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Preparing for Ramadaan

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Preparing for Ramadaan

by Nurene Jassiem
12 Sep 2006
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

With Ramadaan only two weeks away, People's Post has a special Ramadaan Feature this week and I thought I'd use my column to help share some of the activity preceding the holy month with you.

This past Friday Muslims celebrated Lailatul Barah (Night of Freedom) which signifies the 15th night of the month of Shabaan.

Shabaan is the Muslim calendar month which precedes Ramadaan, the Islamic month of fasting.

In Cape Town this night is better known as Rua and is also considered to be the conclusion of the spiritual year for Muslims.

On this night, which is usually spent in a mosque, we pray for forgiveness and protection for the coming spiritual year.

It is also customary to fast on the day preceding, and the day after Rua so you can end the old and start the new spiritual year on a good note. In some ways I guess tradition forms a large part of how we as Muslims in the Cape practice our religion.

Its funny how you can almost feel when Ramadaan is approaching- for me it seems like there's something different about the air.

When I was younger I remember going to the beach a weekend or two before Rua and then not being allowed to go until after Ramadaan.

At the time I didn't quite understand the wisdom behind it but as I grew older I realised that this was not because my parents wanted to take the fun out of my summer holiday (Ramadaan was in December at the time), but because they wanted me to spend the time spiritually uplifting myself.

For some Ramadaan is merely a time when Muslims abstain from eating and drinking during the day while others use this time more constructively, increasing their recitation of the Quran and trying to do more good deeds then usual. And so as Ramadaan looms upon us, most Muslims use this time for reflection and preparing for what is considered to be a very holy month.

We take stock of what we have achieved since the last Ramadaan, and remember those who were with us last year and have since passed on.

In the coming weeks I hope to share some more of the excitement of the build-up to Ramadaan and Labarang or Eid-ul-Fitr which is the day signifying the end of Ramadaan. But for now I leave you with a Hadith which is a saying of the Prophet Mohammed (Peace and Blessings be Upon Him).

Abu Huraira narrates that the Prophet said: "When the month of Ramadaan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained."

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