We are again on the doorstep to follow the commandment of Allah (SWT) given in Quran regarding the Siyaam (Fasting). It is the second pillar of Islam and made mandatory on every adult Muslim man and woman to fast for the month of Ramadan from the sighting of the moon of the 9th Month of the Islamic Calendar to next sighting of new moon of 10th Month of this calendar.
The command about Ramadan is very clear and concise, but it is equally deep profound and encompassing the entire life of a Believer.
If we go through its wordings they can be classified as: Fasting is prescribed for you As it was prescribed to those before you That Ye may (learn) self-restraint.
This clarifies the following: Fasting is Universal applicable to every human from the beginning of the time. Fasting is to teach self-restraint.
Actually the real word is لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ the literal meaning of which are much deeper comprehensive and all compassing than SELF-RESTRAINT. Arabic is such profound language that its one word carries the meaning which cannot be properly translated in any other language.
“Taqwa” in Arabic has very vast connotation but in simple word it means being afraid of Allah (SWT), but in real deep meanings of it are that a quality in a person that commands him to adopt all practices what Allah (SWT) has commanded to and likes and to avoid that Allah (SWT) prohibits and dislikes.
Now looking to this simple command it covers the whole spectrum of pious, pure, just, and disciplined life of peace, patience, justice and tranquility.
Allah (SWT)’s likes are actually the whole 63 years life of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him). And dislikes are what he has avoided or has ordered to avoid.
For example; Allah (SWT) likes: Honesty, Integrity, Punctuality, Good manners, Respect of Parents, Helping poor and needy, Taking care of your neighbors, Fulfilling your worldly obligations and obligation towards Allah (SWT), Appreciating everyone and everything that Allah (SWT) has made, Thinking and contemplating about the world around you, Acquiring the knowledge, and lot more which is healthy useful beneficial for self, society, surroundings and the universe.
While Allah (SWT) does not like and stops: To be dishonest, cheat, liar, hurtful to anyone, neglect the obligation towards Allah (SWT) and fellow humans, and create chaos in the world and avoid all those acts and practices that can harm self, society, surroundings and the universe.
So the real purpose behind fasting is not being hungry thirsty and finishing reading 10 times full Qurans without understanding a single word and its commandments and stuffing our tummies with tasty food after sunset and stuffing more before sun rise, but to strive to acquire “TAQWA” which is a tall order and the real purpose of a Momen’s life.
If we fail in understanding the above real meanings and do not acquire the desired qualities in our lives, I think we are wasting a life time opportunity provided to us every year to reach the goal set for us by the Creator. MAY ALLAH (SWT) GRANT US THE FORTITUDE ATTIDUTE, APTITUTEDS SET FOR A GOOD MUSLIM THROUGH THIS BLESSED MONTH OF RAMDAN- AMEEN.
Rais Khan is a Chartered Accountant and an author. He has worked in corporate sector for 40 years in a variety of corporations ranging from IBM to Etisalat in UAE. He has worked and lived in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, USA, Africa and the UAE. Currently he is a freelance business consultant and part-time writer. He is the Editor of Pehchaan and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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