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Ramadan Fasting and Personal/Social Development Compiled by Towards Understanding Islam & Muslims Ahmad Sultan AhmadSultan.com2003-2004.

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Presentation on theme: "Ramadan Fasting and Personal/Social Development Compiled by Towards Understanding Islam & Muslims Ahmad Sultan AhmadSultan.com2003-2004."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ramadan Fasting and Personal/Social Development Compiled by Towards Understanding Islam & Muslims Ahmad Sultan AhmadSultan.com

2 Outline Terminology Islam: a System/Way of Life Why do Muslims Fast? –Submission to God –Personal & Social Development Spiritual Social/Moral/Behavioral Educational Physical Conclusion 2

3 Terms for Better Understanding Religion (Arabic: DEEN) –Way of life (rules to follow); the meaning is not limited to personal conviction 3

4 Islam: a System/Way of Life The Religion (DEEN) before Allah is submission to His Will (Islam): Nor did the People of the Book dissent therefrom except through envy of each other, after knowledge had come to them. But if any deny the Signs of Allah, Allah is swift in calling to account. Qur’an 3:19 Is it then other than Allah's religion that they seek (to follow), and to Him submits (Aslama) whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him shall they be returned. Qur’an 3:83 1. Default of the universal system 4

5 Islam: a System/Way of Life The same religion (DEEN) has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the which We have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him). Qur’an 42:13 2. The same way of life of all prophets 5

6 Islam: a System/Way of Life “…This day have I perfected your DEEN (religion: way of life) for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam (submission to God’s Will) as your DEEN (religion: way of life)…” Qur’an 5:3 3. Last link completing the Devine message to mankind 6

7 Islam: a System/Way of Life “ Say (O Muhammad): "O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah (God), to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He That giveth both life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, who believeth in Allah and His words: follow him that (so) ye may be guided.“ Qur’an 7: A message to all mankind 7

8 Islam: a System/Way of Life “I have only been sent (as a messenger) but to complete the perfect of manners.” Saying of Prophet Mohammad 5. Main objective of the message 8

9 Islam: a System/Way of Life Beliefs that free the minds from myths, and encourages seeking knowledge Worship (AEBADA) that fulfills the spirit and develops character Manners that grows personality and cooperation Laws that protect individual freedom, look for interests and guarantee justice 5. Comprehensive System that provides the following: 9

10 Modern-day Civilization: Gaps High on –Technology –Materialism Low on –Spirituality –Social/Moral Vacuum How would an act of worship (AEBADA) such as Fasting (Siyam) help? 10

11 Why do Muslims Fast? Above all –Acknowledgement of God (Allah) as the Only Master and Sustainer of the Universe by submitting to his command to Fast during Ramadan –The main motive behind fasting is to obey Allah and to seek His pleasure Secondly –Siyam provides a balanced system of personal purification, elevation to improve individuals/society 11

12 Spiritual Impacts of Siyam Trains the believer in God consciousness Act of atonement for our errors and mistakes –"Whoever fasts (the month of) Ramadan on the basis of Faith (Iman) and seeking (the Pleasure of Allah), his past errors are forgiven.” Loved by God –The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Allah said: ‘the most beloved of My servants to Me are those who are quick to break their fast.” 12

13 Spiritual Impacts of Siyam Supplication* not turned down –“The fasting person is awarded a supplication when he breaks his fast that shall not be turned down.” * requesting good things in this life or hearafter Spiritual Revival (overhaul) –Nightly Prayer and frequent recitation and study of the Qur'an 13

14 Moral Impacts of Siyam Fasting is a form of Jihad (Struggling in the path of Allah). It teaches self-discipline and enhances one's ability to master his/her needs and desires rather than being enslaved by them Honesty, Sincerity and –“All the good deeds of the son of Adam multiply his reward from ten times to seven hundred times.” Allah (SWT) said: “Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I reward for it.” Transmitted by Bukhari and Muslim Teaches other virtues –"If one does not abandon falsehood in words and deeds, Allah has no need for his abandoning of his food and drink." (al-Bukhari) 14

15 Social Impacts of Siyam Siyam promotes the spirit of –unity and belonging within the Muslim nation (Ummah) –human equality before Allah (God.). –charity and sympathy towards the poor and needy –sociability in a brotherly and spiritual atmosphere Muslims are urged to invite others to break the fast with them gather for Quranic study prayer and visitations 15

16 Social/Moral Impacts of Siyam Generosity –“The Prophet (pbuh) was the most generous of people, and he was the most generous during Ramadan. When he used to meet Angel Jibreel he used to be more generous than the wind is sent with rain.” Bukhari Start with your relatives because it is both an act of generosity and a connection to your relatives. –“Breaking-the-Fast Alms Giving (zakatul fitr) is a cleanser for the fasting person and a source of food for the needy.” Transmitted by Abu Dawoud – Reconcile disputes before the beginning of Ramadan –“..Allah (swt) forgives all sinners except those who are in dispute or in fighting.” 16

17 Behavioral Impacts of Siyam Recognize the value of time –“People will still be in a good state so long as they hurry in breaking their fast.” Transmitted by Bukhari and Muslim –“The first third of the month is mercy; the second is forgiveness, and the final third salvation from hellfire. During this month Laylatul Qadr (Night of Power) occurs, a night greater than a thousand months” Strengthens the will power, ability to change and make clear conscious decisions –Forsaking normal things helps abandoning inappropriate behavior 17

18 Psychological Impacts of Siyam It enhances the feelings of inner peace, contentment, and optimism. These feelings result from the realization of Allah's pleasure. It teaches patience and perseverance and enhances the feeling of moral accomplishment. Voluntary abstinence of lawful appetites leads one to appreciate the bounties of Allah, which are usually taken for granted (until they are missed!). For a whole month every year, Muslims go through a different and exciting experience, which breaks the normal routine of life. Not only can this be refreshing, it also teaches the person to adapt to varying conditions and circumstances in his/her life. 18

19 Educational Impacts of Siyam Education and Focus through contemplating on Devine message –Night prayers without the Qur’an are like a body without a head, and night prayers with the Qur’an but without attentiveness and consciousness (khushou’) are like a body without a soul. Sharpening Memory – “Angel Gabriel used to review what had been revealed of the Qur’an during the previous year with the Prophet (pbuh) during Ramadan. In Ramadan of the year in which the Prophet (pbuh) died, Angel Gabriel reviewed it with him in its entirety twice” (Transmitted by Al Bukhari) 19

20 Physical Impacts of Siyam elimination of harmful fatty substances from the blood helping the cure of certain types of intestinal and stomach ailments the renewal of body tissues. Needless to say that some ailments may be aggravated by fasting in which case the person is exempted from fasting self-control and discipline exercised in Ramadan provide an excellent beginning to “kick out” undesirable habits such as overeating or smoking, the these bad habits. Siyam is an annual physical overhaul of the body 20

21 Physical Impacts of Siyam Why Do Muslims Break Their Fast with Dates? "The Messenger of Allah would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray. If those were not available, he would eat dried dates. If those were not available, he would drink some water.” –Rapid source of needed energy –Daily multivitamin Dates are high in vitamins A and B6, folic acid, potassium, natural sodium, iron, and magnesium –Preventive medication Dates protect the stomach and intestinal tract from parasites and bacteria –One should pray after eating dates and before eating the main meal break to metabolize the dates and water that have been consumed and to start the body’s digestive processes, which have been resting all day. avoid jumpstarting the body’s digestive processes unhealthy way to break the fast that could cause long-term damage to the body 21

22 Conclusion Siyam (Fasting) is one of the pillars of Islam Performing Fast is an acknowledgement of God (Allah) as the Only Master and Sustainer of the Universe The main motive behind fasting is to obey Allah and to seek His pleasure It is one of the acts of AEBADA (Worship), that provides a balanced system of personal purification, elevation to improve individuals/society Spiritually, Socially, Morally, Behaviorally, Educationally, and Physically 22

23 References “The Nobel Qur’an”, Translations of the meanings by Yousef Ali, Picthal, and Shaker. –http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/ “Fiqh as-Sunna”, As-Sayyed Sabiq Islam in Your Life – Spirituality –http://www.masnet.org/spirit.asp?id=602http://www.masnet.org/spirit.asp?id=602 –“Fasting & Ramadan”, Dr. Jamal Badawi –“Rules of Siyam”, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti –“Ramadan, The Blessed Month”, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti –Why Do Muslims Break Their Fast with Dates? –“Seize the Ramadan Opportunity”, Safa Alshiraida –“Facts of Fasting”, Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND –“Ramadan”, Dr. Salah Soltan 23


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