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The Ramadan of the Muslems

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The Ramadan of the Muslims By Kwame Nsiah

Opinion © The Ghanaian Chronicle, vol 11 no19 Nov 8 2002

Ramadhan, the ninth month on the Muslim Lunar Calendar, dawns on us
about this time. It sends all Mus1ims all over the world into the
rigorous rituals of fasting for a whole 30 days or so without break.
It is a divine order which the faithful of the Muslims accept without
question. Indeed, the order itself is inviting and kindly: Fasting, it
is good for you… those before you did fast…

And our Muslim friends rush to fast for the purity of heart to gain,
and the piety of the soil to have; for the humility of spirit to
cultivate, and the magnanimity of the heart to live with. The Ramadhan
Fast is one institution of Islam that supports the growth of man from
his animal and raw self through his moral and refined self to a higher
self of the Divine where the soul of man really belongs to.

It is no mean occasion then for the Muslim who will not eat nor drink
nor indulge in any other sensual pleasures during the day when such
organic demands are high. Ramadhan calls for discipline which it
literally forces out of the individual who should experience
discipline to be able to live as a homo sapiens we are.
Indeed it is good for man to go hungry religiously and formally to
appreciate hunger; it is good to give freely to the needy to
experience the joy of giving and the relief in receiving. In the
process of observing the Fast, the Muslim sort of lives outside
himself to create harmony within himself and in others of his
neighbours. And he must live that much harmony ever afterwards in the
cause of continuous struggle to attain excellence of virtuous life.

The average Muslim speaks of the exclusive inner joy and peace he
experiences day by day in the Ramadan month when he prods on gingerly
like a Pilgrim, and surmounts the difficult terrain of the fast each
day till he reaches the end of the fast, on the 50th day. It makes
life triumphant over life’s little battles and sets the individual
free of his little world of woes and tears, uncertainty and doubt.
Ramadan is worth its charge, indeed.

But God the Creator of things and men would not let the average Muslim
wonder for long, He pours His gracious Mercies over him, which come in
the form of the Fast in the month of Ramadhan, the month He has
specially sanctified for the purpose of our education and guidance to
peace.

The average Muslim recalls all that with great emotion — either before
or during or after the Muslim Fast Month — this Ramadhan of our
discussion. So at this time of the Fast, the Muslim would not accept
to quarrel with a neighbour, nor utter a foul word, or even accept to
listen to any obscenity of language.

Ramadhan is a holy Month. It is during the Month of Ramadhan when the
first few verses of the Holy Quran were first revealed to the Prophet
of Islam who also is described as the Seal of all Prophets. The order
to fast has come from the pages of the Holy Quran, which is much
honoured in the month of Ramadhan through close reading night end day.

The followers of the Prophet have since continued to adore and honour
the Book, one of whom about 600 years ago, dared to write the whole
Holy Quran in letters of pure gold to immortalise the very rare and
unambiguous words of God, whose Prophet and Messenger has been
Mohammed (SAW). His roots are traced to Father Abraham through his son
Ismael by his other wife, Hagar, the Egyptian Princess.

The God of Islam, and of the Muslim i.e. the very God of all the
Worlds, Immortal, Invisible, Ageless, Wise, Incomparable whose
attributes are countless. He is the God of Ramadhan. Islam of Ramadhan
could be fascinating indeed by the fact of its practices, and the
facts of its relics and the fact of the excitement of outsiders who by
one accident or the other come face to face with it.

And the British Prime Minister, by the news report the other day on
BBC African Service, could not hide his admiration when he was
confronted with that rare copy of the Holy Quran that has been written
in letters of pure gold. He was quoted as having described that relic
as priceless, unique and unbelievable for what it is worth in gold,
and by implication of what it should be for the guidance of the World
of Islam.

But the average believer would quickly add that with or without the
letters or gold, the Holy Quran of the Muslim of Islam is worth more
than gold. At least, the land of its birth is a land of riches and
land of great wealth whose one product, crude oil, has influenced the
world of industry, and the world of power politics so much.

It should be Islam’s wealth that keeps powerful America fumbling for
words to justify its military bases in Saudi Arabia, and in Kuwait,
and in Palestine, among others in the Middle East! Egypt of Islam at
the other shore of the Mediterranean is also a foothold where Ramadhan
should continue to hold sway.

There is Muslim Iraq under Saddam Hussein to conquer, once a very
friendly American ally. There is also Osama Bin Laden, that Saudi
prince to pursue with his Muslim Al Queeda and Taliban people of
Afghanistan. And there are the wounds at home in America to soothe and
heal, which Islam has caused.
But President George Bush of America makes a distinction here of the
Muslim who to him is so good, and the Muslim who is a miscreant who
dared to hurt America so much by the September 11, 2001 suicide
bombings or America’s powerful bases in Washington and in New York.

Islam should be a unique religion then, whose Ramadhan Institution
draws our deserved attention to it for a casual discussion. But the
Germans on their part are not only discussing Islam, but they also
want to know what makes Islam of the Muslims, And they are reaching
the mosques in all Germany these days, so we hear, to observe Islam in
practice at close quarters, and learn of Islam from the Muslims who
gather there to practise their religion.

They may be seeking answers to a myriad of questions of Islam of
peace(?), and Islam of violence(?), and Islam of wealth(?), and Islam
of’ the Fanatic Muslim whose Holy War opens the gates of Heaven to the
fallen soldier of its cause. And Islam without a formal public
relations man could be richer by such probes which should lead to a
greater understanding by the outsider as the religion of peace, by
name and function(?).

Islam must be of need of the restless world of our time, And whose
Islam? It is nobody’s in particular, but myriad of leaders of
dissenting views of beliefs and doctrines who are ready to settle
scores by the sword rather than by some dialogue. It is Islam
(alright) to know to admire it for its preponderance in the politics
of our time.

Or it is Islam to wonder at for its continued survival in the
religious irreligion of the world of science and technological
progress and growth. In effect, the questioner may learn to know that
“the straight path” Islam teaches continues to be the known straight
path which hardly befits the crooked ways of militancy and fanatism
that are associated with Islam today.

The outsider keeps wondering why. Whatever, Ramadhan has been on
course since the inception of Islam, which in our view is the only
religion of the fast with divine guidance and divine retard. It is an
experience to experience fasting in the scorching heat of the day in
the tropics, and the long and endless days of summer in the temperate
zones.

The caution of the past is that it should begin from sun rise and end
at the sun set notwithstanding how ions or how short the day would be.
It is the Ramadhan of Islam to know to adore, and endure, which is
marked by the appearance of the Moon, and regulated by the sunset, and
sunrise. The two forces of nature should be veritable witnesses of the
facts by the Muslims, who dare not falter in their determination to
fast and make the Fast as clean as possible.

For the present, whether or not it is Ramadhan time, the adulterer and
the adulteress should face the Sharia Stone on conviction. The lashes
should apply where it is necessary and the ex-communicant should face
instant death by any means if ever he is heard to have repeated the
“Khalima” because he has been declared a non-Muslim.

But the reward of the Ramadhan Fast is neither the Stone to kill nor
the amputee to show nor the lashes to dish out. It is a divine reward
which is lodged with God alone, who orders the Fast and rewards it
immensely generously.

May the current Ramadhan Fast be so rewarding of Peace which we need
most in our time in the land of Islam and in the land outside Islam,
all in the name of the Ever Merciful and Ever Gracious God.

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Written by george pope

August 15, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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