Monday, June 6, 2016

Ramadan, the Vitality & Spirituality Booster

The blessed month of Ramadan (Ramazan) has already begun to give another golden opportunity for self-evaluation and spiritual growth. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which consists of 354 days in 12 months cycle. The month is spent in the hot pursuit of Taqwa by the devout Muslims all around the world for one month every year. 
Since the Islamic calendar is lunar, and the days begin at sunset, so there is a slight chance of one-day in counting error depending on when the new moon is first sighted. The date on the (solar) Gregorian calendar varies from year to year. The month moves in the Gregorian calendar approximately 11 days annually.
Pillar of Islam: Fasting during this month is one of the five pillars of Islam and is known to be month of reflection and complete submission to God Almighty.  Fasting in the month is an essential part of fundamental Islamic obligations.
The beginning and ending of the month may vary from country to country depending on the moon sighting.
In Islam, fasting (sawm) is abstaining or refraining from certain things for a specified period of time. For example: While fasting, a Muslim is required to abstain from sexual intercourse, food and drinks of all kinds right from dawn to sunset time preceded by the intention (Niyyah).
The mandatory (Dawn to dusk) fasting starts before the Sunrise (Fajer) and ends with Iftar at the Sunset ( Maghreb).  
Exemption: The young children, the sick and the elderly are exempted from fasting.
Realising the pain of starvation:  The Ramadan fasting enables the Muslims to broaden their compassion for “the Hungry and the less fortunate.”  That is why, the Muslims tend to generously donate to charity.  It’s pleasing to know that hyper-participation in food drives for the poor during the month is quite usual, as Muslims are motivated to give out for the needy and hungry for the entire year.
The Qur'an is recited by the Imam during congregational taravi prayers every night throughout the blessed month.
Essence of fasting during Ramadan and its goal is summed up in the Qur'an just in one word: “Taqwa”-"O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may attain Taqwa." (Qur'an 2:183).  Taqwa is both an attitude and a process. In fact, the proper attitude of the Muslims toward Allah SWT denotes nothing but love, devotion, and fear.
This clearly indicates that Ramadan-fasting like other religious practices in Islam is one of the best sources available to generate moral excellence to appropriately handle the daily routine matters including social interaction.
Beyond doubt, one can achieve the best moral values and can easily become a role model for others provided there is no hypocrisy or double standards.
If we are sincere towards Allah SWT, fasting in Ramadan helps us to improve self discipline and awareness about the plight of those have-nots who suffer from constant hunger and deprivation.
Indeed, the sense of spiritual fulfillment through a state of “TAQWA” becomes attainable with month long “fasting work-out” during the blessed month, because 
the first verses of the holy Quran were actually revealed to our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Ramadan.  
And, “Laaelatul-Qadr” is remembered as being the anniversary of that actual day, when the Quran was actually presented to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Also, the Laaelatul-Qadr” is known as the “Night of Power” which usually falls on any odd dated night within the last 10 days of Ramadan.
As sawm in Arabic means “refrain,” so Ramadan provides the Muslims with the best opportunity to learn that there is a lot more than just the ‘disallowed eating or drinking’ between the Sunrise and the Sunset.
Fortunately, the blessed month empowers the Muslims to be brave enough to restrain themselves from devilish or sinful activity including backbiting, gossiping, looking immorally at forbidden things and using obscene words. Thus, taking part in the mandatory practice of Ramadan fasting through offering the prayers on time, eating and drinking as prescribed makes the Muslims well disciplined and Muttaqee (God fearing).
Health Benefits: Ramadan fasting definitely helps in ridding our bodies of stored poisons, including addictive substances, and we feel enabled to adjust our craving and upgrade our tolerance level. Most of all, one’s mind becomes purely clean and clear of all lustful thoughts after attaining Taqwa.
Among the health benefits of Ramadan fasting, is the relaxation period for stomach, digestive system, refining system, heart, circulatory system, the kidneys and the list goes on and on. As claimed by medical scientists and doctors, Islamic Fast is also a kind of psychological treatment, because it provides spiritual enhancement and strengthens the feeling of being free from physical limitations and habits and addictions.
It boils down to the fact that “Ramadan fasting” is not only a time during which people deprive themselves from physical pleasures, but it’s also an important occasion to practise morality through self-restraint for attaining the spiritual growth.
In nutshell, the best use of precious time is connecting with Allah through focusing on the Qur^an and offering regular five times daily prayers followed by travee prayers, helping others, feeding the hungry and staying on the righteous path.
It’s the best time to get rid of hot temper, immoral negligence, laziness, and impatience.
Let’s practise only the opposite of bad habit every day until the end of month and thereafter as well. The last ten nights this month are the most precious times for supplication, self-analysis, reflection and serious thought. Since the blessed month make Muslims feel morally re-conditioned and rebooted, they must maintain the momentum of carrying out their self-check up through increased religious dedication 24/7 during the remainder of the year till next Ramadan.

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