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Ramadan: A golden means of attaining spiritual excellence

IBRAHIM KADIRI

Naturally, human minds are inclined to wander about both the physical and spiritual occurrences in life. Man craves answers on mysteries that surround their existence. Priportinately, the answers to these mystical developments are provided in the holy scriptures and other similar books.

However, the practicability of the answers in these holy books, is theoretical. Many therefore begin to enquire further on the practical aspects of these mysticims as they relate to their individual’s life. One of such practical means is provided in the holy Qur’an. It is to use the theory embedded in the Qur’an like fasring to find answers.

Allah says in Qur’an 2: 183, ” O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may be pious.”

This is an opening to preparednes for distinguishing oneself from others. Allah put to our consciousness the secret He had taught the hitherto believers before the present day world. These pescriptions, as provided by Allah are to raise our spiritual level to be able to decipher meanings from vagaries in life.

In verse 185 of the same chapter, Allah goes further, “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion. So, whoever of you sights the month, he must observe fast and whoever is ill or on a journey, (let him fast) the same number from other days. Allah intends firbyiu ease, He does not want to make things difficult for you. He wants you to complete the same number and that you magnify  Allah for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.”

Succinctly, this verse makes distinction between generalization and specification and a direct and lucid order for every Muslim to observe fasting within 30 or 29 days that each Hijri calendar contains. It reminds us of the revelation of the holy Qur’an in this great month.

More importantly, the verse goes further to state the essence of the revelation: “A guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion.” This buttresses the point that human mind craves for answers over mysteries of life. By raising your spiritual wellbeing, if you truly fast in the month of Ramadan as it was demonstrated by the holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (PBUH), guidance would automatically follow suit.

For clarity, Prophet Muhammad said: ” Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” [Al-Bukhari].  

In essence, fasting entails abstenaince from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse  from dawn till dusk. But, in order to achieve spiritual excellence which a fasting person craves for, you must at the same time abstains from sins such as falsehood, wrongdoings and other forms of vices that put an individual to jeopardy.

Even though,  these vices are not allowed outside Ramadan, emphasis is laid in the holy month because you are fasting for a purpose and it is a means of communication between a serving creature and his Lord, Allah. If a Muslim claims to be fasting but engages in corruption in whatever forms, it is a waste of time. That golden means is lost ab initio. Attaining spiritual excellence will remain a mirage.

In other words, a fasting man especially in Ramadan would operate at a spiritual realm far above others if stringent measures are employed as regard discipline, self-restraint, decency and attitudinal righteousness that conform to Islamic doctrines.

Take this analogy, as you know, there are five pillars of Islam: Iman, Salat, Zakat, Sawm and Hajj. The fourth pillar, Sawm, i.e. fasting is unique. A fasting person is engaging in that act solely between him and his Creator, Allah unlike other pillars where those ones are done in the presence of others.

This uniqueness emphasizes the saying of the Prophet that reveals Allah’s statement, “A fasting man is for me and I shall reward him.” A person may claim to be fasting but in his closet, he may decide to break it and people still believe him to be fasting. This is not applicable in other pillars.

Ramadan provides an opportunity to draw closer to Allah. By so doing, since Allah is Omniscient, a sincere believer that fast is empower with answers of mysticism of this world and even the hereafter. Fasting in the holy month of Ramadan is therefore an assured way to spiritual satisfaction.

For a better society

 

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