Fasting purifies the soul and heals the world
EID Mubarak greetings to Guyana and the world; Eid Ul Fitr is the marvellous day of peace, love, goodwill, charity, and harmony. It is the day of celebration in purification and without fanfare, but a celebration that is worthy for the ‘faster’.
The ‘faster’ is now the embodiment of perfection, for, as the prophets of religions did in ancient times, he fasted for an entire month. He, like the prophets, is embedded with a spiritual dynamo as those of yore. Prophet Abraham fasted and got enlightenment and closeness (Taqwa) with Allah (God Almighty), as did Moses, who did marvellous miracles with the permission of God; Jesus Christ imbibed the power of healing after fasting on the Mount and denying Satan. Muhammad derived his spiritual powers to travel to God and speak to him directly, received healing powers and the Al-Quran (Revelations from the Creator). Peace and blessings of God be upon them all. The fasting Muslims are like those in the power of goodness, closeness with God, and if they ask Allah for permission, they can also imbibe the power of healing humanity of soul and physical troubles. Even the earth and universe can receive divine healing from the fasting Muslims after the Ramadan, for they drank of the cup of righteousness.
The Holy Quran proclaims: Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may achieve Taqwa (Oneness with God, Liberation from ignorance, wisdom and understanding of the mysteries of the majestic universe). While fasting is a Fard (necessity), one of the Pillars of Islam, it does not say compulsion. Instead, it says: ‘Prescription!’ Being the Master Doctor of humanity and the Universe, the Chief Healer, the Creator, He, Allah (God Almighty), as the Chief Doctor, prescribes fasting because it is good for the body. It helps to regulate the blood flow and cleans the blood of platelets and fats which are killers to man. It helps the heart by controlling pressure on it and the stomach by eating less and small amounts. It eliminates the build up of carcinogens in the lungs and body. It eliminates the build up of waste in colon and intestines which accumulated over the year. The urinary tract is cleansed along with the bladder of sedimentation. The kidneys are in better health. But also the Muslim faster could not quarrel, say vexatious and obnoxious things; could not raise his voice except in proclamation of God’s wisdom. He is to continue life with these positives in his heart.
The prescription brings with it the giving of the compulsory tax, Zakaat, for development of the Islamic community and education with propagation. But voluntary charity is the mark of refinement for the Muslim soul as well. He is encouraged to give to the non-Muslims, and those who just ask, or whom one notices is in need. This is Khairaat (voluntary charity), which is the mark of distinction, of peace and goodwill; the hallmark of universal brotherhood and love. Muslims are to protect and care for all humanity and the entire world, according to the Teaching of the Quran and our Holy Prophet.
But more so, we are encouraged to give food and nourishment to those in need in Islam, even the Eid Sadakat, so the poor Muslims could have a pleasant meal, and to share with the non-Muslims for universal love and goodwill. Our Quran, and our Holy Prophet teach us not only for the Ramadan but for all times; a Muslim cannot go to bed knowing his neighbour is hungry. This is the explicit instruction for love of humanity; it does not say a fellow Muslim, but his neighbour, anyone in his community. It means, even an animal could be a neighbour, a bird, dog; once it can breathe, it is a neighbour.
It is no easy task to have to conduct ones daily duties in occupation and business in western society (in Arabia, commerce switches to night), and then fulfil the five daily prayers and more, with the late-night prayers called taraweeh (late evening prayers after the fast is broken), and then early morning, day and night recital of the Quran and the voluntary morning prayers between 2–5am, and again the morning prayers at the breaking of dawn. This is worship in motion, in physical exercises of the body and mind, with little or no food, and little sleep.
In the end, when the time comes for the ending of Ramadan, the Muslims cry, feel pain as the great spiritual journey to God and Spiritual Enlightenment, has ended. But with the great feelings of uplift as he is now closer to God, a content and humble being worshipping the Lord God, and respecting more the hungry and those in poverty for he volunteered hunger; to taste it, he becomes more spiritually awakened, but he empathises with the needy, those who are hungry, and becomes one who continues to worship, serve, being more charitable.
Enjoy this day fellow Muslims, you followed the Prescription of Allah to the letter, and you are now one in God’s closeness (Taqwa), a healer of mankind and the earth. Happy Eid Mubarak to our entire Guyana! Let us continue to spread the love, peace, goodwill and harmony amongst the peoples of our great country, and continue to live in dignity and love.