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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Bilalian News


Imam W. D. Muhammad


In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; Peace and Blessings upon His Servant and His Messenger, Muhammad, forever. Amen.

As -Salaam -Alaikum My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our previous two articles on Ramadan here in Bilalian News, we have discussed some of the basic concepts or ideas concerning this very important month of fasting in Islam. In this article, we want to look a little deeper into the meaning of the fast for the Muslims.

Fasting, or abstaining from food and drink, is easy if you keep your mind on something that is worthwhile. During Ramadan, the Muslim keeps his mind or her mind on things that are valuable, important, good, and clean.

If you don't keep your mind on Allah and on the higher values of life, fasting will be hard for you. If you keep your mind on Allah, on the higher values of life, and read the Holy Quran as we have suggested in our articles - fasting will not be that difficult for you.

Remember, the Ramadan fast is not just a fast of physical food, it is a fast of the whole human body (whole human being). It is not just a fast for spiritual benefit, it is a fast for the benefit of the total person - physically, spiritually, mentally.

In keeping your mind on Allah and the higher values of life, force yourself to take time from something you have been doing during the day (listening to the radio, watching television, etc.) and read the Holy Quran. You should read 1 /30th of the Holy Quran
each day so that by the end of the month you will have read the complete Holy Quran.

The great benefit of fasting is the development of self-mastery. It is hard for us to make ourselves do what we know is good for self and others because we are weak. Prayer, right thinking, and fasting help us to overcome this weakness. Fasting gives us the strength to overcome the drive of physical hunger.

Almost the whole life of the animal world is ruled over by the drive to overcome hunger. That is the drive of the flesh for something to satisfy the flesh. If you can control that very powerful drive, it not only gives you the power to withstand the flesh, but it helps you in every way because everything in the universe is related. The body affects the mind, the mind affects the body, morality is affected - all these things influence each other.

In the Holy Quran, Allah says that fasting is for Him. The power of hunger drives animals and humans to kill and to eat other animals. Yet the Muslim man and woman lives with that hunger, denies it, and moves about peacefully without grumbling. It drives an animal mad, but the Muslim is spiritual and happy containing it.

The Muslim on the Ramadan fast thanks Allah and reflects on the wisdom and the beauty of God. With the hunger that drives the world mad, the Muslim acts as though he is in heaven. Under the power of God and under the power of His Truth, the Muslim thinks on God's wonders, on the truth of creation that supports the heavens and on the design and the order of creation.

By thinking on Allah's great wonders, we are kept powerful and very much alive. Our mind (the inner being) is awakened and it makes us stand up independent of the outer body. Though the outer body is crying for food, the inner being can't hear it. It has separated itself from the outer body and it is living in the world of the higher form then.

This kind of fasting should not be done for extensive periods of time. We are just to fast during Ramadan through the daylight hours. If you fast for more than that time, you have broken the fast. As long as we are free to do things as we want to do them, we will destroy the benefit of discipline and order. Take the Ramadan fast exactly as it is prescribed and you will get the benefit.

At the end of Ramadan, those who have kept the fast wil1 receive their benefits very soon. Not only will you see a change in your personal life, but you will also see a change in the community of Islam.

Your Brother, W.D. Muhammad