Ramadan Kareem to all our readers! Photo: desertpeace.wordpress.com
Ramadan starts tomorrow, and for the next month, Muslims around the world will be fasting, feasting, and celebrating. Ramadan is also a deeply reflective time as Muslims worldwide count their blessings and develop spiritually.
We have covered Ramadan from various perspectives over the years, and as Inside Islam heads towards a close, it’s a good time to recap some of what we’ve discussed. In fact, Inside Islam is historically linked to Ramadan, as our first very radio show was held during Ramadan, on September 19, 2008.
There are many events that are important in the history of Islam. The most significant, however, is the one that set everything in motion and led to the founding of a major world religion over 1400 years ago. In order to understand Islam, one must reflect on the events that have defined this faith, its community, and its history. The story of the initial revelations are told to young Muslim children throughout the world and is a constant source of inspiration for the Muslim community. The focus of this post, part of a series on important events in the history of Islam, is the first revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad. Continue reading →
Taraweeh Prayers during Ramadan in Karachi, Pakistan
The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is the holiest month of the year. In order to begin the discussion on Ramadan in my posts this week, it is important to address first the religious and spiritual aspects of the month. Fasting during this sacred month was ordained in the Qur’an in a verse that says:
Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful.(Chapter 2, verse 185) Continue reading →
The importance of Ramadan within the Muslim worldview cannot be emphasized enough. Every year in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset each day and many spend the month in increased prayer, reading of the Qur’an, and visiting with family and friends. Ramadan is probably the most social time of the year. Ramadan has religious, social, cultural, and even political and economic significance that should be addressed in any discussion of the month.
This week I will be writing about the different components of Ramadan and would like to hear your ideas for a radio show on the topic that will air during Ramadan. What aspects of Ramadan do you think are most significant? What are the different cultural components of Ramadan? Do any parts of Ramadan confuse you? What is the place of fasting in this day and age? Does fasting always produce spiritual growth? Do you think that women and men experience fasting differently? How does the experience of fasting depend on context? Did you know that in the Middle East television series flourish during Ramadan? Is this part of the social component? Can fasting be a foundation for interfaith initiatives?
These are just a few possible questions. Please share your ideas and questions and help us as we develop the next radio show.