Jul 24, 2012 at 11:38am
The Month of Ramadan
COMMENTARY ON RAMADAN
The Gates of Hell Spiritually closed last night with the sighting of the new moon by majority of Muslims around the world.
The closure metaphorically gives a glimmer of hope to Muslims who are mandated by divine authority to halt all acts that have the potential to lead them into physical and spiritual destruction.
The Holy Quran is categorical on this - whoever does not refrain from falsehood, dishonesty and evil acts, Allah has no need of him that he should refrain from food and drink.
The news of the sighting of the moon signals the beginning of the ninth month of the Muslim calendar- a month which ushers Muslims into the Ramadhan fast which is the fourth article of faith in Islam.
The timeless and spiritual nature of fasting in this Holy Month is comprehensively enshrined in the Holy Quran chapter 2 vrs.
185: O ye who believe!
Fasting has been prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.
An injunction regarded by the amanuenses of the prophet and Muslim scholars alike as the citadel of fasting in Islam.
Clearly, fasting is for a particular group of people - Those who believe firmly in the ordinance of Allah and are prepared to wholeheartedly dedicate themselves to it.
To underscore the historical importance of this selfless spiritual activity, the Holy Quran makes an allusion to communities before the advent of Islam that were instructed by Allah to submit to the ritual.
The eventual aim of the admonishment is to help keep in check, certain animalistic exhibitions of man which considerably reduces his esteem in the sight of Allah.
It is upon this premise, as well as Allah's promise to grant paradise to Muslims who devotedly go by the tenets of fasting that Muslims around the world, once again welcome the new moon with the hope that they may seek the mercies of Allah as they engage in this activity which entails abstinence from food and water and sexual intercourse from dawn, approximately one and half hours before sunrise to sunset during the entire month of Ramadhan.
Abstaining from the three physical needs of man is to condition the undertaker spiritually, physiologically, physically and psychologically to commune with his Maker without any worldly inhibitions and distractions.
It is this new state that repulses greed, corruption, envy and all forms of moral turpitude and positions man as a complete image of God,bBut it is the knowledge that the Holy Quran was revealed in the month of Ramadhan; in a particular night which is considered better in Allah's estimation than a thousand months that should bring out the selfless and total commitment of Muslims to their Maker and their fellow human beings.
Indeed, the best of Jihads, according to a tradition of the prophet is by engaging in the Ramadhan fast, since it entails "fighting" against desires that predispose mankind to sin.
In this month, satanic inclinations which feature prominently in one's actions have to be caged if they are to successfully fulfill the dictates of the fast.
Such an act of obedience and steadfastness was staunchly manifested by prophet Ibrahim, when he withstood the trappings of sheitan by symbolically throwing stones to signify the rejection of devilish thoughts, when Allah instructed him on the deserts of Arabia to sacrifice his only son then.
It is in this month that the denotative meaning of Jihad which literally implies "fighting" in the cause of Allah receives practical manifestation as Muslims are enjoined to keep away delicacies they would never have kept at a distance under no circumstances.
Though important ingredients for human survival, the constant resort to food, water and sex exacts a spiritual and physical toll on man, thereby inhibiting his ability to effectively commune with his Maker.
Unfortunately, the basic meaning of Jihad has assumed a pejorative tag with blood and its accompanying commotion constituting its most common signifier.
A designation that has gained notoriety as a result of the actions of some so-called Muslims in the Islamic world who deceptively cite religious reasons to perpetuate their selfish political agenda, thereby inflicting needless pain and suffering on innocent people in the name of Islam.
Paradoxically, the religion and its articles of faith including fasting which is usually projected in a denigrating manner by some non-Muslims represent peace and submission to the will of Almighty Allah.
It is regrettable that whiles the objectives for the institution of the Ramadhan fast as outlined in the Holy Quran is to sharpen the spiritual edged of the undertaker to enable him confront the challenges in the aftermath of the fast, some Muslims revert to their old ways after the ritual thereby defeating the essence of the moral jihad they swore to propagate while fasting.
Instances where some Muslims who have come immediately after breaking the fast in the evening, with others indulging in smoking and other reprehensible acts do not only completely relegate the essence of the exercise to the background but quixotically confine such Muslims into the doldrums.
As Muslims fight all forms of moral weaknesses during the Month of Ramadhan, it is hoped that their exceptional exhibition of good morals do not stagnate immediately after the fast but continue into the future to inure to the benefit of the larger society.
For Islamic extremists who see the wisdom in halting all forms of atrocities during the Holy Month of Ramadhan only to continue in sadistic fashion after the Islamic ritual, rationality and common sense demands that the same Ramadhan wisdom that they hold in high esteem like the two wheels of a wagon should be their guiding principle in all their endeavours after Ramadhan.
BY: IBRAHIM KWARTENG, A JOURNALIST.