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Benefits Of Fasting During Ramadan (II)

Weekly Trust logo Weekly Trust 01/04/2023 Weekly Trust

What about the importance of time management? As Muslims, Islam expects us to replicate this ideal of the strict schedules we operate with during Ramadan in our wakeful moments. Ramadan reminds us of the fact that everything in the cosmos is dated and timed; that to trifle with time, is to trifle with our existence.

Brethren, in line with the comprehensive nature of Islam, Ramadan comes with a lot of health benefits for the worshippers of the Almighty. This occurs because the act of fasting functions in cleansing the human system of the accumulated impurities of uninterrupted eating throughout the year.

It re-energizes our organs, sharpens our intellect and enhances wellbeing. Remember Mahatma Gandhi. He says in 'The Story of My Experiments with Truth', 'if physical fasting is not accompanied by mental fasting, it is bound to end in hypocrisy and disaster.'

Perhaps the greatest benefit this glorious month offers believers is access to divine bounties, redemption from sins and acceptance of supplications. During this month, we become attentive to the promise made by the Almighty as follows - And when My servants ask you, O! Muhammad concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (with obedience) and believe in Me that they may be (rightly) guided. (Quran 2:186).

This Ayat comes with profound meanings. In the first instance, it reminds us that the Almighty expects us to ask about Him and put forward our requests to Him in the hope that such requests would be attended to. In other words, a believer is tirelessly prayerful and hopeful of His bounties. Not to ask Him of those bounties is to posture as if we are self-sufficient. This explains why He says further that He responds to any supplication of any caller, even if they are not Muslims.

Yes. Have you not pondered what He says here - 'I respond to the call of every caller'. Yes. As far as earthly life is concerned, the Almighty responds to the call of all His creatures. He is on duty on behalf of and for the whole world, not for the believers only.

Thus, distance does not matter as far as connection to the Almighty is concerned. Height does not matter. Gender does not matter. Race does not matter. What matters is that conviction that He is there; that He listens; that He answers prayers. Thus, we read that the Prophet (saw) used to supplicate a lot during the month of Ramadan.

Aishah (ra) said: 'With the start of the last 10 days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah (?) would pray all the night, and would keep his family awake for the prayers. He tied his lower garment (i.e., avoided sleeping with his wives) and devoted himself entirely to prayer and supplication.' [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Remember that other tradition that reads - when the fasting person breaks his fast, his supplication is not turned back. (ibn Majah)

Remember my sister that tradition- there are three people whose supplications are not rejected: the supplication put forward by he who fasts at the time he breaks his fast; the supplication of the just leader and thirdly the supplication of the oppressed person; the Almighty raises their supplications high and above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: 'By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.' (Tirmidhi)

But consider this story. He prayed fervently that the Almighty should connect him to the sister of his choice. Eventually, however, the sister got married to another person. He then quickly came to the conclusion that the Almighty did not answer his prayer. He then decided to not supplicate to the Almighty any longer.

Carefully understood, supplication to the Almighty is not like a computer keyboard that you 'press' and 'Enter' and automatically the result of the exercise is seen on the screen. No! Supplication is for the believer to make while the Almighty reserves the right and possesses the knowledge of when and how to accept the same.

This is because He possesses the knowledge of the universals and the particulars. He knows the now and the future. He knows what is good for you. Keep in mind therefore that our supplications are answered in one of three ways: through direct manifestation of our supplication, by converting our supplication as a warrant with which calamities are averted from us and lastly by converting our supplication into an investment for us in the hereafter.

Therefore, supplication to the Almighty is meant to be a never-ending exercise or vocation. Pray in the knowledge that delay is not denial; that not to ask is not to receive the best.

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