Ramadan is the ninth and the most important month of the Muslim calendar.. It is believed that it has immense powers to uplift, empower and turn around our situations individually and collectively. It is the spring season for the garden of Islam when dead dry grass can come back to life and flowers bloom. The important message of Ramadan is that humans are not just a body but a body with a soul. And that determines our value as human beings – the soul and not the body. During this month Muslims deprive the body to uplift the soul.
The message of this holy month of Ramadan is exactly the opposite of the message of the materialistic hedonistic global pop culture that has engulfed the entire world today. In today’s world of materialism, the greatest virtue if not happiness is in filling the appetites of the body which are endless and which consequently produce endless wars to fulfill these appetites through endless exploitation resulting in endless frustrations and chaos since the gap between desires and achievements can never be filled. Yet this trash comes in such beautiful and exciting packages that we hardly resist it. Ramadan is here to liberate us from all this. This is the month to reflect on the direction of our life and our priorities and strengthen our relationship with our creator. A month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon Muslims to fast during the day and voluntary to pray by night. Fasting teaches us the virtues of patience and the reward for patience in Heaven. It is a month of kindness and charity in which a believer’s sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his\her fast shall have the same reward as for the fasting person and will be saved from the file of hell.
Fasting during Ramadan not only teaches the virtues of perseverance and patience in the face of difficulties but also being steadfast in avoiding sins in the face of temptations and being persistent in performing virtues when that is not easy. Overcoming hunger and thirst are only a part of fasting. Protecting our eyes, ears, minds, tongues, hands etc are also a part of fasting. It requires patience in its fullest sense and provides a training ground for that very important quality to be developed and nurtured.