Ramadan | Issue 18
A Physical and Spiritual Journey
Muslim adults around the world except the sick, infirm and those travelling are currently fasting every day, from dawn till sunset, during this blessed month of Ramadan. Ramadan is about meeting the challenge of not only curbing our appetite from the basic needs of food, water, and worldly pleasures, but also to restrain our negative emotional conditions, especially anger, greed, intolerance, arrogance, corruption and dishonesty.
Ramadan is a rigorous training program in self-purification, self-restraint and discipline to revive the true qualities and spirit of humanity. It is a month where one’s tongue is trained to avoid lying, backbiting, scandal mongering, obscenity, rudeness, indecency and viciousness. Abstaining from hearing everything that is reprehensible, everything unlawful and forbidden. Controlling the eyes so they do not see ‘the want’ of prohibited desires. Refraining the heart so it does not feel and harbour anything corrupt. Preventing the feet going in the direction of evil and illicit places. Stopping the hands from committing any acts of indecency and offensiveness.
One of the main benefits of Ramadan is to increase our compassion for those in need of the basic necessities of life and fundamental comforts that all living creatures desire. Ramadan is a way of calling the ‘haves’ to help the ‘have-nots.’ It is only through the hunger of fasting that the ‘haves’ feel the real hunger and tragic situation of the poor. Without fasting, many of us who are in a very fortunate position cannot experience how painful hunger and poverty is and to what extent the poor need our care, compassion and support. Our feeling for others during Ramadan becomes the foundation of true caring for the ensuing 11 months of our Islamic lunar calendar.
The recitation of the Qur’an in Mosques and homes around the world during this blessed month will inspire, train and fortify us against all unfairness and the great injustices bearing down on the less fortunate, the weak, the injured, the powerless, the oppressed and all those who have been driven from the comfort of their homes.
Finally, Ramadan is marked by a sincere desire to devote ourselves to All Mighty God for His endless Blessings, and for giving us the health and strength to observe the fasting of Ramadan. Muslims strive to move closer spiritually to All Mighty God through prayer, recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, and by remembering Him so as to receive more of His Mercy and Bounty.
Every night here in Dunedin’s AlHuda Mosque, an iftaar (breaking of the fast) meal is served to the Muslim community. The strong sense of togetherness and universal feeling of spiritual fulfilment makes these iftaar gatherings very unique, and anyone from the community interested in learning about Islam is more than welcome to join us. If you have any questions or would like to know where the Mosque is, please feel free to contact us on 022 islam 2 u or email email@example.com.
President, Otago Muslim Students Association