The holy month of Ramadan has arrived, a month when Muslims across the globe are delighted to find a sense of peace and spiritual healing, and test their strength and devotion to God.

As the world’s largest Muslim country, where there are 231 million people who practice Islam (World Population Review 2021), Indonesia is a place to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan in various ways. To mark its arrival, Muslims in Jakarta and other regions are excited to welcome the auspicious month, from preparing food for suhoor and iftar, organising iftar gatherings, and decorating their house to shopping for new clothes and other needs for Eid Al-Fitr (lebaran). Ramadan is also the time for takjil (snack) sellers to make their fortunes! As well as hotels, restaurants, and cafes that all prepare special Ramadan offers and promotions – Muslims and industries find joy in the month of fasting. 

Ramadan deserves a special place in the calendar, as it is one of the five key pillar that Muslims are obligated to fulfil throughout their lifetime. 

Every Muslim should be looking forward to welcoming Ramadan because it is a sign of faith due to the many glories, blessings, and virtues that come with it. Every Muslim should prepare themselves to welcome Ramadan which is not only fixated on preparing food, clothes, events, etc. but on the mentality and sincerity during fasting so that the feeling of eagerness in welcoming and carrying out fasting has an important meaning. How? 

First, be happy because Muslims who meet Ramadan means that they are still given the opportunity to enjoy worship, give thanks to Allah, and beg for His mercy. Ramadan is a month that has a special influence on self-righteousness by always increasing the quantity and quality of worship.

Second, be grateful for the time of togetherness. Muslims will experience abundant togetherness with their family, friends and community in the month of Ramadan. There are plenty of opportunities that encourage you to do so, such as eating suhoor and breaking the fast together, as well as going to the mosque for Taraweeh prayer and reciting the Quran. 

Third, rejoice because Ramadan is also a month of giving, where moments of sustenance for the believers will be added. Those who prepare food to break the fast for fasting people, they will be forgiven for their sins and freed from the fires of hell. The person who prepares food to break the fast will be given the same reward as a fasting person without reducing the reward of the fasting person in the slightest. This is indeed the time for Muslims to care and enact good deeds.

Istiqlal Mosque, Pasar Baru, Central Jakarta City, Jakarta,

Ramadan is an opportunity to increase the quality and quantity of worship. So, fourth, be content in carrying out fasting by not only enduring hunger and thirst, but Muslims must be able to protect themselves from all disgraceful actions. Fasting must be used as a vehicle to form a mental attitude, to become a human being who fears Allah and worships with sincerity. This is an essential part of carrying out Ramadan worship.

Fifth, be happy because only during Ramadan month do Muslims have the opportunity to meet Lailat Al-Qadar (Night of Power), a night that is better than a thousand months. It is a night of great blessings in which God showers His mercy upon those of His believers who sincerely and faithfully love and obey His will. Muslims are strongly encouraged to perform their prayers on the odd nights of the last ten nights of Ramadan.

This is also exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad by giving directions and guidance for Ramadan to his friends when entering the holy month. In this directive, the Prophet emphasised that the month of Ramadan is a month full of blessings in which there is a night that is better than a thousand months (Lailat Al-Qadar). The Prophet also reminded the privileges of the month of Ramadan by saying that whoever performs an obligation in the month of Ramadan equals the same reward from God (pahala) as carrying out seventy obligations in other months.

With optimal preparation and excitement, it is hoped that this Ramadan will provide such great influence for self-improvement to become a virtuous and better human being. Happy Ramadan! 

Sari Widiati

Sari Widiati

Sari has been an arts and culture enthusiast for many years. She has written extensively on the arts, travel, and social issues as Features Writer at NOW! Jakarta.