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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Understanding Ramadan

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But many do mislead (men) by their appetites unchecked by knowledge. Thy Lord knoweth best those who transgress. Qur’an: Chapter 6: Al-An’am (The Cattle) verse: 119

Ramadan 2020 commenced April 24 and will end either May 23 or May 24, depending on the sighting of the new moon. For 29 or 30 days Muslims worldwide will not consume anything by mouth, nor have sexual relations during the daylight hours.

Yes, Ramadan is much more than just being hungry in the stomach. If that is all one understands about Ramadan is a hungry stomach then that person has a very weak understanding of Ramadan. That is Ramadan only on the animal (physical) level.

The goal of Ramadan is to bring the fasting believer into the mental and ultimately to the spiritual levels of Ramadan. It is the mental and spiritual levels of Ramadan that tame human beings, that save human beings. It is the higher levels of discipline that bring human beings to that complete development of human excellence so that you are “born again” and saved from sin; the sin of being a victim to passions without knowledge.

Where is the knowledge? We get the knowledge in portions. Each day of Ramadan the fasting Muslim reads 1/30th of the Qur’an, completing the whole book once again. 

Wherever the Qur’an has been established as the authority the common people have benefitted and the rulers saved from monarchies, anarchy and true democracy rules. It’s really a shame the Saudi Arabia has a monarchy.

In the book “Here & Hereafter” Imam W. Deen Mohammed speaks about the “Overstuffed Society.” He said, “What our starving souls are missing, now, in this overstuffed society, comes in the healing blessing of the Muslim fast of (Ramadan). Too many of us are starving for a sense of order in our lives. Order is a process of prolonged discipline. Our fast is a 30 day involvement in a disciplining to restrain unchecked appetites, or passions. Too many people in the society are suffering because of an absence of a sense of community direction in their lives. Reading the Qur’an daily, to complete the whole of the book in the month of Ramadan, a month of 29 or 30 days, greatly raises in us the appreciation for order and direction in our individual, family and community lives … The month of fasting will tame these wild urges, triggered in us by the market spirit and will serve to bring us to a better sense of family, community and personal needs.” 

The human family is misled by false appetites unless those appetites are kept in check by knowledge. Ramadan is a healing for passions and desires. Ramadan locks up, restrains the false appetites that Satan feeds to us.

Can you imagine world leaders — regardless of their respective faiths — fasting the whole month of Ramadan, submitting to the spirit and disciplines of this sacred month? Can you imagine a better America because the whole Senate and House of Representatives all fasted and learned the disciplines of Ramadan? Can you imagine how much better America would be when our leaders know how it feels to be hungry as the poor are involuntarily hungry year-round?

The fast of Ramadan equalizes the rich and the poor through both feeling hunger pangs; both increasing their prayers and both fasting in unison — another sign of democracy.

Ramadan tames the human family because it obligates everyone to NOT always have things go their way. Ramadan calls us to forgive each other and teaches us against greed, envy and jealousy.

We invite you to fast with us, if not for the entire month of Ramadan then maybe just a few days of fasting during this holy month. We all can benefit greatly from the warning in the Qur’an that states, “But many do mislead (men) by their appetites unchecked by knowledge. Thy Lord knoweth best those who transgress.”

Michael “Mikal” Saahir is the resident Imam of Nur-Allah Islamic Center. He can be reached at nur-allah@att.net or at 317 753-3754.

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