To Muslims residing in Indonesia, Ramadan is a very special month. It is held for 30 days to commemorate the Quran’s first revelation to the Prophet Muhammad. This is an important event for Muslims, and many wonder why fasting is the method of prayer for Muslims.
First of all, it is important because this is the month that God bestowed the Quran to Muhammad. Moreover, this is believed to be the month when the entrance to heavens are wide open while the entrance to hell is closed. It is also believed that demons are chained, therefore they are less likely to tempt humans to sin.
Second, Ramadan is recorded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which is believed to be one of the foundations of Muslim life. Fasting during Ramadan is hence a necessary form of prayer. During this sacred month Muslims are expected to detach from worldly pleasures and focus on their prayers.
Third, the act of fasting and experiencing starvation constantly reminds Muslims to be grateful of God blessings they receive on a daily basis. Fasting reminds us that there are many people in this world who experience starvation on a daily basis or die out of starvation. Zakat (or donating) is one of the pillars of Islam, which is why many people donate much more to underprivileged people and orphans during the month of Ramadan.
Not only are Muslims prohibited from eating and drinking during the day, but they are also prohibited to do certain activities during the day. Behaviors that are not allowed include losing one’s temper, becoming angry, gossiping, lying, fornicating, gambling and backbiting. In essence, people who fast during the holy month not only stop themselves from eating and drinking in the day, but also cleanse their souls of any sins.
For these reasons, fasting month is incredibly important in Indonesia and the motivation to fast, pray to ‘Allah’, give back to charity and refrain from doing the things they usually do. After Ramadan, people usually feel an immense sense of loss and sadness for the end of a religious celebration.