CAIRO - Controlling the whims of their weaknesses, American Muslims await the arrival of the holy fasting month of Ramadan as the best time to purify their hearts and practice their self-control over desires and temptations.
The revelation of the Quran is what really makes Ramadan important, Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom, 22575 Ann Arbor Trail in Dearborn Heights, told Press & Guide Newspapers on Saturday, July 21.
The Quran was first revealed during Ramadan, Elahi said, as God's final revelation to mankind.
To better understand it, Muslims fast and undergo spiritual cleansing through prayer and reflection.
There is a connection between fasting and the revelation of the Quran, Elahi said.
One provides the message and the other is practicing that message.
Abstaining from all world pleasures, Muslims see Ramadan as a chance to purify themselves and practice self-control over desires and temptations.
We can remove the darkness from our lives, the darkness of ignorance, darkness of injustice or darkness or arrogance, he said.
This is a month in which believers are busy with worship, and the mosque plays a central role in the lives of thousands of these believers, according to the website of the Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in Michigan.
It is a time for reflection, education, community service and connecting with one another.
Ramadan is the holiest month in Islamic calendar.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
The sick and those traveling are exempt from fasting especially if it poses health risks.
US Muslims celebrated the start of the holy fasting month on Friday, July 20, making it the first time for Ramadan in 30 years to come in mid July.
Abstaining from halal pleasures in Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to control their desires and live a more spiritual life year-round.
It is a big test for a person in that if someone can do this exercise in Ramadan, then he can apply this to the rest of the year, Elahi said.
That is the point, that a person can protect his soul from any threat, any evil.
After evening prayers, they break the fast. There are two moments of joy that accompany this time, according to Elahi.
One is to eat for the first time all day, but the other is a sense of accomplishment in doing his or her spiritual duty.
That is really a bigger, better moment of joy, Elahi said.
Fasting is meant to teach Muslims patience, self-control and spirituality, and time during the holy month is dedicated for getting closer to Allah though prayers, reading the Noble Qur'an and good deeds.
During Ramadan, Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to become closer to Allah through prayer, self-restraint and good deeds.
It is customary for Muslims to spend part of the days during Ramadan studying the Noble Qur'an.
Although there are no official figures, the United States is believed to be home to between 6-8 million Muslims.