Ramadan Rules: Answers to All Your Radaman Wories
As the sacred month of Ramadan approaches, millions of Muslims worldwide prepare to observe one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Seeing the full-time commitment of every Muslim towards this powerful month is inspiring, however, the number of practicing Muslims find themselves at the depth of concern, regarding the rules and regulations of Ramadan.
In this article, we will delve into the core Ramadan rules, shedding light on the fundamentals of fasting, prayer, and community during this blessed month.
Basically, Islam runs based on the preaching of the Quran. As for Ramadan, it takes the sighting of the moon for it to commence and to be concluded sinc. This is because it is mandatory in Islam to follow the lunar cycle.
There is no specific fixed date for Ramadan as the lunar cycle may take a few days for clear formation which is why most of the Ramadan may likely not start at the predicted date.
Partaking in Ramadan involves making niyyah before fasting, and the daily fast known as sawm starts at dawn with a meal called suhoor and ends at sunset with a meal known as iftar. More on this will be discussed as we move forward.
Ramadan Rules: Things to know about Ramadan
You must be in a state of janaba. This is an Islamic term meaning impurity after sex, ejaculation, or the completion of the menstrual cycle. A person in this state must wash so that they can become ritually pure and take part in Ramadan fasting and prayers the following day. The full-body cleansing ritual they must undertake is known as ghusl.
2: Niyyah and Suhoor
Niyyah in Islam means intention. It is an intention of commitment to fasting from dawn till sunset. Niyyah is to be made a night before fasting or before the pre-dawn meal, and making niyyah is simple, all it requires is to pronounce the phrase “Wa bisawmi ghadinn nawaiytu min shahri Ramadan”. The meaning interprets – ‘I intend to keep the fast for tomorrow in the month of Ramadan’.”
After making your intentions clear that you will be fasting for Ramadan, the suhoor meal follows which is usually consumed in the morning before fajr prayer. The idea of this meal is to provide Muslims with energy and nutrition to be energized and active during the day, it also alleviates starvation complications and other difficulties.
There is no specific type of meal for suhoor as there are millions of Muslims from different cultures with their indigenous dishes but there is something that must be at the center of every Muslim’s mind which is ensuring every meal consumed is purely halal – permissible.
3: Fasting from Dawn till Sunset
As already mentioned above, Ramadan is marked by fasting from dusk (before fajr) till dawn (sunset). Fasting which is also known as sawm in English terms is the central practice of the Islamic faith.
4: Exemptions from Fasting
While Ramadan fasting is mandatory for all healthy Muslim adults who are physically and mentally sound, it is not mandatory for certain sets of people such as:
- Children under puberty stage
- Nursing and breastfeeding mothers
- Pregnant women
- Menstruating women
- Adults suffering from any sort of ailment
- Ulcer patient
- Elderly adult who is chronically ill
It is stated in the Islamic tradition that permission to opt out is given to anyone within this category as they need enough energy and nutrition to stay healthy and unharmed. In addition, if anyone who falls under this category believes they have the capacity to fast, they are free to but once they start feeling uncomfortable, it is advised to opt out as quickly as possible.
For travelers and menstruating women, since the situation at hand is temporary for a short time, fasting may be postponed their fast till they return.
5: Additional Acts of Worship
We have discussed exemption for people who are allowed not to fast during Ramadan, we have shared more knowledge on suhoor and niyyah, and now it is time to discuss the additional act of worship that needs to be observed during Ramadan.
While fasting is the core of Ramadan, there are additional acts of worship encouraged during this month:
6: Increased Prayer: Muslims often engage in additional prayers during Ramadan, such as the Taraweeh prayers performed at night, Tahajud, and Laylat’ul Qadr. These prayers help strengthen the faith of every Muslim and tighten the bond of every Muslim with Allah.
7: Reading the Quran: Muslims are encouraged to read or listen to the entire Quran during the month. There are transliteration versions of the Quran that can be studied. Engaging in understanding both transliteration and translation is best advised as it will open the mind of a Muslim to the word of God.
For people with disabilities, such as people with eye problems, listening to the audio version of the Quran recitation is a good option. Many mosques also offer recitations of the Quran each night.
8: Charity: Acts of charity and giving are encouraged during Ramadan. Many Muslims pay Zakat al-Fitr, a form of charity that is given to those in need. No amount is too small for this practice as you can give the little you can afford, and does not need to be in the form of money, it could be food, drinks, and more.
9: Iftar and Community
Iftar is the evening meal used in breaking the fast. It is a special time for Muslim families and communities to gather for this meal, and it’s common to invite guests to share in the blessings of Ramadan.
When one deliberately breaks fasting without any underlying sickness or health complications, they are to pay back with kafarrah – penance. So how is Kafarrah paid? Kafarrah comes with three different options which include clothing the needy, feeding, and freeing.
To atone for deliberately broken/missed fast during Ramadan, the Islamic tradition states that such a victim will fast consecutively for 60 days. And if this penalty cannot be met, the other option is to feed 60 poor people by providing two meals a day for two months
Rules and Guidelines on Sexual Life
1: Sexual Relationship
Engaging in any sexual act during the hours of fasting is strictly prohibited by Islamic rules. However, it is permissible to engage in such an act after breaking the fast at sunset or before the pre-dawn meal. In addition to sexual activity, it is important for both couples to perform a spiritual cleansing bath known as Janabah. Failure to perform this bath may invalidate the next fast.
2: Kissing During Ramadan
Kissing your spouse whilst fasting does not invalidate your fast however it is advised to refrain from kissing your partner during fasting hours as this may come with sexual desire which is unacceptable during the fasting hours.
3: Involuntary Ejaculation During Sleep
During short sleep or naps during the day and you wake up to notice having an unintended or involuntary ejaculation, this does not invalidate your fast but requires you to purify yourself by bathing or washing it off or keep yourself in the state of Janabah
Ramadan is a month of devotion, reflection, and community for Muslims around the world. Its rules and guidelines are based on the Quran and Hadith (Prophet Muhammad’s teachings), and they provide a framework for fasting, prayer, and acts of worship. Understanding and observing these rules is essential for a meaningful and spiritually enriching Ramadan experience.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1: Can I Still Fast After Missing Suhoor?
This is the common act that happens to the majority of Muslims, and millions of this same question has been asked over time. Here is an answer. Fasting is still valid if you unintentionally miss a suhoor meal. In other situation where you don’t have what to eat for suhoor, drinking water is fine as it still quench your thirst.
2: What Happens When Someone Mistakenly Eats or Drinks?
This is another common mistake the majority of Muslims battle. In a situation where someone attempts to eat or drink or unintentionally eats and swallows food or drink the fast is still valid however if it is an intentional act, the fast is broken and one will be penalized by paying with Kafarrah.
3: Does Vomiting Invalidate Fast?
The question if fast is still on when someone vomits is also one of the most asked questions. The answer is that as long as it is an unintentional act, the fast is still active. In addition, one must ensure not to swallow the vomit as this will break fast.
4: Can I Brush My Teeth Whilst Fasting
This is a question mostly asked by people working in the professional field. As a worker or an employee, keeping good breath is a commendable hygiene as it keeps one sound and smart. Brushing the teeth in the morning after suhoor is acceptable but one must be very careful and sure not to swallow water or toothpaste.
5: Is it Permissible to Take Injections During Ramadan?
Taking an injection for medical reasons is absolutely permitted during fasting but taking an injection for toxication or for drugging purposes is haram and never acceptable in islam.
6: Swallowing the Saliva After Wudu
During ablution where water is taken to the mouth to wash and spill out dirt or particles, many Muslims ask if it is permissible to swallow their saliva after performing ablution. Here is an answer for you; as long as you spit out all the water in your mouth during ablution and you know you have done this properly, swallowing saliva afterward does not implicate your fast.
However if you feel guilt in your mind which is part of human behavior, to satisfy your guilt, you may keep spitting out as much saliva as possible till you satisfy your guilt.