Holy month of Ramadan begins | Daily News

Holy month of Ramadan begins

This year, holy month of Ramadan begins on May 5 or 6 which depends on the sighting of the crescent moon. ‘Ramadan’ is the Arabic name of the ninth month in the Islamic calendar or ‘Hijri’ calendar based on the lunar cycle, which begins in 622 AD when beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) migrated from the holy city of Makkah to Madinah. Muslims all over the world believe Ramadan is the holiest month in the year because the Qur’an – the holy book of Islam was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in this month.

This year, the Muslims in Sri Lanka begin fasting in the month of Ramadan with the deep shock of a horrific massacre - which brutally killed hundreds of innocent people including women and children in churches when they gathered for Easter Sunday prayers and the innocent guests in hotels when they were sitting for their morning breakfast on April 21. These barbaric suicide terror attackers were represented in Muslim names giving an unpleasant image to the whole Muslims in the country. According to Islam, whoever killed themselves (Suicide) are not Muslim, and Almighty Allah (SWT) strictly prohibited the act of suicides in the holy Qur’an.

Their heinous acts have no religion or faith and it is completely against the teaching of Islam. This barbaric attack shocked the world. As Muslims, we are as much as shaken as the rest of the world and yet we find ourselves looked upon with suspicion and distrust by our neighbours and fellow citizens. We, Sri Lankan Muslims living in the United Kingdom also express our condemnation and denunciation on these series of bomb attacks on churches killing innocent worshippers and the innocent people in the hotels. The Muslims across the world condemn this brutality and stand in complete solidarity with our Christian community.

Teaching of Islam

Islam is the religion on the base of Holy Qu’ran and the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be upon Him). Prophet Muhammad guided us how to respect other religions when dealing with the people of other faiths with practical examples from his lifetime. During the time of the Prophet, the Arabian Peninsula was a region in which various faiths were present. There were Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Polytheists and others not affiliated with any religion. When one looks into the life of Prophet, there are many examples to portray the high level of tolerance shown to people of other faiths.

When Prophet Muhammad ruled the state of Madinah, as a leader, social reformer and an administrator of the state, He made the constitution with the frame work of political principles, procedures and power of government including equality - to treat the people of other faiths without any harm.

All people, no matter what religion, race or class they come from are supposed to be treated equally – they have the same rights as majority Muslims in the state of Madinah. Prophet Muhammad said to his fellow Muslims, “the people come from different faiths or religion cannot be discriminated and disrespected for their beliefs. If a person claims to be Muslim, he is not allowed to insult or disrespect another religion.

People of other faiths were considered members and citizens of Madinah society regardless of religion, race or ancestry and they were protected from harm as much as Muslims. During the period of His ruling there were different groups of tribes in the state of Madinah.

The prophet gathered these different tribes under one system of governance. Any attack on other religion or the tribe was considered an attack on the state. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) strictly warned against any maltreatment of people of other faiths saying, “Beware! whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will, I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the day of Judgment”(Abu Dawud).

Holy Qur’an also doesn’t teach to force non-Muslims into Islam. It teaches love and compassion for every human being, no matter their religion or faiths. Holy Qu’ran provides an environment where people can fully enjoy freedom of thought and freedom of religion and allows people to live by the faith and values they believe.

Good Deeds and Charities

It is the time to help the families who are the victims of recent massacre. Many Muslim organisations launched the relief aid appeal in aid of the families affected by the recent terror attacks. The holy month of Ramadan is also a time of community. Muslims invite their neighbours and friends whoever Muslims or non-Muslims to share their evening meal with them at ‘Ifthar’ - the time of breaking fast. We can share meals with the victimised families. In the United Kingdom, several fund raising programmes have been started for the rehabilitation of the Easter Sunday’s victims.

Living with other communities

Islam teaches us how to live with other communities in a society with peace and tranquillity, especially understanding diverse culture of different faiths giving respect to other religions. When living with peace and tranquillity it avoids personal hostility. In the month of Ramadan, it is the opportunity to “purify” our bodies as well as our souls by developing a greater sense of humility and spirituality. It teaches a greater sense of generosity and forgiveness. Fasting develops feelings of generosity and good-will toward others. Fasting also teaches self-control or restraint, good manners, good habits.

Strengthening neighbourhoods

Teaching of Islam is not only for the Muslims – it teaches good deeds to whole mankind. Islam teaches to treat neighbours whoever Muslim or non-Muslim the way they would like to be treated by others. Prophet Muhammad said, “He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbour to his side goes hungry”. And Prophet teaches to help the neighbours with charities. Prophet Muhammad said. “the Angel Gabriel was so adamant in reminding me to be charitable with my neighbours that I thought he might make him my heir” (Al-Bukhari).

During the month of Ramadan, the Muslims generously donate for charitable causes. And they willingly help the needy people and neighbours whoever they are Muslims or non – Muslims. It is the time to strengthening the relationship with the neighbours of different faiths understanding each other – it would be helpful to protect families from un-known terrorist activities around..

Overcoming the complexes

When we remain thirsty and hungry in the month of Ramadan, we experience the affliction that the poor and needy people of the society experience the whole year.

Hence, fasting is a way of bridging the gap between the different classes and in and out groups in the society. And we will make this opportunity to help the families who suffer as the result of recent massacre in the country. 


 

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