Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Some Meanings of Fasting Ramadan
ccun.org, August 26, 2009
Ramadan is one of the most important and holiest months of
Islamic calendar, when the faithful mark the revelation of the Quran, the
martyrdom of Imam Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet, the death anniversary of
the wife (Khadija) of the Prophet, birth anniversary of the grandson Imam
Hassan and the victory at the battle of Badr.
Fasting is truly
universal ritual and its benefits extend beyond the fraternal ties of
Muslims Fasting is also the oldest recorded ritual of spiritual
purification known to mankind and prevalent in many of the world’s
religions. Mary the mother of Prophet Jesus was commanded to fast
while Jews and Christians share a similar belief. For instance, the Jews
fast on the day of Yom Kippur. Ramadan is really a source of peace and
solace, just as Christmas goes beyond the rituals to bring forth kindness,
charity and caring
According to the Qur’an, the main purpose of
fasting is so that one may attain "piety" (Taqwa) or God-consciousness. To
mark the month, Muslims will perform extra spiritual rituals such as
Salaat (daily prayers) with greater intensity and frequency. It is a month
of intense reflection and spiritual development, with a genuine virtue of
devotion and honest dedication. In reality fasting brings silent
revolution of seeking self-purification, of self-control, tolerance,
compassion, affinity with others and, in particular, with the poor. In
addition, fasting teaches Muslims to empathize with those who are less
fortunate, and to develop feelings of compassion towards the hungry, needy
and those are facing famine. Mere hunger and thirst do not constitute
fasting nor fasting is observed as an exercise in starvation or weight
control. Rather, Muslims are required to fast with their entire body, by
putting a rein on their tongues, eyes, ears, hands and feet.
blessed month of Ramadan will come and go. While celebrating our
achievements and spiritual victories during this month we must stop to
review some of the most important lessons we have or should have learned
from fasting. Beside the lessons of spiritual, compassionate and
caring, one of the important lessons of Ramadan is the collective
responsibility for building an ethical and moral society. This can only be
done if we stand together and become united on ideals and values we
cherish. Today Islam is most misunderstood religion. We cannot blame
others for our predicament. We and we alone must take responsibility for
changing our condition. Allah says: “Certainly Allah never changes the
condition of a people unless they themselves change what is in
themselves.” (Al-Ra`d: 11)
There is no denying of the fact that
there are many in the media, think tanks, Hollywood and government who are
busy creating the image of Muslims as "The Other" in order to promote
their own agendas. We as Muslims have a responsibility to tell the world
what we stand for and what we are against.
are for peace, justice, pluralism and tolerance.
are against terrorism, injustice, and imperialism.
We must stand and speak up against the discourse of hate, intolerance,
selfishness and bigotry.
Ø We must speak out against
the "hijacking of Islam" by the extremists.
In order to get this
message across we must come out of our cocoons and realize the crucial
nature of the challenges facing us as a people. We must know that the
phase of building mosques is over. It is high time that we focus on
developing a new generation of Muslims who can shoulder the
responsibilities of carrying the message of mercy reflected in Islam as
intelligently and responsibly as possible.
We must make our
presence felt in all segments of the mainstream society. We must become
more active in community service and politics, and struggle to make our
Muslim community an inspiration and model of how to be responsible
citizens of the whole world.
Finally, let us make our voices heard
in speaking out against oppression, poverty and hunger. Let us make our
voices heard in speaking out against homelessness. Let us make our voices
heard in speaking out against injustice. Let us join hands with all peace
loving people of the world to build a better world. Most importantly, let
us act on these Islamic ideals.