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Peace Be Upon All

By Khaled-Oula Elomar

The holiest month in the Islamic Calendar, the month of Ramadan, is upon our door step. I take this opportunity to wish everyone, and I mean everyone, Ramadan Mubarak to you and all your loved ones. May Allah swt accept all your good deeds and actions not only during this blessed month, but for the rest of your lives.

What is Ramadan? Why and How do we observe Ramadan?

I will answer these questions, to the best of my ability, in the hope that I can share this information with the vast majority of my non-Muslim brothers and sister, as well as to remind my Muslim brothers and sisters about the significance of this month and how to make the most of it. In fact, everyone can make the most of this month very easily. You don’t need to be Muslim. You can be of any faith, religion or no religion for that matter, and still observe the month to help initiate a change. A change for the betterment of humanity. A change to make the best and most of what life has to offer. A change to help us help others. A change to help us become better people. A change to help us progress forward in a positive and mature way. A change to help us create a better community, country and life for our kids and grandkids.

WHAT IS RAMADAN? Simply put, Ramadan is the name of a month in the Islamic Calendar. Since the Islamic calendar is a Lunar based calendar, the month of Ramadan can be either 29 or 30 days. During this month, the Quran was first revealed to the prophet Muhammad pbuh during the last 10 days of that month on an odd-numbered night. This blessed night is referred to as Laylatul-Qadr (Night of Decree/Destiny/Power).

In the Quran Allah swt says;

The month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed as a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong) [Al-Baqarah: Ch2: V185]

Allah also says;

We bestowed this [divine writ] on the Night of Destiny/night of power. (1) And what could make thee conceive what it is, that Night of Destiny? (2) The Night of Destiny is better than a thousand months: (3) in hosts descend in it the angels, bearing divine inspiration by their Sustainer’s leave; from all [evil] that may happen (4) Peace! does it make secure, until the rise of dawn. (5).’[Al Qadr Ch97: V1-5]

During this month, Muslims believe that the doors of Hell are closed for the entire month whilst the doors of heaven are wide opened. So any prayers or supplications you do, as long as they benefit mankind and your family, community and the country you reside in, God will accept them if they are made with purity, sincerity and innocence. Muslims also believe that Satan is locked up and chained for the entire month. So any acts of evil one does by any verbal, physical or thought-based means, are your own wrong doings and you alone are to blame for it.

WHY AND HOW DO WE OBSERVE RAMADAN? During this month, Allah has ordered us to Fast (Abstain), [Syam as pronounced in Arabic]. Abstain from what?. What the vast majority of people around the world, even Muslims, incorrectly associate the act of Fasting or Abstinence to food and water ONLY during sunlight. Whilst this is partly correct, it is not the only act or task Muslims carry out during this month.

Following is a short list of acts and activities that every Muslim should do and how to conduct ourselves during this month. The last item is the least significant one.

  1. Abstain from evil acts and thoughts
  2. Abstain from hate and resentment
  3. Abstain from back-biting and bickering
  4. Abstain from being anger – Always remain happy
  5. Abstain from cursing – Always utter nice words
  6. Abstain from being frustration – Remain calm at all times
  7. Pray as much as you can and whenever you can
  8. Recite the Quran any chance you get
  9. Participate in sermons of Love and Peace
  10. Help the needy
  11. Be charitable – Give more than you normally do
  12. Abstain from Food and Water

With the doors of Hell closed and those of Heaven opened during Ramadan, ones adherence to the above items, only propagates a positive change to oneself. This positive change cascades onto others who experience nothing but love, respect, purity, maturity, eloquence, politeness, calmness, positivity, compassion, humility, modesty and charity.

Muslims abstain from food and water for 2 reasons.

  1. There are people out in the world that spend hours, days, weeks, months, years and most of their lives HUNGRY and THIRSTY due to poverty. A lot die from Hunger and Thirst. A terrible fact of life. Some of those who have the money always turn a blind eye and chose to remain oblivious to this fact which only makes matters worse. Feeling their pain by being hungry and thirsty for a few hours in the day is only touching the tip of the iceberg. It’s disrespectful to say that the comparison is equal. Being hungry and thirsty for a few hours a day is a privilege if you ask those that are hungry and thirst for their whole life. Next time you take a bite of food or drink water or any beverage, think of a child that hasn’t had a bite or drink for the last several days. Extremely saddening isn’t it?
  2. Hunger and thirst play on our minds all the time (we don’t need to be reminded about them). It’s a natural phenomenon. With the constant sensation and feeling of being hungry and thirsty, Muslims are, by default reminded that they are observing Ramadan and hence must carry out and conduct all other acts to ensure that our observation of Ramadan is completely fulfilled.

So for my Muslim brother and sisters, you know what you need to do. I remind myself first then you on our obligation during this blessed month. As for my non-Muslim brothers and sisters, you too can observe Ramadan. You can do it for the sole purpose of changing yourself from a wonderful human to an amazing human. It really isn’t that hard. Just ABSTAIN from ALL THE WRONGS and act on ALL THE RIGHTS by following the above 12 items.

I am not preaching Islam. I am merely trying to implement a positive change within me first then you.

Always Love and Respect

Khaled

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9 comments

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  1. Win Jeavons

    Most of these should be observed by all of good heart, everywhere, all the time . Make all days holy days, showing kindness and compassion , daily. Studying your chosen writings to grow in grace and charity.

  2. Kaye Lee

    “So any acts of evil one does by any verbal, physical or thought-based means, are your own wrong doings and you alone are to blame for it.”

    That should be the case at all times. The devil made me do it is a cop out.

    Peace be with you.

  3. Anne Byam

    Thank you Khaled for such an informative and interesting article – with so much positive thought and action in Ramadan written about and explained.

    It behoves us all – no matter what – to try to follow the ‘good’ and shun the ‘bad’ … it is not always easy but must be attempted.

    Peace to you and your family in this holy month of Ramadan.

  4. Keitha Granville

    What a world we would have if all peoples observed the ideals of Ramdan always.

    The teachings of Christ have many of the same.

    Peace.

  5. Rosemary J36

    My personal interpretation of religion – which has always had close ties to governance – is that those desirous of living in a harmonious community need an agreed set of rules to abide by.
    In the ancient days, no one had yet got the scientific knowledge to interpret many natural phenomena, so those – and they are always among us – who sought power, invented gods, for which they could be the interpreter.
    In some cases – eg the 10 commandment – the rules had some merit but needed refinement – hence Christ’s summary into just 2 commandments.
    And if you leave gods out of it and just take Love thy neighbour as thyself – hey! You are on a good wicket!

  6. Brozza

    Rosemary J36 – I agree whole-heartedly.
    Morals are NOT the prerogative of the religious, though some religious types would say differently, but that only exposes their ignorance.
    Personally, I try to live by the dictum of ‘Do as you would be done by’, which pretty well covers all aspects of relating to my fellow human beings, regardless of race, gender, circumstance, etc.

  7. Kaye Lee

    I increasingly have come to the conclusion that one must set one’s own standards.

    Too often, some try to get away with what they can. Greed rules. But greed doesn’t make people happy. Giving and sharing and caring and that stuff is a shitload better than accumulation just for the sake of it.

    Too often, throughout history, I also see religion used as an excuse for despicable acts. I see brutality that can supposedly be absolved through some sort of ritual or ceremonial worship act.

    Every individual has an obligation to try to make the world a better place. Not because someone or something will punish you, but because we owe it to each other. Collectively we can achieve a great deal. Warring factions, be they political or religious or “class” or race based, just divide us

    I believe in the power of love and kindness.
    And I listen to science to direct us.

  8. RosemaryJ36

    The satisfaction that you have helped someone else far exceeds that derived from increasing your bank balance when you already had enough anyway!

  9. Matters Not

    Re:

    greed doesn’t make people happy.

    Drugs do! Therefore it follows that … Or maybe not. (Lol.)

    Lots of questions one could ask or clarifications sought/requested but past experience shows that’s fraught. Better to just offer a platitude and move on.

    Enjoy the experience!

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