“FASTING takes away evil desires. Fasting takes from us filthy desires. Fasting takes from us the desire to do evil against self and our brothers and sisters. We are created of the material of goodness. Therefore, good belongs to us … and it should not be hard for us to turn to our own selves in which we were created … good.” –The Honorable Elijah Muhammad
(FinalCall.com) – Around the world literally billions of people will take part in an annual spiritual and physical observance designed to promote advancement of the human being and healing. Fasting in the month of Ramadan, the holy month observed by Muslims across the globe, begins Aug. 11 and will conclude 30 days later.
Ramadan commemorates the revelation of the Holy Qur’an given to Prophet Muhammad of Arabia some 1,400 years ago. Contained in the revelation is an injunction for the Believers to fast as part of a prescription for healing ailments of the body, mind and soul and to especially focus on their spiritual development in this most sacred of months.
When Ramadan is discussed in the West, the focus is usually on the abstention from food and drink during the daylight hours, which is part of the divine command. What is often lost is the beauty of the opportunity to stand and refresh oneself, to shed bad habits that may have been picked up during the year and to again fervently seek the pleasure and blessings of Almighty God Allah.
“Fasting, one of the main pillars of Islam, is a principle that must be practiced by every believing Muslim. In fact, fasting has been enjoined in every age by every prophet that has come to reform the conduct of man,” the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has said in a message devoted to Ramadan.
“Since fasting is given to us as a prescription–and a prescription is given to us by a doctor, telling us to take a certain medicine at and for a specified time, to effect a cure for a certain illness–in this case, Almighty God Allah is The Doctor prescribing for all of humanity. And now we are speaking specifically to the Black people of America, that fasting is to be used as a cure for a sick spiritual, moral, social and physical condition.
“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that fasting produces discipline. How? We know that we are creatures with desires and basic human needs: Food, shelter, and love. We need to be respected in our community. We have a hunger for love, and for expressing our own being. All of these hungers, all of these needs, must be disciplined and controlled if society is to be successful,” he said.
If we desire success, we must follow guidelines laid down that will lead to success, observance of the month of Ramadan is among those guidelines.
In addition to the fasting and abstaining from sexual relations with wives and husbands during the daylight hours, Muslims are instructed not to engage in arguments or discord during this month. The Muslims also devote more time to reading divine scripture, the Holy Qur’an, and are to read one part of the book every day. If that reading schedule is adhered to, this wonderful book containing the words and divine wisdom of Allah will be completed in 30 days.
Consider what such immersion in a pure word from the Lord of the Worlds can do to resurrect the spirit and provide comfort to those suffering in a world where spiritual values are hardly celebrated and where righteous conduct and adherence to right principles are mocked. Yet it is those everlasting principles of good and right that will bring the relief sought in so many ways and the harmony that seems to be so hard to find in this life.
The benefit of Ramadan does not have to be limited solely to those who declare themselves to be Muslims, the principles can bring good to anyone who would follow these divine dictates. Ramadan makes allowances for the sick and those who are on a journey, so those who suffer from ailments can make wise choices and still follow what Allah (God) has ordained.
So as this blessed month begins, let us commit our entire being to following the commands of God as best we can and challenge ourselves to practice this important ritual as best we can–to fast, to pray, to read the divine word and to avoid discord.
Such an observance would be of great benefit to our individual lives and to the life of our entire community.