This was a nice experience for me to re-enjoy the nice and blissful dinner table in my hometown. Yesterday was the first day of Ramadan.
Coming home hungry and thirsty, waiting for adhan and contemplating during the meal, thinking about the poor, the needy, the homeless and the others on Ramadan… The blessed month of mercy… I am writing these lines at the second day of Ramadan on sahoor time before fajr.
It is not that hard to imagine how non-practicing Muslims or non-Muslims would think about fasting in a hot and sunny day in summer. It is apparently difficult to fast during the hot weather. They are right. It is not the easiest task in the world. We do not drink or eat during the day, on the other hand, it is not that challenging if we feel the wisdom behind it and live it to veins. People, who do taste it once, do not leave it up anymore. Thanks Allah the Most High that He has given us the opportunity to reach this month of Ramadan, and has showered millions of bounties up to now. I wish and pray that you will enjoy the blessed atmosphere of Ramadan; and joyful and delicious iftar dinners with friends and family.
Fasting (sawm) is one of the five pillars of Islam. It has been an obligation unto Muslims after the verse revealed. (Surah al-Baqara 183): “O you who believe! Observing As-Sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqoon”
Although it is not widely-practiced among today’s Christians, Jesus (Peace be upon him) was fasting and fast is a religious obligation in Christianity, too. Likewise, followers of Judaism fast. The verse is underlining the same reality and reminding us of fasting is a universal event and necessary for human beings.
The earth is like a magnificent dining table and everything is being cooked for it. Who is the cook and the owner of all those? There are thousands of bounties, thus fasting reminds of those bounties and the One, who gives. He is all-Wise and Almighty.
Realizing the importance of bounty (ni’mah), believers are highly encouraged to thank Allah and praise Him during Ramadan. Ramadan gives us time and motivation to thank God.
Social Benefit: It is not only an opportunity for individual gain, but also a social interest. Fasting people understand the situation of needy and hungry people and they tend to show more compassion to them helping and giving them zakah (charity). What’s more; it is a means of compassion in the society and a good opportunity to build bridges between the rich and the poor.
Highest Rank: ‘Ubudiyyah: Fasting (sawm) is ‘ibadah (worship). At the time of this holy time of worshipping, man understands that he is not alone. He belongs to the sovereignty and lordship of his Creator. He is not totally free and he has some duties and limits. The highest rank that we can reach is the state of consciousness where we understand we are the servants of Allah.
Apart from all, during the month of Ramadan, Muslim ummah becomes like one body and one soul. Waiting for adhan to break the fasting is so similar to the soldiers waiting for the order of the commander. They are in order. One point more, Ramadan’s favourite event is the Tarawih prayers.
I like it. If you haven’t tried it – fasting – yet, it is high time that you tried it. Let’s start tomorrow.