Time for acts of forgiveness, love

RAMADAN is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims – the Prophet Muhammad reportedly said: “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened, the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”

Auburn Islamic Community Centre Imam and President Mohammed ‘Abu Yousef’ Al Zoubi confirms that Ramadan is the most important time of the year for millions of Muslims the world over and not least because the “devils” are powerless to prevent believers from strengthening their faith and relationship with Allah.
He said Ramadan was a month steeped in mercy, forgiveness and renewal with all believers given the opportunity to break free from the hellfire by increasing their good deeds.
“We also fast (no eating, drinking or sex) from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan as a way to free ourselves from earthly desires and have more opportunity to pray and read the Quran (or Koran), do charitable acts and re-connect with friends and family,” he said.
“Fasting is also the fourth pillar of Islamic worship, along with testimony proclaiming Allah, praying, giving charity and at least once in your lifetime visiting The Hajj in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city and birthplace of Muhammad.”
The Imam said there would be many prayers this year for families suffering in Gaza.
“Our communities are very upset around the world and Ramadan will be a time of universal prayer for them,” he said.
With every family having its own traditions at this time of year, he said many attend the mosque several times a day during Ramadan, give gifts to loved ones and share their blessings of food during Iftar when they come together after sunset to celebrate.
“You can sense the environment changing during Ramadan, there’s something special in the air and you can definitely feel the love and blessings all around you,” he said.