
“Indeed, ˹it is˺ We ˹Who˺ sent this ˹Quran˺ down on the Night of Glory.” Surah Al-Qadr, verse 1. This covers where Ramadan comes from, but there is more to it than just that! The fasting is mentioned elsewhere in the Quran. There are instructions as well for those who cannot fast. So clearly this is an important day for Muslims, but what about the fasting? The fasting is also mentioned.

“˹Fast a˺ prescribed number of days.” Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 184. This verse mentions fasting. However, it is important for someone to note this is for the healthy, able-bodied Muslim. Someone too old, children, diabetics, travelers, etc who cannot fast safely do not need to. There are substitutes these people (besides children) can do, said substitutes are also mentioned in the Quran, the popular one being charity. For a traveler, they fast the days another time. This fasting in itself is a form of worship. It is done for the sake of Allah as it is obligatory and a pillar of Islam. This month is very exciting for Muslims, it’s a chance to become closer to Allah, become more spiritual, and improve oneself.

So that is where Ramadan comes from, and why it is fasted. There is more than just that though! Fasting serves as a way to let us feel equal; the poor brothers in Islam and richer brothers in Islam both abstaining from food and drink. It is also a means to purify your soul, Muslims during this Holy month seek to strengthen their connection to the Lord and become better Muslims afterwards. Fasting begins at the morning prayer and ends at the sunset prayer, so from sunrise to sunset. Muslims do not starve for thirty days straight, rather they fast for a prescribed time each day. It can vary by region, but generally a Muslim will fast from around 12 to up to 18 hours.
Islam has five pillars : testimony of faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage to Hajj. The third one being fasting, refers to fasting in Ramadan which is obligatory for Muslims who can. There is something to look forward to at the end of fasting for a month.

Eid al-Fitr is one of the two official holidays within Islam, Eid al-Fitr specifically is right at the end of Ramadan. There is no fasting this day, it is actually forbidden to fast this day. This holiday originated to celebrate the breaking of the fast and express gratitude for the blessings received during the month of Ramadan. This holiday is special and very eventful. Women like to put on extravagant abayas and men like to put on their best thobes or other cultural outfits. Muslims will usually gather with family and prepare a giant feast. Elders hand out money to children which children look forward to. It’s a very amazing day, as millions of Muslims across the globe of different backgrounds celebrate differently with their own food and family, but are united under one belief.

Overall, Ramadan is a holy and sacred month for the Muslims to do their best to purify themselves spiritually and become better afterwards. It’s a month to look forward to for personal and social reasons. One can look forward to blessings and also spending time with family and friends doing things to get themselves closer to Allah. Maybe it doesn’t have extravagant lights, dancing, or music like other holidays; but for Muslims this month is better than all of those things and more!

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Naila Elassaly, Editor
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