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Ramadan Kareem – time for positive change

20/7/12  behalal.org team

Ramadan Mubarak. May this ramadan bring the blessing of this beautiful month to us and our families. We pray to Allah that He accepts all of our efforts and overlooks and forgives all of our shortcomings.  Ameen.

Ramadan is an ideal time to detox, pray, connect, introspect and for greater unity to bring about improvements. For self-training for better spiritual development and an aid for physical and mental health that goes on after ramadan.

The month of Ramadan is that in which was revealed the Quran; a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the criterion (of right and wrong). And whosoever of you is present, let him fast the month, and whosoever of you is sick or on a journey, a number of other days. Allah desires for you ease; He desires not hardship for you; and that you should complete the period, and that you should magnify Allah for having guided you, and that perhaps you may be thankful.” Quran; 2:185

Fasting is practiced by many faiths, especially Judaism and Christianity. In Quran it is stated, “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may (learn) self-restraint, 2:183.

Fasting is obligatory for all adult healthy Muslims; children usually start fasting at early teen ages. Any adult who cannot fast due to medical condition can make it up later, but if he/she cannot make it up due to the medical condition, it is recommended that a poor person should be fed for each missed day of fasting. If the person cannot afford to feed the poor people they are released from this religious responsibility.

 

Devotional life (Ibadah)

Ramadan is the month where Allah allows Muslims to really fulfill the purpose of being, and the purpose of creation.  Allah created all to worship Him, and Him alone.  A month to establish a relationship with the Quran, to understand it by reading the translation and then read the commentary.

 

Health benefits of fasting

Ramadan is a great time to break the habit especially if you have had an unhealthy diet. Using Ramadan to help overweight people achieve their goals. Rather than eating a feast and gorging on sweets and fatty foods as soon as the fast ends, people can just eat a healthy evening meal. This requires better planning but can be achieved of healthier foods that are richer in nutrients and lower in calories.

Halal food, especially prepared bought in or eaten out has increased in outlets however, it’s often high in caloric value, salt, fats and meat consumption remains high. Ramadan is a break from this overloading of the digestive system and allows cleansing for more efficient digestion and nutrient absorption.   Studies have shown that the caloric restraint leads to decreased risk for diabetes mellitus, immune disorders and better control of blood pressure and probably slowing of aging process.   An opportunity for the body to heal and replenish itself as resources are diverted from the digestive system to the immune system and metabolic processes.

 

Empathy and charity

Fasting besides teaching self-restraint also develops empathy of the hunger of poor all over the world and motivates to help.  To recognise the countless blessing and help others who are suffering around the world. Ramadan is the month for giving charity. Most of the Muslims pay Zakat (charity) in this month, at least 2.5% of all the savings, gold, silver and estates excluding primary residential property. As Muslim communities have settled around the world it is app rant there is much suffering that needs addressing but even in more affluent countries there is poverty, which requires addressing. For the community to look inwardly within that country locally as well as the outside global community. One thing that touched our hearts was a women’s project in the UK where pregnant women were having to go without food for days due to financial hardship.

 

Unity

The unity of community (ummah); families and friends get together to break fast with festive meals and perform collective prayers is a great way to start, as life is hectic.  To support one another in our duty for protection of humanity and support causes where there is suffering and injustice. Islam is for the protection of all humankind irrespective of faith.

 

Ramadhan is a month of sacrifice and struggle (Mujahadah). As the saying goes, No pain, no gain. The amount of sacrifice and struggle we put into this month, Allah will reward us in this world and the next accordingly. There is much to gain and be thankful for.

In the famous hadith of Mu`ath … I said O Messenger of Allah, tell me of an act which will take me into Paradise and keep me away from Hell-Fire. He said: you have asked me about a major matter, yet it easy for him for whom Allah Almighty makes it easy. You should …, You should fast in Ramadan …. Then he (the Prophet) said : shall I not show you the gates of goodness ? Fasting is a shield . ..[at-Tirmithi]

 

 

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