Ramadan 2020 is almost upon us and it is a time for us to remember our heritage and work to become closer to Allah (SWT). The rich history of the Islamic faith is something to be celebrated, and it is through our festivals and traditions that we are able to gain a deeper understanding of our origins – both as individuals and as Muslims.
During the auspicious month of Ramadan, charity and generosity are key parts of what we do. By actively working to support others, we are following the wishes and teachings of Allah (SWT) and it is this which allows us to continue to celebrate everything that is meaningful about our faith.
The Holy Month of Ramadan is one of the most significant periods of the Islamic calendar – it is an opportunity to reap the blessings and rewards that this auspicious month brings to all.
The blessed month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar and is a time filled with great reward for Muslims across the world. There are many reasons why this month carries such great significance; one reason is that this is the month when the Holy Qur’an was first revealed, and another is that Laylat-ul-Qadr, the Night of Power, also falls during Ramadan. Indeed, the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) stated that all the gates of paradise remain open during Ramadan, while all the gates of hell remain closed.
The month of Ramadan is observed by partaking in a fast during the hours of daylight. This means that no food or drink can be consumed between the hours of sunrise and sunset, however, the fast is not just a physical act of purity. In addition to food and drink, Muslims participating in the Ramadan fast must also abstain from thinking impure thoughts and committing sinful acts. This allows dedicated time for reflection and consideration – as Muslims complete the purification of mind, soul and body, they can also connect with Allah (SWT) through prayer and studying the teachings outlined in the Holy Qur’an.
During the month of fasting, Muslims earn a real understanding of their own good fortune, gaining an insight into the lives of those less fortunate across the world. Zakat donations are usually encouraged before Eid-ul-Fitr prayers and the conclusion of Ramadan; donations during Ramadan are filled with plentiful blessings as the rewards from any act of generosity during this Holy month are multiplied greatly.
Thanks to the generosity given through zakat donations, those less fortunate are given a chance to participate in the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr as the month of Ramadan draws to a close.
As the Islamic calendar is lunar, the dates of Ramadan rotate by approximately 10-11 days every year.
Ramadan 2020 is expected to begin in the evening of Thursday 23rd April and conclude on Saturday 23rd May, subject to the official sighting of the moon. Eid-ul-Fitr is expected to start on the evening of Saturday 23rd May and conclude at sunset on Sunday 24th May.
"Oh, you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness"
During Ramadan, eligible Muslims participate in a fast which lasts from Fajr (dawn prayer) to sunset, as ordained by Allah (SWT).
The rewards and blessings of fasting during Ramadan are infinite; this is a time when Muslims must come together to celebrate their faith and reconnect with the wishes and teachings shared in the Holy Qur’an.
While fasting during the hours of daylight is compulsory, those participating in the fast should still eat at least two meals per day in order to remain sustained and healthy. Suhoor should be eaten at dawn to open the fast, whereas Iftar should be eaten to break the fast at sunset. It is advised to carefully consider the nutritional benefits of the food you are choosing to eat, as these meals must be able to adequately sustain you throughout the following day. Traditionally, the day’s fast is broken with a glass of water and a handful of dates before the Iftar meal is consumed.
Certain individuals may be exempt from fasting during Ramadan if they meet one or more of the following criteria:
If you are unable to complete the fast during Ramadan, Fidya and Kaffarah are the ways in which you can make up for the missed fast.
If you are unable to fast due to illness, you must make a donation which pays for someone else to be fed. The fee for this is £5 per day, meaning that if you miss every day of the fast, a total of £150 must be paid.
If you deliberately miss the fast without good reason, you must either fast for an additional 60 days or donate to feed 60 people at £5 each.
The conclusion of Ramadan is marked by the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr, a joyous occasion when Muslims feast, give gifts and spend time with family and friends. Eid-ul-Fitr is a time for celebration and happiness as Muslims celebrate the Holy month that has passed while looking ahead to the future.
There are many Eid traditions, largely centred around family, generosity, and festivities. On the first day of Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims will wake early and dress in their finest clothes to attend Mosque for Eid prayers. After prayers, Muslims will wish each other “Eid Mubarak” before spending the rest of the day in prayer, enjoying good food, sharing gifts with children and loved ones, and giving to those less fortunate.
Ramadan is a time for giving and compassion, a time for your generosity to change the lives of people around the world for the better. Generosity always brings significant rewards in Islam, but donations during Ramadan are greatly multiplied.
Make the most of the blessed month and support those in need as you invest in your Hereafter. Commit to supporting your brothers and sisters across the world. Charity work in Ramadan and the rest of the year, alongside your generous donations, really can make all the difference to those living in a world where every day is a struggle for survival.
The entire team here at Muslim Aid thanks you for your generous donations in 2019 and look forward to receiving your generous Ramadan donation in 2020. We hope you have a blessed Ramadan filled with plentiful reward. We pray that Muslims around the world fast during the Holy month every year and attain the blessings of Laylat-ul-Qadr. Ameen.