Showers of Mercy (2)

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In the Name of God, the All Compassionate, the All Merciful.on the advent of Ramadhan, Prophet Mohammad (Blessing of God upon him and his progeny) says: "O people! The month of Allah has come with its mercies, blessings and forgiveness."

The blessed month of Ramadhan is a great feast for the faithful. Fasting is a religious duty for all those who believe in Monotheism. It is an apparent sign of obedience, submission and servitude to Allah, the Exalted.

By fasting, a Muslim expresses his submission to Allah's command; his response to His will, and the control over his own desires and wishes at the Almighty's behest. The month of God enjoys specific characteristics. This month is like a city which is the residence every year of a month for the guests of God Almighty. All parts of the city lead to the One and Only God. The city is as old as the creation of mankind. The Prophets are the prime guests at this divine banquet. The Almighty hosts the banquet and the angels receive the guests of God. Thus, the blessed month of Ramadhan is the month of association with God. This month affords us the opportunity to take stock of our inner selves so as to measure our obedience and servitude to God. In Ramadhan the believers abstain from food, drinks and sexual pleasures during the prescribed hours without any complaint and without uttering an evil word. Therefore the fragrance of servitude fills up the atmosphere of this month.

The guests of Ramadhan are kind towards others, have a smile on their face and the more they become hungry they become more willing to feel concern for the world's hungry people and strive to ease their difficulties. They seek forgiveness from God during prayers and supplications.

This month is the month of Ramadhan. It is the best of all months. Its days are the best of the days, its nights are the best of the nights and its hours are the best of the hours. Everyone can enter this month and benefit from its bounties without being tainted by sins. Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) said: "This is the month in which God has invited you (to fast and to pray).

There is a light of guidance within human beings which encourages us to good deeds and to desist from evil acts. All enjoy this power and consider its pursuit as perfection and virtue. Honesty is expected from those in whom this power is awaken. Social scientists term this power as conscience. This deterrent force exists in all human beings in a way that whenever a human being commits a mistake this force blames him and makes him regret his act.

One of the objectives of religious teachings is to awaken conscience in mankind. Prayer, recitation of the holy Qur'an, and charity for the poor and have-nots of the society raises this power and creates a more powerful conscience which is called religious conscience. Religious conscience helps mankind resist satanic temptations and grants insight.

The holy Qur'an, which is God Almighty's most perfect and comprehensive Revealed Word, gives us the description of honest and pious human beings. By pious we mean efficiency in terms of ideology and deeds. From the viewpoint of the holy Qur'an, every one acts on the basis of his or her inner motives. Therefore one cannot consider outward human behavior to be separate from intentions, beliefs and emotions. According to the holy Qur'an whoever is faithful and does good deeds is among the pious. It is evident that the good servants of Allah come to acquire special behaviors and characteristics. The main characteristic of the pious is monotheism. In verse 68 of Surah Furqan, God says:

"And they who do not call upon another god with Allah"

God prescribed fasting for all nations of the past. In the books revealed to such great divine messengers as Prophet Moses and Prophet Jesus (peace upon them) we come across fasting and its benefits. According to the Almighty's Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), Prophet David was among the most pious, and he used to fast every alternate day. His son and successor, Prophet Solomon used to fast on the first three days of every month, the mid three days of the month and the last three days of the month. Prophet Jesus (PBUH) used to fast for the greater part of his life, while his mother, the Virgin Mary (peace upon her), was also a constant faster. This is proof of the fact that fasting is a form of worship that profoundly and positively affects both the human body and the human spirit, and leads to the establishment of sound and healthy societies.

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