Ramadan is approaching, and we want to look at some important things to consider about the month. Ramadan is the month the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad through the Angel Gibreal (the Arabic word for Gabriel). This is the angel that spoke to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
In chapter Baqarah (Chapter 2, called the Cow) verse 185, Ramadan is explained as the month in which the Quran was sent down as a guide to mankind, and also clear signs for guidance and judgment.
The month is spent fasting, reading and praying. Any charity done in this month is rewarded doubly by God. A great deal of attention is placed on fasting, however the reading of the Quran and prayer have significant value and great importance. The purpose of the fasting and the purpose of Ramadan are different. When we fast we are learning how to guard ourselves from our shortcomings. If the fasting is performed correctly, the result is a greater awareness of God in our lives. When fasting we are training our basic needs and strongest urges. The need for food and water, as well as the urge for intimacy are natural and are cultivated to avoid extremes when satisfying these natural needs and urges.
When we are able to train our needs and urges to follow the law of the Creator, then we will increase our ability to perform other acts of obedience that God asks of us.
The Quran opens itself to the reader. The first chapter (Al Fatihah) is called the opening. The reader is able to speak to the Creator directly and ask for his special help, aid and support. A request for guidance is asked for in this chapter and the guidance in granted in the second chapter. Interestingly, Ramadan is mentioned in the second chapter, so there is a correlation with Ramadan and humanity’s request and need for guidance.
Reading the Quran while fasting is a powerful way of self-discovery. In this month we are also celebrating the legacy of our father, Abraham. He prayed that the people would receive a messenger of their own to show them the signs that were lost to their understanding and to teach them the meaning of the words of God and how to apply them in their lives.
One of the benefits of reading the Quran daily is that one gets familiar with the language and rhythm of the message. Once readers get into the flow of the message of the Quran they are able, by the mercy of God, to take the ideas that appear abstract initially and find practical application in their individual, family and community life. As readers renew themselves, the book also renews itself to readers. Each year, by the mercy of God, readers experience a new revelation and a renewing of the mind, body and soul.
May God bless all of those who read the Quran during this special month of Ramadan to receive personal guidance and counsel that will make their lives more meaningful and fulfilling. Until next time…
Peace be with you and Ramadan Mubarak (Blessed Ramadan)!