RamadanThe Qur’an prescribes fasting during Ramadan for a rather special reason: it is the month when the Qur’an itself was first revealed. The first verses of the Qur’an (96:1 – 5), were revealed on 27 Ramadan 611.
“Recite, in the name of your Lord!
He Who created!
He created man from a blood clot.
Recite! Your Lord is most bountiful.
He taught with a pen.
He taught man what he knew not.”
Ramadan thus, in Muslim thought, has an intimate connection with God. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which begins with the hijra or migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina during 622. The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar: ‘they ask thee concerning the New Moons. Say: They are times appointed for mankind’ (verse 1:89). As the lunar year is around eleven days shorter than the solar year, the months drift with respect to seasons. Over the cycle of 32.5 years there is a balance: fasting can be experienced in the extreme heat of the summer as well as the shivering cold of winter; and, of course, in some parts of the world for longer days or shorter days as well.
(Content credit – Reading The Qur’an by Ziauddin Sardar and translation of Qur’an verses by Tarif Khalidi).