That time of year is here again when Muslims all over the world fast from dawn until sunset refraining from all food, drink and intimacy with their spouse. The purpose of giving up these things that are part and parcel of human everyday life is explained in the Qur’an.

God says, “O you who believe! Fasting has been prescribed for you just as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may become pious.” (2:183)

“A fixed number of days, but if any one of you is ill or on a journey then the same number should be made up from other days. And for those who can fast (but) with difficulty, they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a poor person (for every day). But whoever does good of their own accord it is better for them. And that you fast is better for you if only you know.” (2:184)

Ramadan is a time to increase the recitation of the Qur’an given the special relationship between the two.

“The month of Ramadan is one in which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).” (2:185)

Ramadan is a time to turn to God more often and ask of Him.

“And when my servants ask you (O Muhammad!) concerning Me, then (tell them) I am indeed near (to them). I answer to the invocations of the supplicant when they call on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led right.” (2:186)

When Ramadan approached, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to say, “A great month is upon us. The first (ten days) of it is mercy (from God), and the middle (ten days) of it is forgiveness (from God) and the last (ten days) of it is emancipation from the fire (of Hell)”.

Ramadan is a time to be most charitable. The Prophet Muhammad said, “Charity extinguishes the fire (of hell).”

Ramadan is the best time to do good works as God multiplies rewards. It is also the best time to give zakah, an obligatory charity sometimes also referred to as alms giving. God says, “The fasting person has left food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

Ramadan is a time to give up evil deeds. “Whoever does not give up lying and acting upon them, and evil actions, then God is not in need of their giving up food and drink.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

Ramadan Karim!