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Leisure

Ramadhan, the month of excitement for Muslims

By Rahmat Bin Haji Abdul Rahman

 


Muslims are called upon to frequent mosques especially during Ramadhan.

Fasting in Islam means refraining from eating, drinking, smoking and indulging in carnal desires throughout the daylight hours. Muslim men and women are obligated to fast in Ramadhan, except for the sick, the very old, as well as menstruating and pregnant women.

Among the deeds strongly encouraged during Ramadhan are the giving of alms and helping the needy.

Ramadhan is a good time to read the Quran, as reading the Holy Book during this month would carry extra merits.

Ramadhan is a month of excitement for Muslims. It is the month of when the Holy Quran was "revealed", thus it is the month for the reading of the Quran; it is also the month for tahajjud (late night) and tarawih prayers, for the giving of alms and tithes.

Some facts about Ramadhan fasting<p> The fast of Ramadhan is "fardhu" (obligatory) on all Muslim men and women. Ramadhan commences when the Ramadhan crescent has been sighted. The "niat" (pledge of intent) to do the Ramadhan fast should be renewed each day. A single "niat" at the beginning of Ramadhan will not suffice for an entire month's fast.

A fast broken deliberately without valid reason brings about the "kaffarah" penalty. A traveller is permitted to refrain from fast, although it would be better for him/her to do the fast if the journey is not a difficult one. But he/she should "qadha" (redo) all the fast he/she omitted during the journey.

If a woman begins menstruating during the course of the fasting day, the fast is not valid. It is not incumbent for also to abstain from eating during the remaining part of the day, though it is prefer she avoids eating in the presence of those who are fasting. She can compensate for her missed fasts later after Ramadhan.

When a pregnant woman has a genuine fear for either her own life or the life of the child she is bearing, it is permissible for her to refrain from the fast. A very old man, who is truly unable to fast, is permitted to refrain from fasting, but he has to offer compensation by means of paying the "fidyah."

Ramadhan kaffarah

Kaffarah (compensation) is the penalty for the deliberate nullification of the fast of Ramadhan. Kaffarah applies to only the fast of Ramadhan, and comes into force only if the fasting "niat" was made the night before.

The kaffarah for a flagrant breaking of a Ramadhan fast is to fast for 60 consecutive days. A person who is unable to discharge the kaffarah because of ill-health or old age, will have to feed 60 poor people. Each poor person should be given two full meals for the day or the like-amount in cash.

Zakat fitrah

The zakat fitrah (tithe) is mandatory on every Muslim, on his behalf and his charges. In Negara Brunei Darussalam, the zakat fitrah is about $2 per person.

The zakat fitrah can be given in the form of staple cereals. This was the practice of the Messenger of Allah (saw) and his friends. The zakat fitrah has to be given to the poor before aidilfitri prayers.

Tarawih prayers

Ramadhan is the month in which Muslims observe the "qiyaam al-layl", also known as the "tarawih", special Ramadhan prayers Muslims are encouraged to perform. It is performed after the isyak prayer, can be done all throughout the night, in five sets of two "rakaats" each.

Source: Borneo Bulletin Weekend

 

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