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September 19, 2006 > Ramadan- The spiritual month par excellence

Ramadan- The spiritual month par excellence

by Mohammad Rajabally

Muslims throughout the world wait with patience and enthusiasm the beginning of Ramadan, the fasting month. In fact, it is said that the true believer spends the whole year in remembrance of Ramadan. In the first six months, right after Ramadan, the believer lives in the nostalgia and cherishing memories of the most recent Ramadan witnessed, while in the second half of the year, he or she waits impatiently in preparation for the coming Ramadan. This is because Ramadan is a month like no other.

It was in Ramadan that the Qur'an, the Muslim holy book, was revealed to the prophets Muhammad. Muslims believe it is in this very month of Ramadan that the light of God came as a mercy and guidance to humankind in the form of a Revelation, the Qur'an. Therefore Ramadan is revered as much as the Qur'an is revered. Ramadan is part and parcel of the core belief of Islam. Denying it is equal to unbelief and ignoring it is tremendously sinful.

The Qur'an commands Muslims to fast like the previous nations were commanded in order that they may become God conscious. Hence the essence of Ramadan is to bring awareness and nearness to the Creator. The fast of Ramadan which is observed by abstaining from food and drink during the time from before sunrise until sunset for a whole lunar month addresses the inner of the human soul. In other words, the fast of Ramadan purifies, illuminates and uplifts the inner soul granting peace, serenity and tranquility. Unlike daily prayers, charity or the pilgrimage of Hajj to Mecca which are all religious duties witnessed by the community at large, fasting is strictly between the Creator and His servant. Nobody can say for sure who is fasting or who is not. There is no monitoring of the fast. The fast is observed in secrecy between the individual and his or her Creator, devoid of any show or human acknowledgement.

The month of Ramadan is, no doubt, the most rigid spiritual camp on earth. Special congregational prayers are held at night in all Islamic Centers. The whole Qur'an is being recited repeatedly day and night throughout the world. Last but not least, many Muslims will retire in absolute seclusion during the last ten days of Ramadan, completely cut off from worldly affairs. Also among the last ten nights of Ramadan is a very special night known as "the night of power" which the Qur'an says is equal to a thousand months of worship. Muslims stay awake all night long during the Night of Power supplication for peace and forgiveness; such is the greatness and spirituality of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Islamic Society of East Bay located at  33330 Peace Terrace in Fremont, invites everyone to come to their open house on Sunday, Oct. 8 beginning at 4:00 p.m. For more information, visit www.iseb.org or call (408) 986-9874.

 
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