What is Ramadan ?

What is Ramadan
 

Kinds of Fasting

Fasting is divided into two kinds: Fard, the obligatory fast, and
Tatau’u, any non-obligatory fast. The obligatory fast is catego-
rized as three kinds:

(1) fasting the month of Ramadan

(2) fasting to expiate for religious offenses

(3) fasting to fulfill a vow

Of the three, fasting the month of Ramadan is the most impor-
tant; so we will devote most of the discussion to it in our book.

Fasting the Month of Ramadan – Sawm Ramadan

When we speak of Ramadan, we speak of an annual spiritual
event so serious that it impressively engulfs the entire Muslim
Ummah in a religious season surpassing any annual event in
the world.

Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, Al-Hijrah.
This calendar is based on the lunar system. There are twelve
months in the lunar year. They are:

1 . Al Muharram

2. Safar

3. Rabee’ul Awwal

4. Rabee’ul Athathanee

5. Jumadah Awwal

6. Jumadth Thanee

7. Rajab

8. Sha’aban

9. Ramadan

10. Shawwal

11. Dhul-Qidah

12. Dhul-Hijah

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is derived from the Arabic root word ramida or ar-
ramad denoting intense scorching heat and dryness, especially
the ground. From the same root there is ramdaa, sunbaked
sand, and the famous proverb: “Kal Mustajeer minar
Ramadaa binnar” – to jump out of the frying pan into the fire.
And in a hadith the Messenger of Allah (saas) said:

“The prayer of repenters is due when the young camel
can feel the sun’s heat early in the morning.” (Muslim)

Thus, the word Ramadan is so called to indicate the heating
sensation in the stomach as a result of thirst). Others said it is
so called because Ramadan scorches out the sins with good
deeds, as the sun burns the ground. Some said it is so called
because the hearts and souls are more readily receptive to the
admonition and remembrance of Allah during Ramadan, as the
sand and stones are receptive to the sun’s heat. The framers of
this beautiful language may have been inspired by Allah
(SWT) in naming this month Ramadan. Otherwise, the relation
between the heat and its properties is miraculously similar to
that of Ramadan. While the heat represents the matter that
helps shape, form, and mold virtually every matter – from metal
and plastics, to plants and living cells – Ramadan undoubtedly
helps a serious believer remold, reshape, reform, and renew his
physical and spiritual disposition and behavior.

Essentials of Ramadan The Month of Fasting