Rufiz Hafizoglu, head of Near East Department
Today is the third day of Ramadan, holy month for all Muslims. It is marked with the same solemnity since the early days of Islam. The key reason for the great love for Ramadan and for its being distinguished from other months is that all Muslims fast in this month. The other advantage Ramadan enjoys over others is that Quran was sent down in this month. The 185th verse of Bagara surah (surah of Quran) says the following: "Month of Ramadan is a month when Quran, directing people to a right way, was sent down".
The other distinguishing feature of Ramadan is it includes one night which is useful than a thousands of months. Quran includes the following verse about Night of Predestination: "Truly, we sent Quran in a night of Qadr! From here You can learn what night of Qadr is. Night of Qadr is useful than thousands of months".
The view that fasting (oruj) means only refraining from eating and drinking from sunrise to sundown is totally false. Because, Muslims are supposed to fast deep in their heard and to avoid misdeed and harmful ideas. When we appeal to hadis of the Prophet (PBUH), we can see the following words about fasting people: "There are those among my people who are only left sense of hunger from Ramadan".
Besides oruj, one of the prayers of Muslims in month of Ramadan is a special prayer called Tavarih. The hadis says: "Those who will do namaz (prayer) with all their heart, all their sins will be atoned". Islam theologians say Prophet (PBUH) meant Tavarih in this hadis.
One of the divine services is reading Quran. If have a look back at the history of Islam and fellow fighters of Prophet (PBUH), we can see that they read Quran mostly in this month and praised Allah precisely in this month. It is mentioned in hadis that the gift for reading Quran in this month is three times more than in other months. Those who can not read Quran in Arabic can read its relevant translation.
One of the good deeds in Ramadan is giving alms to the poor and disabled. The hadis says Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) gave alms in this month for the most part. His associates even said his speed of giving alms was more than the speed of wind.
Given all above-mentioned, we are convinced once again that fasting does not mean just to refrain from eating and drinking.