The values of Ramadan
THE ninth month of the Islamic Calendar (the Hijra) is the holiest period for the Islamic faith. As such, it is set aside as the month of fasting, in conjunction with the stipulation of the fourth pillar of Islam which stated that; Muslims who are physically able to fast, shall fast from sunrise to sunset. Fasting for the Muslims is a period of reflection, devotion, generosity, sacrifice and worship to God. Although Ramadan is an Islamic requirement, (Quran 2:183) "O you who believe fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you so that you can learn Taqwa", none Muslims can learn and adapt some beneficial things from the philosophy behind Ramadan which goes with the law of nature and when applied to our day to day living, it could greatly enhance the quality our personal lives and those around us.
•Though Ramadan is not a diet plan; fasting has many medical benefits from, weight management, lowering lipids, lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of the systolic blood pressure, to resting of the digestive tract. Fasting doesn't have to be spiritual and could be done for just a day or a couple of hours after you wake up at least to give your digestive track some time to rest so it can function properly.
•Ramadan promotes charity and by being charitable, we develop feelings of generosity and good-will towards others and help the less fortunate in the society. According to The Prophet Muhammad (Allah send his blessing and peace upon him) “A man's wealth is never diminished by charity” and the bible also encourages charity. Proverbs 11:25 “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed”.
•The basic principle of Ramadan is total devotion to God. By drawing closer to God, we leave worldly pursuit and pursuit things that are pleasant to God. Being close to God increases and strengthens your faith.
•Ramadan helps to refine manners, especially those related to truthfulness and discharging trusts. According to The Prophet Mohammad, (may Allah send His blessing and peace upon him) "Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action, then Allah has no need that he should leave his food and drink." Translation: we must pay attention to the purification of our manners. Especially good speech and habits.
•Ramadan encourages family and community gatherings, which strengthen the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, in communities and throughout the world.
•Ramadan fosters experience of hunger and thirst, and aids empathy with those in the world who have little to eat every day.
Although Ramadan only lasts for a month and is very sacrificial, the true essence of Ramadan is in applying the philosophy of Ramadan to our daily lives, and maintaining the restraint and devotion acquired during the holy month, throughout our existence.
To all the Muslims out there, May Allah accept your fasting, hear the words of your mouth and listen to the meditations of your heart, forgive your sins and help you maintain the tranquillity of this holy month. To the none Muslims, may God give you the grace to adapt good technique to your daily life to attain your full potential.
May the mercy and peace of this month remain with us always. AMEN