Jul 26, 2012

Austerity and righteousness in the month of Ramadan

Every eleven months Muslims welcome the chance to clean up their act and devote themselves to prayer and contemplation. During this month God gives everyone a chance to start fresh, refrain from transgression and turn over a new leaf. It is a time to give up your selfish needs, to refrain from envy, jealousy, anger, and arrogance. Prayer, the act of believing and acting upon your good intentions is a Muslim’s passport to a spiritual afterlife.

Islam is approximately 1400 years old. When God ordered that Muslims fast for a month from just before dawn to sunset, the holy Prophet Muhamad, the last of God’s prophets, would retreat to a cave in the mountain where he would spend a month in prayer and contemplation. His sustenance to break fast would be water, goat’s milk, and a few dates. His example to his Companions and followers was of a man of piety and righteousness and God chose this last prophet to bring the message to the people as revealed in the holy Qur’an as he was the most beloved prophet of God. The month of Ramadan should be spent in doing righteous acts and remembrance of God.

One should not engage in acts of lewdness as it taints the soul. One should not gossip or cause anyone harm by the tongue as it ruins lives. One should not participate in adulterous behavior and cause family destruction. Instead, one should use the time in introspection and self-examination in order to rid ourselves of the contaminants of an unclean life. Ramadan is a chance for anyone to change his or her life. These acts of devotion are a lead-in to better understand God and what it is that God wants from us. For Muslims, the revelations of God as revealed to the holy prophet Muhammad and instilled in his heart was a direct missive from God and the Qur’an is a guide for Muslims to follow and abide by if they want to live pure and spiritual lives. The prophet received revelations over a period of 23 years.

Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and one of the keystones to help us improve our spiritually impoverished lives.