RAMADAAN~ In Pursuance of Taqwa
Khutbah delivered by Sadullah Khan at Claremont Main Road Mosque 13 August, 2010
Fasting is one of the fundamental pillars of Faith and has always been integral part of religious traditions throughout history ... Prophets Musa (Moses), 'Isa (Jesus), Dawood (David), Ilyaas (Elijah) peace be upon them, all fasted according to the Bible. (See Exodus 34:28, Deutronomy 9:9,Psalm 35:13, Sam 12:16-23, Mathew 4:2, Deutronomy 9:15-18, Luke 4:2.)
As Believers we have been commanded to fast the month of Ramadaan, the ninth month of Islamic lunar calendar; a month mentioned by name in the Qur’an (Q 2:185) in relation to the Qur’an; a month containing a night greater in value than a thousand months. (Q 97:11-5)
Dimensions of Fasting Islam emphasized the institution of fasting as highly spiritual and moral discipline; both in motive and form ...
Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazali made reference to 3 Levels of Fasting:
- a chaste regard, restrained from viewing anything that is blameworthy or reprehensible;
- guarding one's tongue from idle chatter, lying, gossiping, obscenity, rudeness, arguing and controversy;
- closing one's ears to everything reprehensible, for everything unlawful to utter is likewise unlawful to listen to. That is why Allah has equated the eavesdropper with the profiteer, Listeners to falsehood, consumers of illicit gain.' [al-Ma'idah, 5:42] Silence in the face of backbiting is therefore unlawful. God, Exalted is He, said: 'You are then just like them.' [al-Nisa, 4:140] That is why the Prophet, on him be peace, said: 'The backbiter and his listener are copartners in sin.'
- keeping all other limbs and organs away from sin: the hands and feet from reprehensible deeds, and the stomach from questionable food
- to avoid over-indulgence in lawful food at the time of breaking fast
Those who fast are also referred to in the Qur'an (9:112 & 66:5) as sa'ih (spiritual wayfarers). Fasting is indeed an exercise in pursuit of Divine blessing, Divine approval and an attempt at manifesting the best of ethical values and moral practices
In Spiritual Nutrition and the Rainbow Diet, Gabriel Cousens, M.D., a California physician writes . . . fasting in a larger context, means to abstain from that which is toxic to mind, body, and soul. A way to understand this is that fasting is the elimination of physical, emotional, and mental toxins from our organism, rather than simply cutting down on or stopping food intake.
Though fasting has a spiritual purposes, it does not imply a removal of one’s self from worldly responsibilities; but is rather a healing and spiritual-religious process. In Islam, fasting is therefore not only an ibaadah , but one of the pillars of Faith.
Ramadaan ~ Month of the Qur’an
Ramadaan is indeed the month of heightened Allah-consciousness, of attaining unto taqwa (piety), of training ourselves to be the best we can be; a month to initiate improvement of reputation, character and cultivating good habits.
In a world, increasingly amoral, perception is considered reality. How one appears to the world has overtaken the substance of who we really are. Impressions, whether real or fake, are given more credence than they deserve. Though name, image and reputation are what we perceive of people, character is the essence of the "real self". The Qur'an is a source of guidance for humanity. It is the last of Allah's revelation conveyed to us through His final Messenger, Muhammad (pbuh). Muslims consider the commands and wisdom found in the Qur'an to be a constant guide for us in our daily lives.
Relationship between the Believer & the Quran
Ramadaan is the month of the Qur’an, its first revelation occurred therein and it is still most often recited during that period. In order to truly benefit from the Qur'an we have to be able to relate to the Qur'an in a practical way, every day of our lives. Great scholars of Islam have advised us to keep our relationship with the Qur'an effective by maintaining the following five responsibilities :
In pursuance of Taqwa
The primary objective of fasting according to the Qur’an (Q 2:183) is to attain taqwa. Taqwa is character development coupled with God-consciousness. As Ramadaan moves on, we need to perpetuate the positive spirit we have imbibed and continue on the spiritual journey towards fulfillment and excellence.