Ramadan is an important festival for the Muslim faith, and this year will go from the 15 May until the 14 June. Wasim Khan, a doctoral student at UC and member of the UC Muslim Student Association, explains what Ramadan means for UC’s Islamic community.
“Ramadan is a month in which Muslims are obliged to fast as God Almighty says in Quran’s chapter 2, verse 183, “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed upon you as it was ordained to those before you, so that you learn self-restraint.”
Ramadan is also the month of the revelation of Holy Quran. Fasting is the fourth pillar of Islam, among the five pillars. Fasting means no eating, drinking, husband-wife relationship, or immoral activities (lies, cheating etc) from dawn till sunset. These are the basis of why we Muslims fast and what makes Ramadan important.
Next is the role of fasting in personal lives and society. The main aim of fasting is to train ourselves how to abstain from what God Almighty has ordered us to stay away. It is a practice for spiritual elevation and having more control on our desires as we are the best judge for ourselves since no one knows whether we are fasting or not.
From society’s perspective, Ramadan is a month of giving and taking special care of poor people around us. Paying Zakat (alms-giving), which is one of the five pillars of Islam, is encouraged in Ramadan. Spending a lot for charity is also encouraged in Ramadan. So overall Ramadan is a month (a) to be a better person, (b) more self conscious with spiritual elevation, (c) controlling desires and bad habits, (d) experiencing how it feels when we are hungry like many of the people around us, (e) equality for rich and poor; (f) lastly it is now common in various countries to practice “intermittent fasting”, so we can understand the health benefits of Fasting based on the scientific research conducted so far.
On campus we arrange five prayers at our Musallah (prayer room) at 37 Creyke Road, and we arrange Iftar (breaking the fast) and dinner for over 100 students. This gives us an opportunity to spend time and pray together for the whole month, which is an exciting experience we share at UC during Ramadan.