Azerbaijan, Baku, 1 September/ TrendLife, corr Vugar Imanov/ Ramadan, fasting month for all Muslims began today. Every day and every month granted by the Most High is precious us, but Ramadan is distinguished by its holy nature and this month is called Crown of Year, Shahrullah (month of Allah) and Ziyafatullah (feast of Allah).
Because precisely in this month Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Quran says the following about fasting: "O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint - maybe you will God-fearing! - for days you count out, but who is sick or on travel will fast later. Those who do not do that - must feed a poor. Who will do it voluntarily; it is good for him/her. The fasting is so good you".
According to hadis of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), when Ramadan begins, the doors of paradise are opened, the doors of Hell are closed and shaitan is chained so that he will not harm Muslims and not to lead them astray from path of Truth. "If all people knew the advantages of month of Ramadan, they would like it to last for eternity," Allah states. Ramadan cleans the hearts of believers from sins as in case of the rainfall in autumn which cleans the earth from all dust.
How to fast in a right way
Every Muslim should worship Allah and to follow His commands. Allah has determined the rules of fasting during holy Ramadan which hides inexhaustible wealth and mercy of our Creator. In this month, Allah sends down huge blessings, atonements of their sins, ennobles and endows them. Fasting in month of Ramadan is obligatory for everyone who is conscious, adult and able to fast accordance with sharia of Muslims.
Every day, after breakfast (Imsak), one should say (niyyat): I am fasting in holy Ramadan and later say the following: "Bissimillahi Rahmani Rahim. Vacib qurbeten il Allah". It would be better to recite special prayer of this day of fasting (one can obtain prayers of each day from mosque or religious books).
And at evening during dinner (iftar), one should say the following: Bissimillahi Rahmani Rahim. In the name of Allah Graciously and Merciful and say the following prayer: "Allahuma laka sumtu ve ela rizgikya eftertu ve eleyke tevekkeltu fetegebbel mini entes - Semuil Elim. Allahume ya vasiel-magfirati igfirli". The translation from Arabic is as following: "O Allah, I fasted for you. I am breaking my fast by what you sent down to me, I worship You and turn to You. Accept my oruj (fast). Indeed, You are Omniscient and attentive of prayers. Oh the Most High Creator, atone my sins!".
The fasting can be broken with a date palm, pure water, milk or something sweet. One can not use products containing fat of a pig or spirit additives. It is not right to eat too much neither in morning nor in evening as it is harmful for health. It is advisable to feed fasting people at iftar (breaking of fast). According to hadis, those who fed a fasting person at iftar will get the same gift as a faster.
What Muslims can not do in Ramadan?
Muslims can not do the following in a period of time between morning to evening prayers:
1. To tell a lie deliberately, to swear in the name of Allah, prophets and imams.
2. To eat and drink. No substance can enter the body through natural openings. For instance, the water can not enter the ear opening or hard fog, smog and steam can not enter body through mouth or nose. One can not chew a gum or to receive an enema. If someone eats and drinks by accident, it does not break fast. In this case one should immediately stop eating or drinking. It someone does the above-mentioned deliberately his/her fast is broken. After breakfast (imsak), one should clean his/her mouth cavity from the remaining of food.
3. To have a sexual relationship. It is not advisable for spouses to do things exciting each other. Those who had sexual relationship at night must take a bath before fasting. If orgasm takes place in a dream (pollution), it does not suspend fast.
4. If vomiting happens knowingly, it breaks fast. But if not knowingly, one should rinse his/her mouth.
5. Menstruation (post-natal secretion). The menstruating before the sunset also breaks fast.
Exemption from Fasting
Elderly men and women, and those who are ill with no expectation of recovery, and those engaged in very hard occupations and cannot earn their living by other means are exempt from fasting if fasting causes them undue hardship all the year round. They are required, however, to feed a needy person for each day on which they do not fast. The elderly man is exempt from fasting provided that he feeds a needy person for each day. He is not required to fast at a later date. Elderly men and women, and those who are ill with no expectation of recovery, and those engaged in very hard occupations and cannot earn their living by other means are exempt from fasting if fasting causes them undue hardship all the year round. They are required, however, to feed a needy person for each day on which they do not fast.
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding may not fast if they fear for themselves or for their children on the basis of past experience or on the advice of a competent doctor or if it seems highly likely that their fears are well founded. They are required to offer compensation without the need to fast later on. An ill person with a chronic disease who is not expected to recover and finds fasting too much of a strain is treated in the same way as an elderly person. The same applies to workers engaged in very hard jobs. Those who find fasting a strain too hard to bear, in the Qur'anic verse, refers to the elderly, the ill and people in similar circumstances such as those whose livelihood requires them to do very hard jobs such as miners
Haji Fuad Nurullah, dean of Baku Islamic University said: "In the name of Allah Graciously and Merciful! Fasting in Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam and leads to the spiritual and physical balance. Allah has determined the rules of fasting during holy Ramadan which hides inexhaustible wealth and mercy of our Creator. In this month, Allah sends down huge blessings, atonement of their sins and ennobles and endows them. One should not think that fasting is just a restriction on eating. The believers must refrain from sinful thoughts, words and actions. One should fast with its thoughts, ears, eyes and language and do good deeds as much as he/she can.
Health benefits of Ramadan
Ramadan is a month of self-regulation and self training, with the hope that this training will last beyond the end of Ramadan. If the lessons learned during Ramadan, whether in terms of dietary intake or righteousness, are carried on after Ramadan, there effects will be long lasting. Moreover, the type of food taken during Ramadan does not have any selective criteria of crash diets such as those which are protein only or fruit only type diets. Everything that is permissible is taken in moderate quantities.
The difference between Ramadan and total fasting is the timing of the food; during Ramadan, we basically miss lunch and take an early breakfast and do not eat until dusk. Abstinence from water for 8 to 10 hours is not necessarily bad for health and in fact, it causes concentration of all fluids within the body, producing slight dehydration. The body has its own water conservation mechanism; in fact, it has been shown that slight dehydration and water conservation, at least in plant life, improve their longevity.
The physiological effect of fasting includes lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of the systolic blood pressure. In fact, Ramadan fasting would be an ideal recommendation for the treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity, and essential hypertension.
Month of Atonement of Sins and Gifts of the High Most
Fasting in Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said: "Those who fasted with belief and hope for a gift, his/her past sins will be atoned". "Who fasts in the name of Allah, Allah will protect him from the fire of Hell for 70 years for each day of fasting". Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said: "Oruj is like a shield protecting people from all sins and vices". Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) called on do to good deeds as much as possible in this month, to pray God to atone sins, to read Quran and recite prayers. Muslims not fasting in Ramadan will be severely punished by God while following prescriptions will bring a lot of good from Allah. The size of the gift depends on the actions of fasting person. "The gift for good deeds is increased from ten to 700 times, except a fast. God said: "Fast is carried out for my sake and those who fast curb their passion for my sake and stands hunger for my sake". "I swear the smell coming out mouth of fasting person is pleasant for Allah than the smell of musk".
The Night of Predestination
The exact date when Quran was sent down is unknown, but it is many hundred years Muslim believers mark the holy night of Laylatul Qadr on odd days during the recent 10 days of Ramadan (Ahya night). Another name for the night is the Night of Predestination, because the people believe it is the very night when the Lord arranges the destiny of the people for the next year. Qoran says: "We sent it (the Quran) down in the night of Qadr (power). What shall make you know what the night of predestination is? The night of Qadr is better than a thousand months. The angels and the (holy) spirit descend therein by the permission of their Lord, with (decrees) for all affairs. (It is all) peace, till the break of dawn".
Doubtful moments in the speech of ahund/imam (the head of a mosque):
There are several issues regarding the fast which cause concern amongst the people. In order to clarify them Trend Life applied to the ahund of the Teze Pir mosque Haji Faiz Nagizade:
Question: Some healthy people believe they can compensate for the fast through good deeds.
Answer: No. Such deeds are not accepted by Allah, since every healthy Muslim must fast. For conscious, deliberate break of fast, when there is no threat to life or health, a person undergoes 'kaffare' (fine) - for every missed day he/she must fast after Ramadan for 2 months or for every missed day he/she must treat to dinner 60 poor people. The fast of dissemblers, who want to gain respect in the public by fasting, is also cannot be accepted. According to Prophet Mohammad, "How many fasters will receive only hunger as a reward for their fast and how many people serving to Allah at nights will receive only sleeplessness.
Question: May people organize weddings during Ramadan?
Answer: Weddings are not prohibited. But some people wrongly understand the sense of wedding celebrations. They think alcoholic drinks can be served at the weddings. They should realize that Ramadan is the month of spiritual and moral purification, approaching to the Lord. Therefore, weddings must be postponed.
Question: Street food trade is prohibited in several Muslim countries during Ramadan, since the smell may negatively affect the health of fasters. For example, sale of doners, kababs, etc, is prohibited.
Answer: It would be good to introduce thepractice in Azerbaijan. Thank goodness, we have entrepreneurs who understand that the aforementioned is a sin and voluntarily restrict their activities.
Question: May a fasting woman use cosmetics and perfumes?
Answer: That is not prohibited, it would be better to abstain. In fact, a woman may always use cosmetics, perfumes and wear jewelleries, but only for her husband, not to attract the attention of other men. One should not forget that lipstick may get into the body from the lips, which is inadmissible during fasting.
Question: May one swallow his/her saliva and phlegm, take injections, get their teeth pulled, taste food, rinse their mouths and bathe?
Answer: People should better avoid the acts which entail loss of blood, including extraction of a tooth. If one's gums bleed and the faster swallows the blood with his saliva, the fast is broken. Taking in of medicines also breaks fasting. Injections are made to sick people, for whom fasting is inadvisable, but after recovery the person must compensate those days. Swallowing of saliva and phlegm, as well as rinsing of mouth and bathing, does not break fasting. But the bathing person must neither swallow the water nor dip into it. For instance, one must not jump into a basin or sea.
Question: May a housewife or a cook taste the food when cooking?
Answer: One may taste the food and then swallow it. If he/she swallows the food unconsciously, the fast is not broken.
Question: Some spouses strictly avoid intimate relations during Ramadan. Is it correct?
Answer: Naturally, intimate relations are inadmissible during the fast, but they are allowed from the break of fasting in the evening to the morning namaz (prayer), with obligatory complete bathing until the morning namaz.
Question: Is the fast of a non-prayer is taken into account?
Answer: A Muslim has five obligations - namaz, fasting, zakat (obligatory tax for charitable purposes) and khums (1/5 of annual income), jihad and hadj to Mekka (if there is a material opportunity). All these obligations are mutually connected. But one cannot say that if a person does not pray his/her fast is useless. Fulfilment of one of the obligations is a step to fulfilment of others. It is better to pay one's debt to the Lord by parts than not to do this at all. Thus, a non-prayer may fast.
The table of fasting
The Qazi Council of the Caucasus Muslims Clerical Office decreed that 1 September shall be the first day of Ramadan. Qadr and Ahya nights shall be marked from the evening of 18 September to the morning of 19 September, from the evening of 20 September to the morning of 21 September, from the evening of 22 September to the morning of 23 September, from the evening of 26 September to the morning of 27 September. Ramadan will end on 30 September or 1 October depending on appearance of the new moon. Below is the table of fasting:
1 September: beginning of fast - 05.56, break of fast - 20.29
2 September: beginning of fast -05.57, break of fast - 20.28
3 September: beginning of fast -05.58, break of fast - 20.26
4 September: beginning of fast -06.00, break of fast - 20.24
5 September: beginning of fast -06.01, break of fast - 20.22
6 September: beginning of fast -06.02, break of fast - 20.21
7 September: beginning of fast -06.03, break of fast - 20.19
8 September: beginning of fast -06.04, break of fast - 20.17
9 September: beginning of fast -06.05, break of fast - 20.16
10 September: beginning of fast -06.06, break of fast - 20.14
11 September: beginning of fast -06.07, break of fast - 20.12
12 September: beginning of fast -06.08, break of fast - 20.11
13 September: beginning of fast -06.10, break of fast - 20.09
14 September: beginning of fast -06.11, break of fast - 20.08
15 September: beginning of fast -06.12, break of fast - 20.06
16 September: beginning of fast -06.13, break of fast - 20.04
17 September: beginning of fast -06.14, break of fast - 20.02
18 September: beginning of fast -06.15, break of fast - 20.01
19 September: beginning of fast -06.16, break of fast - 19.59
20 September: beginning of fast -06.17, break of fast - 19.57
21 September: beginning of fast -06.18, break of fast - 19.55
22 September: beginning of fast -06.19, break of fast - 19.54
23 September: beginning of fast -06.20, break of fast - 19.52
24 September: beginning of fast -06.21, break of fast - 19.50
25 September: beginning of fast -06.22, break of fast - 19.49
26 September: beginning of fast -06.23, break of fast - 19.47
27 September: beginning of fast -06.24, break of fast - 19.45
28 September: beginning of fast -06.25, break of fast - 19.44
29 September: beginning of fast - 06.26, break of fast - 19.42
Ramadan usually ends with a large holiday Id Al-Fitr or Fasting Holiday. This is a small holiday in Islam, while the large one is the Holiday of Sacrifice.
Prophet Mohammad said "The beginning of Ramadan is mercy, the middle is pardoning of sins, and the end is rescue from the Hell."
On behalf of the Trend Life editorial staff we congratulate all Muslims with the beginning of the holy Ramadan month!