Ramadan Prayers and their Importance
11 April 2023
The holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It is marked by self-reflection, spiritual devotion, abstinence, and charity for Muslims across the world.
Fasting from dawn to sunset is among the Pillars of Islam and one of the principal deeds performed during this auspicious month. Once the sun sets, the fast is broken with Iftar.
In addition to refraining from food, drink, sexual relations, and tobacco, Muslims also recite Ramadan prayers throughout the month. This includes the usual namaaz offered five times a day, along with other prayers specifically offered during this month.
Ramadan is an incredibly special month for Muslims across the world. They often prepare for it by stringing lights around mosques and decorating their homes. Readying themselves for Ramadan also often involves spiritual and mental preparation to be a better person and a pious Muslim.
What Ramadan Prayers Entail
During the month of Ramadan when Muslims fast, everything they do is considered an act of worship, including sleeping.
This is because Muslims abstain from eating, drinking water, sexual pleasure, and tobacco. They are also expected to refrain from sinful activities. Therefore, every action they perform outside of these is considered pure, holy, and an effort to seek the blessings of Allah.
Muslims begin the day with sihoor whereby they have a meal before dawn to tide them over through the day. Once the sun rises, they must go about practicing patience and “sabr”, repenting for their sins and seeking Allah’s blessing throughout. The constant consciousness of hunger, thirst, and abstinence is a way of purification while becoming more grateful for water and food.
Ramadan prayers thus go beyond the traditional prayers or namaaz that are offered five times a day. It is believed that the gates of Paradise are opened during Ramadan while the gates of hell are locked shut and the devil is chained. Muslims thus perform good deeds in a bid to earn the grace and blessings of Allah and enter the gates of Paradise. This involves offering charity as part of their worship.
Furthermore, Muslims read the Qur’an and pray duas throughout the month while performing Tarawih.
Tarawih refers to nightly prayers or Sunnah which entails reading long portions of the Qur’an in a group setting. The goal is to recite the entire scripture by the end of the 30-day period. Though Tarawih is optional, Muslims across the world come together for it as it is believed that the reward for those who read Tarawih is immense.
Sharing iftar is also considered a way to earn the dua of other Muslims, thereby receiving Allah’s favor and blessing.
Muslims thus have iftar together and share meals with each other during the month. They often host iftars in their homes where they invite and feed guests.
The Importance of Prayer
Ramadan prayers offer an opportunity to deepen one’s connection with Allah and seek forgiveness for sins. Muslims believe that performing prayers during Ramadan earns them greater rewards than at any other time of the year.
Tarawih prayers also enhance their understanding and appreciation of the Qur’an. Reciting and listening to it helps them reflect on the Qura’an’s message, thereby deepening their faith and cleansing their souls.
Abstinence during Ramadan is an opportunity for renewal and growth as individuals can focus on enriching their souls and repenting for their sins. It reduces the distraction of having to plan, prep, and cook three meals daily. This offers Muslims the opportunity to appreciate every morsel they consume at the end of the day.
Sharing iftar together also helps build the community, providing Muslims with a sense of belonging that deepens their faith while strengthening their social bonds.
Furthermore, Ramadan prayers are good for health as prayers are found to reduce anxiety, stress, and depression by providing individuals with a sense of emotional comfort and routine.
Muslims also connect with themselves and each other better when they congregate for Ramadan prayers.
The physical act of engaging in Ramadan prayers can also help maintain fitness and mobility. The various movements in namaaz and Tarawih involve bowing, bending, prostrating, and standing straight which can increase blood flow and improve posture.
Prayers thus offer physical, emotional, and mental benefits as they require movement and reduce stress while offering a sense of community and tranquility.
Performing and Respecting Ramadan Prayers
Ramadan is the holiest month of the year so performing and respecting Ramadan prayers are extremely important for Muslims across the globe. If you’re unfamiliar with these practices, here are some tips to help you:
- Start slow – Ramadan can be tiring if you’re not accustomed to it, so give your mind, body, and soul a chance to slowly catch up. Start with a small number of rakats during Tarawih, then gradually increase them as you become more comfortable.
- Maintain focus – the main focus of Ramadan is to seek Allah’s blessings and forgiveness by performing prayers and good deeds while repenting for your sins. Maintain your focus on these aspects and try to reduce distractions when you are praying or reciting the Qur’an so you can fully immerse yourself in the practice.
- Plan ahead – attending Tarawih can be difficult if you don’t plan ahead. So, create your schedule around Tarawih and namaaz so you can make the most of this auspicious month.
The key to Ramadan prayers is to treat it as a spiritual, meditative practice and go at your own pace until you can reach your goal. Pray and recite the Qur’an to the best of your abilities but don’t forget to extend compassion to yourself and everyone around you.
Ramadan is a month of abstinence, devotion, prayer, and spirituality. Religion and faith are extremely personal so it is important to deepen your connection with Allah in a way that soothes your soul. While it only lasts for one month, the lessons you learn while focusing your energy towards namaaz and Qur’an can be a transformative experience.
It can help you lead a more healthy and fulfilling life too! Ramadan Kareem!