I was astonished one day that a French Catholic woman had a strong hatred for the month of Ramadan, since her Muslim husband does not perform any of the pillars of Islam except fasting, and this lady could not prevent him from doing that, even though he lives far away from any social influence as he lives outside his country.
One day, she angrily said in front of a group of Muslim women: I can’t stand this month.
I had a conviction at that time that a person’s extreme hatred of a ritual in Islam means that this ritual has secrets, great virtue, and has a special importance to God, which made some non-Muslims angry with it.
But what are these secrets?
Among the verses that caught my attention in the Holy Qur’an was verse 183 of Surah Al-Baqarah (the cow), which tells us that fasting is prescribed for Muslims as it was prescribed for those before them.
“ O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become righteous “.
Muslims do not believe that the Old Testament and the New Testament which exist today are the words of God, this is because they believe they were distorted. However, Muslims believe that the Old Testament and the New Testament came from valid sources which are the Torah and the Gospel that God revealed to His prophets Moses and Jesus Christ. Therefore, some parts of the Old Testament and New Testament are from God and other parts were distorted.
It is known that the lunar year used in the Islamic world today, was also used by the followers of Moses, peace be upon him, in ancient covenants. In other words, all the dates mentioned in the books of the Old and New Testaments are originally lunar.
The Holy Qur’an for example speaks about the wandering of the children of Israel in the desert for 40 years. These are forty lunar years equivalent to about 38 years and 10 solar months (the result of dividing 40 by 1 03).
It is worth noting that verse 25 of Surat Al-Kahf (the cave), “and they stayed in their cave for three hundred years, adding nine” denotes the conversion factor from the Gregorian year to the lunar year, 1, 03 (the result of dividing 309 Lunar year by 300 Gregorian years = 1, 03).
So, let’s get acquainted with what was mentioned in some books of the “Old Testament” about the ninth month of the lunar year, which is known for Muslims as the month of Ramadan.
The moon was created by God to determine the months.
“He made the moon to mark the months, and the sun sets according to a regular schedule “ (The Book of Psalms 104:19).
Fasting the ninth month.
“In the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, all the people in Jerusalem and all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem proclaimed a fast before the LORD“ (The Book of Jeremiah 36:9).
Fasting starts morning and ends evening.
“They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword“ (2 Samuel 1:12).
Fasting by abstaining from food and drink.
“Ask all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?“ (the book of Zechariah 7:5-6).
Proclaim a retreat (I’tikaf) at the house of God during the month of fasting.
“ Announce a time of fasting; call the people together for a solemn meeting. Bring the leaders and all the people of the land into the Temple of the LORD your God (tell the leaders and people to come together at the temple. Order them to go without eating and to pray sincerely), and cry out to Him there.“ (The Book of Joel 1:14).
Celebrating the holiday when seeing the crescent.
“Blow a horn in the month, In the new moon, at the day of our festival“ (The Book of Psalm 81:3).
God says in the Holy Qur’an:
” The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, 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 a journey – then an equal number of other days. God intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify God for that[to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. (Qur’an 2:185).
He says as well:
“..، and seek what God has ordained for you, and eat and drink until the white streak of dawn can be distinguished from the black streak. Then complete the fast until nightfall. But do not approach them while you are in retreat at the mosques. These are the limits of God, so do not come near them. God thus clarifies His revelations to the people, that they may attain piety” (Qur’an 2:187).
And He says:
“For a specified number of days. But whoever among you is sick, or on a journey, then a number of other days. For those who are able: a ransom of feeding a needy person. But whoever volunteers goodness, it is better for him. But to fast is best for you, if you only knew “ (Qur’an 2:184).
God’s description of fasting Ramadan came as “specified number of days”, because fasting days begins and ends with the sighting of the crescent.
Receiving the word of God during the month of Ramadan:
“On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Haggai” (The Book of Haggai 2:10).
“From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid. Give careful thought” (The Book of Haggai 2:18).
“In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev“ (the book of Zechariah 7:1).
The words of Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and grant him peace, confirm what was mentioned:
“ The scriptures of Abraham, upon him be peace, were revealed on the first night of Ramadan. The Torah was revealed after six nights of Ramadan had passed. The Gospel of Jesus was revealed after thirteen nights of Ramadan had passed. The Qur’an was revealed after twenty-four nights of Ramadan had passed “(Musnad Ahmad 16536).