Month for Spiritual and Moral Reawakening

Category: Featured, Life & Society Topics: Fasting (Sawm), Ramadan Values: Spirituality Views: 9727

Today is the first of Ramadan, the month for spiritual reawakening and reaffirmation of faith. It is the month in which Allah "sent down the Criterion to His servant, that it may be an admonition to all worlds". Allah said, "When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close (to them); I respond to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me; let them also, with a will, listen to My call, and believe in Me; that they may walk in the right way."

I hope and pray that this Ramadan will be a time when He responds to our prayers and we listen, with a will, to His call.

"Oh ye who believe, fasting is prescribed to you just as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint. (Fasting) for a fixed number of days; but if any of you is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed number (should be made up) from days later. For those who can do it (with hardship), is a ransom, the feeding of one that is indigent. But he that will give more, of his own free will, it is better for him and it is better for you that ye fast, if ye only knew.

"Ramadan is the (month) in which was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting. But if anyone is ill, or on a journey, the prescribed period (should be made up) by days later. Allah intends every facility for you; He does not want to put you to difficulties. (He wants you) to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance ye shall be grateful."

These Qur'anic verses (Surah Al-Baqarah: 183-185) refer to the importance of Ramadan and emphasize the spiritual aspects of fasting - a month devoted to worship, but not one in which the believer renounces the world or runs away from his responsibilities. He abstains from food and drink for a limited period. The stress is on self-discipline. Fasting is not meant to punish the body, but to strengthen the mind, directing it to higher things.

Scientists agree that machines require a rest period due to "metal fatigue". Almighty Allah created us and knows that we are weak in body and spirit; we are in need of occasions to boost and revitalize our weak Iman (faith) so that we may adhere to the commands of Allah in the way shown to us by our beloved Prophet Muhammad .

During Ramadan, mosques are full of worshippers, and acts of charity increase, ties of brotherhood strengthen, anger and temper are controlled and an atmosphere of peace prevails. According to psychologists, these are several of the beneficial aspects of conscientious fasting.

We should also resolve to be steadfast in the good habits acquired during the holy month of fasting. Let us all once again pledge ourselves to follow the example of the Holy Prophet who was the most active during the month of fasting.

One is saddened to see today when many people view the month of Ramadan as a time for sleep, laziness and, therefore, of decreased productivity. 

I think it is high time that the media, parents, the family and sociologists emphasized that Ramadan is a month of worship and active work and that by adjusting our lifestyles in the proper way we can do both and also be more productive. The turning away from Islamic precepts and teachings has ushered in a host of problems. And turning night into day defeats the very purpose of the fast.

Indeed, the month of Ramadan should be used to reflect and to contemplate in order to determine whether we Muslims are really on the true path. An honest answer will clearly reveal how far we are from the teachings of Islam. Muslims should be bold enough to admit that many of their problems are created by themselves. To admit this is the first step toward solving the numerous problems facing the Muslim Ummah. We, as Muslims, are obliged to follow the teachings of the Holy Qur'an and the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I believe that the only solution to our present difficulties is to read, understand and follow the teachings of the Qur'an in its proper perspective.

If we do that, we will know that those of us who see dark conspiracies behind our ills are way off the mark. The Qur'an says: "Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves." The conspiracy that is destroying us is not hatched by others, but by ourselves; it is a conspiracy of inaction.

So let us put an end to this habit of blaming others for our own shortcomings and inertia. Our enemies, real and imagined, can harm us only to the extent we remain lacking in initiative and outmoded in our thinking and way of doing things. What is needed is some soul-searching and a readiness to think and act differently. And let us also remember, on this day and in all the days ahead that our faith demands that our concerns go beyond our own selves and families to our brethren in faith and brothers in humanity. An increasing number of people are falling victims to wars, hunger, incurable diseases, internal strife, and genocide and human rights abuses. 

Iraq is living through a terrible tragedy. Freed from the grip of a tyrant, it has ended up in the embrace of anarchy where no life is safe, no home is safe and no street is safe. The "liberators" and the "defenders" are locked in a macabre contest, neither willing to accept the humiliation of causing less bloodshed than the other. Both are weeping for the people of Iraq and swearing by their freedoms, while sending their killing machines - one on fighter bombers and the other on suicide bombers, to explode Iraqis into atoms.

Palestinians are still denied the minimum decency and dignity due to human beings. UN agencies, human rights organizations, the European Union and decent men and women everywhere have condemned Israel's carnage in Palestine in recent years from Jenin to Rafah as war crimes. The Gaza incursion alone, which began Sept. 28, has cost as of Wednesday, 112 Palestinian lives, most of them civilians, including a number of children. As in all its previous operations, Israel has made sure, with massive demolition of houses, razing of farmlands and destruction of olive groves, that the living have nothing to live for. According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, since the intifada began four years ago, Israeli troops have demolished 2,751 homes and have uprooted or burned 382,695 olive trees. Palestinian cities have become separated from one another by 659 checkpoints, roadblocks and trenches. Then, there is the wall Israel is constructing to "keep it secure" - but not along the border but mostly through the West Bank, adding vast areas of Palestinian land to Israel. 

The carnage in Chechnya continues. According to figures supported by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, ten years ago, Chechnya had a population of two million. Today it is 800,000. At least 200,000 civilians, including 35,000 children, have been killed by Russian soldiers. Another 40,000 children have been seriously injured, 32,000 have lost at last one parent and 6,500 both parents. 

In Saudi Arabia, blessed as the place to which, in a month of Ramadan, "was sent down the Qur'an as a guide to mankind, also clear (signs) for guidance and judgment (between right and wrong)" has seen innocent blood shed by those who claim to act in the name of Islam. By their acts, they have shamed us and its central message of peace and mercy brought by the Prophet, of whom Allah said, "We sent thee not, but as a Mercy to all creatures."

Our mission in Ramadan and all the other months in all years is to take upon themselves that message of "mercy to all creatures." 

Our heart goes out to all those who suffer on account of their faith, occupation or simply because they find themselves on the wrong side of a border or wrongly accused of a crime they learned about only after the news was flashed on TV screens and newspaper pages. The victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and in the terrorist bombings from Indonesia to Pakistan to Egypt also deserve our sympathy, as do those innocent people who died in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Let us once again pray that in this Ramadan a sincere effort will be made by all Muslims to come closer together and closer to God through fasting, prayers, zakah and charity. And, through hard work, let us make this a better world for our children and us. And while doing our duty by our fellow men, our families, children and community, let us pray, as Abraham and Ismail did, while raising the foundation of the House (Holy Kaaba): "Our Lord, accept from us, for Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing; Our Lord, make us Muslims, bowing to Thy Will."

Khaled Almaeena writes for the Arab News and can be reached at [email protected] 

  Category: Featured, Life & Society
  Topics: Fasting (Sawm), Ramadan  Values: Spirituality
Views: 9727

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Older Comments:
Firstly, I would like on behalf of all Muslims to ask Almighty Allah for support and guidance always, and especially during the holy month of Ramadan. With respect to your article, It is all well and good to say that Muslims should stop blaming others for their woes and take accountability and responsibility for their destiny. However, the fact that your website is based in the USA comes through blindingly loud and clear. The article comes across very 'politically correct' and doesnt state the things that need to be said when addressing these issues. Maybe the author of the article should practice what he/she preaches and identify the source of much of the Muslim heartache today, that is the US based powerful evangelical Zionist movement (or would that be too controversial?). As a Palestinian Australian, I feel it is my duty to constantly remind my Muslim brothers and sisters in the USA not to ignore the source of our suffering especially when it is staring us in the face..

I think This article tell us about the truth of our life. its us who changed our life. if we are on ALLAHs bath surely we will be the saviours.

"Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves."

actually I agree that what have been written are
all true.but I wish to know your address so that
we can be communicating always.please send me
your email so that we can be exchanging ideas

I feel that what has been spoken in this article is the absolute truth of the matters that concern all Muslim populations. My prayer is that all who read this take the time to hear the message kindness and universal brotherhood.

I do not understand why you beleive the numbers given by so called human rights organizations. Most, if not all, are controlled by Americans and produce figures as needed.

Best regards

The carnage in Chechnya continues. According to figures supported by human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, ten years ago, Chechnya had a population of two million. Today it is 800,000. At least 200,000 civilians, including 35,000 children, have been killed by Russian soldiers. Another 40,000 children have been seriously injured, 32,000 have lost at last one parent and 6,500 both parents.

I am proud to have someone like Tun Dr Mahathir who can at least open the eyes of Muslim through out the world of what evil bush have done to the living and non living things on earth.

I have great respect for the author and the article. It is very depressing to think that we have had Religion all these thousands of year, too many to count, and history keeps repeating itself. Honestly when will everyone realise that God is inside and outside and easily accessible if only we still our minds and seek him. We do not need another Religion, especially one where a man claims to have an Angel tell him all this from inside a CAVE. i MEAN, IF i SAID THAT TODAY i WOULD BE LOCKED UP AS INSANE. sO WHY DO WE BELIEVE THAT WHICH IS ALLEGED TO HAVE HAPPENED 1400 YEARS AGO. The Islam Religion as it is today is a mish mash of stories and dogma that is confusing and conflicting. .. seek God within ourselves.

Ramadan Kareem brothers @ iviews, you published my last comment in a series of three. The comment you published is a continuation of the previous one. Published alone it doesn't make much sense, it is address to J Singh and has an introduction in the former comment. Could you please publish in sequence what is submitted in order that the comments to have beginning and end?
Jazakum Allahu Khairan.

I just wonder, why you never mentioned about the genocide in Darfour Sudan when you wrote about the problems that we moslem encountered at this moment?

Well written, however it is not just a time for Muslims but I believe ALL faiths, religions etc to do the same, by coming together to make peace in this world and maybe one day make this a much better place for the children and future children of this world to live in.

Assalamualaikum Brothers and Sisters,I dua that we are extra paitent especially in the holy month of Ramadan.For those that are well, should pay thanks to Allah(SWT).

Brother Hussein

330 people died during School siege in Beslan, Russia. The Christan west directly or indirectly blamed the Muslims or Islam for that. And there are these Russian Christian soldiers murdered 200,000 civilians including 35,000 children in Chechnya. Just considering the numbers of children slaughtered by the brutal Russian army, we can say 106 Beslan type incidents already happened to the Chechen children. The Christian hypocrite west does not give any damn about. It looks like as long as Muslims are murdered or raped anywhere in the world, they do not care.

SubahAllah, Alhumdillah, La ilaha illa Allah, ALLAHU AKBAR.
Ramdan mubarak to all. May Allah forgive us of our sins knowingly and unknowingly.Ameen. May Allah swt protect the ummah in the months & years to come.Ameen May Allah swt bless those who are the true fighteres for Islam, those who pray and work daily to teach Islam and denounce terrorism. Ameen
May Allah keep us all in best of health & iman.Ameen
Mashallah this artical is exactly what i have been thinking for so long. May Allah reward the writer.Ameen
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar. LA ILAHA ILLA ALLAH.

i would like to wish all muslim ramadhan karim.

Alhamdullilah!Someone has spoken on my behalf! i wish all these atrocities would stop in this holy months.

first thanks Islamcity for providing the islamic knowledge for all muslims around globe , i hope all muslims should stand together without division of sections for facing the challenges that hurt muslims.Holy Ramadan is a goldan chance of uniting the muslims to kill all evils of islam.

Ramadhan Mubarak! Al salamu alaikum to all everywhere. This read just reminds us to not be a "Ramadhan Muslim" which unfortunately is prevalent as I witness to here in USA and may be other places as well. As Muslims we MUST supress our NAFS and live the way we do during Ramadhan always. May this blessed Holy month teach us real lessons of moderation, compliance, and love for all humanity. Ameen. Your sister, Qamar from Texas

Islam as a religion, milah, would fit the former description. Islam as the way of life, deen, is another story. In order for you to understand Islam you need to cleanse your intellect of any prejudice and misconception you have concerning Islam. How we do it? We will not use the Arabic terms,i.d.,Islam, Muslim, but the English translations. What is Islam? Let's translate, comes from the root SLM, which means peace, serinity and absence of hurt. Islam would mean the following, "pacification". Muslim would mean somebody that underwent pacification, thus,"pacified". The Quran, translated,"intonation", teaches man to become pacified and thus be part of a global pacification in conformity with what God has ordained through ages to all tribes and nations. God created the Universe in Zulum, or Big Bang, and His purpose now that the Universe is created is to pacify it. Man was created for toil and stuggle and violent he remains in his pursuit for wealth and power, unless he becomes pacified and submits to the will of God and paqrticipates to the global Pacification. When did this process of pacification begin? From the very dawn of humanity. God sent His ordinance through His various and numerous messangers throughout the lands and time. He inspired Ghilgamesh, Tutankhamon, Confucius, Buddha, to mention some not very known heroes alongside with so many prophets in all nations and tribes with the same message of pacification and man getting pacified and give up his greed for wealth, power and dominance over his human fellow! This message was generated in the beginning of times. Now replace pacification and pacified with Islam and Muslim and if you do not fall back into the same stereotype views about Islam, I conveyed my message. If it didn't help, I'm at a loss, my friend and defeated in my attempt to clarify what really Islam is as against what is made believed to be as well as the curse of those that misrepresent it themselves as Muslims. God sent His message to mankind.

Ramadan Kareem to all Muslims in the world. Indeed this article is very genuine and raises the soul.I have experienced a major change in my attitude and the way I perceive life since last Ramadan. It is the Month during which we grow spiritually and improve our life. Subhan Allah how God with His infinite mercy allocated a month to revitalize and charge our spirits and make sure that we are on the right path, the path that leads us to Him. Dear brothers and sisters, make sure that you extract the benifits of this blessed month and fight the enemy that lies within you for that is the time to do so. God bless you all.

Dear J Singh, I bring your question here to be more actual and to be visible. Your question was on apparently Quran and Hadith not mentioning other religions than Judaism & Christianity. I will go on your question backwards though and start with what you ended:"Can I himbly suggest the religions are regional and donot reflect all of human kind. All religiuous books reflect the rehion that they belong too and nothing more thus a coplete religious book by definition has not been yet written."
True and false in the same time and thus I utter an oxymoron, but certain things must be clarified from the beginning.
1) In order to have a message delivered to the world in its entity at once, the world must be united and constitute one piece of humanity with one tradition, one language, and a heck of a most efficient communication system. You couldn't say that we achieved this in the third millenium of our futile existence on this miserable planet, could you?! Well, if any message was to come from the creator was to be addressed to one group of people to their understanding as a benediction or blessing. The Quran says, "I(Allah) have send a messanger with my tidings to any tribe and nation" The conclusion one could derive from this passage would be that Allah/God sent his message locally but had a global intent. Making it global was the task of the receiver. Thus the Quran denounces the Jews as keeping the message for themselves and not willing to share it with the world. Christians understood the globalization aspect of the message and did a great job at it. Today, Christianity is the largest religion in the world. However, they blew it by mixing the pure message from God with their local believes and superstitions. Now, Christianity with all support from modern philosophies is decaying, like expiring its lifetime. How is this possible? This is what happens when you adulterate God's message with your own agenda. Jainism didn't spread in India itself too much.

Ramadan Karim to all! Many events took place in this month during our troubled history. The first battle against the kafiroon and insha'allah the last battle against them. Peace to the world is overdue! May Allah grant it to all of us...One good thing, among others, that the late Imam Ayatullah Khomeini(Allahu yirhamhu) did, was to consacrate the last Friday in Ramadan as a day for Palestine, as comemorating the massacre in the mosque during Ramadan. It was decided to be called, "Yaum il-Quds", Jerusalem's day. Don't attack me brothers and sisters for saying this, but Palestine saw too few positive things since the Zionists invaded it. I am Palestinian and I was touched by this consacration of Yaum il-Quds on the last Friday of Ramadan. I remember, old people when I was young, now I am old myself, used to count their age in the numbers of Ramadans they passed through. However, a person is more Ramadans than solar years. Every 33 years or so, Ramadan comes in as a plus. I am 50 Ramadans worth, and this is the measure with my Lord.
I am most content to see my young school-age boys in the company of over a dozen of their Muslim bosom friends from all over the world(I live in Toronto, this explains) going to pray Tarawiah to the mosque close by. How encouraging! While churches are empty and the young Christian boys run away and hide behind tall buildings smoking marijuana. Well, not all of them of course, but an alarming number though. Some of this young Christians already joined the Islamic brotherhood and proudly march to the mosques to pray the blessed Tarawiyah with their Muslim companions. Yeah, Islam is the fastest spreading religion because it's cool and hype!
Kool 'am antoom be khair wa taiyibeen!

Rahmadan Muburak
May the love,blessings and mercy of Allah be upon each and every brother and sister in this holiest and special month of the year,InshaAllah.
Surah of the month-(Al-Baqarah, 2:183)
Thought of the month-Laa ilaaha illallaah,Muhammadur-Rasulullaah

Ramadan Mubarak to all Muslims wherever you are! And many thanks to the writer of the article ~ it is an inspiration to start our Ramadan with this kind of reflection and self rightness. May Allah strengthen our ummah and get us closer to each others. Let's pray for peace to everyone! Jazakum-Allah and Ramadan Kareem to all...

ramadan mubarak to all the islamicity. thank you for your work thats helps the muslim community worldwide. thank you

Ramadan Mubarak.

Thank you for a reflective article and Insha Allah this Ramadan will prove to be a tranquil and peaceful one that will strengthen our Ummah in the time of all the Fitnah we are facing. Insha Allah we will humble ourselves to the will of Allah and seek his guidence through all the turmoil, rather than pointing fingers and increasing fitnah and divisions.
May Allah strengthen us to combat the evil within ourselves so we can be truly prepared to face those who want to and are already harming us.

We can say Al-Hamdolelleha (all thanks and praise are due to Allah)that we are muslims as Prophet Abraham and prophet Ismail may the peace and blessings of Allah will be up on them and up on the prophet mohammad. The article is well and easily written and read. Keep up the good work. Al-Salamo Alykum.

Ramadan Kareem to all the muslims!!Hope and pray that we all will be able to follow what this article says.. It is true that Ramadan brings all the muslims together... I don't live in a muslim country and so during Ramadan I can feel how all the muslims come together and help each other and that makes me feel more at home... May Allah watch over you and your family now and always... Alhamdulillah........... Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmathullah!

Ramadan Mubarak to all the Muslims!!Hope and pray that we will all be able to follow what this article tells us... Ramadan is a month of worship and all the muslims come together!!I don't live in a muslim country so I feel how the muslims come together during the month of Ramadan and so I feel more at home... Alhamdulillah!!!! May Allah watch over you and your families during the month of Ramadan and always............ Assalamu Alikum.

Victims of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (including victims at the Pentagon) deserve our sympathy? Likewise for party-goers in Indonesia, Shiites in Pakistan and Jewish tourists in Egypt? It appears that the blessings of Ramadan have made the Muslim bold. Masha'Allah!