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The importance of Ramadan and Fasting

Added: (Sat Sep 29 2007)

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The importance of Ramadan and Fasting

The month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a holy month for
muslims all over the world and the coming of this month is greeted with much joy
and anticipation. This joy can be witnessed in a country like
Pakistan , where the sighting of the moon is followed by fireworks, elaborate
displays of lights and decorations covered with flowers. This month is considered
a gift from God in the form of mercy and forgiveness. During this time Muslims feel
they can get in touch with their inner selves, strengthen their faith and in a certain
way, come closer to God. The Lailat-ul.Qadr is considered to be one of the most
important nights in this month and is much awaited. It is considered a gift to Muslims
from the Almighty as they are given a chance to wash their sins and become pure.

The most distinctive feature of this sacred month is the concept of fasting, which
is the third pillar of Islam. Fasting normally begins at the break of dawn and ends
at sunset. During this time, Muslims are supposed to abstain from eating, drinking,
smoking and sex. The entire idea of fasting is definitely not to starve oneself
but to be on a different spiritual plane altogether. When one is not distracted
by physical needs, as during fasting, one finds more time to devote and submit oneself
to Allah. The health benefits of fasting cannot be questioned. It has been proved
that during fasting, the body gets a chance to develop its immune system and rid
itself of the toxins that have accumulated. It has also been related to a longer
life expectancy.

Fasting also allows the Muslims to inculcate in themselves, the spirit of sacrifice
because it is in the name of God, that they willingly abstain from natural desires.
Also, fasting brings to life, the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate.
Not being able to consume food or water for a small period of time makes one realize
the importance of having easy and constant access to meals. In everyday life, one
does not give much thought to what poverty stricken people go through when they
are in doubt about whether or not they will get their next meal. In all its essence,
Ramadan is the best time to give gifts in
the form of Zakat and charity. Zakat is also another essential pillar of Islam and
the concept of Zakat is to basically purify one’s wealth by giving to those who
have not been as blessed.

During the month of Ramadan, religious events called milads often take place. These
are quite popular in Pakistan, and are gatherings where hymns are sung in praise
and remembrance of the prophets. Also, during this sacred month, people visit the
graves of their loved ones, offer prayers for their salvation and then cover the
graves with flowers
as an expression of their love.

The end of Ramadan is celebrated by Eid and it is on this occasion that gifts are
exchanged in spirit of the holy month, especially in Pakistan, where it has become
a part of tradition and society. These gifts might be in the form of flowers, money
or just presents.


Signature: Sheryar Khan is a graduate of Sir Syed University and is the owner of
Pakistan Gifts Store, a
Pakistan Gifts Emporium company.

Submitted by:Sheryar Khan
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