By Dr. Rafiullah Sahibzada
Special to the Tribune/Advisor
Ramadan started on Monday, May 6, 2019, based on the moon sighting. Many curious people in the community may want to know about it. I am sure many of you have done the same. I thought about people asking me at work and decided; why not write a short and sweet article?
In the Middle East it is pronounced as Ramadan and in the Indo-Pak subcontinent and some other countries people say Ramzan. Before I talk about Ramadan, let me explain for whom the Ramadan is obligatory. Ramadan is for Muslims who follow Islam. Islam means total submission to our Creator, God almighty. There is a misconception that the founder of Islam was Muhammad peace be upon him. In fact the founder of Islam is God almighty himself and it is not a new religion. Islam has been present from time immemorial but with the creation of the first human being i.e., Prophet Adam peace be upon him, Islam was given to humans. After Prophet Adam peace be upon him, approximately 124,000 Prophets came to guide the humanity including Nova, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and the last Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon them all.
Ramadan is a month of fasting in which Muslims around the globe do not eat or drink anything from dawn to sunset. They eat food and drink fluids daily before dawn and after sunset. In the modern world it is called “detox.” It is obligatory for each adult Muslim except those who are suffering from an illness, travelling, elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding, diabetic or going through menstrual periods. God almighty says in his last message to humanity; “the month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, substitute number of other days. God (Allah) desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the month, and that you should glorify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.” And in another verse God says, “fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed to those before you, so that you may learn self-restraint.”
People ask, what are the benefits and why do Muslims fast in Ramadan. If we look around, now-a-days people do detox which is a kind of fasting to get rid of toxins that build up in our bodies. Fasting in Ramadan is for the obedience to God almighty, Who has prescribed it and knows what is best for His creation. The real purpose of fasting is not to make us hungry and thirsty, or to deprive us of our comfort and conveniences but to be conscious of God (Allah) and be obedient to him. Some scholars say, fasting creates a sense of humanity besides spirituality and encourages us to do more charity. We realize to think about other humans who cannot afford food and clean water.
At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate a three-day festivity called Eid, during which they visit family and friends, give gifts to children and charity to the poor and needy.
Dr. Rafiullah Sahibzada lives in Williams Lake and works with the Ministry of Environment as a senior environmental protection officer. He moved to the lakecity in January of this year and is taking part in Ramadan along with a handful of others in Williams Lake.