Ramadhan Tiba! Ramadhan Tiba! Marhaban ya Ramadhan, Marhaban ya Ramadhan. The song's words from an Indonesian singer Opick will usually be heard during the Ramadhan month. The ninth month of the Islamic calendar is called Ramadhan, a month special to the Muslims. In one of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W's hadith (record of the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), the month of Ramadhan has eight special features compared to other months. The features are Syahrul Azhim (The Great Month), Syahrul Mubarak (The Month of Blessings), Syahru Nuzulil Qur'an (The Month where Al-Quran was Revealed), Syahrus Siyam (The Fasting Month), Syahrul Qiyam (The Month of Night Prayers), Syahrus Sabr (The Month of Patience, Syahrul Musawwah (The Month of Equality) and Syahrul Yuzdaadu fiihi Rizqul Mu'min (The Month of Sustenance for the Mu'min)
Ramadhan is special to Muslims. It is the month when the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad S.A.W as one of the man references for the Muslims. The Muslims will usually read the Al-Quran after performing the Tarawih prayer. Since Ramadhan is a month of blessings, the Muslims will try to perform ibadah as much as they can because it is said that any ibadah or any good deeds done during Ramadhan will receive the multiplied reward (pahala). So any prayers, the recital of Al-Quran, donations, good deeds will be heavily rewarded, especially on the Night of Al-Qadr (Lailatul Qadr). It is stated in the Quran, "The Night of Al-Qadr is better than a thousand months" (Surah al-Qadr: 3).
Ramadhan is also a month where the Muslims will fast. Fasting (Siyam) in the month of Ramadhan is one of the 5 Pillars of Islam. It is an act or practice of refraining from indulging an appetite between the sunrise and the sunset. And after a day of refraining from eating and drinking, Muslims will have their meal either at home or outside. Usually, the meal will be prepared at home or bought. One of the most awaited events happening during Ramadhan is The Ramadhan Bazaar. This marketplace will have arrays of mouthwatering dishes for us to choose from for breaking fast. The bazaar usually starts around 3 pm until nighttime. I actually imagine the delicious kueh-kueh and dishes at Geylang Bazaar at the moment..
When we speak about fasting, yes, the Muslims will not be eating or drinking during the day. I am a Muslim, and I used to have non-Muslim friends that would walk on eggshells when they were around me because they were afraid I might get offended when they ate, drank or even talked about food. I told them it was okay to eat or drink in front of me, and I appreciated their gesture. But they still tried their best to avoid it. To non-Muslims, it is okay to talk about food around us during Ramadhan because sometimes we talk about food as well. And you don't have to feel guilty when eating or drinking in front of us because we understand. We are fasting because it is a religious requirement, and of course, we will be ready to withstand the thought of food and drinks in our surroundings. However, if a fasting person can't have people eating or drinking around, the person should inform the people around.
So, happy fasting to all my Muslims friends. Stay safe and healthy. May Ramadhan Al- Kareem this year will be a fruitful month for everyone.