23 April, 2020
Islam has five basic parts called pillars:
- Faith (shahada) - to believe in only one perfect God – Allah
- Prayer (salat) - to pray five times a day (to remember God and our purpose throughout the day)
- Alms (zakat) - to give in charity
- Fasting (sawm) - to fast in Ramadhan
- Pilgrimage (hajj) - to visit the holy lands if you can.
Ramadhan is the 9th Month in the Islamic Calendar and is the fourth pillar of Islam. It is where Muslims fast from dawn to dusk as a means of attaining salvation.
During Ramadhan Muslims normally wake up for a pre-dawn meal, pray the dawn prayer then get on with the normal day without food or water, as well as abstaining from swearing/or any other bad habits.
At dusk (between 8.45pm-9.30pm) the fast is broken followed by an extra 20 cycles of prayer – this means prayers don't finish until about 12am and then start again at 4am for the pre-dawn meal and prayer.
Fatima K, a YST programme officer, tells us that:
Ramadhan is a month where we have many spiritual benefits as we focus more on reading the Quran and give more in charity as well as disciplining our self against anything which is displeasing to God. It’s crazy how fast your body adjusts. It is also a time to refresh and ask those around you for forgiveness".
Fatema M, a YST case officer, has been reflecting on how Ramadhan will feel under Covid-19 lock down:
With mosques closed, gatherings unallowed and families seperated from each other, prayers and breaking fast won't happen in the same way - the atmosphere will be very different this year".
Ramadhan is a time for reflection on a Muslim's relationship with spirituality, with their community and humanity. As the coronavirus continues to move through our families, our communities and the world, we hope this will be pulled even more into focus for all of us not just our Muslim brothers and sisters as they enter this key element of the Islam calendar.
Cover image: http://www.goodlightscraps.com/ramadan-kareem.php
Body image: Courtesy of Fatima K