Friday, September 26, 2008
FACTS ABOUT RAMADAN
In Islam, fasting is a religious ritual that involves abstaining from all food, drink, sexual activity, and certain other specified activities from dawn until sunset.
Fasting during the Month of Ramadan
This communal religious obligation is one of the five pillars of Islam. It
derives its importance from the saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that Islam stands on five (pillars) : To witness that there is no god but God (Allah) and that Muhammad (pbuh) is His Prophet, to perform the required prayers, to pay the zakat (poor-due), to fast the month of Ramadan, and to perform the pilgrimage (Hajj) to Makkah.
Who Must Fast Fasting is obligatory upon every adult Muslim who is sane, is able to perform it and is not travelling. If he cannot meet any one of these conditions, he is excused from the fast without any penalty.
Those who embrace Islam are not required to make up the fasts that they missed while they were non-Muslims.
Those who are insane, retarded, or somehow mentally impaired so that they do not (or cannot) function like normal people do not have to fast. They are not penalized in any way. The same is true for those who are very elderly and feel that they are unable to fast.
Invalids, such as very elderly people or people suffering from incurable
Illnesses, are not required to fast. However, they must compensate for this by
feeding one needy person for every day of fasting that they miss.
Those who fall ill unexpectedly and feel that their condition would worsen if they observed the fast are excused. After they recover, they must make up the fast by fasting the number of days that they missed.
Pregnant and nursing mothers do not have to fast if they feel that it would cause them undue and unnecessary hardship or that it might harm the unborn child or the nursing infant. After this period of danger has passed, they must fast the number of days that they missed.
Women who are having their menstrual period or experiencing bleeding due to recent child birth are not required to fast. They must make up the days that they have missed when their period or bleeding has stopped.