Ramadan, the holy month of fasting observed by Muslims begins tomorrow, Friday, July 20th, 2012 with the sighting of the crescent moon in the night sky. During Ramadan, believers fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food, drink, marital relations and all negative behavior for the entire month as a way of attaining purification and forgiveness of sins. The Holy Quran, God’s revelation to mankind and the honored book of Islamic scriptures, states in Surah 2 Ayat 183-185:
O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may learn self-restraint, fasting for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number should be made up from days later. For those who can do it with hardship, is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will,- it is better for him. And it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.
Ramadhan 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 anyone 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.
For this reason Muslims around the world who are able, fast during this time and recite scriptures from the Holy Quran daily with the intention of completing the entire book by the end of the month. Many traditions have arisen around the world in celebration of Ramadan and vary from country to country. Some traditions that tend to cross Islamic cultures are breaking fast in congregation at the masjid for the iftaar meal and praying nightly congregational prayers called Taraweeh prayers.
The Taraweeh or night prayers that are offered throughout the night during the month of Ramadan are in accordance with the following hadith from Sahih Al Bukhari, Book 2, Number 36:
Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said: “Whoever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.”
Maryam Islamic Center (MIC) in Sugarland Texas will be holding nightly Isha and Taraweeh prayers during Ramadan at 10:00pm and 10:15pm respectively. For more information, please visit the website at http://www.maryammasjid.org/ or call at (281) 565 – 6557. MIC will also hold Ifttaar every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout the month.
For more information and news about Ramadan visit:
The Muslimah Writers Alliance Ramadan Blog
MBMuslimah July Ramadan Issue