The only revelation dealing with the month of Ramadan is in Surah Baqarah. More importantly, the Surah with all of its subjects covers an overview of Islam in a bigger picture.
One of the strongest messages in this particular Surah is that Islam has the same roots as the religion of Ibrahim ‘alaihissalam. In a comprehensive way, Rasulullah ﷺ mission is to fulfill the legacy of Ibrahim! You may argue that the five pillars/foundations of Islam derived from the legacy of Ibrahim. Let’s review the concepts briefly,
1. Shahada, the core concept of Tauhid, One God that cannot be compared to anything. This first foundation of Islam resonates strongly in relation with Ibrahim as his message is about Tauhid. Because of that, the idea of monotheistic faith commonly known as Abrahamic faith. The message of Ibrahim and Islam are tie-in on shahada itself. Note to mention that the Ka’bah itself is the establishment of the concept of Tauhid. This resonates firmly in the mission of Rasulullah ﷺ as he liberates the Ka’bah from the idols to restore the legacy of Ibrahim.
2. Salah, the daily prayers, are the fulfillment of the Ibrahim prayers (du’a), “please make my generation pray!”
3. The act of Hajj is practically how we learn the history of our father, Ibrahim. Every part of it commemorate the legacy of Ibrahim, following the footsteps of our father literally. Fasting in Ramadan and Zakat are not so obvious attributed to Ibrahim, but it has a connection and inseparable bond with the legacy of Ibrahim,
4. As far as Zakat is a concern, there is an ayah relating Ibrahim and Ismail with Salat and Zakat. In one narration of hadith, Ismail used to tell his family to pray and give Zakat. Obviously, he learns from his father, Ibrahim. So Zakat has a connection to Ibrahim.
5. How is Ramadan supposed to connect the legacy of Ibrahim?
As Ibrahim build the Ka’bah, he realizes that the religion may deteriorate over time, and he made prayer: sent a messenger who recites the book, teaching them, and cleanse them.
رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِكَ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them Your Verses and teaching the Book and Al-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islamic laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood, etc.), and cleanse them. Verily! You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” [QS 2:129]
Remarkably the order of this ayah comes before the ayah of Ramadan and as the ayah progressed up until when Ibrahim build the Ka’bah alongside Ismail, from whom long-lineage gap after will be coming to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. In the other side, there are long-chain of generation of prophets comes after Ishaq. Every prophet who passed away, there will be a new generation of prophets to take their place. Every generation in Ishaq lineage had a prophet, while there are thousands of years of gap between Ismail and Muhammad, Rasulullah ﷺ!!
Later on, in the years to come, the promised one received Quran on the Night of Decree (ليلة القدر) which has happened in Ramadan! In conclusion, Ramadan is a celebration when the prayer of Ibrahim was finally answered through the coming of Rasulullah ﷺ. Ibrahim made a prayer thousands year ago of the coming of the final messenger, “Ya ﷲ send a messenger who will recite your revelation.”
That messenger is indeed Rasulullah ﷺ and he also appointed as the final messenger in this holy month of Ramadan! The five foundations of Islam in one way or another are trace back to the Prophet Ibrahim ‘alaihissalam. As Quran further described and mentioned in Surah Baqarah, both lineage of Ibrahim: Ismail and Ishaq, considered themselves as Muslim. The Rabbi didn’t necessarily practice all entire different faith. At their time, respectively in every generation in that long-chain lineage of Ishaq, they are describing themselves as Muslim whether today they acknowledge the name or not.
Rasulullah ﷺ also introduced that his message is the practice of Ibrahim religion, not as something that inseparable from the Rabbi. Ibrahim is the tie between these two lineages. The majority of the prophets is indeed coming from the son of Ishaq, notably Ya’qub (Israel), even Rasulullah ﷺ acknowledge the first Qibla in Jerusalem as he prays towards it and further goes there in the event of Miraculous Night Journey (Isra’). He also used to practice the fasting as the Rabbi did!
All in all, Quran describing these two lineages and legacies as a joint, it is inseparable! The religious frameworks that both sides used is parallel to each other, and Quran captures its message beautifully with the tie-in between them is Ibrahim. Experts could come to a conclusion that Muhammad is really the prophet which has been foretold!
For the Jews, they were used to learn the signs of the upcoming prophet. As months and years passing by, they were in desperate moments waiting the promised one, they have studied the signs heavily! The last prophet that has appeared before them is Isa ‘alaihissalam, yet most of them rejected him.
There is a 6th-century gap between Isa ‘alaihissalam and Rasulullah ﷺ. For these gap of years, the study of eschatology (the end of times) becomes more and more intense as they are hoping the promised one will unite and gave them victory and liberation! When the news of Muhammad of the Arabs comes, their people tend to lean towards him, curious to learn about his message, but then intervened by the Rabbi instead!
As the final messenger revealed, and apparently that he is coming from the Arabs, the Rabbis are in heavy denial and thus rejected Rasulullah ﷺ. Not only being rejected, they even blockade the message of Islam to their people and saying that he is not the real prophet! When these blockades happened, ﷲ took their status as an ummah by turning the Qibla from Jerusalem to Mecca.
سَيَقُولُ السُّفَهَاءُ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَا وَلَّاهُمْ عَن قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِي كَانُوا عَلَيْهَا ۚ قُل لِّلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ ۚ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
The foolish among the people will say, “What has turned them away from their Qiblah, which they used to face?” Say, “To Allah belongs the east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a straight path.” [QS. 2:142]
وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا ۗ وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِي كُنتَ عَلَيْهَا إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّن يَنقَلِبُ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ ۚ وَإِن كَانَتْ لَكَبِيرَةً إِلَّا عَلَى الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ ۗ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
And thus, we have made you a just community/nation that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you. And We did not make the Qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed, Allah is, to the people, Kind, and Merciful. [QS. 2:143]
قَدْ نَرَىٰ تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاءِ ۖ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا ۚ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۚ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ ۗ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ
We have certainly seen the turning of your face, [O Muhammad], toward the heaven, and We will surely turn you to a qiblah with which you will be pleased. So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]. Indeed, those who have been given the Scripture well know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do. [QS. 2:144]
وَلَئِنْ أَتَيْتَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ بِكُلِّ آيَةٍ مَّا تَبِعُوا قِبْلَتَكَ ۚ وَمَا أَنتَ بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَتَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا بَعْضُهُم بِتَابِعٍ قِبْلَةَ بَعْضٍ ۚ وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءَهُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ ۙ إِنَّكَ إِذًا لَّمِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
And if you brought to those who were given the Scripture every sign, they would not follow your qiblah. Nor will you be a follower of their qiblah. Nor would they be followers of one another’s qiblah. So if you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, indeed, you would then be among the wrongdoers. [QS. 2:145]
The shifting direction of Qibla is a sign that the capital of Islam, the true religion of Ibrahim is also changing! This means that ﷲ separates this two ummah completely. In Surah Baqarah, ﷲ also mentioned about Ibrahim as the tie between Israelites and newly born Muslim society. It is as He is saying that “if you are proud of your heritage, at least show some loyalty to Ibrahim!” No matter what color or race, every human being has the same opportunities in this life.
The changing of Qibla is making the Jewish people furious! They realize that they were separated in religion completely and a new distinct nation was born. In this very moment, ﷲ makes Ramadan as the new fasting practice for Muslim!
Nearly in the same time, ﷲ sent down revelation making fighting compulsory, and later War of Badr happened. All of it, changing of Qibla, fasting, and War declaration was sent down nearly at the same times! More of this matter can refer to https://www.facebook.com/notes/iman…
The last piece of this note is that at the end of the day, the month of Ramadan distinguished us, Muslim, as a people, as a nation. It was a statement of new identity as an ummah. It was a celebration of the revealed constitution for Muslim, The Quran. By this statement, another point that needs to be considered is “What have we done in Ramadan? What have we achieved in this life? How does it impact our society?”