fasting & ramadan

“It was in the month of Ramadan that the Quran was revealed as guidance for mankind, clear messages giving guidance and distinguishing between right and wrong. So, any one of you who is present that month should fast, and anyone who is ill or on a journey should make up for the lost days by fasting on other days later. God wants ease for you, not hardship. He wants you to complete the prescribed period and to glorify Him for having guided you, so that you may be thankful.

The Qur'an, chapter 2, verse 184

The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and includes the night in which the holy Qur’an was first revealed to mankind, known as Laylat al-Qadr (the night of decree). The month of Ramadan therefore marks an important moment for mankind and requires special devotion from Muslims.

Sawm is the Arabic term used to describe the act of fasting. Passed the age of puberty, Muslims are required to fast during the month of Ramadan, which entails abstaining from food, drink, sexual relations and displeasing speech and behaviour from sunrise until sunset. Fasting is a virtuous act of worship, which is compulsory (with some exceptions) in Ramadan, and optional at other times.

There are many benefits to fasting, as it also requires us to mindfully make the effort to give up bad habits, such as harsh speech or listening to music for example.  It is a time to become more conscious of our Creator, and to try and become a better person. In Ramadan, our sense of community increases, as people from all backgrounds come to the mosque to share food and break their fast together.

The beginning and end of the month of Ramadan depend on the sighting of the new Moon. The first day after Ramadan is one of the two days of Eid, namely Eid al-Fitr – a day of celebration and gratitude to Allah, which begins with special Eid prayers in the morning that the whole family attends.

Our Masjid provides food for hundreds of people who come to break their fast every day during the month as well as Suhoor (morning meal before fasting) during the last 10 days of Ramadhan. Our attention to worship during this month increases and many Muslims attend special, optional prayers in the evening after the last of the compulsory prayers, known as Tarawih which is highly anticipated.  Our Masjid also offers Tarawih prayers led by Imams who recite the Qur’an very beautifully throughout the month.