Ramadhan Quiz 2010 – Questions and Answers
In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, New Zealand
Q. 1: What is ‘fasting’ in religion?
· In religious terminology, fasting means abstaining from food or drink or any other things, that are normally allowed, over a length of time (e.g. from dawn to dusk) as an act of worship to Almighty God.
Q. 2: What is the Islamic fast?
· In Islam, the period of the daily fast extends from the first flush of dawn normally about an hour and a half before sunrise, till after sunset. During this period neither food nor drink or nourishment may be passed through the lips of a person who is observing the fast. Nor should any drug or other substance be swallowed or injected into the system. Nor should there be any conjugal relationship.
Q. 3: When is it obligatory for Muslims to observe the fasting?
· It is obligatory for Muslims to observe the fasting during the month of Ramadhan. Ramadhan is the 9th month on the Islamic Calendar. The Islamic Calendar is a lunar calendar in which months are calculated according to the movement of the moon. A lunar month has 29 or 30 days, so Muslims fast every day during the month of Ramadhan.
Q. 4: When was the fasting in the month of Ramadhan prescribed in Islam?
· It was prescribed by Almighty Allah for Muslims in the 2nd year after the Hijra (migration) of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw to Medina.
Q. 5: What is the purpose of prescribing fasting in Islam?
· Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur’an in chapter 2; Al-Baqara, verse 184: `O ye who believe, fasting is prescribed for you during a fixed number of days as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may safeguard yourselves against every kind of ill and become righteous.
Q. 6: Give an example from the Holy Qur’an that proves that the followers of other religions would also fast.
· In the Holy Qur’an, chapter 19; Sura Maryam, verse 27, it is mentioned about Hadhrat Maryamas (Mary) mother of Hadhrat Eesaas (Jesus): ... say, ‘I have vowed a fast to the Gracious God.’
Q. 7: What is the Arabic word used in the Holy Qur’an for a ‘fast’ and what is its literal meaning?
· The Arabic word for a ‘fast’ is ‘SOWM’ which means ‘refraining or abstaining from something.’
Q. 8: What is the meaning of the word ‘Ramadhan’ and what does it signify as explained by the Holy Founder of Ahmadiyyat, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdias?
· The word ‘Ramadhan’ literally means ‘two intense heats’. It refers to the two intense heats and burnings experienced by the one who observes fasting. The first heat and burning is the physical one caused by thirst and hunger and the second one is spiritual that is the warmth of love in the heart of the believer for his/her Creator.
Q. 9: What are the two main categories of people who are exempted from fasting during Ramadhan and what are they supposed to do?
· The sick and those who are on a journey are exempted from fasting. They should fast, after Ramadhan, the same number of days as missed by them during Ramadhan because of their sickness or being on a journey.
Q. 10: Who are the different people falling in the category of the sick?
· It includes those who are sick temporarily or permanently, elderly people who are too weak to fast and women in the family way or suckling or during the monthly.
Q. 11: What is ‘Fidya’?
· ‘Fidya’ with reference to Ramadhan is the expiation for the missed fasts during Ramadhan. It is feeding a needy, two ordinary meals or their price or at least 2.75 kg wheat or any other grain commonly consumed or its price, for every missed fast. Those in the category of the sick who do not hope to recover from their illness or return to normal condition until next Ramadhan or are permanently sick, and the elderly people who are too weak to fast should give ‘Fidya’ to the poor and needy.
Q. 12: Is it obligatory for children to fast during Ramadhan?
· Children are also exempted from the fasting because they are still growing. However, they can start fasting for one or two days during Ramadhan once they reach the age of 11 or 12. They can increase this number of days every year until they reach the age of their body strength (18 years or so), when one should start observing fasts during the whole month of Ramadhan.
Q. 13: What is the ultimate reward of fasting?
· The Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw said: Almighty Allah says that fasting is for Me and I will become its reward. That is one who observes the fast will meet Almighty Allah and be granted His nearness.
Q. 14: What is purer in the estimation of Almighty Allah than the fragrance of musk?
· The odour of the breath of the one who observes the fast is purer in the estimation of Allah than the fragrance of musk.
Q. 15: How did the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw describe the earlier, middle and last portions of the month of Ramadhan?
· He described its earlier part (first ten days) as mercy, its middle as forgiveness from sins and its last portion as deliverance from the fire.
Q. 16: How does the fasting during Ramadhan guarantee forgiveness of one’s all past sins?
· The Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw said: He who observes the fast during the month of Ramadhan out of sincerity of faith and engaging himself in self-accountability will have his past sins forgiven.
Q. 17: What is the significance of voluntary (Nafl) Prayer (Tahajjud/Taraaveeh) at night during Ramadhan?
· The Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw said: i) Observing the nights of Ramadhan in worship is a voluntary act [especially enjoined]. ii) He who observes the nights of Ramadhan in worship out of sincerity of faith and engaging himself in self-accountability will have his past sins forgiven.
Q. 18: What is the significance of Ramadhan with refrence to the Holy Qur’an?
· The Holy Qur’an began to be revealed in the month of Ramadhan as a guidance for mankind. The arch-angel Jibree (Gabriel) would descend in every Ramadhan to revise with the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw the Qur’an revealed until then. In the last Ramadhan in the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw the angel Jibreel revised the whole of the Qur’an twice with the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw. It is very pleasing to Almighty Allah to spend more and more time in recitation of His Book, the Holy Qur’an, during Ramadhan. The Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw said: The fasting and the recitation of the Qur’an will intercede with Allah on behalf of a believer that will be accepted by Almighty Allah.
Q. 19: What renders one’s fasting useless and vain?
· i) Telling lies and conduct based on falsehood and deception ii) loose and vain talk iii) not controlling one’s temper and behaving impatiently
Q. 20: What is ‘I’tikaaf’?
· During the last ten days of Ramadhan, many people go into a kind of seclusion in a mosque and devote the whole of their time, besides the obligatory and voluntary Prayer services, to the study of the Quran and the remembrance of Allah. This period of complete devotion is called ‘I’tikaaf’. On one of the odd nights of these ten days falls ‘Lylat-ul-Qadr’ (the Night of Decree) which is better than a thousand months that is worshiping Almighty Allah therein opens the doors of His infinite Mercy and blessings to the worshiper and earns him/her immeasurable reward.