Emptying the Stomach to Feed the Soul 25th May, 2016
The auspicious and blessed month of Ramadan is soon approaching us once again; how fast time flies when we are busy in our daily routines and lives.
It is a time to focus our attention on our Creator, our religion, our path and our actions, along with practising self-discipline and self-will, all the while strengthening our faith. It is a prime time to re-evaluate the way in which we live our lives, to question ourselves on what we are doing and where we are heading; not just in this world but in the journey to our Hereafter; for the world in which we live in is a temporary one.
Ramadan is also known as a month of fasting, which means abstaining from eating and drinking during daylight hours. However, fasting isn’t only about abstention from food and drink; it is to refrain from other physical acts of need, including acts of intimacy and bad habits such as smoking. Fasting not only purifies the body’s physical attributes but also aims to purify the soul.
It is also a great month for giving to those less fortunate than us; as the rewards for giving are multiplied in this month, although it is good to give whenever and wherever we can.
Fasting is one of the five obligations in Islam; also known as The Five Pillars of Islam. Each pillar signifies an obligation.
The empty feeling in the stomach is a reminder of how those less fortunate than us live and feel, and the cleansing is how we should be living and practising in our everyday lives.
This reminder of going without the bare necessities of life will make us think twice before we waste our food and appreciate what we have a lot more, becoming less materialistic and humbling ourselves. We are taking none of these worldly goods with us to the Hereafter, after all.
So, along with the stomach, the tongue, the eyes, the ears and the mind are also fasting. Those observing a fast are to refrain from conflict, hurting others, actions of an evil nature, cursing, backbiting; to abstain from seeing what one should not see and think what one should not think, and so on and so forth. Together, these simplified acts and way of living are what help us to cleanse our souls.
It is a great month for seeking forgiveness from and forgiving others, all while strengthening relationships among our family and friends.
So let’s unite and countdown to this long-awaited month of Ramadan, and help ourselves while we help others.