Keeping the Spirit of Ramadan Alive
by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
In a world that has become rather strange and peculiar, we find in the quest for peace that nations of the world are waging wars of devastation and destruction against each other. World governments look towards war as the solution for peace. Greed and selfishness are considered the key to the success of man. In the clamour for justice, injustice towers over and above, in all its ugliness. Instead of peace, freedom, success and justice, man finds himself shackled under the yoke of more and more tribulations.
Despite the billions of dollars spent on sophisticated technology to establish law and order and eliminate crimes of theft, murder, bribery, corruption, rape, fraud, hijackings and so forth, crime has not been eradicated nor reduced by any percentage. Instead, there has been, and there is, a daily escalation in all criminal offences.
Frequent get-togethers of the so-called masterminds of the world, summit conferences and high-level discussions have all failed to provide a solution to man's economic, political, cultural and social problems.
Man is a created being, and only Divine guidance can solve his problems. The reality is clear: The heavy arm of the law on its own, just legislation, the imposition of fines and jail sentences, cannot and will not solve problems that face mankind. The only sure deterrent to crimes of all kinds is firm conviction and belief in our Creator, a life hereafter and a day of judgement, where complete justice will be meted out. These are long-term solutions and solutions that were proven to give the best results and create the best societies on the face of the earth.
The obligation of fasting in the month of Ramadan for the Believers —men and women, who are sane and healthy, is a clear message to mankind that unrestricted indulgence in fulfilling the desires of one's base or animal self has to be curbed for some time to give an upliftment to one's spiritual self.
The object of fasting, as described in the Holy Qur'an is:
“O you who believe, the fasts have been enjoined upon you as they were enjoined upon those before you, so that you may be God-fearing.”
[ Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183]
During the auspicious month of Ramadan, a fasting person abstains from food, drink and sexual relations from dawn until sunset in obedience to the command of his Creator. The month is a training whereby the Believer's trait of being God-conscious is nurtured. Even though he may be in place of total privacy and seclusion on the hottest day of the year, he does not submit to the temptation of sipping even a few drops of water because he is convinced that he cannot evade the sight of the All-Observing Almighty.
If the spirit of fasting were to become a reality in the society of Muslims who have observed the fasts of Ramadan, and it has advanced our piety, then mankind would see a society in which every person becomes the guardian of respect, honour, a society in which the needy, poor, destitute, and the under-privileged are taken cared for.
A society in which honesty, chastity, nobility, kindness, compassion, mercy and forgiveness shine forth like the midday sun; a society in which no harm is caused to any human or animal without a just reason; and a society in which material progress does not bring about a moral collapse.
Eidul Fitr signifies the end of this fasting period and is a day of joy and thanksgiving. Still, despite being a day of celebration, the day commences with an additional prayer after sunrise, reminding the believers that the object of fasting must be entirely borne in mind even after Ramadan. A believer must be aware that he was made to observe the fast to become God-conscious, pious and self-restraining. His natural inclinations to eating, drinking and fulfilling his sexual passions were curbed for a month from dawn to sunset – the willpower to abstain from all evil and submit himself to the will of the Creator should now be easy for the months to follow.
Ramadan was a golden opportunity for the Muslim community to bring about a total transformation in all spheres of their lives. Eid and the days to follow are opportunities to demonstrate the moral upliftment and spiritual elevation gained through fasting by showing compassion, mercy and kindness towards the creation of the Almighty.
Whilst conveying to the Muslim community best wishes for a Happy Eid, I make a humble appeal to every Muslim brother and sister to keep the spirit of fasting alive – Let obedience of Allah Ta'ala shine forth from this day forward. Let the rest of mankind observe the effect that fasting has in changing the outlook of a believing Muslim. Let the world observe a community free from all sins, crime and vice and let us be an example which is worthy of emulation and of others accepting Islam.