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Ramadhan enhances God-consciousness

( This article was published in Oman Daily Observer, Oman's most prestigious Newspapers.The article is reproduced with the permission of the author )
By Hasan Kamoonpuri


Throughout the world of Islam, collective fasting during Ramadhan is much more than just dawn-to-dusk abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and conjugal relations each day. Peace Be Upon Him It enhances bodily health; the body gets rid of contaminated matter, eases the stomach, purifies the blood, eases the working of heart, brightens the spirit, refines the soul and disciplines the character.

As an institution, Ramadhan creates a supportive environment in which people encourage one another in good deeds, virtue and piety. It pushes the people to enjoin one another to righteousness and virtue, and not to sin and transgression. Allah the Exalted says in The Glorious Quran, “Help one another in goodness, virtue, righteousness and piety; but do not help one another in sin and transgression”. (Quran 5: 2)

According to Prophet Muhammad (Blessing and Peace Be Upon Him), Allah the Majestic and the Exalted, said “All actions a human being does are for himself except fasting. It is done for My sake, and I will give a reward for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied 10 times”. (Sahih Bukhari Volume 3, Book 31, Number 118, & Sahih Muslim, Book 006, Number 2564).

Ramadhan gives us an opportunity to experience for ourselves what it is like to have an empty stomach. This develops empathy for the poor and hungry people. Fasting teaches people to move out of our comfort zones and understand the value of control over our body, mind and soul.

Fasting is aimed at inculcating moderation and spiritual discipline. To be a true servant of Allah the Exalted, it is essential that man’s behaviour conforms to the moral and spiritual discipline embodied in the Holy Quran. Fasting is indispensable for this moral and spiritual training. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said, “When the month of Ramadhan starts, the gates of mercy are opened and the gates of Hell are locked and the devils are chained”. (Sahih Muslim, Book 006, Number 2361).

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said "Fasting is a shield or protection from the fire and from committing sins. If one is fasting, he should avoid conjugal relations with his wife and quarrelling, and if somebody should fight or quarrel with him, he should say, ‘I am fasting.’ There are two pleasures for the fasting person, one at the time of breaking his fast, and other at the time when he will meet Allah; then he will be pleased because of his fasting." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 128).

Fasting Reforms the Heart
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said: “There is a piece of flesh in the body if it becomes good (reformed) the whole body becomes good but if it gets spoilt the whole body gets spoilt and that is the heart.” (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 2, Number 49) Reading the Glorious Quran with understanding assumes special significance in Ramadhan. Allah says in the Glorious Quran, “Ramadhan is the month in which was sent down Al Quran, as a guide to mankind, also clear (sign) for guidance and judgement (between right and wrong)”. (Al Quran 2:185)

The entire month of Ramadhan is in essence a celebration of the Glorious Quran’s revelation, which is described as a “Guide and Mercy for those who do good.” (Al Quran 31:3). Allah says in the Glorious Quran: “and recite Al Quran in slow, measured rhythmic tones.” (73:4). Islam encourages the act of sharing and caring and offering charity to needy families. Individuals as well as institutions organise ‘Iftar’ in mosques, at home and at social gatherings. This contact between the various levels of society helps develop and deepen a real bond of brotherhood in society.

Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said, “When a man dies all of his deeds come to an end, except for three: ongoing charity, knowledge which is benefited from, or pious offspring who pray for them.” (Sahih Muslim, Book 013, Number 4005)

Magic of God-consciousness
In short, Ramadhan builds a society on the sublime virtue of God-consciousness. People with God-consciousness make the remembrance of Allah the Exalted the key element in all their affairs. One of the lessons we drive from the Quranic verses is that any place or occasion without the Creator’s remembrance (God-consciousness) is marked by the presence of Satan.

God-conscious people are fearless. They understand that throughout the universe only One Power dominates and rules and that is the Almighty Creator, who is the Most loving (Al Wadud), the Most Merciful (Ar Rahim), the Most Beneficent (Ar Rahman), the protector (Al Muhaymin), the Forgiver (Al Ghaffar) and the Responsive (Al Mujib). The divine verses tell us: “To worship Allah the Exalted who is above all powers in the world and can do all He pleases.” “The Lord which knows that which is hidden and visible, the past and the future, knows what goes on in the Hearts of His servants and records their deeds.”

“The Lord who is the possessor of the heavens and the earth and all universe is His court” “planning for the universe is done by His hands, and gives His servants the glad tidings of mercy and forgiveness of sins” “The Lord is the companion of the oppressed and the enemy of oppressors” “The Lord is the Compassionate, the Merciful” “He is the recourse of the faithful and guides them towards the light from darkness”


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