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The Spiritual and Social benefits of Ramadan

Apr 30, 2021, 1:37 PM

It grounds man in discipline and Healthy survival. 

When a person observes the regular course of fasting in consecutive days of the Holy Month and in the holy months of the consecutive years, he is certainly applying himself to a high form of discipline and a superb sense of order. Similarly, when he relieves his stomach and relaxes his digestive system, he is indeed insuring his body, not to mention the soul, against all harm that results from stomach overcharge. In this manner of relaxation he may be sure that his body will survive free from the usual disorder and break, and that his soul will continue to shine purely and peacefully.

Sympathy with the poor and hungry.

Anyone who has experienced the pangs of hunger while fasting must sympathize with the poor and with homeless refugees to whom hunger is a common experience. During the fasting month it is common express this sympathy by giving out food as and when one can afford it, and this practice is encourage at any time of the year as an important act of charity. The act of giving food to those in need is made compulsory at the end of the fasting month when Zakatul-Fitr is to give out on behalf of every member of the family of those who have the mean.

Unity, Brotherhood and Charity.

The fast of Ramadan helps the Muslims to be aware of their unity. From the moment the new moon is seen, the whole Muslim world enters into the spiritual discipline of fasting. Mutual awareness and mutual sympathy between Muslims is increased. We try doing more acts of charity towards each other.

We bear in mind that back-biting gossip, quarrelling and so on can take away the spiritual benefits and reward of our fasting, as shown in a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah in which the Prophet is reported to have said: “if a person does not keep away from falsehood and false conduct Allah has no need of his fast.” (Bukhari). According to another Hadith “If someone tries to pick a quarrel with a Muslim who is fasting he is to control himself and reply   “I am fasting.” By all these means Muslims cultivate peace and brotherhood during the holy month.

Therefore, it is the duty of every Muslim to fast the month, however, he who is too sick to fast, or is on travel during the month, can omit fasting during Ramadan, but he has to fast an equal number of days after Ramadan. See Q2/183-5.

Allah the Almighty gives reward in fasting more than any other deed. Abu Hurairah relates that the messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “God the Almighty said: Every deed by a person is his except fasting, fasting is mine, and I reward for it. Fasting is a shield, so if one of you is fasting on a certain day, he should keep away bad language and from noisy exchanges.

 If someone abuses him or quarrels with him, let him just say: I am on fast. By Him who has Muhammad’s soul in His Hand, the breath of a person on fast is sweeter in God’s sight than the smell of Musk. The person on fast has two occasions to be joyful about: When he breaks his fast, he will feel the pleasure of it, and when he meets his Lord, he will be pleased with his fast.

In another version in Al- Bukhari Allah says: “… he leaves his food, drink, and lust for me. Fasting is mine and I reward for it, one good deed is worth ten with Me.”

In another version in Muslim:

 “ Every good deed by a person is rewarded manifold: a good deed is rewarded by ten times its worth up to seven hundred times- God  the Most Sublime says – except fasting, which is mine, and I reward for it: a person on fast leaves his lust and food for Me. A person on fast has two occasions to be joyful about: a joy when he breaks his fast and a joy when he meets his lord Verily, the breath of a person on fast is sweeter in God’s sight than the smell of Musk”

In another occasion Abu Huraira (RLA) relates that the messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “ He who spends a pair in the way of God, will be called on the day of Judgment from the gates of paradise, ‘ O Servant of God, this is the good [of your deed], so, a person who is known for his prayer will be called to enter from the Gate of prayer, a person who is known for his jihad (struggle in the way of God) will be called to enter from the Gate  of jihad.

A person who used to observe fasting will be called to enter from a gate called AR- Rayyan (literally sated with drink), a person who used to give away in charity will be called to enter from the Gate of charity.” Upon hearing this, Abu Bakr (RLA) asked: “O messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be given for you, one who I called from these gates will not be at a loss, but would someone be called from all the gates together?” He said: “Yes, and I do hope you will be one of them.”

Beside this big achievement in moral and social objectives, Ramadan has many other great spiritual objectives. It helps Muslims to attain Taqwa {Consciousness} of Allah, and closeness to Him. Allah says: “O you who believe! Observing the Fast is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become the Pious”

Fasting is a denial of the body’s physical needs. That’s why is defined as: Complete abstinence from food, drink, and intimate intercourses, before the break of the dawn till sunset, during the entire month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year.

When Islam introduced this matchless institution, it planted an overgrowing tree of infinite virtue and invaluable products. Here is an explanation of the spiritual meaning of the Islamic Fasting:

  1. It teaches man the principle of sincere Love, because when he observes the Fasting he does it out of deep love for God. And the man who loves God truly is a man who really knows what love is.
  2. It equips man with a creative sense of hope and an optimistic Outlook on life, because when he fasts he is hoping to please God and seeking His Grace.
  3. It imbues man with a genuine virtue of effective Devotion, honest Dedication and closeness to God, because when he fasts he does so for God and for His sake alone.
  4. It cultivates in man a vigilant and sound conscience, because the fasting person keeps his fast in secret as well as in public. In Fasting, especially, there is no mundane. Authority to check man’s behavior or compel him to observe the fasting. He keeps it to please God and satisfy his own conscience by being faithful in secret and in public. There is no better way to cultivate a sound conscience in man.
  5. It indoctrinates man in patience and Unselfishness, because when he fasts he feels the pains of deprivation but endures patiently. Truly this deprivation may be only temporary, yet there is no doubt that the experience makes him realize the severe effects of such pains on others, who might be deprived of essential  commodities for days or weeks or probably months together. The meaning of this experience in a social and humanitarian sense is that such a person is much quicker than anybody else in sympathizing with his fellow men and responding to their needs. And that is an eloquent expression of unselfishness and genuine sympathy.
  6. It is an effective lesson in applied moderation and willpower. The person who observes his Fasting properly is certainly a man who can discipline his passionate desires and place his self above physical temptation. Such is the man of personality and character, the man of willpower and determination.
  7. It provides man with a Transparent Soul to transcend. A clear mind to think and a Light Body to move and act. All this is the never failing result of carrying a light stomach.
  8. It shows man a new way of wise savings and sound budgeting, because normally when he eats less quantity or less meal he spends less money and effort. And this is a spiritual semester of home economics and budgeting.

Do perform as many acts of worship as possible during the last Ten (10) days of Ramadan 

Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from ‘Aishah that during the last ten days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them (that is, being busy in acts of worship). A version in Muslim states: “He would strive [to do acts of worship] during the last ten days of Ramadan more than he would at any other time.” At-Tirmizhi also recorded this from ‘Ali.

To be continued




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