”Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down as a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights (the new moon of) the month , let him fast it ; and whoever is ill or on journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you all ease and does not intend for you hardship and (wants) for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that (to) which He has guided you ; and perhaps you will be grateful”
These are the ayaat from the Quran in which Allah (Glorified is He) introduces the month of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is described as the one in which the Quran was sent down , a guidance for humanity. Quran is the last book which has been sent down by Allah and therefore it is not merely restricted to just the Arabs or the Muslims that lived during the life of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, but even to the Muslims and Non Muslims that are present today and the generations that shall follow . Allah (Glorified is He) says in the Quran :
”Then we gave the Book (The Quran) as inheritance to those of our servants whom we have chosen” (Fatir:32)
After Prophet Muhammad ﷺ this Ummah has inherited the book. Meaning thereby, that every Muslim of this Ummah has been distinguished by a unique honor which was previously bestowed only to Prophets. However , along with the honor it becomes the responsibility on each individual of the Ummah to convey the message of the Quran to the rest of the mankind. (Muntakhib Ahadith)
To convey this message there has to be a proper understanding of the Book of Allah which makes it clear that there needs to be consistent effort in getting to know the Qu’ran. This has a very deep relation with how Allah (Glorified is He) sent down these Ayat and how He explains this month.
This particular ayah was revealed in Medina (after the Hijra has been done). Therefore the companions of the Prophet (Allah be pleased with them all) were already aware that the Quran has been sent down as a guidance for the whole humanity, despite this acknowledgement Allah decided to introduce the month of Ramadan as well as the Qu’ran again. Allah says :
ۚ ِانَقْزُفْالَ و ٰىَدُهْ ال َنِّ م ٍاتَنِّيَبَ و ِاسَّلنِّ ى ل ًدُ ه ُآنْزُقْ ال ِيهِ ف َلِنزُ ي أ ِذَّ ال َانَضَمَ ر ُزْهَ ش
”The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.”
This is the month in which you and I need to renew our relationship , understanding with the Quran and contemplate Allah’s speech in the Quran. Allah wants us to renew it even when we have been reading , studying it for months and years. Everyone has to form a relationship with the Qu’ran individually. There are many treasures in the Quran and sometimes when we come across an ayah, it hits us right in the heart and we understand it well because it’s befitting to our situation in life that we can’t even explain it fully to other people.
Very often we associate the month of Ramadan with just Fasting. There is no doubt that Ramadan is the month in which Fasting has been prescribed and is one of the Foundations of Islam. But somehow we sometimes fail to understand the real goal of Ramadan . To understand this , we need to go back to the root of the word ‘Ramadan’
The word ‘Ramadan’ comes from the word ‘Ramad’ which literally means burning.
Imam Qurtubi says ‘It was named Ramadan because it burns the sins of the People with good deeds’ (Tafsir Al Qurtubi v.2 pg271).
The month of Ramadan is an opportunity to get your sins erased and earn huge reward for the simple acts of worship. When your sins are erased and you increase in doing good and earning reward from Allah, this automatically brings you closer to Allah. Every Muslim knows that this is the month in which he/she should become close to Allah and Allah gives us the key on how to get close to Him in this month. The Quran is that key. The real goal of Ramadan is not to just Fast but to ponder and reflect on the Qu’ran and spend more time with the Book of Allah than you’ve ever spent. You need to start all over again your relationship with the Quran
This happens when you understand the message correctly. And this is the month in which you can give yourself a better chance to understand the Book of Allah along with Fasting. This month is meant for mental , spiritual , physical and social transformation. And this transformation should last forever. For example, you can begin by listening or reading Tafsir of the Quran available on Youtube, learning Arabic to understand the Quran better and make efforts to rid yourself of the bad qualities that hold you back from excelling with regards to your relationship with Allah and His creation.
May Allah grant us the ability to fulfill the obligations of this month and to make the most of it. Ameen.