Muslims recently welcomed the Islamic month of fasting, Ramadan. During this month, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, abstaining from all food and drinks. An early breakfast is usually taken before dawn.
Ramadan, the current month in the Islamic calendar, was decreed a period of fasting in the Holy Qur’an in the following verse: “The month of Ramadan is that in which the Holy Qur’an was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination. Therefore, whosoever of you is present at home in this month let him fast therein. But who is sick or is on a journey, shall fast the same number of other days. Allah desires to give you facility and desires not hardship for you.”
In the verse above, the blessings of the month of Ramadan have been linked to the Holy Qur’an and thus a connection has been established. By connecting Ramadan to the Holy Qur’an the significance of Ramadan (fasting) as a month of spiritual progress has been highlighted.
As mentioned in the verse above, the revelation of the Holy Qur’an started in the month of Ramadan. Hazrat Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her), the wife of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) has related that each year in Ramadan, Jibraeel (commonly known as Gabriel the angel) used to recite with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) however much Holy Qur’an had been revealed until then. In the year of his passing away, the Holy Qur’an was recited twice. Due to this practice, Muslims try to complete one reading of the Holy Qur’an during the month of Ramadan. The Holy Qur’an is comprised of 114 chapters, each divided into verses. The chapters are of unequal length; the shortest chapter (Al-Kawthar) has only four verses while the longest (Al-Baqara) contains 287 verses.
This recitation is not a ritualistic practise without meaning but rather the aim is to gain understanding of the Quranic truths and commandments which one ought to reflect in one’s daily life. The promised Messiah (on whom be peace), the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, stated: ‘The Holy Qur’an should be read carefully and should be reflected on.....A person who reads the Holy Qur’an but does not practice it is cursed by the Holy Qur’an. When reciting the Holy Qur’an one comes to a verse about blessing, blessing should sought from God Almighty and when chastisement of a people is mentioned, refuge should be sought from God Almighty from God Almighty’s chastisement. The Holy Qur’an should be read with due care and attention and it should be practised on.’
•Starting tomorrow, tune in to MAGIC 102.7FM for short weekly recitations of the Holy Qur’an with English translation during the month of Ramadan. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a free copy of the Holy Qur’an with English translation and commentary. Shabnam Jheengoor is a member of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Bermuda.