It is time again for the holy month of Ramadhan...the time when a Muslim is obligated to fast as to purify his or her soul, refocus (if it wasn't focused before) his or her attention to Allah and sacrifice comforts in life to appreciate what you have and be grateful for it (to become aware of the plight of the poor and needy). The fulfillment of the required obligations (not just fasting but terawih, the reading of the Quran and so on) are rewarded 70 times more than usual reward (fasting is one of the 5 pillars of Islam).
The reason why the month of Ramadhan is so important is because it was the night that the holy book Al-Quran was sent down from the 7th level of Heaven to the 1st level from where it was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in piecemeal basis over a period of 23 years. Al-Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad. It was memorized by Muhammad and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad fourteen centuries ago. Al-Quran is also the prime source of every Muslim's faith and practice. It deals with all the subjects which concern us as human beings: wisdom, doctrine, worship, and law, but its basic theme is the relationship between God and His creatures. At the same time it provides guidelines for a just society, proper human conduct and an equitable economic system. But Muslims need to remember to not just read to Al-Quran but to also understand it.
2:185 - "Ramadhan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear (Signs) for guidance and judgment (Between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting, but if any one is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (Should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful."
Writing this entry was also a reminder to me to do the necessary for this holy month. The information above was directly taken from http://www.islamicity.com as I did not want to paraphrase and get it wrong.
Selamat Berpuasa to all my Muslim friends and for those friends who are not, enjoy the food galore at the bazaars.
The warm embrace that no one knows
2 days ago