The Quran makes special mention of its revelation in the month of Ramadan, while making it obligatory upon the followers. This indicates that there is a close link between Ramadan and the Quran. In the words of the Quran:
In the month of Ramadan the Quran was revealed, a book of guidance with proofs of guidance distinguishing right from wrong. Therefore whoever of you is present in that month let him fast. But he who is ill or on a journey shall fast a similar number of days later on. (2:185)
The revelation of the Quran started in 610 AD, in the month of Ramadan according to the lunar calendar. The first revelation was made to Prophet Muhammad when he was in the cave of Hira, and it continued for the next 23 years, finally reaching completion in Madinah.
The guidance given in the Quran is the best blessing to mankind from God, because it shows man the path to ultimate success. It tells man how to conduct himself so that in his eternal life he can gain entry into paradise. Paradise is the goal of man. Fasting is the path to it.
The month of Ramadan is the annual reminder of this blessing. The celebration of the revelation of the Quran is not observed in the usual way but by abstinence and being thankful to the Almighty. Fasting in this month is the acknowledgment of the divine blessings. It is like saying, ‘O Lord I have heard and I accept it.’
Also this is a month during which the Quran should be read and understood. The Quran is specially recited in this month. In the night the Qur’an is also recited during Tarawih. This month has been made special so that the blessings of God may be counted even more.
When the Quran is read during the month of its revelation, it reminds us of the time when the divine light from heaven fell upon the earth. Man remembers this and cries out, ‘O Lord, fill my heart with your divine light!’ He cries out, ‘Make me among those who are near you!’ When he reads about Hell and Paradise, his inner self cries out, ‘O Lord, save me from Hell, and let me enter Paradise.’
In this way the Quran becomes a guiding force in man’s life. He earns his livelihood according to its dictates. He bathes in the ocean of its life to cleanse his soul.
The Quran is a reward to His servants from God. And fasting is acknowledgment of the reward. Through fasting man makes himself worthy of being thankful to God. He obeys the command of God and thus revels in the supremacy of God. Having gone through a month’s fasting, he creates an ability in himself to lead a life of piety as ordained in the Quran.
Fasting is a special deed. It makes a man kind-hearted, and enables him to awaken his finer feelings. He is then able to feel and experience what God desires of a man in this world.
Fasting, a form of training to create the capacity in a man to become the most devoted worshipper, makes him most grateful to God and creates a fear of Him which makes him shiver. The very hardship of fasting carries a man from the material world to the plain of spirituality.