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Newsletter for January 2015
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The Holy Month of RAMAZAAN
In Islam, the spiritual, social, economic, political, and psychological benefits of fasting are inter-related. During the month of Ramazaan, the believers learn to curb their desires and check them against transgression and extravagance. Fast fosters a strong will, teaches patience and self-discipline, the ability to bear hardships and tolerate hunger and thirst. It regulates and systematizes the energies of instincts. It grants its organs respite so that they may be ready to resume their activities. It is a medicine for many bodily and nervous ailments. It is a moral education, a nourishment of supreme virtues. It teaches them humility and humbleness. It promotes the spirit of charity and compassion towards poor. The believers strengthen their ties with Allah, since they express through fast a continuous desire to obey His Will and carry out His commandments.
It is said that hunger is the cloud from which rains of wisdom fall heavily.
Holy Prophet (s) and infallible A’imma (a) of Ahlul Bayt highly encouraged the believers to invite each other for Iftaar in Ramazaan. Such invitation should accompany “Ikraam”
Allah (swt) says in Holy Qur’an:
O believers, fasting has been made mandatory for you as it was made mandatory for the people before you, so that you may have fear of Allah. Fasting is only for a certain number of days. One who is sick or on a journey has to fast same number of days at another time. Those who can afford redemption should feed a poor person. Good deeds performed on one’s own initiative will be rewarded. However, fasting is better and will be rewarded.
Would that you had known this! The month of Ramazaan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed; a guide for the people, the most authoritative of all guidance and a criterion to discern right from wrong. Any one of you who knows that the month of Ramazaan has begun must start to fast……Allah does not impose any hardship upon you. He wants you to have comfort so that you may complete the fast, glorify Allah for His having given you guidance, and perhaps you give Him thanks. (al-Baqara 183-85)
We have revealed the Qur’an on a blessed night to warn man kind. (al-Dukhan: 3)
The Holy Prophet (s) said:
Ramazaan is a month you have been called to the banquet of Allah.
A guest is a guide to Paradise.
Surely, whosoever hates a guest, hates Allah, and whosoever hates Allah, Allah hates him.
Paradiseis enveloped by difficulties and Hell Fire is enveloped by desires.
How often is the share of one who fasts (nothing save) hunger and thirst and how often is the share of one who stands in prayer (nothing but mere) vigil.
The month of Ramazaan was named so because it tends to “ramad” the sins, that is, burn them.
Some of the poor companions asked him whether they would be deprived of the reward of the invitation if they cannot bear the expenses of hosting a mumin brother in this holy month. The Holy Prophet said “Protect yourself from Hell Fire even with a piece of date or glass of water”
Imam Ali (a) said:
Prophet Ibrahim (a) was first to host a guest. (Hazrat Ibrahim would not eat any of his meals until he found a guest to eat with him)
I swear by Allah, surely the fasting one among you enjoys in the Gardens of Paradise and the angels pray for his success until he breaks his fast.
Fasting is to abstain from forbidden acts the way a man refrains from food and drink
Lady of Paradise Fatima Zahra (a) said:
What should the fasting one do with his fast if he did not protect his tongue, hearing, sight, and members of his body.
Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (a) said:
Fasting from food and drink does not merely mean that human being should not eat or drink; rather, when you fast, then your ears, eyes, tongue, stomach and private parts must also fast.
One who recites in one night, 10 verses of Holy Qur’an during Ramazaan, will never be written down among the“Indifferent”. One who recites 50 verses will be written down among those who remember Allah “ Tahkireen”.If he recites 100 verses, he will be written down among those who constantly supplicate (Qaniteen). If he recites 300 verses, he will be written down among the winners (Faa’izeen). If he recites 500 verses, he will be written down among those who reach the degree of ijtehaad (Mujtahideen). If he recites 1,000 verses, he will be rewarded with one “Kantar” which is 5,000 Mithqals, each Mithqal is 24 Karats, the smallest of which (in as far as the weighing in the hereafter) is as big as Mountain of Uhad and the largest extends from the earth to the sky.
At another place he said that if one recites Holy Qur’an in the month of Ramazaan, Allah will let him enjoy his vision, and such recitation decreases the penalty of his parents even if they may be Kafirs.
Medical Benefits of Fasting:
Islam means unconditional surrender to the Will of Almighty Allah, hence it is obligatory on a healthy Muslim to fast he should do so. This supplementary information is for us to realize the hikmat or wisdom for our benefits.
The physiological effects of fasting includes, lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol, and lowering of the systolic blood pressure. Fasting is recommended for patients with mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity and essential hypertension. However, patients suffering from severe diseases, severe diabetes, coronary artery disease, kidney stones etc. should not try to fast.Psychologically there is peace and tranquility, personal hostility is at a minimum, and the crime rate decreases. Recitation of Holy Qur’an not only produces tranquility of heart and mind, but improves memory.
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