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Fasting in Ramadan: Lessons & Moralities

Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi

This article was send in by Dina Sewar, Jazak Allahu khayran.

Allah, Most High, says, “Blessed be He in whose hand is the
Sovereignty, and
He is able to do all things. He created death and life that He may try
which
of you is best in deed. He is the Exalted in Might, oft Forgiving.”
(Al-Mulk: 1-2)

Also, He says, “It is He who made the night and day to follow each
other for
such as have the will to celebrate His praises or to show their
gratitude.”
(Al-Furqan: 62)

Life and death and the succession of nights and day have a purpose and
that
is to test us and to give us an opportunity to express our thanks and
gratitude to our Creator and Sustainer. The month of Ramadan comes and
goes.
We must examine ourselves now and see what we have learned and achieved
during this month. The test of success of this month lies in the
effects it
has left upon us as follows:

1. Discipline: We learn in this month how to discipline ourselves for
the
sake of Allah. In our morning and evening, we follow a strict schedule
of
eating and drinking. We are constantly aware that even in our such
mundane
activities as eating and drinking, we must remain under divine
injunctions.
We change our habits in our daily routines because we learn that we are
not
the servants and slaves to our habits, but always the servants of
Allah.
Then after Ramadan, we have to keep this spirit of discipline in other
modes
of our life and must continue with our submission to the commands of
Allah.

2. Renewal of Devotional Life: Ramadan renews our enthusiasm for
worship and
devotion to Allah. In this month we are more careful of our daily
prayers
and have special prayers at night. There is no religion without prayer
and
Muslims learn in this month how to strengthen and deepen their
religious
life.

3. Renewal of Contact with the Qur’an: Ramadan and the Qur’an are
linked
together from the beginning. It was in this month that this divine
message
was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. We
are
told that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was fasting
when he
received the first revelation. Fasting prepares the believers' hearts
to
learn the Word of Allah. It is the most suitable condition for our
spiritual
and mental communication with the Qur’an. The Muslim Ummah pays more
attention to the Qur’an in this month. This renewed contact with the
Qur’an
must help us in following its message.

4. Renewal of Identity with the Ummah: Ramadan is not an individual
experience only, but it is an experience in community. The whole Muslim
Ummah fasts together in one and the same month. We identify with one
another
in our obedience to Allah. This gives us a new sense of togetherness
and
association. Ramadan teaches us that the Muslim Ummah is the community
of
piety and devotion to Allah and its members derive their strength from
each
other in deeds of piety and virtue. The bonds that are based on piety
and
virtue are the strongest bonds and it is these bonds that prove good
for
mankind. The strength of the Muslim community lies in its commitment to
the
values of goodness, morality and piety. Ramadan leaves an imprint of
all
these values upon the Muslim Ummah.

5. A Fresh Sense of Care and Sympathy: Fasting in the month of Ramadan
helps
us to understand the suffering and the pains of the poor and needy. By
our
voluntary hunger and thirst we realize what it means to be deprived of
basic
necessities of life. Ramadan is called the month of charity and
sympathy. We
learn how to be more kind and generous in this month. Many Muslims also
pay
their Zakah in the month of Ramadan.

6. Jihad or Struggle: Fasting in Ramadan and Jihad both of them were
prescribed in the same year, that is, the second year of Hijrah in
Madinah.
Fasting prepares for hardships and sacrifice. These are two important
things
without which Jihad is not possible. Muslims learn in Ramadan how to
struggle against the forces of evil in their own selves, in the society
around them, and in the world at large.

7. Taqwa: To summarize all the moral and spiritual gifts of Ramadan, we
can
say that Ramadan gives us the great gift of Taqwa. Taqwa is the sum
total of
Islamic life. It is the highest of all virtues in the Islamic scheme of
things. It means, God-consciousness, piety, fear and awe of Allah and
it
signifies submission to Allah and total commitment to all that is good
and
rejection of all that is evil and bad.

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