About Ramadan: 101

Fasting in Ramadan, 10 Reasons

#1: A Pillar of Islam

The foundation of Islamic spiritual practice is known as the Five Pillars of Islam, which form the basis for a spiritual culture designed to provide an ideal environment for personal growth and spiritual evolution.

Fasting in Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, constituting one of the most important spiritual practices designed to empower a human being in overcoming the self and transcending the ego, the one true veil between a human being and his or her Creator.

Fasting in Ramadan, #2: Spiritual Purification

One of the primary benefits of fasting in Ramadan is spiritual purification, the essential goal of Islamic Spirituality.

Although we tend to think of the mind, body and spirit as separate components, in reality they are all connected and interrelated, and improvement in any one naturally effects improvement in the others as well.

Fasting in Ramadan purifies the mind, body and spirit, leading to greater clarity, sensitivity and health.

Fasting in Ramadan, #3: Health

It has now been scientifically documented that the single most effective practice for improving human health and longevity is the reduction of intake and consumption.

Fasting in Ramadan allows the digestive system, the engine of the body, to rest from the normal demands of processing and breaking down food, freeing up system resources to cleanse and purify the body of accumulated toxins, thereby allowing more effective healing and tissue repair.

Fasting in Ramadan keeps the body healthy and youthful (provided one does not overindulge when breaking fast).

Fasting in Ramadan, #4: Family and Community

One of the greatest benefits of fasting in Ramadan is renewing solidarity and cultivating relationships with one’s family and community.

Only one who observes fasting in Ramadan can truly know the beauty and joy of breaking fast with others, celebrating the gift of life daily for thirty days with loved ones.

Fasting in Ramadan is truly one of the greatest social experiences a human being will ever experience, and this is one of the most important aspects of this unique pillar of Islamic practice.

Fasting in Ramadan, #5: Gratitude

It’s true that one generally does not realize what he or she has until it’s gone or not available, and by fasting in Ramadan, Muslims become acutely aware of the unlimited abundance of divine favor God Almighty has blessed humanity with, particularly with regards to sustenance.

The cultivation of gratitude is a core purpose of Islam, and few spiritual practices cultivate gratitude as does fasting in Ramadan!

Fasting in Ramadan, #6: Humility and Selflessness

By fasting in Ramadan, a Muslim realizes how totally dependent we as human beings are upon the divine grace of God for survival, and humility is a natural result of this realization.

Generally, we take things for granted and become heedless as a result of living in the world, dunya, yet by fasting in Ramadan, we are continually reminded of our frailty, leading us to humility, reverence, piety and selflessness — primary goals of Islamic Spirituality.

Fasting in Ramadan, #7: Empathy and Compassion

Although we live in a world of natural abundance, of divine grace and providence, unfortunately due to lack of empathy, compassion and solidarity among human beings, there are many throughout the globe who still struggle with hunger, poverty, lack and scarcity.

When a Muslim observes fasting in Ramadan, he or she feels the hunger that many experience daily as a normal consequence of their circumstances.

By fasting in Ramadan, we develop the holy qualities of empathy and compassion, becoming more aware of our intrinsic connection and oneness with all human beings regardless of borders or labels that create artificial separation among the citizens of the human race.

Fasting in Ramadan, #8: Restraint and Self-Discipline

The modern world and its culture are largely defined by materialism, consumption and instant gratification of desires. This results in the diminishment of human consciousness, the regression of planetary culture and the suppression of the soul.

Yet by fasting in Ramadan, a Muslim consciously curtails this unhealthy norm by intentionally practicing restraint and self-discipline, separating him or herself from the animal kingdom which is governed by the unconscious drive to satiate one’s immediate needs and desires.

Fasting in Ramadan is thus an essential practice for attaining true freedom and independence from dunya, the external world of form and appearances, and for the liberation of the soul from the self, the mind-body that is unconsciously driven by fear and the struggle survival.

Fasting in Ramadan, #9: Simplicity and Non-Attachment

When living without discipline and restraint, life quickly becomes overly complicated, leading to a heavy burden that results in unnecessary stress, anxiety, unhappiness and difficulty.

By fasting in Ramadan, we limit excess and indulgence, facilitating the return to simplicity and non-attachment, releasing one from dependence on dunya and so contributing to psychological health and happiness.

Fasting in Ramadan, #10: Focus

With the constant demands of modern life, it’s all too easy to become lost and forget who we are, and so to unconsciously forget our divine purpose and destiny.

Without constant reminder, we become lost in the dream and disconnected from reality.

Fasting in Ramadan for thirty days is a powerful practice in restoring focus, direction, balance and purpose to our lives.

Fasting in Ramadan is a Gift from God

The opportunity to observe fasting in Ramadan is a gift from God, allowing us to grow and develop as human beings, enabling us to become more compassionate, caring, kind and grateful.

Fasting in Ramadan is a unique opportunity to develop spiritually and gain strength and control over our selves, our egos, the nafs, the unconscious automatic primitive nature that tends to dominate our lives when unchecked.

By observing fasting in Ramadan, a Muslim has a profound and unique opportunity to become more peaceful, present and spiritual — the very goal of Islam.



Ramadan and Fasting

Useful Links :

A Manual of Ramadhan Devotions
The arabic text, english translations, and audio recordings of supplications recited in Ramadhan, including Du'a Iftitah, the A'amal of Laylatul Qadr, and sermon of the Prophet (s) welcoming the month of Ramadhan (Ramadan).

A Short Treatise on The Divine Invitation, by Muhammad M. Khalfan
This book discusses why the Holy Month of Ramadān described by the Holy Prophet (s) as ‘The Banquet of Allāh’ and what it means to be his special Guest 

Du'a Makarimul Akhlaq
Powerpoint presentation of Du'a Makarimul Akhlaq. Includes Arabic script and English translation, as well as sound which is timed in accordance with the changing of slides. Requires Karbala font.

Dua al-Iftitah al-Mahdi [a] Centre, Toronto, Canada 

Dua Iftitah, by Shaykh Fadhil al-Maaliki 

 Dua Iftitah, by Munawar AliMunawar Ali, Ja'fari Islamic Center

Dua Iftitah, by Murtaza Bandali 

Falsafa Ya Mwezi Mtukufu Wa Ramadhani, by Hujjatul-Islam Sayyid Jawad Naqvi  

FAQ on Zakatul Fitrah, by Academy of Learning Islam 

Fast, by Allamah Sayyid Sa'eed Akhtar Rizvi
This short text is a collection of five articles written by Allamah Sayyid Sa'eed Akhtar Rizvi dealing with various aspects of the month of Ramadan, its significance for Muslims around the world, and the holy day of Eid-ul-Fitr that marks the end of this blessed month.

Fast of the Month of Ramadhan, by Yasin T. Al-Jibouri
Includes fasting in history, benefits of fasting, types of fasts, and the Prophet's preaching on Ramadhan. Also includes other articles on the Night of Power, and Invocations for Ramadhan.

Fasting according to the five schools of Islamic Law, by Allamah Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah
Differing opinions among the schools of Islamic Law on the rules of fasting, including being excused from fasting and repaying missed fasts.

Fasting and the Holy month of Ramadhan, by Sheikh Mansour Leghaei
In this collection of articles about fasting, the author discusses its significance and practice during the times of the previous Prophets (a.s) and also, the etiquette and purpose of the month of Ramadhan. He concludes with a chapter which discusses the various legal aspects of fasting and cites traditions of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) with regards to them.

Fiqh Rules on Fasting and related topics dilp.org, by Muhammad Raza Dawoodani
Fiqh rules on fasting, i’tikaf, ru’yat-e-hilal, and fitra according to the rulings of four maraji’, Ayatullah Khu’i, Ayatullah Khumayni, Ayatullah Sistani, and Ayatullah Khamenei. Compiled by Muhammad Raza Dawoodani.

Guide to Internet Resources for Ramadhan
Includes sites on the month of Ramadhan, articles, books, supplications and a'amaal, important dates, lectures, laws of fasting, timetable, and much more.

30 Ajiza of the Qur’an

Juz’ 1 – Al Fatiha 1 – Al Baqarah 141 (1:1-2:141)

Juz’ 2 – Al Baqarah 142 - Al Baqarah 252 (2:142-2:252)

Juz’ 3 – Al Baqarah 253 - Al Imran 92 (2:253-3:92)

Juz’ 4 – Al Imran 93 - An Nisaa 23 (3:93-4:23)

Juz’ 5 – An Nisaa 24 - An Nisaa 147 (4:24-4:147)

Juz’ 6 – An Nisaa 148 - Al Ma’idah 81 (4:148-5:81)

Juz’ 7 – Al Ma’idah 82 - Al An’am 110 (5:82-6:110)

Juz’ 8 – Al An’am 111 - Al A’raf 87 (6:111-7:87)

Juz’ 9 – Al A’raf 88 - Al Anfal 40 (7:88-8:40)

Juz’ 10 – Al Anfal 41 - At Tauba 92 (8:41-9:92)

Juz’ 11 – At Tauba 93 - Hud 5 (9:93-11:5)

Juz’ 12 – Hud 6 - Yusuf 52 (11:6-12:52)

Juz’ 13 – Yusuf 53 – Ibrahim 52 (12:53-14:52)

Juz’ 14 – Al Hijr 1 – An Nahl 128 (15:1-16:128)

Juz’ 15 – Al Isra (or Bani Isra’il) 1 - Al Kahf 74 (17:1-18:74)

Juz’ 16 – Al Kahf 75 – Ta Ha 135 (18:75-20:135)

Juz’ 17 – Al Anbiyaa 1 - Al Hajj 78 (21:1-22:78)

Juz’ 18 – Al Muminum 1 - Al Furqan 20 (23:1-25:20)

Juz’ 19 – Al Furqan 21 - An Naml 55 (25:21-27:55)

Juz’ 20 – An Naml 56 - Al Ankabut 45 (27:56-29:45)

Juz’ 21 – Al Ankabut 46 - Al Azhab 30 (29:46-33:30)

Juz’ 22 – Al Azhab 31 - Ya Sin 27 (33:31-36:27)

Juz’ 23 – Ya Sin 28 - Az Zumar 31 (36:28-39:31)

Juz’ 24 – Az Zumar 32 - Fussilat 46 (39:32-41:46)

Juz’ 25 – Fussilat 47 - Al Jathiya 37 (41:47-45:37)

Juz’ 26 – Al Ahqaf 1 - Az Zariyat 30 (46:1-51:30)

Juz’ 27 – Az Zariyat 31 - Al Hadid 29 (51:31-57:29)

Juz’ 28 – Al Mujadila 1 – At Tahrim 12 (58:1-66:12)

Juz’ 29 – Al Mulk 1 - Al Mursalat 50 (67:1-77:50)

Juz’ 30 – An Nabaa 1 - An Nas 6 (78:1-114:6)