Holy month of Ramadan and Islamic tradition of purifying own soul

Sivasagar, Prangan Duarah: With more than one billion followers Islam is the world’s second largest religion. Ramadan which is also known as Ramadhan or Ramzan, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Ramadan is a period of a year when Muslims around the world focus on worship, fasting, giving to charity, and religious devotion. Muslim people around the world fast during the hours of daylight in Ramadan. They do not eat, drink, smoke or engage in sexual intercourse during the fast. They believe that fasting during this holy month is a way to cleanse the soul, while gaining empathy for those who are less fortunate. They also focus on reading the Koran (Qu’ran), the central religious text of Islam, donating to charities (zakat). Some people recite the entire Koran by the end of Ramadan. In the evening of Ramadhan, at many places like in private houses or at mosques communal prayer and meals are organized. The last third of the Ramadhan month is known as Laylat-al-Qadr, which is considered as the holiest period of this month.

Chapter 2, Revelation 185, of the Quran states:

The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.[Quran 2:185]

During this period, many people spend the entire night praying or reading Islamic texts at a mosque. The meaning of Layat-al-Qadr is the night of power.

According to the Islamic texts, it is believed that Ramadan began with the founder of Islam, Prophet Muhammad, who was born in 570 CE in the Arabian city of Mecca. According to Islam, one night during the month of Ramadan in the year 610 A.D. when Muhammad was 40 years of age and was passing the month in meditation in Mount Hira, he had a vision of an angel appearing before him. This angel introduced himself as Jibril and revealed that Muhammad was the messenger of Allah and was born to be a prophet to his people. At first, he was confused and feared that he had encountered an evil but his confusion was cleared by Waraqa ibn Nawfal, a nobleman. In the following twenty-three years, Muhammad was visited many times by Jibril and taught him the holy knowledge in verses. It is believed that the sacred knowledge was revealed to Muhammad during the month of Ramadan. As a mark of respect and gratitude to Allah for the true knowledge that he gifted to his sons and daughters, the prophet asked the followers of this religion to pass the month of Ramadan in fasting, prayers and helping each other. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, a series of formal acts of worship that are fundamental to the lives of Muslims, which are known as Shahadah, Salat, Zakat, Sawm, and Hajj.

Laylat al-Qadr (Arabic: لیلة القدر‎‎) (also known as Shab-e-Qadr , loaned from Persian), variously rendered in English as the Night of Decree, Night of Power, Night of Value, Night of Destiny, or Night of Measures also falls in the month of Ramazan, which is in Islamic belief the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is one of the odd nights of the last ten days of Ramadan and is better than 1000 months of worship. Muslims believe that on this night the blessings and mercy of Allah are abundant, sins are forgiven, supplications are accepted, and that the annual decree is revealed to the angels who also descend to earth.

We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power:

And what will explain to thee what the night of power is?
The Night of Power is better than a thousand months.
Therein come down the angels and the Spirit by Allah’s permission, on every errand:
Peace!…This until the rise of dawn!

— Sura 97 (Al-Qadr), āyāt 1-5

Shahadah is reciting the Muslim profession of faith; Salat includes performing ritual prayers five times a day; Zakat means paying a charity tax to benefit the poor and the needy; Sawm includes fasting during the month of Ramadan, and Hajj means the pilgrimage to Mecca. This holy month starts on June 7. With the beginning of this month, the atmosphere is filled with the spirit of mirth and love. Hope this holy month be the harbinger of joy and prosperity.