The Shari’ah Law of Fasting – For Muslims, Christians, Jews and Others
In case non-Muslims, or even some Muslims, were wondering what Ramadan is or was all about, here is a simple way of looking at it. Ramadan is fasting during the day and reading the Qur’an and praying during the night: Day after Day; and Night after Night. For one whole month.
It is one of the major pillars of what people call Islamic Shariah or Law, ordained by God in Heaven for People on Earth: for Muslims; for Jews; for Christians; and for all other followers of the Prophets and the Scriptures.
And it is a living miracle that anyone anywhere practices it today the way Muslims do. Anyone anywhere can see this supreme miracle of our time with their own eyes.
Ramadan Renovates the Human Spirit – and the
Human Body, Mind and Soul
The most blessed month of Ramadan is designed to completely reshape human life and character. During the blessed month of Ramadan, our habits of eating, drinking, sleeping, conjugal intimacy, all undergo profound transformation.
After day-long deprivation of food, drink and sex, Ramadan imposes upon the Believers long hours of night prayers, chants, meditations and Qur’an reading. Lying and cheating, quarrelling and fighting, gossip and backbiting, always anathema to Islam, are now treated as absolute abominations.
And this goes on day after day and night after night for one whole month.
And for all of this time, the only one who really monitors your thought, speech and behaviour closely is you and your God. No one else does or can. A more comprehensive or rigorous regime for the complete reshaping of the human body, mind, soul and spirit is hard to imagine.
It would be hardly surprising if at the end of the month of Ramadan a human being emerges with a completely new and vigorous attitude to life and its challenges – and with a brand new character to successfully deal with them.
There is no better system on earth for creating character or for reforming and redirecting human life. And that is exactly what the Qur’an says Siyaam or Fasting came into this world to do: To teach us Taqwa, the highest form of character, rooted in the fear and love of God and in the love and service of humanity. To make new human beings out of us.
A Taqwa-based character, when fully and properly formed, makes it possible for human beings to do their duty, and to do the right thing, at all times and in all situations, regardless of whether they are in a public place or in the privacy of their home.
It teaches human beings how to hold themselves accountable before God, and before their own conscience right here in this world, for their actions as well as for the outcomes and consequences they intended or expected from their actions.
Because their character has now been perfectly recalibrated and their spirit has now been fully charged and reinvigorated by the month-long physical, mental and spiritual drill of Ramadan during which God himself presided over their character training and over their physical and spiritual rejuvenation and remaking.
Four Fly-Infested Children on a Very, Very Special Night Called
It is the day after Lailatul Qad’r, Ramadan, 1431/2010. The news media today produced two photographs, almost side by side. One, of four little children, perhaps between the ages of one and two, lying on their back, covered by flies, in a refugee tent in violence-wracked, flood-ravaged Pakistan, seemingly abandoned by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
The other photo, claiming to be that of three million evidently better-off Muslims, bent on garnering 1000-months-worth of instant reward, on this Lailatul Qad’r 1431/2010 night, in what the caption called “Holy Mosques.”
I couldn’t decide which of the two pictures was more poignant to me or which one racked and seared my soul more. For the better part of the day, I have been trying to shut my eyes tight and make those images go away. But I don’t seem to be able to.
And if you ask me, that is the real Hallowed Ground – where those four little children lay infested with flies and fighting off death. And that is where God is that night – with those four little children, fighting off death, with their bodies prey to invasion and occupation by a million flies.
Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam and
The Encyclopedia Britannica says that Prophet Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, was the most successful man in history. If it is true that the Encyclopedia Britannica does make that claim, wouldn’t you expect the world to stampede to find out what the facts were, based on which such a venerable source of human knowledge as the Encyclopedia Britannica would make such a sweeping and superlative statement?
And what the secret was to the success of this man? Was it his message? Was it his method? Was it his character? Was it his political and military achievement? Was it his personal and family life? Was it his relationship with his “followers” whom he insisted on calling his “Friends and Companions” – Ashaab?
Just what was it about him that gave him this unsurpassed level of success in all of human history?
To me it simply does not make any sense that the world would read something as profound, powerful and earth-shaking as that, in as respected a compendium of human knowledge as the Encyclopedia Britannica, and merely shrug its shoulders and move on. And not lift a little finger to personally verify that statement and find out more about it – and to learn more about this man: Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam.
I find it hard to believe.
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