The History behind Ramadhan
It is during Ramadhan that two major and most significant events occurred in the history of Islam. One is the Battle of Badar, the first war to break out between the residents of Mecca and Medina. The other is the revelation of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h.
The Battle of Badar was between the people of Mecca, who at that time were worshippers of the idols and the Muslims of Medina. Even though it happened during Ramadhan, the fasting Muslims fought with all their might and some perished in martyrdom.
The Lailatul Qadar is also known as the Night of Revelation of the Quran , the Night of the Decree, the night which is better than a thousand months. It means that any acts of devotion and prayers to Allah the Almighty on this particular night are worth that of a thousand months.
Most believe that Lailatul Qadar will happen on one of the remaining 10 nights of Ramadhan, and Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h said, “Whosoever stands in "Ibaadah" on this night, with sincere faith will have his previous sins forgiven.”
Ramadhan in Malaysia
Muslims in Malaysia observe Ramadhan in a diligent manner with most physically-demanding activities and burdening tasks reduced during the whole month. Check out some Ramadhan Tips that could come in handy during the fasting month. One of them is directed for the smokers, who should cut down the habit a few weeks before Ramadhan so as not to jolt the body system.
Sahur and Breaking Fast
Waking up for sahur at dawn is considered a small get-together of friends and families, as it is one of the encouraged deeds to be done during Ramadhan. Some regard sahur as breakfast, the last meal to be taken before the 13-hour fast during the day.
Breaking of fast or iftar is a celebration for the ‘winners’, having the will to have lasted and endured any challenges during the day. Often, this is the time to rejoice, and it is advisable to follow the Prophet’s way of breaking fast – with a glass of milk and a few dates (kurma) to replenish lost energy.
Spoilt for choice at the Bazaar Ramadhan
After performing the Maghrib prayers, main meals consisting of a mix of carbohydrates and proteins are taken. In Malaysia, the mushrooming Bazaar Ramadhan and buffet spreads offer a huge selection of dishes, leaving one spoilt for choice!
Ramadhan in Cities and Villages
Ramadhan observance differs between village folks and city dwellers.
Sharing of food is still practised by Muslims in the cities
Villagers still preserve the spirit of togetherness and sharing, often preparing the buka puasa (breaking of fast) food together then distributing them to the rest. Those who reside in big towns tend to just buy the food at the food stalls or Bazaar Ramadhan, while some resort to breaking fast at hotels or restaurants for their convenience. However, the act of sharing food between neighbours still take place in some parts of towns and cities.
While the older generation sees Ramadhan as the time to earn rewards and righteousness from the Almighty by performing prayers and reading the Holy Quran, some of the younger seem not to appreciate the true meaning of Ramadhan.
Some of them see it as an opportunity to lose weight, to eat scrumptious food, to slack off from work – which is a shame really as Ramadhan means a lot more than just these worldly intentions.
They should realise that the holy month of Ramadhan is when the spirit of forgiveness, sharing and caring is apparent, as evident in the story of Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h and a young boy.
The prophet, upon finishing his Eid prayers came upon a crying boy, who told him that he and the family had nothing – no new clothes, no food – while everyone else was celebrating the Eid. Touched by his plight, the Prophet offered to help the boy by making him and his family part of his own –much to the boy’s delight, as no one should be left unhappy during the celebration.
As Ramadhan the Blessed Month is nearing us, let the Prophet’s deed be an example. Let the spirit of sharing and caring continue all year long and not to be forgotten, even while we are preoccupied with other worldly concerns.