Ramadan reminds Muslims on the need to return to Allah by following His teachings to achieve peace in this world and the hereafter.
Ramadan is a month for fasting from dawn to sunset and night time prayers and reading of the Holy Quran to spiritually energise the faithful to lead a new life.
It is a month of reflection, devotion, generosity, charity, forgiveness and tolerance. It is a month-long refresher training programme for Muslims to change, and tests one’s patience, obedience and holiness.
It is a blessed month for friends and family togetherness, forgiveness and friendliness.
The first Tarawikh night prayers starts on the eve of the first day of Ramadan, and the mosques will be filled to the brim with men, women and children rushing to get a place in the communal prayers.
Ramadan is a month-long refresher training programme for Muslims to change,
and tests one’s patience, obedience and holiness.
There will be berbuka puasa, at sunset, where families, relatives and friends sit together around a table in homes, mosques or hotels to enjoy the Ramadan spread.
Bubur lambuk, a special porridge, is the premier dish for Ramadan. There will be sahur, where food and drinks are taken before sunrise or before subuh (morning prayers).
The fast starts before dawn and one is not allowed to eat or drink till sunset. Prophet Muhammad made Muslims adhere to this discipline and strictness, which teaches Muslims to learn to control their lust, anger, temper and hunger.
These are essential for them to make progress in good behaviour and morality, so that they will not be extravagant, boastful, arrogant and egotistic.
Muslims seek to observe Lailatul Qadr, which may fall on any night during the last 10 nights of Ramadan.
This is a night better than 1,000 nights, when the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad and when the angels descend to earth to register people’s deeds.
Muslim men, women, and children, young and old will flock to mosques for itikaf (seclusion/retreat) and do special night prayers till dawn to seek Allah’s blessings and forgiveness.
After 30 days of fasting from dawn to dusk, Muslims will celebrate Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa to conclude Ramadan.
It signifies a victory for good over evil, where Muslims are reborn to face the challenges of the world and the hereafter with confidence.
Muslims celebrate the first day of Hari Raya by going to mosques for the solat sunat Aidilfitri (special Hari Raya prayers), which begins about at 8.30am and, soon after, return home where the whole family gather around a table to enjoy the Hari Raya spread of lemang, ketupat, rendang and other dishes including kuih Raya.
Children will enjoy themselves the most when they receive duit raya. After that, the house will be opened to relatives and friends. This could go on for a month during Syawal.
Contrary to popular belief, Ramadan is not the month for feasting, shopping and festivities, as portrayed by hotels and shopping complexes. Unfortunately, these days,
Ramadan has become so commercialised with advertisements for Ramadan buffet spreads from Ramadan bazaars to five-star hotels.
Shopping complexes display furniture, furnishing, clothing, shoes, handbags and even cars. It is a wrong belief that, with the exception of having a new set of clothing for Hari Raya, everything else must be new.
This culture is unacceptable in Islam, which forbids extravagant and unnecessary waste, and insists on moderation in everything a Muslim does. To all Muslim brothers and sisters Selamat Berpuasa — Ramadan Kareem.